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 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:02 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:20 pm

...For tactical (day to day) decision-making real-time information processing produces much better results because you are dealing with up-to-date information....
As if this is always the case?

No!

That quality of the results of information processing(day to day thinking and it's affect/effect) depends entirely upon whether or not the information being taken into consideration is reliable... ahem... true. Now that doesn't mean that the person has to think about whether or not the information is true.

Let 'em fuck up though(let expectation never happen). Then everyone soon sees how important truth is.

:mrgreen:

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:42 am

creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:27 am
Because X, Y, and Z are true...

C'mon Time, you can say whatever you like, but you - just like everybody else who is a language user - presuppose truth(as correspondence).
Coming from the logical positivist school there are two distinctions that need to be drawn

1. X,Y and Z are first-hand experiences.
I have seen/experienced them with my own eyes - empiricism. Based on this I have no use for "truth". Either you trust your senses or it's all pointless.
This is what logical positivists call protocol sentences ( https://www.britannica.com/topic/protocol-sentence ).

2. X, Y and Z are 2nd hand (or higher order) reports:
2.1 By the verification principle ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verificationism ) - if I can't (at least in principle) contrive a way to empirically confirm what you are saying then it's not meaningful to me - it's just linguistic lip service that will take far too long to unpack. I discard such statements immediately (this is the modern-day Qualia debates philosophers like to have).

e.g to say "There is a blue coffee cup on the table" is not a statement of fact/truth. It is a statement of linguistic convention for our experiences.

This thing on the floor (table!) and this other thing on top of the table (cup) which contains a liquid (coffee) reflects light in a particular way (blue).


2.2 If X, Y and Z are verifiable and I have a mechanism to verify them immediately - then I don't need your 2nd hand report, because I can (empirically) obtain the knowledge I need 1st hand.
2.3 If I can verify it in principle but not in practice then I have no way of confirming the truth-value of any 2nd hand information so I get to choose whether to trust the 2nd hand source or not.
2.3.1 I can do my utmost best to avoid errors in reasoning e.g using heuristics (falsification, contradiction, laws of physics as limits etc.) I can rapidly discard things that are clearly invalid.

But despite all caution at some point you get to choose. Either you will trust 2nd hand information or you wont.
This is where risk management kicks in. If the consequences of error are too grave to endure then I will not ACT on 2nd information without 1st hand validation. This is what we call pessimism in statistics.

If I am comfortable with some error margin - I will ACT on 2nd hand information. This is what we call pessimism in statistics.

In this entire framework the concept of "truth" is absent...

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:49 am

You do know that Ayer came to the conclusion that logical positivism was guilty of what it charged all meta-physical positions of... right? It was based upon a meta-physical tenet/proposition/assertion/statement... an unfalsifiable one at that... which if we hold the positivists to their own criterion, renders the primary tenet(the mantra as it were) of positivism utterly meaningless...

:mrgreen:

One of my first serious philosophical reads was Ayer's Problems Of Philosophy.
Last edited by creativesoul on Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 am

creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:02 am
As if this is always the case?

No!

That quality of the results of information processing(day to day thinking and it's affect/effect) depends entirely upon whether or not the information being taken into consideration is reliable... ahem... true. Now that doesn't mean that the person has to think about whether or not the information is true.

Let 'em fuck up though(let expectation never happen). Then everyone soon sees how important truth is.

:mrgreen:
Naturally. But I am getting a glimpse of how you use the notion of "truth". Here is the problem. No rational human being wants to err on purpose. But let me not speak of other people might or might not do - I will not ACT on information that I clearly know is "false" (not true?). That's just idiotic. Why would I do that?

And so the best you can do with all the information you hold in your head is to assign it confidence ratings.
If said information fails you - its confidence goes down. If said information works for you - its confidence goes up.
This is the Bayesian way.

You can go even further by playing "admission control" for new information. Do I accept/reject this? How likely is it to be "true"?

