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thought without language?

 
 
nerdfiles
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 08:35 pm
@BrightNoon,
Did you just say "of course my horse" for no other reason than to rhyme?

Awesome. I'm stealing that one.
0 Replies
 
hirukai
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:05 pm
@BrightNoon,
of course my horse... yes it is.

Carpe Diem et Memento Mori
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 10:05 pm
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
. Yes, sign language is a natural language (just like English).

Well, lets see. One is understood by sight alone, and the other is understood by hearing. (sight too if you're reading. )So, it actually is not just like English ,French or whatever. But anyway, I think I hear where you're coming from.
nerdfiles
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 10:17 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;51409 wrote:
Well, lets see. One is understood by sight alone, and the other is understood by hearing. (sight too if you're reading. )So, it actually is not just like English ,French or whatever. But anyway, I think I hear where you're coming from.


We are not in disagreement because you did not comprehend what my assertion meant. Perhaps you do not understand the linguistic expression "just like."

By saying that X is of Y and that X is just like Z insofar as Z is of Y, I am saying that X and Z share the property of being members of the set Y.

What you have said does not refute my claim because nothing in the definition of "natural language" presupposes that it only describe languages which have a phonetic aspect. "Natural language" does not mean "language with a phonetic aspect."

Thus, sign language is just like English in that it is a natural language.

Why on earth would I say "sign language is just like English" where "just like" stands to mean that you can hear sign language (just like you hear English) too? Really...why on earth?
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 11:02 pm
@hirukai,
hirukai wrote:
of course my horse... yes it is.

Carpe Diem et Memento Mori

A horse is a horse of course of course unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

nerdfiles wrote:
We are not in disagreement because you did not comprehend what my assertion meant. Perhaps you do not understand the linguistic expression "just like."

By saying that X is of Y and that X is just like Z insofar as Z is of Y, I am saying that X and Z share the property of being members of the set Y.

What you have said does not refute my claim because nothing in the definition of "natural language" presupposes that it only describe languages which have a phonetic aspect. "Natural language" does not mean "language with a phonetic aspect."

Thus, sign language is just like English in that it is a natural language.

Why on earth would I say "sign language is just like English" where "just like" stands to mean that you can hear sign language (just like you hear English) too? Really...why on earth?

LOL. Oh man. This ain't bad lemme tell ya. I love your words Mr. nerd. LOL. you can have the last word. Its okay. Believe me, it is okie dokie. LOL.

This one has to apologize to Mr. Nerdfiles. To be honest sir, I sensed a type of ad hominem attitude on your part which necessitated one on my part. But, that is how it works I suppose. There are two types of dialogue between people. We either talk at a person, or we talk with a person. I sensed the former on your part. If that was not your attitude, then I am wrong and again, I apologize.
0 Replies
 
nerdfiles
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:57 pm
@BrightNoon,
How could you take me to be talking at you? I sincerely attempted to examine your claims and make explicit attempts to distinguish them from my own. I took you at your word and tried my best to interpret what you were saying, which is how I came around to distinguish it from what I was saying.

But truly I do not understand your "talking at/talking with" distinction. I was breaking your claims down and analyzing them. I don't know where that fits in with your distinction.

I'm also not getting this "ad hominem" business, nor do I truly understand what sense you use the term. I have not attacked your character once. I have only expressed my frustration in that you took me to be saying something that would suggest that you think I am quite dimwitted. You may have done this unintentionally, but nevertheless, it is still quite frustrating because it seems to show, at least, that you are not carefully reading my claims.

So either you're not carefully reading my claims or you're implying that I am dimwitted. Each of this is grounds for some form of frustration. In any event, though, I have not explicitly attacked your character and have done nothing but give you respect in elucidating and attempting to clarify my claims.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 08:58 am
@Oh phil,
Smile
Pure expression, which is I think what we ponder here as the first step towards language. It would be pure emotional expression of pain and/or of pleasure, the sounds made becoming meaningful, would then be understood as words, meaningful sounds. Pain, pleasure and fear, the foundation of language. Sensation- Emotion--Sound becoming understood as aquired/understood meaning= language.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 05:11 pm
@nerdfiles,
Then I assume the apology is accepted. Thank you.End of discussion.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:04 am
@BrightNoon,
Much of what we perceive and many of our responses take place without being translated through the medium of language at all. It is only in trying to communicate our experience to others or to record and explain it to ourselves that language is used. Do animals think? They perceive? They respond? They experience? They do it directly from perception to response without the medium of language. They remember (people who hurt them, bad experiences). They feel (happiness, anticipation, fear, etc).

