Option 2: From the panel, I found it interesting, and true, that sentences which hold representation, meaning, and truth in my language, may not in another. This explains why exact translations may fail, but it also puts our thought process into question. The way I think of something may be completely different from the way in which someone who speaks another language would think of that same thing. For example, in Borges’ “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” the Tlon opinion on the heresiarch’s explanation of the nine coins is that it is absurd. Why would one assume that a particular noun stays the same over time? The heresiarch’s explanation seems reasonable to english speakers because of the authority we give to nouns. This disparity made me question: Does my language limit my ability to fully comprehend the fundamentals of Tlon linguistics? If so, does language limit our ability to understand another culture?
Option 3: Borges writes: “felicitous supposition declared that there is only one Individual, and that this indivisible Individual is every one of the separate beings of the universe…” This relates to de Beauvoir and Morrison’s depictions of the dynamic between the dominant social group and the subjected social groups. This idea suggests that everyone is represented by one identity, which Morrison and de Beauvoir argue is the cause of institutionalized discrimination. Labels and definitions surrounding identities solidify discrimination in society. However, these ideas are in contradiction to the Tlon belief that identity is separate from equality. If identity is separate from equality, how can we measure the status of equality? Perhaps the Tlon definition of equality is physical sameness and our definition is equal opportunity.