And so it's pretty clear to me that any piece on information you ACT on is "true" in some sense (although this sentence makes me queasy - all information is USEFUL). Else you wouldn't ACT on it.

It's all a betting game! If something I thought was "true" that wasn't - reality will soon provide me with an update.
As an engineer I have a LOT of systems in place to make sure the information I make decision on is reliable. Still - at the end of the day it's a bet and all bets are made conscious of your willingness to lose. No risk - no reward.

http://www.statisticalengineering.com/bayesian.htm
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:04 am, edited 4 times in total.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:53 am

creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:49 am
You do know that Ayer came to the conclusion that logical positivism was guilty of what it charged all meta-physical positions of... right? It was based upon a meta-physical tenet/proposition/assertion/statement...

:mrgreen:

One of my first serious philosophical reads was Ayer's Problems Of Philosophy.
Ayer commits an even worse Philosophical error (and so I don't care about closet hypocrites). Crossing the is-ought gap.

To assert guilt/not guilt. Or error/not-error. Or problem/non-problem. First you must draw a line. Using what classification rules? ;)

I am a pragmatist, rationalist and a perspectivist. I set all the rules and I operate within the limits imposed on me by reality.

All models are wrong. Some are useful. Take the useful parts, leave the junk and move on. Improve your thinking toolbox however you can.
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:10 am, edited 4 times in total.

Atla
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Atla » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:03 am

creativesoul wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:39 pm
Atla wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:02 am
creativesoul wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:38 pm
If you do not know how to tell if any statement is true or not, then you do not know what they mean either...

You're lying my friend...
See? Timeseeker doesn't have a normally functioning neocortex. He can't grasp the concept of truth/falsehood, can't grasp the concept of objectivity, can't grasp the concept of logic. He thinks that logic and language are synonyms, and has no idea what philosophical discourse is about.

Which is why it's actually pretty dangerous to assume that truth is presupposed in all thought, belief, and statements thereof. Such an assumption can set one up for exploitation.
I saw just fine. Timeseeker is not speaking sincerely. Even in his bid for better language use s/he presupposes truth(as correspondence). All language use does, aside from those with rigid designators, and even those could be made a case for their values corresponding to the way things are. You underestimate him/her.
You are lucky, apparently you haven't been around certain kinds of people yet.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:20 am

creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
TimeSeeker wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:20 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:41 pm
All such thinking presupposes truth as well... There are givens that are presupposed to be true. Because X, Y, and Z are the case then the likelihood of A is...

:roll:
Are you familiar with Rodney Brooks' work? There is no need for symbolic representation of reality and 'truth'.
No.

Who claimed there was a need for symbolic representation of "truth"? More importantly, on what level are you talking about here? Clearly there's no need to talk about "truth" in all sorts of everyday situations for that would be to talk about a linguistic conception and/or the quality/value of our own thought/belief(didn't someone just mention 'qualitative' thought?) Lot's of folk get along just fine with very little 'introspection'. So what?
And we got along just fine without philosophy, science or 'truth' also. As did every other living creature. So what?
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
If one is working from a naturalist framework, then amongst other things, one must be able to take proper account of the origen of thought/belief and how it accrues in it's complexity. The value of any account is determined solely by virtue of how well it corresponds to what's happened and/or what is happening, or what has yet to have happened.

Predictive value, of course, is increased and/or decreased by what has yet to have happened. As a result, none of those statements are truth-apt at the time of utterance. No need to talk about "truth" in that situation, regardless of the fact that verification/falsification methods are looking for precisely that... correspondence to what has yet to have happened.

:mrgreen:
Indeed. I am a gambler. A gambler learns to be good (or rather - less bad) at guessing than your average person. Or they learn to be broke. Financially or intellectually. Or dead...
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
It's quite clear, and I've set out the grounds, that we form thought/belief long before we ever start to think about it. It's when we start to think about our own thought/belief that we begin to talk about whether or not what we say matches up to the way things are; the case at hand; the universe; the world and/or ourselves; reality; what has already happened and/or what is happening.
Sure. And I don't know what thought/belief is. I have models on how it works. The models have predictive utility ;)
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
So, to drive this nail just a bit further...

