Title

Humans: The Animal Lost in Words

Presenter Information

Kevin Kranz

Department

Computer Science

Major

Computer Science

Research Advisor

Johnson, Lindgren H.

Advisor's Department

English and Technical Communication

Abstract

Humans rely heavily on language as a means of explaining and understanding the world around them as well as a means of conveying ideas. In trying to convey an idea, a problem arises when humans focus so much on finding the right words to accurately convey their thoughts that they distort the original idea itself. Another problem arises when humans, in the attempt to interpret an idea, focus too much on the specific words used, as they lose sight of the meaning behind them. These problems and their consequences can be seen in the words that humans use when talking about living creatures (including themselves) – and more specifically in the words that humans use to categorize these creatures. Some humans use words to try to hide from the fact that they are also animals, and some humans use words to desensitize or justify their treatment of other creatures.

Biography

Kevin is a junior studying Computer Science as well as pursuing a minor in Psychology. He plans to go into the field of Artificial Intelligence. He is the Pledge Educator for Delta Lambda Phi and is also a member of the DaVinci Society. He is the son of Sharon and George Kranz and is from Saint Louis, Missouri.

Research Category

Arts and Humanities

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Location

Turner Room

Presentation Date

10 Apr 2012, 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 10th, 2:30 PM Apr 10th, 3:00 PM

Humans: The Animal Lost in Words

Turner Room

Humans rely heavily on language as a means of explaining and understanding the world around them as well as a means of conveying ideas. In trying to convey an idea, a problem arises when humans focus so much on finding the right words to accurately convey their thoughts that they distort the original idea itself. Another problem arises when humans, in the attempt to interpret an idea, focus too much on the specific words used, as they lose sight of the meaning behind them. These problems and their consequences can be seen in the words that humans use when talking about living creatures (including themselves) – and more specifically in the words that humans use to categorize these creatures. Some humans use words to try to hide from the fact that they are also animals, and some humans use words to desensitize or justify their treatment of other creatures.