Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:19 pm

Non linguistic thought and belief consists of correlations drawn between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the creature's thought/belief(prior to being a part of a correlation). The content of the correlation is equivalent to the content of thought/belief. That does not change even after language acquisition has begun in earnest. What all thought/belief is about, the 'about-ness' of thought/belief, is determined solely by virtue of the content of the correlation. Some of the simplest thought/belief are correlations drawn between fear/hunger and other things, such as that which is being perceived at the moment that fear takes hold, or that which is being perceived around the time that hunger takes hold and/or is removed/satisfied.

So, the drake has drawn a connection between the food bin and it's own hunger, as well as a correlation between me, it's food bin, and it's getting food after I go over to the bin. I know this because the drake clearly has expectations when I walk over towards the food bin. His eating behaviour is identifiable and distinct from his lounging behaviour or his mating behaviour. He behaves as he does when he's about to get fed, every time he's hungry and I approach the bin, regardless of whether or not he does get fed at that particular time.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:15 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:19 pm
Non linguistic thought and belief consists of correlations drawn between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the creature's thought/belief(prior to being a part of a correlation). The content of the correlation is equivalent to the content of thought/belief. That does not change even after language acquisition has begun in earnest. What all thought/belief is about, the 'about-ness' of thought/belief, is determined solely by virtue of the content of the correlation. Some of the simplest thought/belief are correlations drawn between fear/hunger and other things, such as that which is being perceived at the moment that fear takes hold, or that which is being perceived around the time that hunger takes hold and/or is removed/satisfied.

So, the drake has drawn a connection between the food bin and it's own hunger, as well as a correlation between me, it's food bin, and it's getting food after I go over to the bin. I know this because the drake clearly has expectations when I walk over towards the food bin. His eating behaviour is identifiable and distinct from his lounging behaviour or his mating behaviour. He behaves as he does when he's about to get fed, every time he's hungry and I approach the bin, regardless of whether or not he does get fed at that particular time.
Here, the difficulty between separating our account of the drake's thought/belief and the drake's thought/belief is resolved by virtue of looking at the existential dependency of both, the content of our account and the content of the drake's thought/belief.

In our accounts, it is most common to say that the drake believes 'X', where 'X' is a proposition/statement. The belief that approach does precisely this. This is necessary as a result of how taking an account of something works, and it works fine as long as we're taking an account of belief statements. The drake has none. One may say that the drake believes that he is about to be fed when he sees me walk towards the food bin. That would be ok as long as we do not conflate my account(that he believes he is about to be fed) with what I'm taking account of(the drake's thought/belief). In particular, we must take every precaution to avoid conflating the content of my account with the content of what's being taken into account. My account consists of a report of the drake's thought/belief, and as such it is in propositional form. The drake's thought/belief does not, and is not.

While it's ok to say that the drake believes that he is about to get fed, it's not ok to say that the drake's thought/belief has propositional content. The right thing to say is that the drake's thought/belief consists of correlations. The content is precisely the content of the correlations. The correlation is the thought/belief. Drawing these correlations is thought/belief formation. That's how thought/belief is formed and/or recognized/remembered/re-formed. The content is hunger pangs, me, and the food bin. All of these things are perceptible and exist in their entirety prior to being a part of the drake's correlation.

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:58 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:20 pm
Averroes wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:50 pm


Not all thinking is through language concepts.
Give examples of some thinking without language!
So, after you had said to me that "not all thinking is through language concepts," I have asked you to give evidence for that statement of yours by giving examples and you replied:
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:53 pm
I cannot offer an example of anything without language, for language is the means by which I provide the example.
So, it turns out that you made a statement that you not only cannot back by evidence but it turns out according to you yourself that it is even logically impossible for you to back up with evidence your statement that "not all thinking is through language concepts."

That's it! Case closed. Thank you for this exchange.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:04 pm

Averroes wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:58 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:20 pm
Averroes wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 pm


Give examples of some thinking without language!
So, after you had said to me that "not all thinking is through language concepts," I have asked you to give evidence for that statement of yours by giving examples and you replied:
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:53 pm
I cannot offer an example of anything without language, for language is the means by which I provide the example.
So, it turns out that you made a statement that you not only cannot back by evidence but it turns out according to you yourself that it is even logically impossible for you to back up with evidence your statement that "not all thinking is through language concepts."

That's it! Case closed. Thank you for this exchange.
Seems that there are some reading comprehension issues...

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:10 am

To lessen the number of fools...

