Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:18 pm

My use of the word 'expression' hinges on shared meaning (which is the same as your use of the word 'language'). Or rather - the process by which individual meaning BECOMES shared meaning e.g how ideas become language.

If I express myself but I am the only one who grasps what it means. It's insufficient.

Therefore 'expression' is isomorphic to 'BECOMING language'. For the word 'grobmunf' to BECOME language. I have to TEACH you my meaning.

And once I have successfully TAUGHT you my meaning, then you can assert that what I really mean by 'grobmunf' is a penguin.

People have the NEED to label their experiences. If I acquire an experience first hand then I need to give it a name.

Seeing a grobmunf (what everyone else calls a 'penguin') is a totally new experience TO ME. And until I find somebody to TEACH ME that it's not an 'original idea' by pointing me to other knowledge, then I can be none the wiser either....

Similarly. Until somebody first understood what Einstein was all about and when a bunch of physicists understood and DETERMINED that this is ACTUALLY a "new and original idea" - he wasn't expressing himself effectively!

Mathematical isomorphism... "different ideas" can be the same thing in different words.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:25 pm

To be clear, I'm not interested in satisfying a Kantian concept. I've already said why I reject that(a priori/a posteriori) as a result of inadequacy and how that's the case. I am more than capable of offering an example of meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.

Whenever a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same or similar enough things.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:28 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:18 pm
My use of the word 'expression' hinges on shared meaning (which is the same as your use of the word 'language'). Or rather - the process by which individual meaning BECOMES shared meaning e.g how ideas become language.

If I express myself but I am the only one who grasps what it means. It's insufficient.

Therefore 'expression' is isomorphic to 'BECOMING language'. For the word 'grobmunf' to BECOME language. I have to TEACH you my meaning.

And once I have successfully TAUGHT you my meaning, then you can assert that what I really mean by 'grobmunf' is a penguin.

People have the NEED to label their experiences. If I acquire an experience first hand then I need to give it a name.

Seeing a grobmunf (what everyone else calls a 'penguin') is a totally new experience TO ME. And until I find somebody to TEACH ME that it's not an 'original idea' by pointing me to other knowledge, then I can be none the wiser either....

Similarly. Until somebody first understood what Einstein was all about and when a bunch of physicists understood and DETERMINED that this is ACTUALLY a "new and original idea" - he wasn't expressing himself effectively!

Mathematical isomorphism... "different ideas" can be the same thing in different words.
So then you've set out the term "expression" as capable of being sufficient and/or insufficient. On my view, if X is insufficient for Y, then X is not Y. Let X be expression. Let Y be language.
Last edited by creativesoul on Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:30 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:25 pm
To be clear, I'm not interested in satisfying a Kantian concept. I've already said why I reject that(a priori/a posteriori) as a result of inadequacy and how that's the case. I am more than capable of offering an example of meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.

Whenever a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same or similar enough things.
That's not very well put... actually.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:41 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:30 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:25 pm
To be clear, I'm not interested in satisfying a Kantian concept. I've already said why I reject that(a priori/a posteriori) as a result of inadequacy and how that's the case. I am more than capable of offering an example of meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.

Whenever a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same or similar enough things.
That's not very well put... actually.
That would be a case of shared meaning. I'm not sure that all shared meaning counts as language, let alone be existentially dependent upon it. A plurality of creatures in different parts of the world can draw correlations between the same or similar enough things without the need for language.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:03 pm

All meaning consists of something that is sign/symbol, something that is significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlation(s) between them. When a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same things meaning is shared. When shared meaning is used we have language. When it is the case that language already exists, correlations can be drawn between the language, it's use, and other things. This is meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.
Last edited by creativesoul on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:19 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:03 pm
All meaning consists of something that is sign/symbol, something that is significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlation(s) between them. When a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same things meaning is shared. When shared meaning is used to communicate thought/belief we have language. When it is the case that language already exists, correlations can be drawn between the language, it's use, and other things. This is meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.
When part of the correlation is language, it is existentially dependent upon language.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:06 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:03 pm
All meaning consists of something that is sign/symbol, something that is significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlation(s) between them. When a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same things meaning is shared. When shared meaning is used we have language. When it is the case that language already exists, correlations can be drawn between the language, it's use, and other things. This is meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.
It sounds like you are describing semiotics. The signifier/signified distinction. Any signifier that points to a signified is "meaningful". And the meaning is the signified.

https://theoriesofviscomm2015.wordpress ... tisements/

It gets us no closer to agreeing here, because a signifier can signify an experience e.g the word "frightened". Or the word 'grobmunf' - they are both something I experienced.

