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Thinking without language?

Leo Smith Who.cares at shaman.co.uk
Wed Jan 19 13:43:01 EST 2000

Rick Wojcik wrote:

> Leo Smith wrote:
> > Oh for goodness sake. It depends what you define thinking and lanuage to be. As
> > far as I am concerned, my internal representation of these concepts to myself, for
> > my purposes, says that thinking is the silent exercise of language. By almost a
> > matter of definition. But I wouldn't expect anyone else to have precisely the same
> > set of subtle attributes attached to those two words, so an almost infinite series
> > of responses by different people is likely if you start asking questions like
> > this.
> Read the question.  If you define thinking as a silent exercise
> in language, then you have just begged the question.

I do. There. So the question is like 'can you have eggs without eggs' as far as I am
concerned. Stupid dumb question. Wasting bandwidth.

> Your only
> way out of the dilemma is that you say it is "almost a matter of
> definition".  If you can tell us how "almost" differs from
> "totally" in your mind, you might have a way out of the circular
> logic.

I am not looking for a way out. I am not trying to be smart. The only reason to post at
all is in case some poor sod out there is actually paying attention to this rubbish.

Either thinking is the internal exercise of language - whether verbal pre-verbal or
symbolic, or it isn't. That depends on how you view those terms. Either way it is not
very interesting to argue definitions.

> > And it will reveal nothing about thinking, or language - merely how peoples
> > internal representations of these concepts become externalised in yakking at each
> > other.
> Concepts can also become externalized by other methods--pointing,
> facial expression, pantomime, etc.

Not on this NG they can't. Are you stuoid or something?

> > God this thread is boring.
> Leo, is somebody threatening to kill you if you ignore this
> thread?

No, but it will kill me if I keep on responding...

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