:|


In each and every situation where someone offers an example of something to another person, they offer a linguistic account and/or report of that something... whatever it may be. There are no examples to the contrary. All accounts consist of language use. And here yet again, there are no examples to the contrary. It only follows that it is impossible to offer an account of anything without using language.



The above argument couldn't be any stronger in terms of it's justificatory strength and/or warrant.

It quite simply does not follow from that that what's being taken into account is also existentially dependent upon language. A person can readily offer an example of something that most certainly existed prior to our account of it. That is to offer an example of something that is not existentially dependent upon language. Something that exists in it's entirety prior to language is without language. Thought/belief that exists in it's entirety prior to language is thought/belief without language.

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A_Seagull
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by A_Seagull » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:52 am

Averroes wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 pm


Give examples of some thinking without language!
Riding a bicycle.

Playing GO

Eating

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am

Averroes wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:58 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:20 pm
Averroes wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 pm


Give examples of some thinking without language!
So, after you had said to me that "not all thinking is through language concepts," I have asked you to give evidence for that statement of yours by giving examples and you replied:
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:53 pm
I cannot offer an example of anything without language, for language is the means by which I provide the example.
So, it turns out that you made a statement that you not only cannot back by evidence but it turns out according to you yourself that it is even logically impossible for you to back up with evidence your statement that "not all thinking is through language concepts."

That's it! Case closed. Thank you for this exchange.
Are you this narrow-minded to recognise that the PLATFORM/MEDIUM of interaction that you are on right now is LANGUAGE-BASED so naturally any evidence you receive will be IN language.

What you have failed to specify is how broad or narrow your definition of 'language' is - all logic is language. Mathematics is language. Programming languages are language. Any medium that can enable human-to-human communication is language. So art is language! Music is language! Photography is language! Creation is language!

if you want more examples on thinking without language - do some homework on autism. You can start with her work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Grandin

Or just recognize that the majority of the population are spatial tinkers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_thinking

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Are you this narrow-minded to recognise that the PLATFORM/MEDIUM of interaction that you are on right now is LANGUAGE-BASED so naturally any evidence you receive will be IN language.
There is a subtle and important distinction that you have missed in my exchange with creativesoul. You have emphasized the preposition “IN” in your post by capitalizing it. But the point that we were discussing did not make use of that preposition! We were discussing “thoughts that allegedly cannot be expressed THROUGH language.” There is a subtle distinction here.
creativesoul wrote:Not all thinking is through language concepts.
The preposition “through” is broader in scope than the preposition “in.” For example, let us consider the two propositions commonly used to express this subtlety, namely: “the cat is on the mat,” and “the mat is on the cat.” You will notice that even though each of these propositions convey different meanings/senses, both of these two different propositions contain the exact same words! The difference in their meaning is accounted for by the order in which these words are configured with respect to each other, and that order is NOT stated IN the propositions themselves (i.e. IN one of its constituent elements such as words or phrases) but is SHOWN through the proposition being uttered either orally or visually. This is a subtlety that has no real incidence on my contention with creativesoul on this thread but it is something that I think is important to recognize for philosophers.

So now, if you were to replace the preposition “IN” in your comment with the preposition “THROUGH”, then that would be a rhetorical expression of my point!
_____________________
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
What you have failed to specify is how broad or narrow your definition of 'language' is
Not at all! Now, notice that if a broad definition is intended then there is no need to specify! That would follow from an application of the rule of the economy of expression. To specify means to bring within narrow limits/scope or make precise!

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
- all logic is language.
Agree.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Mathematics is language.
Agree.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Programming languages are language.
Oh yes!
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Any medium that can enable human-to-human communication is language.
Still agreeing!
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
So art is language!

Agree again.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Music is language! Photography is language!
Agree.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Creation is language!
Absolutely agree.
_______________________

You could also have mentioned the sign language for the deaf and braille for the visually impaired or even the Morse code for that matter. Now, the interesting thing about all these examples of language is that they all share the fundamental attribute/characteristic of being an articulation of things/elements which is being used to express some thoughts. You mention photography and music as being languages, and that makes me think of Ludwig Wittgenstein who did the same in his analysis of language in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP). He had interesting thoughts in that book that I think is worthwhile to quote in this discussion.

