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 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:40 am

creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:32 am
Now we are certainly in dire need of a criterion for consciousness such that when it is met consciousness is had.

Got one?
I don't have one ;)

And I am not sure if such a criterion is even possible. Minds are emergent properties. At some point AI will be smarter than us. Whether it will be "conscious" is a philosophical red herring.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:48 am

Well, what do you know - just stumbled upon something new: http://www.opensourcebrain.org

Digital models of organic neural network (brains!). And even a programming language to model such things: https://www.neuroml.org

This will make for a fun weekend project...

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:33 am
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:28 am
Blather. There is no sense of self necessary for physiological sensory perception to work. See the fire example.
You mean a creature which feels pain like a worm?

A creature whose "mind" (neural system) we have managed to completely digitise? https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists ... connectome

That would make an interesting argument for your "whatever thought/belief" is made of ;)
Worms are capable of drawing correlations between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the correlation.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:54 am

creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 am
Worms are capable of drawing correlations between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the correlation.
So any system that can draw correlations seems to meet your criteria then?

The simplest such system is a one which can draw exactly 1 distinction. It can differentiate A from B This requires 1 bit of information. 1 input.

An amoeba is sufficient.
Plants can draw correlations. Sunflowers correlate light.
Even protein folding seems to meet your correlation criterion.
Basic chemical reactions are sufficient. Valence can be thought of as a primitive correlation mechanism.

Slowly heading for a truism :)

Actually. Quantum entanglement meets your criterion too. Two entangled particles' quantum states always correlate.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:17 am

:mrgreen:

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:35 am

creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:17 am
:mrgreen:
You could've just said "all experience is meaningful" - we would've agreed and moved on ;)

Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:10 pm

Language is one of several symbolic media of communication. It's impossible to think as humans think without the ability to symbolise categories(frames, models, heuristics).

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:45 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:35 am
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:17 am
:mrgreen:
You could've just said "all experience is meaningful" - we would've agreed and moved on ;)
Why would I do that? It's much less fun, and you wouldn't be helping me to sharpen the position I argue for.

It's the content of correlation that matters. There has to be a line drawn somewhere, and if it is a naturalistic one we're not the one drawing it. Rather, we're the ones discovering and/or taking account of it.

Drawing correlations between different things requires the ability to directly perceive and distinguish between different things.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:50 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:10 pm
Language is one of several symbolic media of communication. It's impossible to think as humans think without the ability to symbolise categories(frames, models, heuristics).
Yes, as humans we think in quite complex ways. However, if all of these ways include drawing correlations between different things, and drawing correlations between different things does not require language but still counts as a rudimentary form of thinking, then we arrive at an outline that serves as a continuum of complexity with the simplest kinds of thought on the one end and the most complex on the other.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:56 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:54 am
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 am
Worms are capable of drawing correlations between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the correlation.
So any system that can draw correlations seems to meet your criteria then?
Well no. The justification for the notion came from our language use(all our notions of all the different mental ongoings, namely "thought" and "belief"). Part of what all those uses have in common is physiological sensory perception(which I usually leave out of the description for it becomes a bit cumbersome). This brings about the need to discern between stimulus/response and thought. The former does not require correlations be drawn.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:00 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:54 am
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:49 am
Worms are capable of drawing correlations between things that exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the correlation.
So any system that can draw correlations seems to meet your criteria then?

The simplest such system is a one which can draw exactly 1 distinction. It can differentiate A from B This requires 1 bit of information. 1 input.

An amoeba is sufficient.
Plants can draw correlations. Sunflowers correlate light.
Even protein folding seems to meet your correlation criterion.
Basic chemical reactions are sufficient. Valence can be thought of as a primitive correlation mechanism.

Slowly heading for a truism :)

Actually. Quantum entanglement meets your criterion too. Two entangled particles' quantum states always correlate.
You're conflating being in a causal relationship with having the ability to draw correlations.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:32 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:00 pm
You're conflating being in a causal relationship with having the ability to draw correlations.
No I am not. I am merely uncertain about your inclusionary and exclusionary criteria for "ability to draw correlations".

Suppose that we have a set of entities X (organism, organelle, protein, molecule, atom or as low down the abstractions as you wish to go).
Suppose I ask you to sort those things into two groups:

Group 1: Things which are able to draw correlations
Group 2: Things which are unable to draw correlations.

This is binary classification 101: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_classification

Now, I am sure that you can successfully complete the task according to your own criteria/understanding of what "ability to draw correlations" means.
The problem is that I am not on the same page as you and so until you provide me with your classification rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_rule I will probably sort the items differently to you.

Which would mean that we interpret "ability to draw correlations" differently.

There is no way for me to "check your work" and hold you accountable. Every single human distinction suffers from this problem. Because our taxonomies are different.

The only way I can actually get an understanding of your meaning is if you sort the objects and I sort the objects and then we debate why you put atoms in Group 1 and I put them in Group 2 etc.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:40 pm

Would you say that a mechanical machine which is able to sort balls of two different size into two different bags is "able to draw correlations" ?

Or in general - any machine which is able to consistently sort things into two categories. Would that meet your bar for "able to draw correlations" ?

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:43 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:32 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:00 pm
You're conflating being in a causal relationship with having the ability to draw correlations.
No I am not. I am merely uncertain about your inclusionary and exclusionary criteria for "ability to draw correlations".

Suppose that we have a set of entities X (organism, organelle, protein, molecule, atom or as low down the abstractions as you wish to go).
Suppose I ask you to sort those things into two groups:

Group 1: Things which are able to draw correlations
Group 2: Things which are unable to draw correlations.

This is binary classification 101: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_classification

Now, I am sure that you can successfully complete the task according to your own criteria/understanding of what "ability to draw correlations" means.
The problem is that I am not on the same page as you and so until you provide me with your classification rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_rule I will probably sort the items differently to you.

Which would mean that we interpret "ability to draw correlations" differently.

There is no way for me to "check your work" and hold you accountable. Every single human distinction suffers from this problem. Because our taxonomies are different.

The only way I can actually get an understanding of your meaning is if you sort the objects and I sort the objects and then we debate why you put atoms in Group 1 and I put them in Group 2 etc.
Finally. :mrgreen:

I knew you had it in you.

That's a good point to make. It is indeed the ability to draw correlations that determines whether or not any particular candidate has the ability to form and/or have thought/belief. On my view, that line cannot be arbitrarily drawn because we're not the ones drawing it. Akin to the reasoning behind my arriving at drawing correlations as thought/belief is the reasoning behind determining what sorts of creatures have what it takes to draw correlations. Physiological sensory perception replete with the ability to draw spatiotemporal distinction between different things seems to be a necessary element.

Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:49 pm

creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:50 pm
Belinda wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:10 pm
Language is one of several symbolic media of communication. It's impossible to think as humans think without the ability to symbolise categories(frames, models, heuristics).
Yes, as humans we think in quite complex ways. However, if all of these ways include drawing correlations between different things, and drawing correlations between different things does not require language but still counts as a rudimentary form of thinking, then we arrive at an outline that serves as a continuum of complexity with the simplest kinds of thought on the one end and the most complex on the other.
Yes, I can see that it's a continuum.However it has been said that humans have evolved as they have, and differently from other animals, because unlike other animals,human culture affects genetics. Not, I stress, in a Lamarkian way but slowly like Darwinian evolution.

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