Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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Atla
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Atla »

commonsense wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 7:25 pm
Atla wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:18 pm Alex, I don't think you can get through to people who have already decided that they are Beautiful Transcendental Beings, and came up with an entire philosophy based on that. Although it's certainly interesting to try.
Transcendentalism does not appeal to me. I apologize if I have given you the wrong impression.
I was referring to seeds.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

commonsense wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 2:29 pm To me, the next link is influenced by its predecessor; the state of water is influenced by the temperature; the cop influences the traffic.
Yes, ok, agree.
The question is: where does influence stop? Is it localised? Or is it the whole universe that influences the next link?
If we are precise, its not the conceptually defined/recognised previous link, but the whole that influences the next link.
commonsense
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by commonsense »

AlexW wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 11:41 pm
commonsense wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 2:29 pm To me, the next link is influenced by its predecessor; the state of water is influenced by the temperature; the cop influences the traffic.
Yes, ok, agree.
The question is: where does influence stop? Is it localised? Or is it the whole universe that influences the next link?
If we are precise, its not the conceptually defined/recognised previous link, but the whole that influences the next link.
Yes, the whole universe.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

commonsense wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:27 am Yes, the whole universe.
Agree :-)
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Skepdick wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:29 pm Define "now" and claim your Nobel Prize in physics!
Why define it? Doesn't matter how great the definition, it will never be more than a finger pointing at the moon.
Definitions are always changing, there is no final definition, there will always be better/newer ones - the moon doesn't care a bit.
Skepdick wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:29 pm The concept of "control" emerges from the concept of choice/decision-making. You can't dismiss control without giving up your free will also.
I also dismiss free will.
And... I don't have to give up something, if I haven't had it in the first place.
Its rather a process of giving up the belief that there is such a thing as free will and once the belief is gone, then see whats actually left.
The world doesn't change in the slightest without the idea of free will - its only your thoughts that change (and become less paranoid).
Skepdick wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:29 pm Within an imperative programming language, a control flow statement is a statement that results in a choice being made as to which of two or more paths to follow.
Sure... IF green THEN go ELSE stop
Where is free will involved? The program won't suddenly decide: "nah... I go away, even its not green...."
A system responding in a certain way to a specific input/dataset has nothing to do with there being free will or an external controller exercising it.
Skepdick wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:29 pm Alex: What is an "intentional thought"? Where does this intention come from?

You tell us.
From the whole ("universe") - not from "you".
Last edited by AlexW on Mon May 25, 2020 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

seeds wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 pm The fact of you saying that you have never encountered this entity is like the sun saying that it has never encountered heat or light. It’s like the ocean saying it has never encountered wetness.

Now it may indeed be true that from the perspective of those two entities they are telling the truth about the lack of such encounters, however, it still does not negate the existence of their own hotness or wetness.
If there were such separate entities that could actually have such encounters, then yes, but in reality/consciousness there are no entities that have encounters. Its like saying that consciousness says that its conscious, which, in a way, it does via thought stating "I am conscious", but the issue is that thought awards consciousness not to consciousness itself, but rather to a part of it (while there are actually no separate parts - besides the conceptual interpretations thoughts comes up with).
Do you see the dilemma?
seeds wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 pm No, AlexW, the “problem” is that “you” (the controller of thought) are calling the “you” a thought, as opposed to the possibility of it (the “you”) being something of a more refined and ethereal nature.
No... I am saying that "you/I/me" is a thought, but its not the "you-thought" stating this - thoughts can't actually do anything.
And yes, the real "you" is not a concept - if you wish you can call it a "more refined and ethereal" being - I call it consciousness/reality - but these are just names, but hey, thats how we communicate.
seeds wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 pm Furthermore, you don’t even seem to be aware of the problems inherent in your own arguments. For example, how can a thought “believe” something?
Thoughts cannot do anything, thus they cannot believe anything either. But they can state "I believe!" - doesn't mean that the thought believes anything, its simply a statement, which the next thought confirms: "Yes, its definitely true!"
Now add ongoing references to "you", the believer, and the illusion is perfect - there suddenly seems to be a self that believes in itself.
seeds wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 pm Speaking in the highly metaphorical terms I used earlier, I honestly don’t know how to convince the sun that it is a very hot entity when the sun itself absolutely refuses to accept the existence of hotness because it has never encountered such a thing.
Why would you have to convince the sun about anything? Does it require your definition?
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Atla wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:18 pm Alex, I don't think you can get through to people who have already decided that they are Beautiful Transcendental Beings, and came up with an entire philosophy based on that. Although it's certainly interesting to try.
It doesn't matter - its fun discussing anyway.
Skepdick
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Skepdick »

AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am Why define it? Doesn't matter how great the definition, it will never be more than a finger pointing at the moon.
Definitions are always changing, there is no final definition, there will always be better/newer ones - the moon doesn't care a bit.
I know that. What I am trying to get out of you is your conception of "now".

Do you see it as a point/instant of zero duration or as a time interval?
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am I also dismiss free will.
And... I don't have to give up something, if I haven't had it in the first place.
To quote Scott Aaronson: I believe in free will. Why? Well, the neurons in my brain just fire in such a way that my mouth opens and I say I have free will. What choice do I have?

I think in your case, the opposite is happening. the neurons in your brain just fired in such a way that your fingers typed "I dismiss free will".
What choice did you have?

It's all the same really. You don't believe in free will. I do. Neither of us had a choice.

Somebody once said (slightly paraphrasing):
Doesn't matter how great the definition, it will never be more than a finger pointing at your beliefs.
Definitions are always changing, there is no final definition, there will always be better/newer ones - your beliefs don't care a bit.
Your beliefs don't care, but you care. Because you want to define your beliefs.

AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am Its rather a process of giving up the belief that there is such a thing as free will and once the belief is gone, then see whats actually left.
The world doesn't change in the slightest without the idea of free will - its only your thoughts that change (and become less paranoid).
Is just language. It doesn't describe the world. It simply organizes our ignorance of the world.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am Sure... IF green THEN go ELSE stop
Where is free will involved?
The program won't suddenly decide: "nah... I go away, even its not green...."
That's the deterministic conception of free will. If you are thinking of if-then-else statements then you haven't given your algorithm "free will".

If your algorithm is non-deterministic then you have given it "free will".

And then, the way you experience your own algorithm's behaviour will change.

You (the programmer) can precisely predict what a deterministic algorithm will do given a set of inputs.
You (the programmer) can generally, but not NOT precisely predict what a non-deterministic algorithm will do, given a set of inputs.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am A system responding in a certain way to a specific input/dataset has nothing to do with there being free will or an external controller exercising it.

I don't know if there's an internal or external controller. I know that there is such thing as upward and downward causation

The input/data is what causes the system to respond.
The system's programming causes the response.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:44 am From the whole ("universe") - not from "you".
Well, it can't be from the whole universe. I am part of the universe and that sentence didn't come from me. It came from you.

Perhaps the right question isn't whether you believe in free will or not.
The question is whether you are a determinist or a non-determinist?

I know that I am a non-determinist because I can't precisely predict what choices you will make. But I can predict generally.Today you will choose to eat some food, choose to drink some water, choose to talk to some people on some philosophy forum.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:15 am Well, it can't be from the whole universe. It came from you, not from me.
As long as one moves "in time" there is always a before, there is always a cause for a cause for a cause for a cause... ultimately everything "comes from" everything.
Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:15 am I know that. What I am trying to get out of you is your conception of "now".

Do you see it as a point/instant of zero duration or as a time interval?
I see it as eternity (which, to me, is not an unimaginably long span of time, but rather the complete negation of time)

The same applies to the "here":
I see it as infinity (which, to me, is not an unimaginably large space, but rather the complete negation of distance and location)

Time and space are governed by the law of dependent origination: every phenomenon owes its origin to another phenomenon - in this case to the existence of objects moving in it - time, space (distance/location) and moving objects depend on each other in a circular fashion and are as such ultimately not real (remove one and you remove them all).