As Wittgenstein has put it:
  • A thought is a proposition with sense. (TLP 4)

    In a proposition a thought finds an expression that can be perceived by the senses. [TLP 3.1]

    A proposition is not a blend of words.-(Just as a theme in music is not a blend of notes.)
    A proposition is articulate. [TLP 3.141]

    I call the sign with which we express a thought a propositional sign.-And a proposition is a propositional sign in its projective relation to the world. [TLP 3.12]

    What constitutes a propositional sign is that in it its elements(the words) stand in a determinate relation to one another.
    A propositional sign is a fact. [TLP 3.14]

    A propositional sign, applied and thought out, is a thought. [TLP 3.5]

    Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be put into words can be put clearly. [TLP 4.116]


And as I already pointed out, references to music and photographic depiction are frequent analogies that Wittgenstein drew upon in discussing about language, signs and thoughts. And that could be partly explained by the fact that he himself played the piano and that he also liked watching Western movies! Anyway, that was just a bit of background information.

Wittgenstein wrote:
  • A gramophone record, the musical idea, the written notes, and the sound-waves, all stand to one another in the same internal relation of depicting that holds between language and the world.
    They are all constructed according to a common logical pattern. [TLP 4.014]

    There is a general rule by means of which the musician can obtain the symphony from the score, and which makes it possible to derive the symphony from the groove on the gramophone record, and, using the first rule, to derive the score again. That is what constitutes the inner similarity between these things which seem to be constructed in such entirely different ways. And that rule is the law of projection which projects the symphony into the language of the musical notation. It is the rule for translating this language into the language of gramophone records. [TLP 4.0141]

    The possibility of all imagery, of all our pictorial modes of expression, is contained in the logic of depiction. [TLP 4.015]

    In order to understand the essential nature of a depiction, we should consider hieroglyphic script, which depicts the facts the it describes. [TLP 4.016]

So, all those examples that you kindly provided can be viewed in the broadest definition of language as propositional signs used to express some thoughts. And that’s fine. On my side there is no issue here but only agreement.


However, my contention with member creativesoul was when he/she said that there are some thoughts that cannot be expressed through language concepts. Of course, that is his/her right to have that point of view. But if he is right then that would mean that we (i.e. members of PN forum) can have absolutely no evidence whatsoever if those alleged thoughts truly exist as they cannot be expressed at all through language! The only choice that is given to us now is to accept the statement “not all thinking is through language concepts,” without the possibility of any questioning whatsoever! For, if we are to have evidence of the existence of those alleged thoughts, then the only way is for us not to have that evidence! And if we are not to have evidence of those alleged thoughts, then we cannot know if those alleged thoughts truly exist! That is what is referred to as a catch-22 (i.e. in a nutshell, a trap for the fools)! And effectively what just happened is that creativesoul has got some members to accept something just because he/she said so! The problem now is that I always have had great difficulty with that approach! I just cannot accept statements from others without them providing some evidence for their assertions, but, of course, I completely respect anyone’s choice for buying the claim that “not all thinking is through language concepts,” without any evidence whatsoever! For myself, philosophically I just cannot buy that just because someone says so. And it turns out, according to the claimer himself/herself that no such evidence will be coming any time soon!

If you allow me a personal reflection on this, then I will like to tell you that this situation reminds me of the story of “the emperor has no clothes!” If you are still bearing with me, I would like to quote Wikipedia on this story:
  • A vain emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires weavers who promise him they will make him the best suit of clothes. The weavers are con-men who convince the emperor they are using a fine fabric invisible to anyone who is either unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The con lies in that the weavers are actually only pretending to manufacture the clothes; they are making make-believe clothes which they mime. Thus, no one, not even the emperor nor his ministers can see the alleged "clothes", but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions, and the emperor does the same. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him, and the emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all, and the cry is taken up by others. The emperor realizes the assertion is true but continues the procession.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emper ... ew_Clothes
That story always makes me laugh, and it has not worn out with time!
_________________________

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
if you want more examples on thinking without language - do some homework on autism. You can start with her work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Grandin
Thanks for that reference. But I see absolutely no example of thoughts that cannot be expressed through language concepts in that article! Can you point it out to me by quoting it from the Wikipedia article?!

Anyway, as an aside, that article on Temple got me thinking about the movie on her story played by Claire Danes. I watched that a while ago, and I found it to be quite interesting. But as with the Wikipedia article, I did not evidence/witness any thought that could not be expressed through language concepts!

