Issues in Philosophy The Word and the World (Video)

The Word and the World (Video)

The power of words is a wonder, and language perhaps our greatest skill. Yet the gap between the sound of a bell and its description is huge. Are the limits to language so profound that the big questions of science and philosophy are beyond us? Or can everything be said if we try hard enough?

Director of the New York Institute of Philosophy Paul Boghossian, Wittgenstein biographer and philosopher Ray Monk, and award winning novelist Joanna Kavenna debate the limits of language.

This video was produced by The Institute of Art and Ideas and is republished here with permission.  It was filmed at HowTheLightGetsIn 2015 alongside 200 other debates and talks, all available for free at IAI TV. Their new podcast, Philosophy for our times, is available here.


  1. It would be interesting to explore, looking through the lens of Iain McGilchrist’s work, the extent to which the “limits of language” are the limits of left hemisphere cognition. The different speakers here seemed to exemplify different takes on hemispheric styles in their expressed positions.


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