Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:35 pm

Computation is any type of calculation that includes both arithmetical and non-arithmetical steps and follows a well-defined model, for example an algorithm.

Some thought creates and/or defines a model. Therefore some thought is prior to computation. Therefore not all thought is computation.

This is the second time that defining thought as computation has been show to be mistaken.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:39 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:03 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:57 pm
Why do you keep on talking about thought/belief that requires language? Here you've given a perfect example of thinking about one's own thought/belief. Doing that requires language. Some thought/belief does not.
To claim that thought/belief requires language is to claim that a mute/deaf people cannot think. An absurd claim.
No it's not. Non-sequiturs won't do here.

To claim that thinking about one's own thought/belief requires language is to claim that some thought/belief is prior to language.

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:24 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm
It's not a matter of "why", it's a matter of how...

An apple can be a part of a mental correlation between it and something else. In order to draw correlations between our prior correlations(thought/belief) and something else, we must first isolate it in order to further discuss it as it's own subject matter. We do this with language and words like "thought", "belief", "understanding", "imagination", and so forth...

That's how.
I am not talking about discussing "thinking about thought/belief" - communication requires language. I am talking about thinking about thought/belief - introspection.
Maybe you do this with language? Phenomenology has been intuitive to me from the age of 5. I have been looking for the words to describe the process ever since.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:02 pm
Yes, like Santa Claus. Santa existed in it's entirety prior to you thinking about Santa.
This is trivial to falsify. I am thinking about tomorrow now. Is "tomorrow exist" a valid proposition in your mental model?

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:25 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:03 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:57 pm
Why do you keep on talking about thought/belief that requires language? Here you've given a perfect example of thinking about one's own thought/belief. Doing that requires language. Some thought/belief does not.
NO thought/belief requires language!
That one does!

:roll: :mrgreen: :roll:
:roll:

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:40 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:35 pm
Computation is any type of calculation that includes both arithmetical and non-arithmetical steps and follows a well-defined model, for example an algorithm.
Different paradigm. Information is physical property of the universe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_information
Computation is processing information.

I am hungry. This is information signaled to me via nervous system.
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:35 pm
Some thought creates and/or defines a model. Therefore some thought is prior to computation. Therefore not all thought is computation.
In every paradigm the universe is prior to thought. Following from your agreement that worms can correlate impulses from reality and that we can digitise their nervous systems - worms compute. Do worms think?

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:35 pm
This is the second time that defining thought as computation has been show to be mistaken.
I am not defining thought as computation. I am deducing it. From the paradigm in which I operate. If the universe is information - becoming aware of anything other than "self" is processing information.

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:57 pm
NO thought/belief requires language!
That one does!
Observe the recursion/self-reference.

Recursion is computation.
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:46 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:39 pm
To claim that thinking about one's own thought/belief requires language is to claim that some thought/belief is prior to language.
Some thought is prior to language. Thinking about one's own thoughts does not have to require language.

Phenomenology and introspection have been intuitive to me since I can remember. I only acquired the words "phenomenology" and "introspection" in my 20s.

To this day I invent my own words to label my own mental phenomena. Some times I may even know how to translate my word into language you will understand.

This is why for the longest of time I thought I had Aspergers - I struggled to communicate. Because I had made up my own words for my thoughts.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:24 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm
It's not a matter of "why", it's a matter of how...

An apple can be a part of a mental correlation between it and something else. In order to draw correlations between our prior correlations(thought/belief) and something else, we must first isolate it in order to further discuss it as it's own subject matter. We do this with language and words like "thought", "belief", "understanding", "imagination", and so forth...

That's how.
I am not talking about discussing "thinking about thought/belief" - communication requires language. I am talking about thinking about thought/belief - introspection.
Maybe you do this with language?
It is impossible to do without language, and that is quite simply not something that is up to either one of us. We do not determine that. It's a matter of existential dependency. Thinking about one's own thought/belief requires having thought/belief and the capability to isolate and subsequently take an account of it as it's own subject of consideration. Taking an account of it requires a proxy. We use all sorts of different terms to name different mental ongoings.

A language-less creature can draw correlations between different things. Each and every one of those things must exist in it's entirety prior to becoming part of the creature's correlation(thought/belief). If the creature has no way to name and/or otherwise isolate it's own thought/belief, then it cannot possibly be thinking about it.

To think about one's own thought/belief is to consider it as it's own subject matter.



TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:02 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm
Yes, like Santa Claus. Santa existed in it's entirety prior to you thinking about Santa.
This is trivial to falsify. I am thinking about tomorrow now...
Your thoughts of tomorrow now are not tomorrow.

You'll have to do better than this.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:40 am
Following from your agreement that worms can correlate impulses from reality and that we can digitise their nervous systems - worms compute. Do worms think?
On a very basic level with the simplest of correlational content, worms can draw correlations between different things.
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:40 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:35 pm
This is the second time that defining thought as computation has been show to be mistaken.
I am not defining thought as computation. I am deducing it...
Well given the lack of argument, I'm not sure how you went wrong. I am most certainly sure that you went wrong somewhere though. Not all thought is computation. The argument for that is irrefutable and I've offered it already. Some? Sure.

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:24 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
It is impossible to do without language, and that is quite simply not something that is up to either one of us. We do not determine that. It's a matter of existential dependency. Thinking about one's own thought/belief requires having thought/belief and the capability to isolate and subsequently take an account of it as it's own subject of consideration. Taking an account of it requires a proxy. We use all sorts of different terms to name different mental ongoings.
It is possible. This is what phenomenologists do. The process is called bracketing ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracketin ... omenology) ).

Part and parcel for why I thought I had Aspergers. I am an autodidact and I spent far too much time learning through applied phenomenology (which is intuitive to me) in isolation from the regular "institutions of learning" without giving any of my thoughts any names/labels.