I thought that this would be a brief discussion, but it turns out that I had to spell out all these underlying subtleties already expressed concisely in my brief response to creativesoul. Anyway, thank you all for taking the time to read through this long post of mine. And thank you for the exchange. It is nice to philosophize here again.
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm

Averroes wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm
Not at all! Now, notice that if a broad definition is intended then there is no need to specify! That would follow from an application of the rule of the economy of expression. To specify means to bring within narrow limits/scope or make precise!
Naturally, but given your agreement with all of the examples I have proposed it seems to me that there is no communication medium that you DON'T consider to be 'language'. And so any form of successful self-expression is 'language'. And so your claim is tautological?

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?

For example I can convey the NOTION of a psychedelic experience, but not the CONTENT of the experience itself. Is that sufficient?

There is a book worth reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Polit ... f_Paradise

Averroes wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm
I just cannot accept statements from others without them providing some evidence for their assertions, but, of course, I completely respect anyone’s choice for buying the claim that “not all thinking is through language concepts,” without any evidence whatsoever!
Don't look to others. Look to yourself? If you can't find some idea within yourself that you do not how to express in language, then I think it is fair to say that there is not a single, original idea in your head ;)

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:17 am

Averroes wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm
creativesoul wrote:Not all thinking is through language concepts.
The preposition “through” is broader in scope than the preposition “in.” For example, let us consider the two propositions commonly used to express this subtlety, namely: “the cat is on the mat,” and “the mat is on the cat.” You will notice that even though each of these propositions convey different meanings/senses, both of these two different propositions contain the exact same words! The difference in their meaning is accounted for by the order in which these words are configured with respect to each other, and that order is NOT stated IN the propositions themselves (i.e. IN one of its constituent elements such as words or phrases) but is SHOWN through the proposition being uttered either orally or visually. This is a subtlety that has no real incidence on my contention with creativesoul on this thread but it is something that I think is important to recognize for philosophers.

So now, if you were to replace the preposition “IN” in your comment with the preposition “THROUGH”, then that would be a rhetorical expression of my point!
I'm not sure that I am actually disagreeing with what you say here. Honestly, I've no reason to think that what you've put forth has any bearing at all upon what I've been arguing for. We agree here, evidently given the part above that I emphasized but you wrote. I haven't counted, but it seems to me that there are a number of different arguments I've offered for different statements I've made, all of which play an important role in the position I'm arguing for/from.

Care to address them?



Averroes wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm
...As Wittgenstein has put it:
  • A thought is a proposition with sense. (TLP 4)
The above is prima facie evidence of the the inherently inadequate notion of thought that Witt worked from.

I learned much from studying Witt. By my lights, his showing everyone that meaning is attributed in more ways than just reference was his greatest gift to us. Although, many perhaps most folk seem to glorify his notion of language games and many also like to wrongfully equate meaning and use. I find most of that agreeable, but not all. On my view, he and others such as the speech acts theorists, the ordinary language guys/gals, and Quine made a different mistake by virtue of concluding that we cannot be mistaken in our definition and/or word use except if we do not use it in the most common sense.

I wholly disagree with that.




Witt followed the conventional(epistemological) notion(s) of thought and belief. I am capable of clearly explaining exactly how that conflates two very distinct things. From Aristotle through today, philosophy proper has not - I repeat - philosophy proper has not ever been graced with someone who showed that to be the philosophical error of ways that it is. It reeks of the vestiges of a long since forgotten worldview.

So...

Witt and I disagree. He's not here to defend himself. I cannot count the number of times that I've seen Witt's mantra parroted with regard to his and his followers' talk about getting 'beneath' language(scare-quotes intentional). I want to compare and/or contrast the respective different notions, ideas, and/or conceptions of "thought" if you'd like. I'm in no hurry to bang on about it. I'll generally check daily...



I would first point out that if all thought were a proposition with sense, then either propositions exist prior to language or there is no such thing as non-linguistic thought.

Do you agree with this assessment?
Last edited by creativesoul on Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:23 am

Averroes wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:50 pm

However, my contention with member creativesoul was when he/she said that there are some thoughts that cannot be expressed through language concepts. Of course, that is his/her right to have that point of view. But if he is right then that would mean that we (i.e. members of PN forum) can have absolutely no evidence whatsoever if those alleged thoughts truly exist as they cannot be expressed at all through language! The only choice that is given to us now is to accept the statement “not all thinking is through language concepts,” without the possibility of any questioning whatsoever! For, if we are to have evidence of the existence of those alleged thoughts, then the only way is for us not to have that evidence! And if we are not to have evidence of those alleged thoughts, then we cannot know if those alleged thoughts truly exist! That is what is referred to as a catch-22 (i.e. in a nutshell, a trap for the fools)! And effectively what just happened is that creativesoul has got some members to accept something just because he/she said so! The problem now is that I always have had great difficulty with that approach! I just cannot accept statements from others without them providing some evidence for their assertions, but, of course, I completely respect anyone’s choice for buying the claim that “not all thinking is through language concepts,” without any evidence whatsoever! For myself, philosophically I just cannot buy that just because someone says so. And it turns out, according to the claimer himself/herself that no such evidence will be coming any time soon!
What a bunch of bullshit!

