Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:00 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:Does it make sense to say that a recording qualifies as a recording that doesn't literally contain microphones if the content of that recording is existentially contingent upon microphones?
Thoughts don't literally contain anything except correlations, associations, and/or connections drawn between objects of physiological sensory perception and/or oneself.

The analogy rightly applied would be as follows: It makes no sense whatsoever to say that a recording qualifies as a recording without microphones if the content of that recording is existentially contingent upon microphones.
So you're using "without x" to simply refer to "not existentially contingent upon x"?
Well, yeah... It's the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise, we would say that this or that is possible without X even though the very existence of this or that is contingent upon X. When A is existentially contingent upon B there can be no A if there has never been B. Without B there is no A. What sense then would it make to say that A is possible without B?


I'm using "without x" to refer to whether it contains x (well, or if it's accompanied by x). Something is with x if it contains (is accompanied by) x, and without x if it does not contain (is not accompanied by) x.
And it has led you to think/believe and/or conclude that one can think about musical scales without language simply because the thoughts are unspoken. Being unspoken is not equivalent to being without language. Without language there is no musical scales. Yet when there are scales, one can remember them without speaking. When there are no musical scales, there can be no thought about musical scales, unspoken or otherwise. When there is no language, there is no musical scales. Thus, when there is no language there is no possibility of thought about scales.

Re your comment "Thoughts don't literally contain anything except . . .," would you then say that no thought literally contains language?
I personally would reject the use of the term "contains", especially if it's being further qualified with the term "literally". On my view, literally containing something requires a container and it's contents. I really don't even like to say what I did in response... It's misleading. Thought/belief consists of correlations. All thought/belief does, and there are no exceptions spoken or otherwise. All spoken thought/belief is predication. All predication is correlation, but not the other way around. Thus, thought/belief does not require language. To quite the contrary, language requires thought/belief, if by "requires" I'm talking about existential contingency and/or necessary and sufficient conditions.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by anlp_in » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:40 am

Hi, there are lot of confusion about thinking that there are need languages or not. But first point to be noted that without word how can i express and if we feel or express something then we need to give some world for that feeling. So my opinion is language is needed in some point of thinking and depend on thinking.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Terrapin Station » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:45 am

I'm just addressing one thing at first because you keep bringing it up, but you keep ignoring my comments about it, too:
creativesoul wrote:And it has led you to think/believe and/or conclude that one can think about musical scales without language simply because the thoughts are unspoken.
Why do you keep suggesting this? I keep telling you that I'm not saying anything at all about whether something is spoken/expressed or not.

If you're understanding my comments to be saying something about that, you're not at all understanding my comments.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Terrapin Station » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:47 am

anlp_in wrote:Hi, there are lot of confusion about thinking that there are need languages or not. But first point to be noted that without word how can i express and if we feel or express something then we need to give some world for that feeling. So my opinion is language is needed in some point of thinking and depend on thinking.


That's rather the idea of whether language requires thought, not if thought requires language.

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Trajk Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Trajk Logik » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:18 pm

anlp_in wrote:Hi, there are lot of confusion about thinking that there are need languages or not. But first point to be noted that without word how can i express and if we feel or express something then we need to give some world for that feeling. So my opinion is language is needed in some point of thinking and depend on thinking.
As I have already pointed out earlier in this thread, this man learned no language until late in life, yet he was able to survive for decades before learning a language. He was able to categorize his sensory impressions without language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

https://vimeo.com/76386718


Language is simply visual symbols and sounds. If you don't already have some way of hearing or seeing, then how can you learn a language? How can you categorize certain sounds as language and certain sounds as not language? It seems quite obvious that thought precedes language and language is just one form thoughts can take.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by William6 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 am

We can indeed think without language.However,there are certain kinds of thinking that are made possible by language.How did caveman think before developing language?Thinking process is actually considering concepts. No language is required for that.Just the concept is necessary to carry out the idea.Many artists and scientists say they do not use words to solve problems, but images.Concepts for them are collection of images.However,Language provides a set of rules that helps us organize our thoughts and construct logical meaning with our thoughts.click here

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Wyman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:58 pm

