Journals Higher Education

Imprisoned in English

The Hazards of English as a Default Language

Anna Wierzbicka

  • Argues that in the present English-dominated world, social sciences and the humanities are locked in a conceptual framework grounded in English and that scholars need to break away from this framework to reach a more universal, culture-independent perspective on things human
  • Proposes a new transnational and transculutral science of human cognition be built on a core metalanguage that avoids the cultural distortions of English
  • Engages with current debates across a range of disciplines, including philosophy, anthropology, sociology, evolutionary science, psychology, and cognitive science, as well as linguistics