A "meaningless" signifier would be one that doesn't point to a signified.For example - a word that is randomly generated by a computer.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:00 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:06 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:03 pm
All meaning consists of something that is sign/symbol, something that is significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlation(s) between them. When a plurality of creatures draws correlations between the same things meaning is shared. When shared meaning is used we have language. When it is the case that language already exists, correlations can be drawn between the language, it's use, and other things. This is meaning that is existentially dependent upon language.
It sounds like you are describing semiotics. The signifier/signified distinction. Any signifier that points to a signified is "meaningful". And the meaning is the signified.

https://theoriesofviscomm2015.wordpress ... tisements/

It gets us no closer to agreeing here, because a signifier can signify an experience e.g the word "frightened". Or the word 'grobmunf' - they are both something I experienced.

A "meaningless" signifier would be one that doesn't point to a signified.For example - a word that is randomly generated by a computer.
The only issue I had with anything you wrote was regarding what you claimed about original thought/belief being mutually exclusive with being expressible in language. However, since then I have discovered that your taxonomy is riddled with self-contradiction. Here again is yet another... a signifier that doesn't point to a signified. Why call that a signifier if it doesn't point to a signified?

Ah... no matter. You like the framework evidently. I don't. I like my own, which is novel as far as I know, and yet you do not seem to understand it. There's nothing you've claimed that cannot be exhausted by what I've put forth.

We both agree that thought can be prior to language. We both agree that meaning can be prior to language. It seems that you hold that all meaning is prior to expression. I do not. Then again, some of what you've claimed in our exchange is self-contradictory so... in order to accept your position one would have to accept contradictory claims. I do not.

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:55 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
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.
There are some inaccuracies in the above quoted statement you made. Firstly, the challenge was not from me but it is the title of this thread!! Secondly, it is you yourself who made a statement such that there are thoughts which cannot be expressed through language thus:
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm
And yet is precisely the thoughts which I can't express THROUGH any medium are the ones which you require evidence for...
How might one convince you that such thoughts exist?
As you who made a statement implying that there can be thoughts which cannot be expressed through language, so I had asked you to give me evidence for such thoughts! And it seems you have finally recognized that it is “impossible.” I agree with you that it is indeed impossible!
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TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
You are asking me to prove a negative
Indeed, I have asked you to give evidence for your statement claiming the existence of the alleged thoughts that cannot be expressed in language!

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
The only way I know how to prove a negative is to abandon Aristotelian logic and embrace constructive/intuitionistic logic.
So, now you are claiming that you can prove the existence of thoughts that cannot be expressed in language in intuitionistic logic!
Alright! You can use intuitionistic logic if you want to prove your statement that there are thoughts which cannot be expressed in language. It’s much better for me actually in intuitionistic logic!

From Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:To an intuitionist, the claim that an object with certain properties exists is a claim that an object with those properties can be constructed. Any mathematical object is considered to be a product of a construction of a mind, and therefore, the existence of an object is equivalent to the possibility of its construction. This contrasts with the classical approach, which states that the existence of an entity can be proved by refuting its non-existence. For the intuitionist, this is not valid; the refutation of the non-existence does not mean that it is possible to find a construction for the putative object, as is required in order to assert its existence. Site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionism

The interesting thing in all this is that I have already imposed a necessary condition for the existence of a thought that it be expressible in language, exactly complying with the demands of intuitionistic logic. I am already done in intuitionistic logic!

Now your turn! You now have to show, in intuitionistic logic, the existence of a thought that cannot be expressed in language that it can be constructed, i.e., you have to show the possibility of constructing something that cannot be constructed!!!

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
Which necessarily means abandoning the laws of excluded middle AND the laws of non-contradiction!
Absolutely not! In intuitionistic logic, only the law of excluded middle and double negation are dropped, but not the law of non-contradiction. There is no logical framework without the law of non-contradiction!
__________________________
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
It is only in that framework where proof-by-contradiction becomes a viable strategy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction
The law of non-contradiction and proof-by-contradiction are very different things! In intuitionistic logic, proof-by-contradiction is a proof technique that is rejected because the latter makes use of the law of excluded middle and double negation (which are not accepted in that framework) but not because of the law of non-contradiction is rejected (as it is not rejected)!
Wikipedia wrote:Proof by contradiction also depends on the law of the excluded middle, also first formulated by Aristotle. This states that either an assertion or its negation must be true

(For all propositions P, either P or not-P is true)
(...)

