Great question; I'm enjoying your topics. By any chance have you ever read any Steven Pinker
? By him I've read The Language Instinct (1994)
and The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002)
and in one or both of those books there is some discussion that I think is relevant to what you are touching on here.
I have a lot to say on this topic, but I'd rather contemplate it a bit more before I dive into a full on response. In the meantime, here's a wikipedia article I hope you'll look at about what's known as mentalese or Language of thought
If I'm not mistaken (and I could be), this hypothesis could explain how a person born deaf and unable to use actual language could have thoughts, and possibly fairly
complex ones at that.
A brief excerpt:
The hypothesis describes that thoughts are represented in a "language" (sometimes known as mentalese) which allows complex thoughts to be built up by combining simpler thoughts in various ways. It is clear from the biology of the brain that these mental representations are not present in the same way as symbols written on paper; rather, the LOT is supposed to exist at the cognitive level, the level of thoughts and concepts. For example the thought that "John is tall" is clearly composed of at least two sub-parts: the concept of John (the person), and the concept of tallness.
Thought can occur as IDEAS and not necessarily WORDS. A person can tell if another person happens to be tall, in that the top of their head happens to be higher off the ground than most people when standing, without ever resorting to the use of words, right?
But another point I want to make real quick: would it help to make discussion more interesting if we discussed this in terms of a person who was not only born deaf
, but also blind
? A person that is deaf, but able to see can know language through the written word, and sign language, correct?
I think I disagree with the supposition that "auditory sensation is the manner in which most information is stored in most people", but more on that later (hopefully).