Language is an artifact made conventionally and so it both shares in the limitations of conventional wisdom and enjoys the incredible power that convention has over what we think is true or false.
The limitations of language are best seen in our awareness of the words a language lacks. On the one hand our awareness of the limitations of language shows us that the power of convention or language is not absolute, but on the other hand words outside of our language have a very limited power. They simply do not feel natural to us.
One very grave limitation of most modern languages is that the word soul has only an archaic or poetic meaning. I was tempted to say that soul no longer has an objective meaning, but this would point to precisely the problem. We have identified the real with the objective, but the whole ground and basis for our awareness of soul is our own experience of being alive, of being a unity, and of causing ourselves to move about and do things, which is the sort of experience we now oppose to objectivity. A similar argument will do away with all other interior realities in our conventional awareness and naming of things.
The identity of the real and the objective is a fixed character of our conventional life, and it is perhaps the single greatest impediment to philosophy. The identity of the real with the objective makes the interior life unreal, along with all of its perfections: contemplation, virtue, speculative wisdom etc. Ancient philosophers had an axiom “just as medicine in the philosophy of the body, philosophy is the medicine of the soul”. The sense was that medicine allowed us to see the interior nature of bodily things so that we could control them and lead them rightly, while philosophy allowed us to control and lead those things that belong to our interior nature. In our modern conventions, the whole real basis for the second half of the axiom has fallen away. What they called “medicine” we now call “science”, and we simply identify it with the real.
Like any set of conventions, our convention of objectivity is primarily helpful and beneficial, with a few obvious absurdities that later generations will mock us for. Consider the sort of blind obedience we show to any conclusion that follows the phrase “recent studies have shown”. No matter how ridiculous it is, we treat it with quiet reverence and profound seriousness. If recent studies have shown that you have no free choice, then that decides it! If a scientist sees no essential difference between a living thing and a dead one, then there must be no difference. Your own experience of waving your hands of being alive is never even seen as worthy of consideration. Within our modern conventions, it is perfectly reasonable to think thoughts like: I guess I didn’t choose to wave my hands, the CAT scan told me so. I guess there is no essential difference between a rat and its corpse, that’s hat scientists say. And what is the meaning of this word “essential” anyway? Medieval superstitions! The scientists have not allowed me to speak about “essences”!