William6 wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 am
We can indeed think without language.However,there are certain kinds of thinking that are made possible by language.How did caveman think before developing language?Thinking process is actually considering concepts. No language is required for that.Just the concept is necessary to carry out the idea.Many artists and scientists say they do not use words to solve problems, but images.Concepts for them are collection of images.However,Language provides a set of rules that helps us organize our thoughts and construct logical meaning with our thoughts.click here
I agree. I read a quote from Einstein where he said he solved problems with images in his mind and it took great time and effort to put them into words.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:22 pm

Language can be argued as strictly the summation and derivation of inter-joined symbols. These symbols, as extension of a physical or abstract realities manifest themselves as medians to further symbols. What we understand of language, in these respects, is fundamentally an understanding of a perpetual symbolism expressed not only through words but images as the crystallization of words. Language cannot be entirely separated from "words" as "symbols".

It is in the nature of words as symbols, that a broader definition of language can be applied as words (through symbols) are strictly an observation of relations. X word is defined as Y because it relates to A,B and C. This relation implies a degree of "movement" within the nature of vocabulary and in these respects it may be observed as reflective of an ever changing reality where "being" is in a constant process of synthesis.

Words, as a synthesis of being, extend from the nature of the beings which synthesize them. In these respects take on an organic nature that is inseparable from the being's which synthesize them. Language and being are inter-joined and inseparable and what we understand of both amounts to "being through relation". It is this understanding of "relation" as a form of perpetual definition, that the relations of beings in turn translates to a language in itself as definition through "being". This nature of "being" takes on the very form of symbolism it defines, as the symbolism gives structure as meaning. This meaning in turn gives structure to "being" and what we see as symbolism is inseparable from "being" itself. To think is to crystallize meaning as definition through symbolism.


What is defined exists, and language and being are inseparable in regards to these premises. To "be" is strictly an act of definition and the possibility of "thinking" without language relegates itself to a moot point as thinking is an act of being through definition. So "Is it possible to think without language?" Considering being and language are acts of definition no.

The problem occurs in respect to the nature of definition as not all things are strictly defined. However, neither are they undefined. A paradox occurs which equates itself fully to language as a form of approximation. We understand reality through approximates and in this respect the symbol is re-justified as it circles back to itself. To symbolize is to approximate, and to approximate is to measure through the application of axioms. These axioms form the very thoughts we use to measure reality and structure it through perpetual cycles and what we understand of thinking is equated to approximation in various degrees. It is this understanding of thinking as approximation, that the root of being through thought equates to an approximate in itself and in these respects maintains itself as a symbol for something further.

Being is mediation through symbolism as being itself manifests its own language through relation.
Last edited by Eodnhoj7 on Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:41 pm

Wyman wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:58 pm
William6 wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 am
We can indeed think without language.However,there are certain kinds of thinking that are made possible by language.How did caveman think before developing language?Thinking process is actually considering concepts. No language is required for that.Just the concept is necessary to carry out the idea.Many artists and scientists say they do not use words to solve problems, but images.Concepts for them are collection of images.However,Language provides a set of rules that helps us organize our thoughts and construct logical meaning with our thoughts.click here
I agree. I read a quote from Einstein where he said he solved problems with images in his mind and it took great time and effort to put them into words.
I do the same thing (although I am not comparing myself to Einstein, I favor Tesla...who also practiced the same imaging process) which is why I am always asking people if they understand what I am saying. I hear someone say "x" in either real life or television and a quantity of wave motions appear in my head as if I was looking at ocean currents, a fire or even a pit of snakes...assuming there is a difference.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Plato's Rock » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:33 am

I'd say from first hand experience it's possible to think without language. I used to be a linguistic thinker where I predominantly thought in words/phrases, and have "dialectics" going on in my head. You know that "inner monologue" of; "Oh I should've said that, This makes sense, or I'll say this when I get a chance". That is what I'm going to assume a lot of people take into consideration in a person says they're "thinking". Provided I'm not too crazy.