Start off by misattributing words to me, then offer a whole slew of non-sequiturs all the while pissing in the well...

That's fucking remarkable how many fallacies can be packed into a single paragraph! Textbook.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:45 am

Not all thinking is through language concepts.

There are some thoughts that cannot be expressed through language concepts.

Let the reader be advised of the significant differences between the two claims above. I asserted the first. One can quickly peruse the last few pages and an astute reader will find that that first claim has been adequately argued for without subsequent due attention.

I stand by that claim.

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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:17 am

There's a common sense simple approach as well...

When we talk about our own worldview, we are reporting upon our own thought and belief. When we talk about another's we are reporting upon theirs. So, it is quite clear that we think about our own thought and belief. There is a crucial distinction that has never been drawn and maintained in philosophy proper.

The distinction between thought and belief and thinking about thought and belief. The two are not one in the same thing.

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm
Naturally, but given your agreement with all of the examples I have proposed it seems to me that there is no communication medium that you DON'T consider to be 'language'. And so any form of successful self-expression is 'language'. And so your claim is tautological?
Absolutely! However, on this matter, we are both independently making the same tautological statement! And this is the only thing to do on this, for if the sky is blue, the sky is blue!! For example, you yourself said:
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am
Any medium that can enable human-to-human communication is language.
And to the latter quotation, I agreed with you. But notice that that statement is the same tautology! You will agree that if something is serving as a communication medium between two individuals, then necessarily it must be called language.

However, there is no problem in stating tautological propositions as they are always true. For example, all definitions are tautologies, and we all have to start with these in whatever field of study we might be in!
We start getting into serious problems when contradictory statements are upheld as true, for example statements such as: “not all thinking is through language concepts.”

_______________________
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?
What is a thought?

Kant wrote:
  • Thinking is cognition through concepts. Concepts, however, as predicates of possible judgments, are related to some representation of a still undetermined object. The concept of a body thus signifies something, e.g. metal, which can be cognized through that concept. It is therefore a concept only because other representations are contained under it by means of which it can be related to objects. It is therefore the predicate for a possible judgment, e.g., Every metal is a body. [Critique of Pure Reason, A69/B94]
Note: The emphasis in the quotation above is mine and not in the text.

Wittgenstein wrote:
  • A thought is a proposition with sense. [TLP 4]
    In a proposition a thought finds an expression that can be perceived by the senses. [TLP 3.1]
    A propositional sign, applied and thought out, is a thought. [TLP 3.5]

Essentially, both Kant and Wittgenstein were saying the same thing as quoted above even though they were speaking from different logical frameworks separated by about a century. Wittgenstein was speaking from the Fregean-Russellian logical framework and Kant was speaking from the Aristotelian logical framework. There are important differences between these logical frameworks. The Frege system is more powerful than the Aristotelian system. Modern logic is the logic developed by Frege and Russell. However, despite their differences, non of these logical frameworks made a thought a non-thought!

Anyway, so the above quotations can be taken as expressing the definition of the word/concept “thought”, which means that necessarily they (i.e. those quotations) are tautological propositions as they are definitions. Therefore, the definition of a thought is that it is a judgment (Kant) or a proposition (Wittgenstein). Now if you say that you have thoughts that cannot be expressed in language then it is a contradiction/oxymoron! The concept of a thought that cannot be expressed in a proposition has the same value/content as the concept of a married bachelor!

