Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:10 pm

lesley_vos wrote:
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 :)
That was a good movie with a great soundtrack.

The interesting point about the language within that movie was its emphasis on holism. Concepts cannot be defined on their own terms without be viewed as extensions of a "whole". They (the aliens) observed this holism through an inherent circular structure as a constant within all their symbols. The variations occurred with the different "ink blots" being placed at different intervals within the circle.

The majority of their language, it appeared, was based structurally around the movement of time and it appeared, at least to me, what they understood of a triadic "past/present/future" tense was summed up in a different manner than what we would interpret time as currently. Instead of time, it seemed that they emphasized concepts strictly as spatial curvature or rather these concepts manifested each other as ever present within space as space. Time was not a boundary this language observed.

The problem occurs, as the language being susceptible to time, had a constant nature where the terms corresponded to an existence which cannot be temporal in nature. In simple terms, because the language was not subject to time it lacked an approximate nature where "if the concept is spoken, it must inherently actualized". Time, through approximation, allows a certain degree of "freedom" paradoxically and considering these languages had no time value "if symbolized it must be actualized".

The reason I state this is that the aliens already knew their future and they used language as a means to bridge it through a relation with humanity. The language acted as a foundation for a percieved future, and because of it lack the approximate nature of time constraints.

The question occurs as to whether they actualized the percieved future, through the language, or was the language a means to bring order to a future appearing chaotic on its own terms? The most likely situation was both, in which the aliens observed language as a structure which not only formed reality but maintained a form of stability against chaos or the void.

In these respects, the aliens synthesized their survival through a culture of language.

Wyman
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Wyman » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:17 pm

lesley_vos wrote:
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 :)
Were arguing over the definition of language and how broad it is. I think that to make the concept meaningful, you have to draw the line somewhere short of 'all symbolism is language.' But if that'a how you define language - that it includes all symbolism - then you're right, but it's a trivial matter.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by gaffo » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:00 am

Hegel wrote:
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:17 am

is the languages a thinking tool or a Communication tool ?
the latter.

As a small illiterate kid of 4-5 I thought fine.

all without words.

-------

could not communicate those thoughts to others to well..............verbally of course................but verbal language is the same in nature as written.

a mode of communication - a tool.

not a the means of thinking.

thinking needs no language.

though without language one is an isolated island.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by attofishpi » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Hegel wrote:
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:17 am
Is It Possible To Think Without Language?
Do animals think?

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

Post by Trajk Logik » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 pm

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

This is a story about a deaf man that never learned any language, including sign language, until he was 27. If he wasn't able to think prior to learning a language, then how did he feed, dress, and take care of himself?

How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?

Language is simply visual scribbles and sounds in the air. We must be able to see and hear and to be able to organize our thoughts in order to make any sense of, and to be able to distinguish between, different visuals and sounds.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by -1- » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:38 am

The question would be self-answering if worded thus: "Is thinking in words and sentences possible without knowing even one language?"

Ha.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:55 am

Trajk Logik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

This is a story about a deaf man that never learned any language, including sign language, until he was 27. If he wasn't able to think prior to learning a language, then how did he feed, dress, and take care of himself?

How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?

Language is simply visual scribbles and sounds in the air. We must be able to see and hear and to be able to organize our thoughts in order to make any sense of, and to be able to distinguish between, different visuals and sounds.
Language is symbolism, with symbolism itself not limited to strict hearing, or even vision, alone but the other senses: touch, taste, smell, intuition.

If we look at the senses, what they observe are different dimensions of a spatial reality.

Sight with depth, color (light waves), etc.

Hearing with sound waves that reflect through structure and space.

Touch with smoothness/coarseness, density, etc.

Taste with the elements that form physical structures (vitamins, minerals, organic/non-organic, etc.) with the elements themselves formed by bonds.

Smell as an extension of taste (or vice versa) relative to saturated air (or less dense material).

Intuition as the summation of the sensory experience along with inherent temporal foresight (the observance of time, ie predicting events).

In these respects, the senses observe different dimensions in which space manifests itself. Furthermore the signs act as median points within space to further phenomena. One could view language, under these premises, as strictly a "sensory symbolism" that observes phenomena through its varying spatial dimensions. These phenomena, in themselves, act as symbols (or axioms) for further signs, etc.

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

Post by Trajk Logik » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:05 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:55 am
Trajk Logik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

This is a story about a deaf man that never learned any language, including sign language, until he was 27. If he wasn't able to think prior to learning a language, then how did he feed, dress, and take care of himself?

How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?

Language is simply visual scribbles and sounds in the air. We must be able to see and hear and to be able to organize our thoughts in order to make any sense of, and to be able to distinguish between, different visuals and sounds.
Language is symbolism, with symbolism itself not limited to strict hearing, or even vision, alone but the other senses: touch, taste, smell, intuition.

If we look at the senses, what they observe are different dimensions of a spatial reality.

Sight with depth, color (light waves), etc.

Hearing with sound waves that reflect through structure and space.

Touch with smoothness/coarseness, density, etc.

Taste with the elements that form physical structures (vitamins, minerals, organic/non-organic, etc.) with the elements themselves formed by bonds.

Smell as an extension of taste (or vice versa) relative to saturated air (or less dense material).

Intuition as the summation of the sensory experience along with inherent temporal foresight (the observance of time, ie predicting events).

