Thinking without language?

Alan Roth alan42 at mindspring.com
Sun Nov 21 13:58:23 EST 1999


Peter T. Daniels <grammatim at worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:3837EAE9.5C46 at worldnet.att.net...
> Paul Miller wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 21 Nov 1999 07:29:21 -0500, "Alan Roth"
<alan42 at mindspring.com> wrote:
> >
[...]
> > >(and I certainly can't recite pi to 200 decimal places with sheer
> > >memorization).
> >
> > You certainly could if you put the effort into it.  Actors memorize
entire
> > plays, and Homeric poets memorized epics.  Surely 200 words is not
too much to
> > memorize?  Some soliloquies in Shakespeare run longer than this!
>
> A 200-word speech has semantic content. A string of 200 occurrences of
> 10 different words has no semantic content. (Unless, of course, you
> *calculate* the value of pi each time you recite its digits.)
> Off-the-shelf memory can handle lists of "five plus or minus two"
> unrelated items.
While in graduate school, I remember coming across this as someone's law
that was derived from experimental data, I quote it often but can't
remember the reference--any help?

> Peter T. Daniels     grammatim at worldnet.att.net






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