Humans likewise perform many, sometimes very complicated tasks without using language as an intermediary for thought at all. Skilled surgeons and skilled musicians perform their respective activites without the requirement of language. I think certain kinds of abstract thoughts require language for the purposes of recording and communication but much of human activity and thought ocurrs on an entirely perceptive level. Language is secondary not primary to thought.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:01 am
@BrightNoon,
Does language equall thought?
Does perception equall thought?
How does experience relate to thought?
How about consciousness and thought?

I associate perceptive awareness (consciousness) with thought.
Language seems more like abstracted perception or experience.
Language is the effort to communicate or record experience.
Language always has less informational content than the experience or notion that is trying to be communicated or recorded.

A lot of definitional problems here: perception, experience, awareness, consciousness, thought and language. Probably never get past definitions here.
0 Replies
 
ValueRanger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:08 am
@BrightNoon,
I see a lot of "without" usage in this thread.

What does without mean? What does "mean", mean?

It's math, just as reality is bridging 1+ points in Flux. So 'with', closer or farther to 'out', means these objects in space and time, are negotiable relative to the practitioners. And, as humans are advanced objects in this Earth set, we advance the power to transform our reality through our level of negotiations.

Can we state that any Form of communication bridges, more or less (see "closer or farther" in the above Modeling), meaning? Are thoughts, or any other language, contained in the Flux set?
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 12:33 am
@Deftil,
Recently I've been wondering what thoughts would be like without language. I can't imagine thinking without language. Yet I've been told that language doesn't construct thoughts, but that thoughts construct language, which I'm inclined to believe.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 04:27 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;90092 wrote:
Recently I've been wondering what thoughts would be like without language. I can't imagine thinking without language. Yet I've been told that language doesn't construct thoughts, but that thoughts construct language, which I'm inclined to believe.


spend the next 24 hours observing how many purposeful actions and skillful activities you engage in and sucessfully complete without ever processing your decisions or actions into langugage. One only uses language to formalize or communicate. A lot of activity takes place without ever entering consciousness at all, sudden movements to avoid injury or accidents and yet the response is entirely rational and appropriate.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 06:42 pm
@prothero,
prothero;91515 wrote:
spend the next 24 hours observing how many purposeful actions and skillful activities you engage in and sucessfully complete without ever processing your decisions or actions into langugage. One only uses language to formalize or communicate. A lot of activity takes place without ever entering consciousness at all, sudden movements to avoid injury or accidents and yet the response is entirely rational and appropriate.


I hear you, but there's still room to wonder. What about when an Orangutan looks at their reflection in the mirror with the mark test? I wonder how they process their thoughts. I'm speaking of thinking in the sense of reflecting upon conscious experience.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 10:39 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;91556 wrote:
I hear you, but there's still room to wonder. What about when an Orangutan looks at their reflection in the mirror with the mark test? I wonder how they process their thoughts. I'm speaking of thinking in the sense of reflecting upon conscious experience.


I think orangutans and many other speices engage in purposeful directed action as opposed to relfex or habit. One could get involved in a discussion of what "consciousness" means or consists of but I would say goald directed activity employing alternative methods is conscious activity. Highly developed language may be uniquely human and allow for expanded degress of communication, self reflection and information dispersal but "language" and "consciousness" are not synonyms.

The term "thought" as opposed to conscious perception is even less defiend.

Just to avoid pointless confusion about my position, I am a panexperienlist and think that perception or prehension (a form of experience) is virutally ubiquitious in nature. I attribute mental agency and purposeful action way down the scale of existence.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 10:41 am
@prothero,
prothero;91655 wrote:
I think orangutans and many other speices engage in purposeful directed action as opposed to relfex or habit. One could get involved in a discussion of what "consciousness" means or consists of but I would say goald directed activity employing alternative methods is conscious activity. Highly developed language may be uniquely human and allow for expanded degress of communication, self reflection and information dispersal but "language" and "consciousness" are not synonyms.

The term "thought" as opposed to conscious perception is even less defiend.

Just to avoid pointless confusion about my position, I am a panexperienlist and think that perception or prehension (a form of experience) is virutally ubiquitious in nature. I attribute mental agency and purposeful action way down the scale of existence.


As a panexperienlist, are you saying that you believe that all matter is conscious (including inanimate objects like a rock), but not cognitive?
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 11:56 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;91864 wrote:
As a panexperienlist, are you saying that you believe that all matter is conscious (including inanimate objects like a rock), but not cognitive?

