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Does an ‘individual’ word have meaning…?

 
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Feb, 2013 01:15 am
@vikorr,
Okay...the shadow on the cave wall :

- is the shadow language, which is but a reflection of the concept that exists in the mind of the human - the object casting the shadow being the concept?

- does the light source have relevance in this pictorial? If so, what does the light source represent?

- the cave wall would represent the background against which the shadow is cast...but one would have to remember that is just one part of what makes the the shadow and it's shape

...the only way to make this accurate, I would contend, is for the mind of both people to have input into the shape of the wall...with both people creating a wall that may (or may not) be similar, but one that will always have differences.

...that wall is something that they are both going to use to communicate and create from (regardless of the other analogies within - eg. the body that casts the shadow...in this case, it would be two bodies, casting shadows back and forth, in order to communicate)

And all that said - I don't see the particular use of symbolism in this thread, though it may well help others Very Happy
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Feb, 2013 03:37 am
@vikorr,
Thanks again! Also, point taken.
0 Replies
 
RandyS
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 01:31 pm
@igm,
I'm only answering your basic question:

Quote:
Does an ‘individual’ word have meaning…?


The answer is yes. A word (spoken, written, or heard) is a symbol for a concept, but it's alright in everyday language to equate them. A conept has only one function, to identify something, an entity, an attribute, a behavior, a relationship, concrete or abstract. A concept's meaning is whatever it identifies.

The word apple is a symbol for the concept apple. If someone asks a child what they would like, they might say, "I would like one of those," while pointing at an apple, or they might say, "I would like an apple," which performs the same function as pointing at one--it identifies an apple. What the word (or concept it represents) means is an actual apple with all it attibutes and relationships even if few or none of them is known. The word apple has exactly the same meaning for a botanist or a child.

Here is a brief explanation: Knowledge



0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2017 11:28 am
@igm,
Most probably would respond none but I rather say it has a large potential of possible meanings and contexts. I really am not fond of the idea that X relates with nothingness. Rather X is always a finite colection in a set of potential interactions beyond which X stops making sense. The extension of what X is is finite as the extension of how X can be perceived and constrained is equally large but finite. Change the context of the cultural language technology to much and X dilutes not in nothingness but back to a transcendental state where its description no longer makes contextual sense. This, unlike Fresco and others believe is not the negation of foundations but rather realizing that the extension of anything is not infinite. As anything else it has boundaries.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Dec, 2017 11:50 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

Every language started primordially (the language equivalent of the' big bang') with a sound (the first word), then different sounds stood for the 'parts of speech' that would come to describe that first word. Along with other symbols, signs and gestures, they all became interdependent but at the start was the first word just a meaningless sound?

No, because 'conventionally' the word attempts to describe something, but the problem is, that something is ultimately indescribable because what it attempts to describe is impermanent. The word creates a subjective concept which itself is impermanent, but it is so subtly impermanent that it conventionally gives the illusion of permanence. This means that yes it is 'ultimately' meaningless.

It follows then, what I have just said has conventional meaning but ultimately it is meaningless.

jerlands
 
  0  
Reply Mon 11 Dec, 2017 03:02 pm
@igm,
This argument sounds a lot to me like Ecclesiastes... everything is meaningless. Everything has meaning whether it's simply for it's own time or resonates throughout time. Science suggests an event doesn't just happen but that there is reason for events. So.. if the beginning had reason, a purpose, then do you suppose the end is purposeless? Maybe though that answer is more individual than universal.. who knows...
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 01:28 am
@igm,
Try reading Derrida...'there is nothing outside of context'....implying that 'meaning' is dependent on the social context in which sounds are uttered, or text is written.
Only those species which engage in joint social projects appear to use 'language'. Human language tends to be a complex version of that organizational behavior, and 'internal language' underpins 'organized thinking'.

The 'meaningless of the single word' is something of a 'straw man argument'.
0 Replies
 
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 11:54 am
Heka, an ancient teaching, instructed speaking the true name endowed one with it's knowledge. It was also said speaking the true name would manifest that which was spoken. It appears words are containers for something, and if the container is properly constructed then the word has the potential to hold that which is being called. In today's world we don't view words the same way.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 03:25 pm
@jerlands,
Quote:
In today's world we don't view words the same way.


Correct, because 'word magic' is seen as a primitive aspect of human cognition associated with a range of behavioral phenomena from 'prayer' to 'hypnosis'. Such 'magic' is epitomised by the concept of 'holy writ' in both its entirety as 'sacred' and by its adages, such as 'In the beginning was the word ...etc'.
It is perhaps interesting to bear in mind Wittgenstein's point that such primitivism is countered by his view of the purpose of philosophy as 'an attempt to counter our bewitchment by language.'
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 05:32 pm
@fresco,
Well, sophistication contains within it the concept of being adulterated but I think what we seek is purity... that being truth (that which is.)
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 05:35 pm
@jerlands,
Oh 'truth' = 'is', does it ?! Laughing
I suggest you research ontology with particular reference to 'theories of truth' and the attempt to proscribe the word 'is' by replacing it with 'eprime'.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 05:43 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Ah 'truth' = 'is' does it ?! Laughing



I also (or think) it isn't necessarily presenting a truth.