So what that someone can intentionally not talk about "truth". It is impossible to not presuppose it,
Now look who's talking about correspondence ;) Does it matter what you call it? I pre-suppose that my map corresponds to the territory. And I put conscious effort for my map to be as precise as possible given the limitations of physics (information, compression ratios, storage requirements etc.). Because if I didn't - I can't function in reality in a way that is conducive to reaching my goals.
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
...do not understand that prediction cannot be true at the time it is uttered, have no idea how that's the case, and/or don't quite care about the commonality between all prediction and all false statements.
Naturally. That's why I have no use for "truth". All predictions are best-effort guesses. Only reality can confirm if I guessed correctly or incorrectly.
That's my feedback loop. My signaling mechanism for being 'right' or 'wrong'
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 am
That line of thinking is very interesting if and when one has thought/belief right to begin with. Suffering from the aforementioned ignorance is an inevitable consequence of attempting to dispense with truth(correspondence). Furthermore, I would wager that you also do not understand the gravity of the situation here. I mean the sheer scope of rightful application of what I've been arguing could not be any broader, and it's not a TOE, not an elaborate argument by definitional fiat, and not a tautology(which is ironic in and of itself given your glorification of 'higher' logic).

This thread is either prima facie evidence of ignorance or feigned ignorance - one of the two - regarding all sorts of neat stuff. Simple stuff. Elemental stuff. Irrevocable stuff. Crucial stuff. I've been explaining in between your episodes of irrelevant shit slinging...
And I am perfectly happy for you to assert that I am "ignorant" in any framework of your choosing. Irrespective of my ability to narrate my position the responsibility I am entrusted with by my peers, the reliability and utility of my work and my bank account balance speaks for itself ;) I am drowning in utility and smiling ear to ear.

When you are into risk (uncertainty?) management - "truth" is a useless concept. All one can ever hope for is being less wrong.

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6ddcsdA ... ationality

To look at it from an entirely different lens - I don't want to be skilled at chess. I want to win at chess. One way to go about it is to build a system that is skilled at chess. The two are NOT the same skill and by the principle of least effort the latter is far less intellectually taxing.

Stockfish ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockfish_(chess) ) has 3340 ELO rating. Magnus Carlsen is at a measly 2835 ;)

Averroes
Posts: 268
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:45 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
Averroes wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:07 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:47 pm


English (and all natural languages) are broken - their Turing-completeness can't even be verified unless their grammar is formally defined. You don't get to insist on "proof" while also insisting that it be proven in a framework which lacks the grammar and semantics to express it.
If English (or any other natural language) is “broken”, then don’t use English (or any other natural language). Choose another language which is not “broken.” So as from now, reply/post in a language which is not “broken.”
TimeSeeker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:47 pm
And since proofs are isomorphic to algorithms English is the wrong tool for logic!
Why are you still arguing in English then? As from now, just choose another language which is not a natural language! I am so sure that you can't that I challenge you to post as from now in a language which is not English or a natural language.
It seems you have changed your tune all of a sudden? It was your claim that all expression is language.
That’s still English! Why are you still using English now?? You wanted so much to write in ‘high level languages,’ which is not “broken” like English! Here, I gave you the opportunity, I even challenged you to write exclusively in a language which is not a natural language, and yet you keep sticking with the English language which is, according to you yourself, “broken” and “a wrong tool for logic!” Come on now, I challenge you again to write exclusively in a language other than English or a natural language, according to your own wishes! Giving up again?!
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
I did make an argument in Python. Over here: https://repl.it/repls/SilverCalculatingSorting
Even had the courtesy to add subtitles for you.
You call this kindergarten stuff an argument? You could just as well have written a “Hello World” program, and it would have had the same effect! No wonder, you cannot be logical in the English language when you do not even know what an argument means in the English language! That was Ruby and not Python by the way!