Two main problems.
As a panexperientialist I am saying that all actual occasions (the building blocks of reality) have a mental and physical pole (neutral monism). Reality is composed of events not particles.

Mental properties are not consciousness although consciousness is a high form of mentality. All events have both a mental (non sensory perceptive) aspect and a physical material aspect.

Rocks as simple aggregates are not conscious. The fundamental constituents of rocks may have primitive mental (not conscious) properties (See Whitehead and prehesion or non sensory perception).

But this is a serious diversion from the notion that thought requires language.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 12:23 pm
@prothero,
prothero;91895 wrote:
Two main problems.
As a panexperientialist I am saying that all actual occasions (the building blocks of reality) have a mental and physical pole (neutral monism). Reality is composed of events not particles.

Mental properties are not consciousness although consciousness is a high form of mentality. All events have both a mental (non sensory perceptive) aspect and a physical material aspect.

Rocks as simple aggregates are not conscious. The fundamental constituents of rocks may have primitive mental (not conscious) properties (See Whitehead and prehesion or non sensory perception).

But this is a serious diversion from the notion that thought requires language.


This is a diversion, but I think that you answered my original question well enough. I'm curious about this panexperientialist thing, though. What's the difference between the mental and the physical? You say that reality is composed of events not particles, but aren't events composed by particles? What do you mean when you say events? What do you mean when you say that mental properties are not consciousness? Individual properties of the brain may not be conscious, but together they form the functional basis for consciousness. What do you mean when you say that rocks may have primitive mental properties? Can you describe these mental properties that a rock may have?
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 05:52 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;91910 wrote:
This is a diversion, but I think that you answered my original question well enough. I'm curious about this panexperientialist thing, though. What's the difference between the mental and the physical?
Fundamentally they are not separable, so in some sense they are the same (monism). What one sees depends on how one looks and from where you are observing. We impute mental properties to some substances and not to others. Most think other humans have an interior subjective reality similar to themselves (by analogy not by direct experience or scientific demonstration, reason and analogy, not epistemology.. Many impute an interior subjective life to animals and other highly organized living things. In truth though; the denial of mental properties to any object is an arbitrary decision or dividing line. A lot of problems with respect to mental versus physical (mind-body) tend to go away when one begins to consider that reality is dipolar, that substances are really enduring events, and that all events have both a mental and a physical aspect or manifestation.

hue-man;91910 wrote:
You say that reality is composed of events not particles, but aren't events composed by particles?

Everyone perceives that there are events as well as substances. The general assumption is that events are secondary to substances. Events are subordinated metaphysically to substances. The dominant notion is of substances (atoms,matter) with enduring attributes in relative motion. When one investigates the concept of enduring substances or matter paradoxes begin to occur especially at the quantum level. The fundamental constituents of matter do not behave like substances are supposed to behave. In fact matter at the quantum level behaves more like quantum events than particles or substances. Despite this the assumption that ultimate reality consists of particles (which lack any mental properties of degrees of freedom) continues to dominate most of our thinking.
Process philosophy takes a look at the opposite option that events are primary and substances are secondary. In process thinking events in relation dominate over substances in relative motion. Substances are now thought of as stable patterns of events. In many ways process thinking fits the discoveries of modern physics better than the traditional notion of matter, atoms and indivisible or fundamental particles.

hue-man;91910 wrote:
What do you mean when you say events?

For process philosophers (A.N.Whitehead is the most prominent example) reality consists of "occasions, moments or droplets of experience" one rapidly following another. The typical phrase is "perpetual perishing and rebirth" . Reality consists of "one moment of experience perishes and a new moment of experience is born which incorporates elements of the past and chooses from among the possibilities of the future". Material objects are not stable substances with enduring attributes. We in fact know that objects are mostly empty space, constantly in motion and constantly changing. Substances are in fact enduring sequences of events.

hue-man;91910 wrote:
What do you mean when you say that mental properties are not consciousness?

Panexperientialists deliberately avoid using terms like "consciousness or mind" because of the implications about human like self awareness or self reflection which accompany those terms. The language instead focuses on less concept laden terms like perception (awareness), memory, or self determination, interiority, etc. Even fundamental particles appear to be aware of their surroundings, have memory and exhibit degrees of freedom in response ( see for instance quantum entanglement, pairing, etc). For a Panpsychist mind and consciousness are found in highly organized societies but the fundamental mental properties which combine to form minds and consciousness are present at the very core of reality.

hue-man;91910 wrote:
Individual properties of the brain may not be conscious, but together they form the functional basis for consciousness.