The law of the excluded middle is accepted in virtually all formal logics; however, some intuitionist mathematicians do not accept it, and thus reject proof by contradiction as a proof technique. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction
As I already said, there is no logic framework without the law of non-contradiction. In Intuitionistic logic you can still use the principle of explosion (EFQ), i.e., in other words: from a contradiction everything follows, even though that results in trivialities.
Wikipedia wrote:The principle of explosion (Latin: ex falso (sequitur) quodlibet (EFQ), "from falsehood, anything (follows)", or ex contradictione (sequitur) quodlibet (ECQ), "from contradiction, anything (follows)"), or the principle of Pseudo-Scotus, is the law of classical logic, intuitionistic logic and similar logical systems, according to which any statement can be proven from a contradiction. That is, once a contradiction has been asserted, any proposition (including their negations) can be inferred from it. This is known as deductive explosion.

Due to the principle of explosion, the existence of a contradiction (inconsistency) in a formal axiomatic system is disastrous; since any statement can be proved true it trivializes the concepts of truth and falsity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion
____________________
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
So, lets embrace constructive logic and ASSUME that all thought can be expressed in language and see what absurdities/paradoxes this leads to.
Alright, go on and assume whatever you want, and prove in intuitionistic logic the statement: there are thoughts which cannot be expressed in language. Note that you still have to comply with the law of non-contradiction in intuitionistic logic, i.e. you are never warranted to assert a contradiction in intuitionistic logic. There is no getting away from the law of non-contradiction!

I will be waiting for your proof! You can take your time though, I am not in a hurry.

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
Of course, now the game is rigged in my favour
Lucky you!! Any way I am glad for you, as this should be an easy proof for you now! I don’t even have to wish you good luck as it seems all the chances are already in your favor! You are nearly there so to speak, but not yet! ;)

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creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:09 pm

Averroes wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:55 pm
Either way, you have not demonstrated the possibility of a thought that cannot be expressed in language!
It's been done, but you've refused to engage. A fly in the bottle.

The notion of "thought" that you're working from is sorely lacking in explanatory power. If one accepts that framework, then one cannot demonstrate a thought that cannot be expressed in language, for a thought is a meaningful proposition(proposition with sense) on your(Witt's) view, and all propositions can be expressed in language.

Arguing by definitional fiat.

What justificatory ground does that definition of "thought" rest upon?

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:05 pm

An account of thought is not equivalent to thought. One can take account of an other's thought. All accounts are in language. All accounts of thought are thinking about thought. All thinking about thought requires language. All accounts of thought require language. Some accounts are of pre-linguistic thought. An account of prelinguistic thought is not equivalent to prelinguistic thought. Pre-linguistic thought does not require language.

An account of thought is not equivalent to the expression of a thought. One can take account of an other's thought. Only the thinking/believing creature can express their own thought. Language-less creatures cannot express their own thought in our language, and neither can we. We can take an account of it.
Last edited by creativesoul on Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:07 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:09 pm
Averroes wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:55 pm
Either way, you have not demonstrated the possibility of a thought that cannot be expressed in language!
It's been done...
In more than one way...

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:32 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:00 pm
The only issue I had with anything you wrote was regarding what you claimed about original thought/belief being mutually exclusive with being expressible in language. However, since then I have discovered that your taxonomy is riddled with self-contradiction. Here again is yet another... a signifier that doesn't point to a signified. Why call that a signifier if it doesn't point to a signified?
Because it's not a null-pointer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_pointer .Like the word "God". It points to other signifiers, which point to other signifiers but if you traverse the semiotic mesh you never get to a signified.

The distinction is necessary if you wish to study linguistics. And I do - because Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing.
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:00 pm
We both agree that thought can be prior to language. We both agree that meaning can be prior to language. It seems that you hold that all meaning is prior to expression. I do not.
I don't remember us discussing meaning which is prior to expression. I remember us discussing meaning that is a posteriori language to which you are yet to give me an example.

Meaning before expression seems tautological If all thought is meaningful. And thought is prior to language, then it follows directly that there is meaning is prior to expression.
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:00 pm
Then again, some of what you've claimed in our exchange is self-contradictory so... in order to accept your position one would have to accept contradictory claims. I do not.
Perhaps your understanding of my taxonomy is self-contradictory ;)

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:52 am

Averroes wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:55 pm
The interesting thing in all this is that I have already imposed a necessary condition for the existence of a thought that it be expressible in language, exactly complying with the demands of intuitionistic logic. I am already done in intuitionistic logic!
A condition which I reject, so the rest of your post doesn't matter ;)

One can simply point to Godel's incompleteness theorems as point of departure that that all logic (language) is incomplete. Your self-imposed condition simply breeds logocentrism.
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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