An American Indian Model of the Universe

  title={An American Indian Model of the Universe},
  author={Benjamin Lee Whorf},
  journal={International Journal of American Linguistics},
  pages={67 - 72}
  • B. L. Whorf
  • Published 1 April 1950
  • Art, Philosophy
  • International Journal of American Linguistics
I find it gratuitous to assume that a Hopi who knows only the Hopi language and the cultural ideas of his own society has the same notions, often supposed to be intuitions, of time and space that we have, and that are generally assumed to be universal. In particular, he has no general notion or intuition of TIME as a smooth flowing continuum in which everything in the universe proceeds at an equal rate, out of a future, through a present, into a past; or, in which, to reverse the picture, the… 
The Past and the Future
In the language of physics, which gives a reasonably exact and economical description of natural events, there exists no word or concept equivalent to “now.” Most human cultures have such an idea,
Time and language.
  • J. Scharf
  • Linguistics
    Gegenbaurs morphologisches Jahrbuch
  • 1982
An attempt to define time as an abstraction of abstractions, a fussy set (of ideas and definitions) in terms of post-classical set theory is made.
The spatial conceptualization of time in Spanish and Chinese
Abstract There is a general consensus about the existence of a cognitive transfer by which we conceive time in terms of space, witnessed by the recurrence of this metaphor in many languages. We can
Is our naïve theory of time dynamical?
While appeals to the ordinary view of time may do some work in the context of adjudicating disputes between dynamists and non-dynamists, they likely cannot do any such work adjudicates disputes between particular brands of dynamism (or non-Dynamism).
“Worldliness” and the Analytic Truth
The distinction between the analytic and synthetic has been critically examined in the past, most notably by Quine. The relevance of our place in the world system, and our resultant subjectivity when
The Adequacy of Grammars
In The Labyrinth of Language (1968), Max Black discusses an old problem: how do we justify notions of logical form, whereby the conclusion of "valid" arguments is felt to be, in some sense,
Living in the Model: The Cognitive Ecology of Time—A Comparative Study
Time is at once familiar and mysterious, its status in the physical universe being uncertain and contested. Time seems to be fundamental to both biology and to the world of human experience. It seems
Whorf, Benjamin Lee
When he died in 1941, Benjamin Lee Whorf was known for his work in the insurance industry and for his scholarly research on the ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Whorf is best


Miami Dictionary, Prehistory Research Series
  • (Indiana Historical Society,
  • 1940