What are the fundamental properties which combine to create consciousness?
Perception (awareness of surroundings), memory (elements of the past),etc ?
What actual entities posses these fundamental mental properties?
Do animals engage in purposeful activity? Do plants? How do you know?
Do you really have access to the interior subjection component of any other entities experience? How do you know? Is the sudden emergence of the fundamental properties of mind compatible with the evolutionary process in cosmology or biology? Is not the slow emergence of what we call mind and consciousness from more elemental mental properties the more likely explanation? The decision to draw the line at any point is somewhat arbitrary.
Descartes separated reality into mind and matter (res extensa). Science proceeded to be extremely productive in its considerations of the material aspects of reality but intractable problems have developed with respect to mental phenomena. All purely materialist philosophies divide the world into mental and physical they are forms of dualism. The perceived truth is that of unity(monism), that things only exists in relation to other things and that things really are "events" not substances.

hue-man;91910 wrote:
What do you mean when you say that rocks may have primitive mental properties? Can you describe these mental properties that a rock may have?
Again to be clear, rocks as aggregates do not have consciousness, mind, thoughts or any other higher mental attributes. The individual constituents of rocks i.e. the fundamental particles of which a rock is composed may have properties which could be considered to be primitive mental properties.

In a nutshell this is a poor presentation of process philosophy and panexperientialism. It takes a little practice but entertaining these notions can have a profound effect upon your thinking and how you view the universe. I find it much more inspiring than any form of materialism (especially any mechanistic or deterministic notion). It also makes the dualism of mind-body, matter-mental appear much less intractable.

This is speculative philosophy based on reason and analogy which is not in conflict with science or experience. It is a different view than the mechanistic one that developed following Newtonian physics and which still dominates modern thinking.

Lines of thought similar if not identical to panexperientialism are panpsychism and psychialism. There are lots of serious presentations of process philosophy. Whitehead himself is difficult to read because he invented new terminology to avoid using older terms which carried unwanted implications and associations.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 06:11 pm
@prothero,
By event I assume you mean an experienced instant or occurrence. You're not saying that mental events are primary, are you? Either way this reduces to a philosophy of perception that claims that experience or perception is primary and objects are secondary. While I can see why one would make such a claim, I remain unconvinced. Maybe our perception of quantum events can be explained by distinguishing macro from micro. Also, physicists have varying interpretations that explain events at the quantum level, such as the uncertainty principle.

Your statement that things are really events, not substances, seems to be flat out false if it denies the independent existence of particles, which seems to be nothing more than another form of idealism or dualism. You also keep saying that all events have a mental and physical aspect (dualism), and yet you say that there is no real distinction between the mental and the physical (monism). I understand that we see things at the macro level with the naked eye, and that the necessity of that ability can be explained by evolutionary biology, but this still doesn't reduce events or particles to mental properties. A tree is still a tree regardless of the non-realism of its name or the lack of ability to perceive it at the quantum level. This idea seems to rest on the assumption that the micro/quantum level is more realistic than the macro level, which is unsupported. This is the result of greedy reductionism, which either explains a thing away or reduces its importance with explanation. Maybe the separation between macro and micro is a false one; the result of another human psychological error.

"What are the fundamental properties which combine to create consciousness?
Perception (awareness of surroundings), memory (elements of the past),etc ?
What actual entities posses these fundamental mental properties?
Do animals engage in purposeful activity? Do plants? How do you know?
Do you really have access to the interior subjection component of any other entities experience? How do you know? Is the sudden emergence of the fundamental properties of mind compatible with the evolutionary process in cosmology or biology? Is not the slow emergence of what we call mind and consciousness from more elemental mental properties the more likely explanation?"


These questions seem to be somewhat rhetorical, and it leads me to believe that you don't believe that consciousness can be explained by functional properties of the brain, correct? If not, then you must believe that science cannot explain consciousness. Perception may be subjective or private, but that doesn't mean that it can't be explained as an objective phenomenon. In other words, while the experience of perception in itself may be private, the phenomenon can be explained by the physical properties of the brain.

"It takes a little practice but entertaining these notions can have a profound effect upon your thinking and how you view the universe. I find it much more inspiring than any form of materialism (especially any mechanistic or deterministic notion)."

Before we seek inspiration, we must seek truth. At this point, I'm more concerned with whether or not these notions are true than if whether or not these notions are inspiring.
0 Replies
 
 

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