Here is an example. The word "fate". The word and concept is self defeating and can not be proven. You honestly can't use the word yet so many people do.

Here is my reasoning.

A person might say;

"It was your fate, that this happened to you."

How do you know? You can't step outside the reality to make that claim. So the whole sentence becomes an obvious and meaningless statement.

The word fate is inescapable. You can't get outside the concept. So why even make the statement. It would be no different than sitting across the table from a friend who is taking a bite of food and you said to them, "You are eating." That would be silly.

So the word fate doesn't present any truth at all. It is just a concept entwined with our ability to understand that future events unfold or will happen. But since we are unaware of these events until they happen, they hold a sort of "magical" expression. And we don't like not having control over these events. So we attempt to trick ourselves with these kinds of statements as if there was a purpose or meaning.

Words are not truth.
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 05:50 pm
@fresco,
The word 'truth" has it's origins in "faithful" but in context we use the word to relay the notion of being correct, factual, complete. And yes, I see that it does have something to do with adulteration and the state of our sophistication today.
0 Replies
 
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:03 pm
@Krumple,
Word are a form of communication. Maybe not the highest form but an important one nevertheless. If you want to examine the word "fate" then simply look it up... it's root is in "to speak." Now how and why people believed that speaking something would have an effect on their future may only be left to the imagination.
0 Replies
 
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:10 pm
@Krumple,
I think another question is.. Does it matter what we believe? Does it matter what relationship we have with truth. I think evolution kinda explains this.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:20 pm
@jerlands,
jerlands wrote:

I think another question is.. Does it matter what we believe? Does it matter what relationship we have with truth. I think evolution kinda explains this.


It depends. But I can create a feed back loop trying to give my reasoning. I can say, if your beliefs don't lead you to cause harm on other people then its fine to believe what ever you want, no matter how crazy it might sound to other people. But I can't hold this honestly because my premise has a condition and that condition is built upon my belief that causing harm on other people is wrong. So why does my belief get to dictate how you handle your belief?

The ONLY way I can justify this position is to consider both sides. If you are free to believe what ever you want, that is fine, but you can't restrict anyone else by your belief. Meaning, you can believe something is wrong, but you cant impose that belief restricting someone else. It's wrong. But once again, that is just my opinion.

So all I can return to is this. If they are preventing a person from their belief by harming them then they are restricting the same frame of freedom. Therefore by causing harm through beliefs is wrong because it restricts the victims ability to freely believe.

That might sound silly but it's the ONLY way I can rationalize the freedom to believe what you want. (and you should have this freedom) but at the restriction it does not cause harm to others.
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:30 pm
@Krumple,
Yes, people have the freedom to believe whatever they wish but equate that with what you can observe in nature. Do you think we're somehow excluded from natural laws?
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:35 pm
@jerlands,
jerlands wrote:

Yes, people have the freedom to believe whatever they wish but equate that with what you can observe in nature. Do you think we're somehow excluded from natural laws?


For some reason, natural laws seem to be hard to observe. Or on the other had easy to ignore? Which ever you want on that. We aren't exempt but to me humans seem to enjoy holding contradictory beliefs. They seem to prefer a belief that makes them feel warm and fuzzy over a belief that makes them feel afraid or anxious. Even if the later belief is the "truth". They would rather belief something that is fake because it makes them feel better about their existence. It might be biological for the human brain to take on certain beliefs as a survival tactic even if they are false. I don't know.
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 06:53 pm
@Krumple,
If you want to base everything on convention then that leads you where? Most people simply try and survive in society and adaptation is the most common solution because people are burdened with the basics of it all. A paradigm shift usually requires the established die off but in today's world communication is easy, all that's required is reception and that's left to the individual. Edit: forgot to mention the good, the bad and the ugly.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2017 07:02 pm
@jerlands,
jerlands wrote:

If you want to base everything on convention then that leads you where? Most people simply try and survive in society and adaptation is the most common solution because people are burdened with the basics of it all. A paradigm shift usually requires the established die off but in today's world communication is easy, all that's required is reception and that's left to the individual. Edit: forgot to mention the good, the bad and the ugly.


Well once again. I think if your belief is benign and doesn't restrict the progression of someone else's belief then there really shouldn't be any issues at all. It's when people want to solidify a belief onto the rest of society when the problems start to arise. It gets even worse when those beliefs are unfounded or baseless. Even dangerous when they are used to justify murdering of those who don't accept those beliefs.

So conventional or not. I don't think it really matters. If someone is using a belief for their own survival that is okay. But as soon as they start to expect everyone else to adopt that same belief then there needs to be some intervention.

I personally feel that human progress has been slowed due to beliefs that are forced upon society which restrict that progress. We might have even solved certain issues within human psychology that relies on "false" beliefs for survival had we had the opportunity to advance.

But once again, I don't really know. It's difficult if not impossible to see a road and where it would take us as a society. I can speculate all I want on how I think things should be and assume it would be for the best. But I can't honestly know that it would be any better. Perhaps this very moment, for the good and for the bad, it is actually the proper way things should develop. Had it gone another way might have ended in disaster. As odd as that might sound.
 

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