I Speak, Therefore I Am
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Genesis 2:19
Language is more like a snowflake than a giraffe's neck. Its specific properties are determined by laws of nature, they have not developed through the accumulation of historical accidents. Noam Chomsky
In I Speak, Therefore I Am, the Italian linguist and neuroscientist Andrea C. Moro composes an album of his favorite quotations from the history of philosophy, beginning with the Book of Genesis and the power of naming and concluding with Noam Chomsky's metaphor that language is a snowflake. Moro's seventeen linguistic snapshots and his commentary on them constitute an album that displays the humanness of language: our need to name, to contain, and to translate the world in order to express and understand ourselves. This book is sure to delight anyone who enjoys the ineffable paradox that is human language.