To what extent is there really a universal structure, whether innate or
not, of language for learning? Or conversely, is language learning mainly
context-based? And, in the end, does the very nature of language delimit
our mental world—such that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my
world” or, in a different parlance, constitute “the prison house of language”?
Contrary to the conventional wisdom held by many in history, all these
seemingly plausible views are highly misleading, to the extent that
something vital is missing in the conventional debate, such that the nature
of learning has yet to be more comprehensively and systematically understood.
This is not to say, however, that the literature in the study of language
(and other related fields) hitherto existing in history has been much ado
about nothing. In fact, much can be learned from different theoretical
approaches in the literature.
The virtue of this book is to provide an alternative (better) way to
understand the nature of learning, especially (though not exclusively) in
relation to language—which, while incorporating the different views in the
literature, transcends them all in the end, with the use of language and
also beyond it.
This inquiry may sound academic, but it has enormous implications not just
for the narrow concern with the nature of language, but also, more
importantly, for the larger concern with the nature of thinking, feeling,
and doing in learning, both with the use of language and beyond it.
If true, this seminal work will fundamentally change the way that we think,
not only about the nature of language, in a small sense-- but also about
the nature of learning, with the use of language and also beyond it, from
the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, for
the human future and what I originally called its “post-human” fate, in a