To me I think it may be a stepping stone to "higher thinking" (loose terminology/definition as to what's higher). Much like the older forms of philosophy, and continuing on to the present where debates between thoughts, and arguments are played out in "external world" with other people. I'll say something, and you say something in response. That is considered "normal dialectics", but if a person is capable of having an "inner monologue" where they can, "reconsider, or consider things prior" like mentioned above. Who's to say that they can't turn their "inner monologue" into an "inner dialogue"? This is where I think a person develops mentally (opinion, and assumption). You know adopt a "stage voice" for one of their "monologue" tones? Like say the secondary voice that says, "Oh you could've done this better.", that inner critic is actually there.

I've once read somewhere, and witnessed firsthand that when it comes to reading things visually. There are those who read aloud to understand the passage, and then overtime it came to be realized that you didn't have to read aloud to read. Thus it came to a point where as a reader developed in readership skills, they often started reading with a "silent mutter". Watch yourself, or another as they read, and you may see it. They're silently mouthing the passages as they read them.

Drawing an analogy to thinking, I would say that when we're thinking to "ourselves" or so we "think". There may be a chance that we're doing sub-vocal mutterings to ourselves of what our ideas are. We're "talking" to ourselves, in other words. And once you start monitoring, and develop that idea that there can be "multiple people" inside your head. Not in an identity sense but as vectors to portray them as. Mental concepts if one will say.

Like "talking to a imaginary rock" inside your head, while picturing the classic repose of Hamlet while eulogizing Yorrick. ("Alas poor Yorrick," *while holding his chapless skull* , "I knew him well...").

Overtime now, I've turned/developed into a "visual thinker" where I can imagine multiple dimensions in my "mind's eye". As a challenge, I can ask you to visualize a 3x3 cube (a Rubix cube essentially). If you think you can, try imagining a cube upon a cube in multiple ways. A tower of six smaller cubes that is three small cubes deep, and three small cubes wide. If they are stacked vertically, or do a rotation with it in your mind. It just occurred to me, that I probably could "play" Rubix cube in my mind now..., but that's something for if I really want to "tune out" if I need to, I guess.

As a final point, I'd simply say, that there are no limits to the conventions of "thought". It is all dependent upon the "ontological bases" that one has accepted, and/or endorsed (the "boxes" they have, or they think and categorize by).

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by lesley_vos » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:16 pm

we use language to "name" things and define feelings as well as observations around. once you decide on another system of codes to communicate - for example, the image of chair will serve as a definition of "have a seat" - you might start thinking by images, lines/dots, etc. :) but i think it's close to impossible at the moment: "thinking" itself if a language pattern.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Wyman » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:24 pm

lesley_vos wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:16 pm
we use language to "name" things and define feelings as well as observations around. once you decide on another system of codes to communicate - for example, the image of chair will serve as a definition of "have a seat" - you might start thinking by images, lines/dots, etc. :) but i think it's close to impossible at the moment: "thinking" itself if a language pattern.
I think that we do not define all symbolism as language. True, we cannot think without symbolizing, but that is not necessarily language.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:46 pm

Wyman wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:24 pm
lesley_vos wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:16 pm
we use language to "name" things and define feelings as well as observations around. once you decide on another system of codes to communicate - for example, the image of chair will serve as a definition of "have a seat" - you might start thinking by images, lines/dots, etc. :) but i think it's close to impossible at the moment: "thinking" itself if a language pattern.
I think that we do not define all symbolism as language. True, we cannot think without symbolizing, but that is not necessarily language.
Did you articulate this thought in symbols?

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by lesley_vos » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:30 am

Wyman wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:24 pm
I think that we do not define all symbolism as language. True, we cannot think without symbolizing, but that is not necessarily language.
You need a word to determine that symbol. "Symbolism" itself is a language (lexical) pattern :)

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by lesley_vos » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:41 am

I think many of us watched Arrival movie: the linguist is hired to interpret aliens' language for us people to understand their thoughts and intentions. They (aliens) don't think with language space-time concepts, which is beyond human brain's understanding. Yes, they (aliens) express these thoughts with a kinda language (circular symbols), but these symbols can't be called "letters"...

What I am trying to say, people simply can't think and communicate without a language today. Though, the concept itself has a place to be :)

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