And to answer your question now: No one can convince me that a married bachelor or a thought that cannot be expressed in a proposition exists.
_______________________
TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm
For example I can convey the NOTION of a psychedelic experience, but not the CONTENT of the experience itself. Is that sufficient?
So, I was challenging the proposition: “Not all thinking is through language concepts,” and I think that I have shown clearly from different perspectives that that was a contradictory statement. But here you are raising another interesting issue. The issue that you are now addressing can be put thus: Can we think about something without having had direct experience of it? The latter is the question it boils down to. For example, I myself have never taken psychedelic drugs and I also do not feel inclined in the future to take the “acid trip” as it is called in these circles. So, can I have thoughts of the psychedelic states of consciousness even though I have had no such experience? Interesting question, isn’t it?
I also have never seen a unicorn or a flying turtle or a living dinosaur. Is it possible for me to think about or entertain thoughts about unicorns, flying turtles and dinosaurs even if I have had no experience of them??
As far as I am concerned, thinking about/of something does not require that we have had direct experience of that thing. So, if we can think of something without having had direct experience of it, then we can understand a proposition about an experience which was not shared.
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TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm
Don't look to others. Look to yourself?
Under normal circumstances, this is a very good piece of advice that you are providing. And usually, this is what I do. I mind my own business. However, this is no longer possible when I am having to respond to people who have shown an interest in exchanging with me by initiating a conversation with me! Were I to continue minding my own business under such circumstances it would have been impolite to my peaceful and decent interlocutors! Don’t you agree?

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TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm
If you can't find some idea within yourself that you do not how to express in language, then I think it is fair to say that there is not a single, original idea in your head ;)
Indeed, I am saying that all my thoughts are expressible in propositions and in fact the latter is itself just a tautological proposition!

But let us analyze the quoted statement you made. Effectively, you were saying: if any thought (of mine or any other) is expressible in language then that thought is not original. So now I ask, what about the theory of relativity or the theory of gravitation or so many such other thoughts which were expressed very precisely in language, are they on account of being expressible not original as well?! Myself, I do not think like that.

Anyway, I have understood that comment of yours as a joke as you winked afterwards. If not then it is still quite funny! ;)
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TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:07 am

Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
However, there is no problem in stating tautological propositions as they are always true. For example, all definitions are tautologies, and we all have to start with these in whatever field of study we might be in!
Not sure where you study, but in my field (real-world problem solving) step 1 is conceptualising the problem. Step 2 is asking why it is a problem. And MAYBE step 3 is defining the problem. Definitions/language are not important until you start the collaborative process.

Definitions set the scene/context - nothing else.

There are all sorts of challenges to be overcome when bridging the is-ought gap...
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
What is a thought?

Kant wrote:

Wittgenstein wrote:
You are getting hung up on metaphysics. Much like Kant and Wittgenstein. There are things that go on in my head which I cannot communicate to another human being. Nor do I want to.

If we absolutely must go to metaphysics - I am happy to use the patterns from computer science to give you a model of what goes on in my head.
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
Essentially, both Kant and Wittgenstein were saying the same thing as quoted above even though they were speaking from different logical frameworks separated by about a century. Wittgenstein was speaking from the Fregean-Russellian logical framework and Kant was speaking from the Aristotelian logical framework. There are important differences between these logical frameworks. The Frege system is more powerful than the Aristotelian system. Modern logic is the logic developed by Frege and Russell. However, despite their differences, non of these logical frameworks made a thought a non-thought!
They were both trying to narrate metaphysics. I have no such need.

I am no friend of formalists like Frege and Russel either. I side with Brouwer and constructive logic. And if we have to go to formalism then I am reasonably happy with Type theory and Lambda calculus. For now.
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
Can we think about something without having had direct experience of it?
Here is a simple example. Do you know how to count? Does the word/process of "counting" mean the same thing to both of us?
Apparently not: https://youtu.be/Cj4y0EUlU-Y
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
But let us analyze the quoted statement you made. Effectively, you were saying: if any thought (of mine or any other) is expressible in language then that thought is not original. So now I ask, what about the theory of relativity or the theory of gravitation or so many such other thoughts which were expressed very precisely in language, are they on account of being expressible not original as well?! Myself, I do not think like that.
No. I didn't say that. You are abusing contraposition and the law of excluded middle (you Aristotelian you!). For what Einstein was able to communicate to us - imagine all the things that he wanted to but couldn't!

And so what I am saying is that if everything that you want to say can be expressed - none of these ideas are yours.
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:49 am
I also have never seen a unicorn or a flying turtle or a living dinosaur. Is it possible for me to think about or entertain thoughts about unicorns, flying turtles and dinosaurs even if I have had no experience of them??
The concepts of unicorns, dinosaurs as flying turtles are already in the common body of knowledge so you have acquired the word AND concept from society.

To demonstratee: try and Imagine a grobmunf. I saw one just 10 minutes ago.

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