In these respects, the senses observe different dimensions in which space manifests itself. Furthermore the signs act as median points within space to further phenomena. One could view language, under these premises, as strictly a "sensory symbolism" that observes phenomena through its varying spatial dimensions. These phenomena, in themselves, act as symbols (or axioms) for further signs, etc.
I mostly agree. Language comes in the form of braille for blind people that use their sense of touch to read, so yes, language is using sensory representations to symbolize more general concepts which are just related, or amalgams of other, sensory experiences.

I'm not sure what you really mean by "In these respects, the senses observe different dimensions in which space manifests itself." Our various senses do provide us different information about the same thing, but they also tend to overlap and provide us the same information, but in different forms. In this sense, "space" (I'm not sure if that is an appropriate term) doesn't manifest itself in different dimensions. It's just that the form the information takes in our minds as provided by each sensory organ varies.

For example, say you have an injury on your back. I can see your injury but can't feel it. You can feel it, but can't see it. We are both informed of your injury via different sensory organs. I could even say that I have more information about your injury than you do because I can see it and vision provides us with the most detailed information about the world, than any of our other senses. You would even be inclined to ask, "How bad does it look?" -knowing that I have access to more information than you do about your injury. That is why we tend to think that the world is as it appears visually, because it is so detailed and informative. But vision is just a particular way of modeling the world. Other animals' sensory organs provide different degrees of information. Dogs may think that the world is the way it smells, rather than how it looks. Having our sensory organs provide us with overlapping information is very useful as it helps us confirm what one sense is telling us. It provides fault tolerance against sensory illusions.

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:54 pm

Trajk Logik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

This is a story about a deaf man that never learned any language, including sign language, until he was 27. If he wasn't able to think prior to learning a language, then how did he feed, dress, and take care of himself?

How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?

Language is simply visual scribbles and sounds in the air. We must be able to see and hear and to be able to organize our thoughts in order to make any sense of, and to be able to distinguish between, different visuals and sounds.
Interesting example. Concerning the topic of this thread, I think Chomsky is right on this, and this is the view of mainstream linguistics, that language is innate. You made an interesting observation by asking the question: "How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?"
I have taken that question as a rhetorical question. Now if one were to follow this line of reasoning through, then it becomes apparent that language is innate. For if it is necessary for one to be able to think before using language, then language cannot be learned for thinking is through concepts, and if these were not learned, (I.e. prior to acquiring the language of our surrounding), then these concepts must be innate. In a nutshell, this is what Chomsky and modern linguists think about it. And there is an emormous amount of empirical evidence which back this view. Modern linguistics takes language to be innate. Much like babies are born with sight, touch, smell etc., they are also born with language. And as their sense organs develop as they grow up, so too they experience language growth (Chomsky used that expression in one of his interviews).

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:55 pm

Trajk Logik wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:05 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:55 am
Trajk Logik wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

This is a story about a deaf man that never learned any language, including sign language, until he was 27. If he wasn't able to think prior to learning a language, then how did he feed, dress, and take care of himself?

How can we learn a language at all if we don't think prior to learning it?

Language is simply visual scribbles and sounds in the air. We must be able to see and hear and to be able to organize our thoughts in order to make any sense of, and to be able to distinguish between, different visuals and sounds.
Language is symbolism, with symbolism itself not limited to strict hearing, or even vision, alone but the other senses: touch, taste, smell, intuition.

If we look at the senses, what they observe are different dimensions of a spatial reality.

Sight with depth, color (light waves), etc.

Hearing with sound waves that reflect through structure and space.

Touch with smoothness/coarseness, density, etc.

Taste with the elements that form physical structures (vitamins, minerals, organic/non-organic, etc.) with the elements themselves formed by bonds.

Smell as an extension of taste (or vice versa) relative to saturated air (or less dense material).

Intuition as the summation of the sensory experience along with inherent temporal foresight (the observance of time, ie predicting events).

In these respects, the senses observe different dimensions in which space manifests itself. Furthermore the signs act as median points within space to further phenomena. One could view language, under these premises, as strictly a "sensory symbolism" that observes phenomena through its varying spatial dimensions. These phenomena, in themselves, act as symbols (or axioms) for further signs, etc.
I mostly agree. Language comes in the form of braille for blind people that use their sense of touch to read, so yes, language is using sensory representations to symbolize more general concepts which are just related, or amalgams of other, sensory experiences.

I'm not sure what you really mean by "In these respects, the senses observe different dimensions in which space manifests itself." Our various senses do provide us different information about the same thing, but they also tend to overlap and provide us the same information, but in different forms. In this sense, "space" (I'm not sure if that is an appropriate term) doesn't manifest itself in different dimensions. It's just that the form the information takes in our minds as provided by each sensory organ varies.

Each sense observes a different dimension of reality.

For example, say you have an injury on your back. I can see your injury but can't feel it. You can feel it, but can't see it. We are both informed of your injury via different sensory organs. I could even say that I have more information about your injury than you do because I can see it and vision provides us with the most detailed information about the world, than any of our other senses. You would even be inclined to ask, "How bad does it look?" -knowing that I have access to more information than you do about your injury. That is why we tend to think that the world is as it appears visually, because it is so detailed and informative. But vision is just a particular way of modeling the world. Other animals' sensory organs provide different degrees of information. Dogs may think that the world is the way it smells, rather than how it looks. Having our sensory organs provide us with overlapping information is very useful as it helps us confirm what one sense is telling us. It provides fault tolerance against sensory illusions.

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