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Thinking without language?

Lee Sau Dan ~{ at nJX6X~} sdlee at faith.csis.hku.hk
Sat Nov 20 05:07:20 EST 1999

>>>>> "Larisa" == Larisa Migachyov <lvm at leland.Stanford.EDU> writes:
    Larisa> And, as several posters have already mentioned, thinking
    Larisa> does not have to involve speech.  I offer some more
    Larisa> examples of nonverbal thinking:

    Larisa>  Create a simple melody.  Now, "play" it in your mind.
    Larisa> Add a simple accompaniment.  "Play" a variation on that
    Larisa> melody.  "Play" another variation in the style of Mozart.
    Larisa> Create a 4-voice fugue based on that melody.  Improvise
    Larisa> freely in your mind on that melody and smoothly meld it
    Larisa> into the tune from Beethoven's 5th.

    Larisa>  Design a simple mechanism that can withdraw a spoonful of
    Larisa> coffee from a jar, put it in a cup, and add boiling water
    Larisa> and cream.  Let it be actuated by an electric motor of
    Larisa> given parameters.  It should be simple to use, easy to
    Larisa> maintain, and portable.

    Larisa>  Obviously, the worlds of dance, music, art, engineering,
    Larisa> and sports can offer much more examples.

Try playing  the game of Tetris, too!   I can't see how  far one could
get if he plays it by verbal thinking.

Go and  have a ride a  bike or drive a  car.  Don't tell  me you don't
think when  you're driving or riding  a bike.  And don't  tell me that
you have  to talk to  yourself in words  inside your mind  when you're
doing this kind  of thinking.  Otherwise, you'll be  too slow to react
to anything, let alone accidents.

Lee Sau Dan                     $(0,X)wAV(B(Big5)                    ~{@nJX6X~}(HZ) 
| http://www.cs.hku.hk/~sdlee                      e-mail: sdlee at csis.hku.hk |

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