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Thinking without language?

Alan Roth alan42 at mindspring.com
Sun Nov 21 16:38:29 EST 1999

julien colomb <julien.colomb at unifr.ch> wrote in message
news:38383A60.FC6A86C6 at unifr.ch...
> Alan Roth wrote:
> > I used to be a totally verbal thinker. One day (in 1983?) on a whim,
> > went around the office to 7 or 8 of my high-tech. co-workers and
> > them "how" they think. In those days, that would not get you fired
> > immediately--I wouldn't recommend it today. Once they understood the
> > question, the answers seemed to fall about equally into two groups,
> > (and, yes, I know this is a very small sample)--either they were
> > like me, or they thought in "pictures."
> I'm not a specialist but i know that this differenciation is not very
> new... Aristotes said it: there is concepts and pictures. Picture is
> related to sense and concepts are the cognition in work....
I don't know this particular saying, but I did get into the difference
between "situated work" and formal learning as part of a program in
Adult Education. I hate to criticize Aristotle, but I think work is more
situated than academic by its very nature--concepts are inherently
verbal when they are taught; work is learned in many ways. One needs an
initial conceptual understanding, but this is not the substance of work.
    Beyond all this, the rational scholasticism that feeds into the
western paradigm is largely derived from assumed meanings in Greek
philosophy, (particularly, Aristotle), by translation during the Middle
Ages. We have no way of knowing what Aristotle might have really meant.
We are "rational" instead of sensory by an accident of translation--the
Renaissance was enchanted with Ancient Greece (as they understood it).
In Adult Ed., Apple might be the best author to follow up on this
with--he's dedicated his career to finding ways to analyze imbedded
learning in the workplace--reading manuals has never worked for me


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