They just existed as thoughts and any language/labels I developed for my mental constructs are my own. It is when I tried to communicate my ideas with others is when I discovered that nobody can understand me. And what puzzled them even more is how somebody "so stupid that he can't even speak" be so effective in solving problems.

In fact I only learned the common label (phenomenology) in my late 20s. And the whole "holy shit - this is what I have been doing! I thought I was special!" thing happened. So I was forced to learn the "common language" out of necessity for communication.
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
A language-less creature can draw correlations between different things. Each and every one of those things must exist in it's entirety prior to becoming part of the creature's correlation(thought/belief). If the creature has no way to name and/or otherwise isolate it's own thought/belief, then it cannot possibly be thinking about it.
I am sorry, but you are arguing for logocentrism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logocentrism
Knowing that this is not the path I walked - I vehemently disagree with it :)
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
To think/believe requires drawing correlations. The content of thought/belief is equivalent to the content of the creature's correlations. The content of all thought/belief is correlation. To think about one's own thought/belief is to consider it as it's own subject matter.
Correct. And correlations do not require language. Only indexing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_indexing and pointers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointer_( ... ogramming)

Of course - I learned to program in 6502 assembly and BASIC at the age of 5. So you could say that I had a "language" to think about these things.
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:02 pm
creativesoul wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm
Yes, like Santa Claus. Santa existed in it's entirety prior to you thinking about Santa.
This is trivial to falsify. I am thinking about tomorrow now...
Your thoughts of tomorrow now are not tomorrow.

You'll have to do better than this.
Non-sequitur.
My thoughts of Santa were not Santa either, so you have clearly shifted the goalposts here.

I am thinking of tomorrow BEFORE tomorrow "exists in its entirety".
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:26 am

creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 am
On a very basic level with the simplest of correlational content, worms can draw correlations between different things.
Agreed. Is this sufficient criterion for you to call it "thinking"?
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:40 am
Well given the lack of argument, I'm not sure how you went wrong. I am most certainly sure that you went wrong somewhere though. Not all thought is computation. The argument for that is irrefutable and I've offered it already. Some? Sure.
If the universe is a computer then all thought is computation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics

To argue for the contrary is to appeal to some thought as being "supernatural"

Belinda
Posts: 2835
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:32 pm

Heart activity,digestion, and suchlike are involuntary and don't require language. Other activities such as driving a car or playing tennis don't require language once they have been initially learned and committed to 'muscle memory'. In order to learn these skills language is used to symbolise the various hand-eye-ear-balance coordinations. The ' language ' used for learning skills may be verbal , pictorial ,or concrete examples of someone else's body movements.


Some so-called 'language' is parroting of words and phrases without comprehension on the part of the speaker. Also there are levels of comprehension. We tend to call the more abstract levels of comprehension "higher" levels.

The languages of poetry , decor, fine art, and so on may be used as symbolic systems which some individuals are happier with than they would be with verbal or numerical systems.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:51 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:24 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 am
You'll have to do better than this.
Non-sequitur.
My thoughts of Santa were not Santa either, so you have clearly shifted the goalposts here.

I am thinking of tomorrow BEFORE tomorrow "exists in its entirety".
It does not follow from the fact that you've not grasped the argument being offered that I've moved the goalposts.

Your thoughts of Santa are about what existed in it's entirety prior to thinking of Santa. What counts as being Santa is not and was not determined by you. If you thought of anything other than some pre-existing notion of Santa, then you were thinking about something other than Santa.

Tomorrow never exists in it's entirety. Your thoughts of tomorrow do.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:59 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:24 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
It is impossible to do without language, and that is quite simply not something that is up to either one of us. We do not determine that. It's a matter of existential dependency. Thinking about one's own thought/belief requires having thought/belief and the capability to isolate and subsequently take an account of it as it's own subject of consideration. Taking an account of it requires a proxy. We use all sorts of different terms to name different mental ongoings.
It is possible. This is what phenomenologists do.
No it's not.

Phenomenologists are people who use language in a very specific way as a means to think about thought/belief. Using language to think about thought/belief is not a case of thinking about thought/belief without language.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:05 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:24 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am
It is impossible to do without language, and that is quite simply not something that is up to either one of us. We do not determine that. It's a matter of existential dependency. Thinking about one's own thought/belief requires having thought/belief and the capability to isolate and subsequently take an account of it as it's own subject of consideration. Taking an account of it requires a proxy. We use all sorts of different terms to name different mental ongoings.

A language-less creature can draw correlations between different things. Each and every one of those things must exist in it's entirety prior to becoming part of the creature's correlation(thought/belief). If the creature has no way to name and/or otherwise isolate it's own thought/belief, then it cannot possibly be thinking about it.
I am sorry, but you are arguing for logocentrism...
No, I'm arguing common sense based upon a good grasp of thought/belief. A creature without language cannot differentiate between different mental ongoings. Drawing and maintaining a distinction between them requires language.

creativesoul
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by creativesoul » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:16 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:26 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 am
On a very basic level with the simplest of correlational content, worms can draw correlations between different things.
Agreed. Is this sufficient criterion for you to call it "thinking"?
No. It is adequate for simple rudimentary thought/belief formation.

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:26 am
creativesoul wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 am
Well given the lack of argument, I'm not sure how you went wrong. I am most certainly sure that you went wrong somewhere though. Not all thought is computation. The argument for that is irrefutable and I've offered it already. Some? Sure.
If the universe is a computer then all thought is computation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics

To argue for the contrary is to appeal to some thought as being "supernatural".
Rubbish. I can argue any number of ways against the premiss without ever needing to appeal to supernatural thought.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests