Thinking without language?

Bloxy's Bloxy's at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 20 04:32:45 EST 1999


In article <815f73$uf5$1 at nntp2.atl.mindspring.net>, "Alexander Gross" <alexilen at sprynet.com> wrote:

>My own contribution to your dialogue "Thinking without language"
>will come in three parts.

If you don't mind, communication is primarily telepathic
in nature. What is said in ASCII characters is the most
superficial description of it, as INTENT is transmitted
via domains, not too far from emotional, such as projections.

It has been a well know fact, that many if not most radical
discoveries pretty much happened simultaneously, even at times,
where for the mail to get from one country to another would
take sometimes months.

It has been said, that the ideas are transmitted in form
of fields, that could be perceived by those, tuning into
such fields. The language of genuine poetry is such an
example. So is the language of writing, and ALL arts.

A single poem often causes radical changes in the entire
world, and those changes occur as a result of telepatically
transmitted meaning, which is not subject to "space/time"
limitations.

Ok, that is good enough...

>  The first part, this one, is a compendium
>of opinions on this topic ranging over the last several hundred
>years (and in one case even going back a few millennia).

Indeed. And time is but illusion, and so is the space.

>Many of these ideas contradict each other,

Simply because we can not comprehend that those ideas were
generated in particula context of growth of a given individual,
and are reduced to inappropriate domains, such as logic, etc.,
utterly inappropriate.

Furthermore, the very desire to see a "universal" "correct"
"answer" is but a delusion of the most profound magnitude.
The "answers" are HIGHLY contextual and correspond to the
needs of growth of a specific individual, travelling his/her
specific path, meant to facilitate that growth.

> even to an extreme
>extent. You will find famous scientists proclaiming the primacy of
>language,

Stupid.

> famous poets and lexicographers expressing grave doubt
>that this can be true.

Correct.

>It's my hope that this part alone will instill a bit of
>humility in some of youse guys.

Great!

>  This problem has been around for a long
>time, and there is absolutely no reason to suppose that it will be
>finally resolved even by the godzillions of calculations made by
>computers (which could in fact merely potentiate the difficulties to
>an astronomical extent).

Correct.
The amount of computations or calculations is UTTERLY irrelevant
to the functioning of intelligence because, first of all,
there is no END instruction in the real life of biological intelligence.
There is no "goal" to achieve, after which, you MUST self anihilate
by definition, as there is nothing left to be done.

>The second part, coming tomorrow or the next day,

Is most likely a global self anihilation if certain things
are not realized, comrehended or conceived.
It is simply inevitable.

> will be an attempt
>to reconcile these widely different views and reach some kind of
>reasonable synthesis among them.

That is a mistake number one, and the most fundamental mistake
you can make. By simply stitching together delusions, you will
not create a truth out of it.
It is not technically possible.

You can combine all these "contradictory" ideas ad infinitum
and you will not create THAT WHICH IS.

By putting together as many monkeys, as you can imagine,
even on the biggest computer, you will NEVER produce the
works of art, assuming those monkeys remain as you know them now.

There are no "contradictions" in life. There are only the situations,
facilitating the specific needs of growth of given individuals.
Those very situations might be UTTERLY inappropriate to OTHER
individuals. Thus you fall into a trap of "contradictions".

>The third part will be some excerpts from an article i wrote on this
>general theme six years ago.  once again, i have the feeling that
>some of you have embarked on what may well be the "hysterical
>discovery of the obvious."

>a realistic corrective is clearly needed, and i hope this tripartite
>message can at least provide a beginning.

>So here comes Part I right now, a compendium of views on this
>subject from some large-scale minds over a pretty humongous
>historical scale.

This is getting too long.
If you can manage to break it up into manageable pieces,
representing the very essense of what you are saying,
i'd be willing to get engaged.