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
And it takes that much extra effort to correct all the errors you are making when using English for logic.
Indeed, you make a lot of mistakes and even big logical and factual blunders, which I have been correcting through and through on this thread. For example, you did not understand Godel imcompleteness theorem and I had to educate you here. And then you did not know that the law of non-contradiction is upheld in intuitionistic logic, which I informed you about here. And then you confused the law of non-contradiction with proof-by-contradiction, which I also corrected here as well. And many more errors that you keep making which again and again dutifully I have been correcting! The last time I corrected you here, you broke down on me and suddenly lost all hope and all your abilities to exchange with me in the English language, and thus gave up on proving your claim that there can be thoughts which cannot be expressed in language! So now, I cannot pressure you too much out of concern that you might break down on me again and then this interesting conversation will be over! There are some more mistakes that you made that need to be corrected, but first I need to prepare you psychologically. And no doubt it takes a lot of effort (as you say) for me to constantly educate you like that. As you can see, I am making many steps towards you, and I think it will greatly benefit this exchange if for every step that I make towards you, that you too try to make an effort to meet me in the middle!

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:10 am

Atla wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:03 am
creativesoul wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:39 pm
Atla wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:02 am

See? Timeseeker doesn't have a normally functioning neocortex. He can't grasp the concept of truth/falsehood, can't grasp the concept of objectivity, can't grasp the concept of logic. He thinks that logic and language are synonyms, and has no idea what philosophical discourse is about.

Which is why it's actually pretty dangerous to assume that truth is presupposed in all thought, belief, and statements thereof. Such an assumption can set one up for exploitation.
I saw just fine. Timeseeker is not speaking sincerely. Even in his bid for better language use s/he presupposes truth(as correspondence). All language use does, aside from those with rigid designators, and even those could be made a case for their values corresponding to the way things are. You underestimate him/her.
You are lucky, apparently you haven't been around certain kinds of people yet.
One may draw that conclusion. However, let me ask you a question...

Do you think/believe that just because someone cannot grasp the concept of truth/falsehood that they also do not use the concept everyday?

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:24 am

I find it quite telling that one spends considerable time attempting to say that s/he has no need for "truth", but in the end simply admits of presupposing/using correspondence.

Correspondence to fact/reality is presupposed in all thought/belief. There is no way to avoid it. During language acquisition, one cannot even learn what certain signs/symbols mean; one cannot learn how to use them; one cannot learn when it is appropriate to do so... unless one draws the same or similar enough mental correlations between the sign/symbol and something else that the other language users have already drawn... and all correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content(regardless of subsequent further qualification).

That's just how it works, and does so long before we are able to discover that much.

creativesoul
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:36 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:53 am
creativesoul wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:49 am
You do know that Ayer came to the conclusion that logical positivism was guilty of what it charged all meta-physical positions of... right? It was based upon a meta-physical tenet/proposition/assertion/statement...

:mrgreen:

One of my first serious philosophical reads was Ayer's Problems Of Philosophy.
...I am a pragmatist, rationalist and a perspectivist. I set all the rules and I operate within the limits imposed on me by reality.
I'm not into placing much value upon 'isms'. Too prone for error. However, I do remember you claiming earlier to be a realist. So, either you have changed your position drastically in the last week or so, or you've deliberately misrepresented your own thought/belief.

Boring...
All models are wrong. Some are useful. Take the useful parts, leave the junk and move on.
The first claim is false.

Improve your thinking toolbox however you can.
I suggest getting thought/belief right.