Eternity/infinity is one whole - there is nothing to remove - and even if you tried... where would you put it if not again inside itself.
Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:15 am To quote Scott Aaronson: I believe in free will. Why? Well, the neurons in my brain just fire in such a way that my mouth opens and I say I have free will. What choice do I have?
Nice quote :-)
Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:15 am If your algorithm is non-deterministic then you have given it "free will"
I would not call that free will... but I don't think we should depart on this discussion as it might lead us away from the current topic...
Skepdick
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Skepdick »

AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm I see it as eternity (which, to me, is not an unimaginably long span of time, but rather the complete negation of time)
But without time there can be no such thing as "before" and "after". The distinction between past and future disappears.

And yet, you can tell me what you had for breakfast last week Monday, but you can't tell me what you will have for breakfast next week Monday.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm The same applies to the "here":
I see it as infinity (which, to me, is not an unimaginably large space, but rather the complete negation of distance and location)
Same problem. You are, here, now. But you can't tell me anything about the future.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm Eternity/infinity is one whole - there is nothing to remove - and even if you tried... where would you put it if not again inside itself.
Putting the whole inside itself... you are describing recursion. Recursion is computer science ;)
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm I would not call that free will...
Another quote from Scott Aaronson: It's very hard to separate the question of whether free will exists from the question of what the definition of it is
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm but I don't think we should depart on this discussion as it might lead us away from the current topic...
Well, then let me bring you right back on-track.

1. Recursion is computation.
2. The typical model of computation/computers most people are familiar with is Turing machines.
3. Another name for Turing machines is "language recognizers".

That's why programming language theory is at an intersection between cognitive science and linguistics.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:54 pm But without time there can be no such thing as "before" and "after". The distinction between past and future disappears.
Agree.
Eternity/reality has no center, there is no actual point "now" that travels on a timeline from the past into the future - they are both only concepts that we use to make sense of our (apparently) relativistic universe.
Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:54 pm And yet, you can tell me what you had for breakfast last week Monday
Not sure ... maybe cereal with banana...?
Skepdick wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:54 pm Putting the whole inside itself... you are describing recursion. Recursion is computer science
Well... I am trying to describe infinity as an infinite recursion... you would want to avoid this in computer science, but used like this it points to the fact that no matter how many holes you put in a hole, it won't change in the slightest.
Skepdick
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Skepdick »

AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:29 pm Well... I am trying to describe infinity as an infinite recursion...
It's kind of the same thing. An infinite recursion/loop is a non-halting algorithm.

It runs for eternity.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:29 pm you would want to avoid this in computer science,
Heh. Maybe we want to avoid it, maybe we don't ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelic_non-determinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonic_non-determinism

They are both useful properties in different circumstances. We could optimise for either. It's just a choice.

You could also argue that Philosophy is demonic non-determinism (given that Philosophers strive for eternal dialectic).
And Science is angelic non-determinism (given that Scientists strive for consensus).

Is all just a game.
AlexW wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:29 pm but used like this it points to the fact that no matter how many holes you put in a hole, it won't change in the slightest.
Yeah, but do holes even exist? (metaphysics joke)

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/holes/
Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Eodnhoj7 »

Language is the manifestation of symbols.

Each symbol acts as a median towards another phenomena.

Each phenomena acts as a median towards another phenomena as well, therefore each phenomena is symbolic in nature.

Language is inseperable from reality as reality is a series of symbols. This is under the premise that each phenomena is an inherent middle.

Language as the manifestation of symbols is language as the manifestation of reality.
surreptitious57
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Skepdick wrote:
What I am trying to get out of you is your conception of now

Do you see it as a point / instant of zero duration or as a time interval
It cannot be a point / instant of zero duration as that does not and cannot exist but it can be as close to zero as physically possible
But now is relative and subjective so from a human perspective can be anything from the shortest to the longest period imaginable
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

surreptitious57 wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 11:30 pm It cannot be a point / instant of zero duration as that does not and cannot exist but it can be as close to zero as physically possible
But now is relative and subjective so from a human perspective can be anything from the shortest to the longest period imaginable
It depends on where you "take your stance", from which position you "look at reality".
When looking "as thought" - meaning: when being identified with the separate "you" - then "you" are actually never here/now - you are always in the conceptual realities of past and future (the conceptual "you" has no access to here/now).
When looking as (or rather: when being) reality itself - then you ARE the here/now (meaning: there is actually no separate "you" left anymore - there simply is here/now/reality - its as simple as that).
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