We Use Words to Talk. Why Do We Need Them to Think?

Stop and think for a moment, if you would, about the way you think. Maybe before leaving home this morning, you thought to yourself, Don’t forget to turn off the oven! Or, perhaps, after leaving, you said to yourself, “Damn, I forgot my keys.” It feels natural enough, but in his new book, The Voices Within, Durham University psychologist Charles Fernyhough asks us to consider something most of us take for granted: Why do we think in words at all?

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