:mrgreen:

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:04 am

creativesoul wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:36 am
I do remember you claiming earlier to be a realist. So, either you have changed your position drastically in the last week or so, or you've deliberately misrepresented your own thought/belief.
Or you misunderstood my narrative. Naturally. Since you still appear to be interpreting my words in your framework. As demonstrated by your use of the phrase "belief".
creativesoul wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:36 am
All models are wrong. Some are useful. Take the useful parts, leave the junk and move on.
creativesoul wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:36 am
The first claim is false.
And in contradicting me you prove me right.

All models are wrong. Some are useful. Even this one ;) Self-reference is recursion. Recursion is computation. I guess I am on my home turf again...

The rest of the discussion is simply about whose model is more useful OR less wrong. And I am probably even wrong on that.
Maybe the best model is one that converges the fastest towards less-wrong-ness.

Now if we could just agree on some "objective" standard for utility or correctness, or what our models should be converging TO...

Damn. We can't ? Because of this problem as formalised in computer science: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader_election

Oh well :)
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:18 am, edited 5 times in total.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:07 am

creativesoul wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:24 am
I find it quite telling that one spends considerable time attempting to say that s/he has no need for "truth", but in the end simply admits of presupposing/using correspondence.

Correspondence to fact/reality is presupposed in all thought/belief. There is no way to avoid it. During language acquisition, one cannot even learn what certain signs/symbols mean; one cannot learn how to use them; one cannot learn when it is appropriate to do so... unless one draws the same or similar enough mental correlations between the sign/symbol and something else that the other language users have already drawn... and all correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content(regardless of subsequent further qualification).

That's just how it works, and does so long before we are able to discover that much.
And in bet in your coherent system that's 'true' (whatever that assertion means to you).

But in my coherent system your argument is incoherent :lol:

Whose framework is "more coherent"? That bloody problem again ...

TimeSeeker
Posts: 2866
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:25 am

Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:45 pm
You call this kindergarten stuff an argument? You could just as well have written a “Hello World” program, and it would have had the same effect! No wonder, you cannot be logical in the English language when you do not even know what an argument means in the English language! That was Ruby and not Python by the way!
But, you aren't asking me to write an argument. You are asking me to write a counter-argument. To YOUR claim.
And so I am happy to do that just as soon as you present YOUR argument (set of propositions) in lambda calculus.

Ruby, Python, OCaml, Haskell, ML, Java, Kotlin, Scala, Rust, Go, C, C++, Perl or any other Turing-complete language. It's all the same to me :lol: :lol:
But lets stick to things with semi-useful type systems before we end up reinvent the wheel.

Make sure your argument covers all systemic aspects. In particular - the process through which thoughts become language. If I understand your argument correctly and I take my comp-sci background into account it seems like you are hinting that language is a lossless form of thought-compression. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless_compression

So it's not my continued use of English we should be concerned about. It's yours. Because all you need to do to convince us of your claim is to present us with a LOSSLESS algorithm which converts thoughts into language.

f(Thought) = Language
g(Language) = Thought

Define your taxonomy e.g the types "Lanuage" and "Thought" then define f(x) and g(x) :)

I'll get you started: https://repl.it/repls/FittingIllustriousPaintprogram

Or would you prefer it in Ruby? ;)
Averroes wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:45 pm
Indeed, you make a lot of mistakes and even big logical and factual blunders, which I have been correcting through and through on this thread.
You don't need to do that compilers/interpreters do a fine job at it. If you just present your argument in a better format I will save you the effort of 'correcting' me. I am sure you have better ways to spend your precious time.

In similar fashion re: time-wasting lets not worry about proofs just yet, lets worry about the decidability of your claim first ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decidability_(logic)

Atla
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Atla » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:35 am

creativesoul wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:10 am
One may draw that conclusion. However, let me ask you a question...

Do you think/believe that just because someone cannot grasp the concept of truth/falsehood that they also do not use the concept everyday?
They may use the words "true"/"false", but they don't actually know what these mean. They usually just assume that these are tools, expressions used for imposing your will on others / for manipulation, nothing more. And they assume that everyone else uses them the same way too.

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