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Throughout this course of study the concept of language as the demarcation between animals and humans has prevailed Further as we have seen in our class readings many claim that it is through language that our consciousness and cognitive skills are developed Accordingly these skills are necessary for us to interpret and conceptualize our world What this infers is that because we have these skills and the brute animals do not animals do not possess the ability to analyze or think about their world When presented in this manner I was almost convinced that this was a plausible representation of mental development However I found that I still had a nagging feeling that it could not be true Upon further investigation I found that language is by no means the only way to interpret or communicate in the world The significance of this statement is that if my thesis proves valid the results are twofold it refutes the behaviorists and Cartesian assertion that language is the boundary that separates animals and humans and it supports the theory that animals not only have language but they also posses the ability for cognitive thoughtNo one will argue that animals possess sight and auditory abilities However the concept that animals have language and are capable of thought for some is a bitter pill to swollow I believe that they are also capable of thought and even intention Granted the development of language is often used as a gauge of mental aptitude in humans Language competence is intimately tied to or maybe even definitive of our concept of human mentality Atherton and Schwartz 137 However while language is an asset which enables people to conceptualize their world it is by no means a necessity This is demonstrated by the ability of physically handicapped persons eg the deaf and mentally handicapped persons eg victims of cerebral palsy to communicate using symbols It is also demonstrated by the reliance on kinesics
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