Getting Beneath Language

So what's really going on?

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creativesoul
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Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:26 pm

As the thread title indicates, this is meant to spark discussion about what language itself is existentially contingent upon. Many folk have said and maintained over the years that we cannot get beneath language. I personally disagree. However, hearing the arguments either way ought be interesting enough for a thoughtful thread.

:mrgreen:

surreptitious57
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:16 am

Language is a vocalised or textualised version of thought and so without it no
one would really know what anyone else was thinking on any significant IeveI

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:13 am

surreptitious57 wrote:Language is a vocalised or textualised version of thought and so without it no
one would really know what anyone else was thinking on any significant IeveI.
We have language though. So, I'm not following what you think the problem is. Surely, our having language doesn't stop us from learning about things that do not require language(that are not existentially contingent upon language). Just the same, I see no reason to think/believe that we cannot use language(amongst other things) in order to figure out what language itself is existentially contingent upon. If setting that much out does not count as getting beneath language, then nothing will...

surreptitious57
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:48 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Language is a vocalised or textualised version of thought and so without it no
one would really know what anyone else was thinking on any significant IeveI
Actually there is a less sophisticated version which is of course body language

surreptitious57
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:05 am

creativesoul wrote:
I see no reason to think / believe that we cannot use language ( amongst other things ) in order to figure out what language
itself is existentially contingent upon. If setting that much out does not count as getting beneath language then nothing wiII
Even in its most primitive form [ body language ] language is existentially contingent upon the ability of all those using it to be able to convey and interpret meaning within a shared and understood set of gestures or symbols. Without which it would be quite ambiguous if not totally impracticaI

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:54 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
I see no reason to think / believe that we cannot use language ( amongst other things ) in order to figure out what language
itself is existentially contingent upon. If setting that much out does not count as getting beneath language then nothing wiII
Even in its most primitive form [ body language ] language is existentially contingent upon the ability of all those using it to be able to convey and interpret meaning within a shared and understood set of gestures or symbols. Without which it would be quite ambiguous if not totally impracticaI
Agreed. Language is existentially contingent upon shared meaning. Without getting into all the pitfalls of a discussion regarding meaning as the term is used after language creation/acquisition has begun in earnest(particularly after meta-cognition), we find ourselves talking about symbolism. Thus, the inquiry has found itself needing to set out the necessary existential conditions for symbolism(shared meaning). I would posit that that requires something to be and/or become symbol, something to be and/or become the symbolized, and an agent capable of drawing connection, association, and/or correlation(s) between the two. Agreed?

surreptitious57
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:50 am

creativesoul wrote:
Language is existentially contingent upon shared meaning. Without getting into all the pitfalls of a discussion regarding meaning as the term is used after language creation / acquisition has begun in earnest ( particularly after meta cognition ) we find our selves talking about symbolism. Thus the inquiry has found itself needing to set out the necessary existential conditions for symbolism ( shared meaning ) I would posit that that requires something to be and / or become symbol something to be and / or become the symbolized and an agent capable of drawing connection
association and / or correlation ( s ) between the two. Agreed ?
Yes but such symbolism while robust at the most basic level can become less so at more advanced levels. For language is not all on one
level but varied across a spectrum. And the more advanced levels employ ambiguity and subtlety so while one may recognise the words
them selves the specific context might not be so easily understood. And that is exactly why semantics is so important in discourse since
the more accurately defined words or terms are the better a position can be understood

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:00 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
Language is existentially contingent upon shared meaning. Without getting into all the pitfalls of a discussion regarding meaning as the term is used after language creation / acquisition has begun in earnest ( particularly after meta cognition ) we find our selves talking about symbolism. Thus the inquiry has found itself needing to set out the necessary existential conditions for symbolism ( shared meaning ) I would posit that that requires something to be and / or become symbol something to be and / or become the symbolized and an agent capable of drawing connection
association and / or correlation ( s ) between the two. Agreed ?
Yes but such symbolism while robust at the most basic level can become less so at more advanced levels. For language is not all on one
level but varied across a spectrum. And the more advanced levels employ ambiguity and subtlety so while one may recognise the words
them selves the specific context might not be so easily understood. And that is exactly why semantics is so important in discourse since
the more accurately defined words or terms are the better a position can be understood
Why the "yes, but"??? What came after the "but" is irrelevant to the topic at hand. I'm always open to hearing why it isn't. However, here's my justification for why it is...

Sure, the complexity of language increases after it's inception. Language, regardless of it's complexity, is existentially contingent upon shared meaning. Since the aim of this thread is getting beneath language, it's futile to attempt to do that by setting out all the nuances of higher complexity. That's going the wrong direction. What matters to us, given the aim, is what all language has in common, and whether those common denominators are capable of existing and/or emerging without(prior to) language. Semantics such as the kind you're alluding to requires language. Both require symbolism. Thus, setting out what symbolism requires will effectively set out(in part at least) what they(language and semantics) require.

It may be worth noting here that I'm working from the presupposition that language begins simply and grows in complexity.

surreptitious57
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:58 am

creativesoul wrote:
What matters to us given the aim is what all language has in common and whether those
common denominators are capable of existing and / or emerging without ( prior to ) language
Before language there has to be thought or logic else it is either non existent or meaningless. The symbols of language
[ letters and words ] have to have meaning or it can not be a tool of communication which is what it is supposed to be

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:40 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
creativesoul wrote:
What matters to us given the aim is what all language has in common and whether those
common denominators are capable of existing and / or emerging without ( prior to ) language
Before language there has to be thought or logic else it is either non existent or meaningless. The symbols of language
[ letters and words ] have to have meaning or it can not be a tool of communication which is what it is supposed to be
A tool for communicating is one function of language. It is also used in order to acquire what the thinking/believing agent wants, as well as to establish convention and salutations.

I would agree that prior to language there has to be rudimentary(non-linguistic and/or pre-linguistic) thought/belief. I find no argument to warrant logic prior to language.

So, language requires shared meaning. Shared meaning - symbolism. Symbolism(as argued earlier) thought/belief by virtue of requiring an agent to associate and/or draw correlations between symbol and symbolized. So, we agree on that much it seems. What then could non or pre-linguistic thought/belief possibly consist of if not linguistic elements?

Luke
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by Luke » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:43 am

It seems that the OP has already answered the question: language is "existentially contingent upon" language users, and all the reasons/purposes for which we use language. Should there be more to it than that?

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:24 am

Luke wrote:It seems that the OP has already answered the question: language is "existentially contingent upon" language users, and all the reasons/purposes for which we use language. Should there be more to it than that?
There is. It's not a matter of 'should'...

Luke
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by Luke » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:56 am

Fair enough. What more IS there, then?

creativesoul
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by creativesoul » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:45 am

Luke wrote:Fair enough. What more IS there, then?
Well, for starters - seeing how this is a metaphysics forum, there is also everything that those things are existentially contingent upon.

Agreed?

surreptitious57
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Re: Getting Beneath Language

Post by surreptitious57 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:46 am

creativesoul wrote:
I find no argument to warrant logic prior to language
While logic can be best demonstrated through written or spoken language it is entirely
possible that logical thought existed before the means to communicate it to others did

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