----------------------------- end of input --------------------------


>                --------------------------
>
>It is impossible to disassociate language from science or science from
>language, because every natural science always involves three things:
>the sequence of phenomena on which the science is based; the abstract
>concepts which call these phenomena to mind; and the words in which the
>concepts are expressed.  To call forth a concept a word is
>needed; to portray a phenomenon a concept is needed. All three
>mirror one and the same reality.
>                            --Antoine Laurent Lavoisier
>                              "The Father of Chemistry"
>                               (1743-1794)
>
>Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.
>                            --Karl Kraus (1874-1936)
>
>Language is not only the vehicle of thought, it is a great and efficient
>instrument in thinking.
>                            --Sir H. Davy, 19th Century
>
>Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience.
>                            --Julian Huxley
>
>The tool of the mind.       --Elbert Hubbard, Poet
>
>Words are not merely the vehicles in which thought is delivered; they
>are part of thinking.
>                            --Peter Brian Medawar
>
>Language! the blood of the soul, sir, into which our thoughts run,
>and out of which they grow.
>                            --Oliver Wendall Holmes, 1859
>
>I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to forget that words are the
>daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.  Language
>is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of
>ideas.  I wish however that the instrument might be less apt to
>decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they
>denote.
>                        --Samuel Johnson, Dictionary, Preface, 1755
>
>Human beings live--literally live, as if life is equated with the
>mind--by symbols, particularly words, because the brain is
>constructed to process information almost exclusively in their terms.
>                        --Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984
>
>All words are pegs to hang ideas on.   --Henry Ward Beecher, 1887
>
>Words...the thread on which we string our experience.
>                        --Aldous Huxley 1894-1963
>
>The clothes that thoughts wear--only the clothes. --Samuel Butler
>
>The signs of our ideas only, and not...things themselves.
>                        --John Locke  1632-1704
>
>Words are used to express meaning; when you understand the meaning,
>you can forget about the words.
>                        --Chuang-tse, Sixth Century BC (?)
>
>Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are
>familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.
>                        --Cardinal John Newman (1801-90)
>
>There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than
>unwarranted trust in them. Besides, to distrust words, and indict
>them for the horrors that might slumber unobtrusively within them
>isn't this, after all, the true vocation of the intellectual?
>                         --Vaclav Havel, Speech, Oct. 1989
>
>Without words to objectify and categorize our sensations and place
>them in relation to one another, we cannot evolve a tradition of
>what is real in the world.
>                         --Ruth Hubbard (b. 1924), U.S. biologist.
>                           "Have Only Men Evolved?," in "Women Look
>                            at Biology Looking at Women"
>
>The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
>                            --Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889-1951
>
>Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.
>                            --Ludwig Wittgenstein
>
>A new word is like a fresh seed sewn on the ground of the discussion.
>                            --Ludwig Wittgenstein
>
>Every human being thinks that, because he speaks, he is qualified
>to speak about language.
>                            --German proverb
>
>There are thousands of ideas that it is impossible to translate into
>popular language.
>                            --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
>
>Methinks the human method of expression by sound of tongue is very
>elementary, & ought to be substituted for some ingenious invention
>which should be able to give vent to at least six coherent sentences
>at once.
>                        --Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
>
>As I take up my pen I feel myself so full, so equal to my subject,
>and see my book so clearly before me in embryo, I would almost like
>to try to say it all in a single word.
>                        --G. C. Lichtenberg (1742-99),
>                          German physicist, philosopher.
>
>Language originated before philosophy, and that is what is the matter
>with philosophy.
>                        --G.C. Lichtenberg
>
>I have drawn from the well of language many a thought which I do not
>have and which I could not put into words.
>                        --G.C. Lichtenberg
>
>Men believe that their reason governs words; but it is also true that
>words react on the understanding; and this it is that has rendered
>philosophy and the sciences sophistical and inactive.
>                        --Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620
>
>Everyone knows that words are the means of representing thought; but
>few are aware that the progress, abundance, and economy of thought are
>the effects of words.
>                        --Ugo Foscolo, Essays, 19th Century
>
>Because language is the carrier of ideas, it is easy to believe that
>it should be very little else than such a carrier.
>                        --Louise Bogan (1897-1970),
>                          U.S. poet, critic.
>
>Syntax and vocabulary are overwhelming constraints--the rules that
>run us.  Language is using us to talk--we think we're using the
>language, but language is doing the thinking, we're its slavish
>agent.
>                        --Harry Burchell Matthews, 1988
>
>We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language...
>Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a
>defining framework for it.
>                        --Benjamin Lee Whorf
>
>Language can only deal meaningfully with a special, restricted
>segment of reality. The rest, and it is presumably the much larger
>part, is silence.
>                    --George Steiner, 1967
>
>Meanings are to be made, not found.  They are imposed on concrete
>facts; they do not inhere in them.
>                    --Andrew Debanco, 1994
>
>
>




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