Hugely powerful, we assume language enables us to represent reality. But some argue language not only fails to describe reality, instead it actually distorts and misleads us. Language, the critics argue, does not refer to the things that truly make up reality but instead formulates a world in its own image. The structure of language, nouns, adjectives, verbs, encourages us to imagine reality consists of their equivalent, things, qualities and actions. But reality is not described accurately by this account.

Should we cease to see language as a means of describing the world and instead see it as a means to effect change? Have we mistaken rhetoric for reality? Or is the remarkable effectiveness of language evidence that language does succeed in describing reality even if we don't understand how this is achieved?

Book Tickets Now!