In this way, it could be determined whether the differing color categories of the two speakers would determine their ability to recognize nuances within color categories. Eric Lenneberg[ edit ] InEric Lenneberg criticised Whorf's examples from an objectivist view of language holding that languages are principally meant to represent events in the real world and that even though languages express these ideas in various ways, the meanings of such expressions and therefore the thoughts of the speaker are equivalent.
This example was later criticized by Lenneberg  as not actually demonstrating causality between the use of the word empty and the action of smoking, but instead was an example of circular reasoning.
On the one hand, anyone who has learned more than one language is struck by the many ways in which languages differ from one another. Although Whorf lacked an advanced degree in linguistics, his reputation reflects his acquired competence.
However, a common genius prevails everywhere among people speaking the same language. Critics such as Lenneberg, Black and Pinker attribute to Whorf a strong linguistic determinism, while LucySilverstein and Levinson point to Whorf's explicit rejections of determinism, and where he contends that translation and commensuration is possible.
Just because English doesn't have a single word for the idea doesn't mean that Americans can't understand the concept.