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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:30 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:40 am
The question is ill-formed. On my view, one does not correlate meaning. Meaningful thought/belief is the product of drawing correlation(s) between different things.
So you draw a distinction between meaningful and meaningless thought? Unless you provide a procedure for empirically differentiating the two then this is a distinction without a difference.

Correlation exists in a continuum. One can draw strong correlations; or one can draw weak correlations.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:34 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:35 am
What exactly is the difference between what you say meaning is, and how you say it works and your account thereof?

:mrgreen:
The problem - as always is interpretation (perspective). Not definition.In fact - I hate positive definitions/claims about reality. I prefer starting with the general (Platonic form) then removing things. Via Negativa. Apophatic theology. And its ties to epistemology - negative pragmatism.

With that caveat here goes me being wrong: All experiences are meaningful to the person experiencing them. And if they manifest as actions (consequences) that you can experience too then my experiences become meaningful to you also.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
by TimeSeeker
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Much before that! I meant the beginning for all of us!
In the beginning we had experience, but no language. We had to invent language. It's a tool. With a purpose.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Before any of us learn how to read and write, we first learn how to speak. We come to know of the meaning of the names of objects (called nouns in language) through the ostensive definition.
This perspective ignores The First. Who was the First Person who spoke and called that thing a "cat" or this thing a "food" or that thing "happiness" or this thing "pain"? Your position takes language and its evolution for granted.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
This is just semantics and linguistics.
It is. And yet - we need communication. So given the CHOICE of languages we have chosen English instead of Mathematics or Python. Why? Because we need a shared point of departure. Otherwise we will get nowhere in agreeing with each other.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Was Kant and Wittgenstein trying to narrate metaphysics? I do not think so. They were openly against metaphysics.
Only in words. Yet they spent so much of their time speaking about the metaphysical mind ;) To a scientist actions speak louder than words. This is the distinction between revealed vs stated preferences in economics. I know what a brain is. Not quite sure what a mind is - so I don't have much to say about it.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Of all the philosophers, these two (along with Hume) are perhaps the most well-known anti-metaphysics! But anyway, I am not talking about metaphysics here, my aim on this thread was solely semantics and linguistics.
Much like language and how we have chosen English instead of Python as a common point of departure - we need a shared point of departure on metaphysics so that we can put it behind us. My metaphysical grounding is this: My mind is a computer. I process information.

I can define/explain all of those terms in English, or in Mathematics. Both will be merely Platonistic forms - models.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Now, notice how you have phrased the quotation above itself. You said, “...things that go on in my head...”. You said “things” and not thoughts! And that is correct!
Now notice how you have turned your attention on the word I chose (be it "things" or "thoughts" - merely a distinction between the general and the particular) and not on the fact that I chose to speak. I could have used either word and would have meant the same thing.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Not everything that goes on in our heads are necessarily thoughts!
If you are a dualist and draw a body-mind distinction then fine. Chemical processes go on in my head. But so long as head == mind, then everything that goes on in my head is a thought. Thinking (computation - whether right or wrong) is what my brain (mind) does.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Thoughts are to be distinguished from word salads in that thoughts are articulate and meaningful.
One man's word salad is another man's meaningful thoughts. It simply means that the interlocutors lack shared knowledge/experience to communicate effectively. This happens to scientists all the time!
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
I do not think that the above quotation is a wise statement. For again, if not a single thought that is expressed in language can be original, then that would imply that there would be no original thought that has been expressed throughout known human history! And among the consequences, that would make the laws on plagiarism absurd! I don’t think many people will agree with that either. But, anyway, I respect your opinion even though I do not share it.
Semantics and linguistics. Right? Is 'grobmunf' an original thought or not?
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
So you wrote: “grobmunf,” and you could just as well have written some Chinese and it would not have made any difference to me! The interesting question now is: Is “grobmunf” a meaningful proposition for you? If yes, then you have expressed a thought which, however, I do not understand as I do not speak that language! If not, then it is just gibberish for both of us!
If you accept my premise that language is an expression of experience then every word I say is meaningful to me. Even if I am experiencing 'gibberish' and calling it 'blah blah fishpaste'. I do not know how to express non-experience.
Averroes wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:41 am
Either way, you have not demonstrated the possibility of a thought that cannot be expressed in language!
You have set yourself up for disappointment. You have contrived an impossible challenge. A game that cannot be won given the rules you seem to be playing by. You are asking me to prove a negative while at the same time it appears you are holding me accountable to the laws of Aristotelian/Classical logic.

The only way I know how to prove a negative is to abandon Aristotelian logic and embrace constructive/intuitionistic logic. Which necessarily means abandoning the laws of excluded middle AND the laws of non-contradiction!

It is only in that framework where proof-by-contradiction becomes a viable strategy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction

So, lets embrace constructive logic and ASSUME that all thought can be expressed in language and see what absurdities/paradoxes this leads to.

Of course, now the game is rigged in my favour because I KNOW you have no empirical/ontological/scientific grounding for what a 'thought' is and isn't ;)

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:46 pm
by QuantumT
When I think scientific thoughts, like understanding complex natural laws and interactions, or finding alternative theories, I do not think in words at all. I think in active images, which I then translate to words to share them with others.

So yes, you can definitely think without language!

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:36 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:19 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:55 am
That's not true. I've drawn no such lines. There is a distinction to be drawn and maintained between meaning and language. The latter is always existentially dependent upon the former, but not the other way around. I've already been clearly arguing for exactly how that's the case.
So we can agree that meaning is subjective?
No. I reject the objective/subjective dichotomy for it is inherently inadequate for taking account of that which is existentially dependent upon both, and is thus... neither. Meaning is one such thing.

TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:58 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:55 am
TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:58 am
It needs to satisfy ALL those criteria! It needs to be communicable for it to be meaningful, for it to be language for it to be expression.
I reject this. In fact, you yourself have said that you've expressed "grobmunf" despite the fact that only you know what it means. So... you've reached incoherency. How do you reconcile this apparent self-contradiction?
It's not contradictory from my perspective. It's contradictory from your perspective. So I think the onus is on you to explain why you think it's a contradiction? ;)
Explain? Who needs an explanation? It's right there! In one breath you say "X" is not language. In another you say that you expressed "X". And in still yet another you claim that in order for "X" to be expression it must be language. Not all of those claims can be true.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:40 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:30 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:40 am
The question is ill-formed. On my view, one does not correlate meaning. Meaningful thought/belief is the product of drawing correlation(s) between different things.
So you draw a distinction between meaningful and meaningless thought?
No.

All thought/belief is meaningful to the thinking/believing creature.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:41 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:36 pm
Explain? Who needs an explanation? It's right there! In one breath you say "X" is not language. In another you say that you expressed "X". And in still yet another you claim that in order for "X" to be expression it must be language. Not all of those claims can be true.
I said "grobmunf".

You are the one trying to classify that word as "self-expression", or "language" or "meaning" or whatever else.
I imagine (since you admitted that you don't understand what that word means) that YOU need an explanation?

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:43 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:34 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:35 am
What exactly is the difference between what you say meaning is, and how you say it works and your account thereof?

:mrgreen:
The problem - as always is interpretation (perspective). Not definition.In fact - I hate positive definitions/claims about reality. I prefer starting with the general (Platonic form) then removing things. Via Negativa. Apophatic theology. And its ties to epistemology - negative pragmatism.

With that caveat here goes me being wrong: All experiences are meaningful to the person experiencing them. And if they manifest as actions (consequences) that you can experience too then my experiences become meaningful to you also.
The better question from me to you would have been...

Can you be wrong in your account of meaning, and if so... how?

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:43 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:40 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:30 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:40 am
The question is ill-formed. On my view, one does not correlate meaning. Meaningful thought/belief is the product of drawing correlation(s) between different things.
So you draw a distinction between meaningful and meaningless thought?
No.

All thought/belief is meaningful to the thinking/believing creature.
Then why did you qualify the phrase "thought/belief" with the adjective "meaningful"? If all "thought/belief" is meaningful then that is a vacuous use of the word 'meaningful'.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:47 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:54 am

I have expressed the word "grobmunf". Nobody understands it - but I have expressed it.

The fact that I am the only one who can understand the meaning/expression doesn't seem to bother you at all? It's a very solopsistic world-view...
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:41 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:36 pm
Explain? Who needs an explanation? It's right there! In one breath you say "X" is not language. In another you say that you expressed "X". And in still yet another you claim that in order for "X" to be expression it must be language. Not all of those claims can be true.
I said "grobmunf".

You are the one trying to classify that word as "self-expression", or "language" or "meaning" or whatever else.
I imagine (since you admitted that you don't understand what that word means) that YOU need an explanation?
:roll:

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:50 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:43 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:34 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:35 am
What exactly is the difference between what you say meaning is, and how you say it works and your account thereof?

:mrgreen:
The problem - as always is interpretation (perspective). Not definition.In fact - I hate positive definitions/claims about reality. I prefer starting with the general (Platonic form) then removing things. Via Negativa. Apophatic theology. And its ties to epistemology - negative pragmatism.

With that caveat here goes me being wrong: All experiences are meaningful to the person experiencing them. And if they manifest as actions (consequences) that you can experience too then my experiences become meaningful to you also.
The better question from me to you would have been...

Can you be wrong in your account of meaning, and if so... how?
You just said that all thought is meaningful? Everything that goes on in my head is a thought. Furthermore all thoughts are experiences.
Experiences are meaningful too.

So in set formal logic (thoughts ∧ experiences) ∈ Meaning ?

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:53 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:43 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:40 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:30 pm

So you draw a distinction between meaningful and meaningless thought?
No.

All thought/belief is meaningful to the thinking/believing creature.
Then why did you qualify the phrase "thought/belief" with the adjective "meaningful"? If all "thought/belief" is meaningful then that is a vacuous use of the word 'meaningful'.
Unless it is clearly stated that all thought/belief is meaningful, you wouldn't know where I stand on that.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:55 pm
by creativesoul
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:50 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:43 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:34 pm

The problem - as always is interpretation (perspective). Not definition.In fact - I hate positive definitions/claims about reality. I prefer starting with the general (Platonic form) then removing things. Via Negativa. Apophatic theology. And its ties to epistemology - negative pragmatism.

With that caveat here goes me being wrong: All experiences are meaningful to the person experiencing them. And if they manifest as actions (consequences) that you can experience too then my experiences become meaningful to you also.
The better question from me to you would have been...

Can you be wrong in your account of meaning, and if so... how?
You just said that all thought is meaningful? Everything that goes on in my head is a thought. Furthermore all thoughts are experiences.
Experiences are meaningful too.

So in set formal logic (thoughts ∧ experiences) ∈ Meaning ?
I disagree with the second and third claims...

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:59 pm
by creativesoul
I've asked a number of questions that you've neglected to answer directly.

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:34 pm
by TimeSeeker
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:53 pm
Unless it is clearly stated that all thought/belief is meaningful, you wouldn't know where I stand on that.
You did!
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:40 pm
All thought/belief is meaningful to the thinking/believing creature.