Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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

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Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Logik wrote:
Performative contradiction?
That's it! I must try to remember .
Justintruth
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Justintruth »

Belinda wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:51 pm Justintruth wrote:
Take for example a line drawing of a cube. One looks at it and it seems that one or the other face is in the back. Then one might try to bring the other forward and suddenly it switches and the rear face is now forward. All that happens without language. When we say "think" do we include that?
The answer to your own question is the sentence itself. Logik has a two word phrase for that and I forget what the phrase is. Every phrase in your sentence quoted above is conceptual language. For instance the very words "forward" and "cube" name concepts. If you were sleep walking and performed those movements with the object you would not be thinking that's to say not using the part of your brain-mind which conceptualises.
I know that when I say, "When we say 'think' do we include that?" that I am thinking. That's not the same as saying that when I do that thing where the cube changes face forward, when I am not saying anything or thinking in words, whether we include that under the category of "thinking".

It's not a performative contradiction because the term "thinking" can be "defined" to exclude the kind of action I was refering to and include the kind of thing you are referring to as what I do when I write my post.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Justintruth wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:33 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:51 pm Justintruth wrote:
Take for example a line drawing of a cube. One looks at it and it seems that one or the other face is in the back. Then one might try to bring the other forward and suddenly it switches and the rear face is now forward. All that happens without language. When we say "think" do we include that?
The answer to your own question is the sentence itself. Logik has a two word phrase for that and I forget what the phrase is. Every phrase in your sentence quoted above is conceptual language. For instance the very words "forward" and "cube" name concepts. If you were sleep walking and performed those movements with the object you would not be thinking that's to say not using the part of your brain-mind which conceptualises.
I know that when I say, "When we say 'think' do we include that?" that I am thinking. That's not the same as saying that when I do that thing where the cube changes face forward, when I am not saying anything or thinking in words, whether we include that under the category of "thinking".

It's not a performative contradiction because the term "thinking" can be "defined" to exclude the kind of action I was refering to and include the kind of thing you are referring to as what I do when I write my post.
Yes, it can. However you cannot even use metalanguage without using language.
Justintruth
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Justintruth »

Belinda wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:40 pm
Justintruth wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:33 pm
Belinda wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:51 pm Justintruth wrote:



The answer to your own question is the sentence itself. Logik has a two word phrase for that and I forget what the phrase is. Every phrase in your sentence quoted above is conceptual language. For instance the very words "forward" and "cube" name concepts. If you were sleep walking and performed those movements with the object you would not be thinking that's to say not using the part of your brain-mind which conceptualises.
I know that when I say, "When we say 'think' do we include that?" that I am thinking. That's not the same as saying that when I do that thing where the cube changes face forward, when I am not saying anything or thinking in words, whether we include that under the category of "thinking".

It's not a performative contradiction because the term "thinking" can be "defined" to exclude the kind of action I was refering to and include the kind of thing you are referring to as what I do when I write my post.
Yes, it can. However you cannot even use metalanguage without using language.
The example I am referring to uses neither meta-language nor language. To my knowledge, no one changes the cubes apparent configuration by saying anything at all. Incantation just doesn't work with this. And yet we can try to do it another way and it works. A mental process for sure. One not using language for sure. (Sure for me anyway).

Now do we call mental acts like that "thinking"? Do we expand the meaning of the term "language"?

I believe that most statements in any language are meaningless without experiences that are not linguistic. Specifically I mean any statement that is not about language itself. In a very real sense, for a large class of utterances, the meaning of the utterance cannot be found in the language itself. Rather other experiences exist that are associated with the utterance. That allows someone to know the meaning. Then, if they also know the meaning in a second language, the translation can be provided.

I think it is impossible to say in english what a word means in say Spanish (ignoring the eptymology), just by knowing the utterances capable in Spanish. There is no way to correlate it. That was why they *needed* the Rosetta stone. They knew one languages meaning. They had from the stone the correlation to the other language. From that they were able to decipher. Not saying that is the only way but it illustrates the problem.

Even dictionaries won't work as they merely relate one set of utterances to another hoping that not knowing the first you might know the second and so use the dictionary to learn the first. It provides a relation between utterances only. If I am right, and you gave a dictionary to someone who spoke a language completely different from English they would not understand the dictionary.

If you look at cryptography, they used the frequency of occurrence of symbols to guess meanings. But the frequency of occurrence is not a possible utterance. It is a fact, not of English but what English was said at some time. A lot of cryptography is to eliminate correlation of utterance with anything except its content.

R
Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik »

Belinda wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:40 pm Yes, it can. However you cannot even use metalanguage without using language.
Actually... I read this paper today: https://philpapers.org/archive/ALVLIM-3.pdf Title: LOGIC IS METAPHYSICS

And I thought about it for 3 seconds and realised that this is already how I think.

All logic is metaphysics and all logic is language. Then you can talk about meta-language - recursively.

Which is par for the course. Because recursion is computation. e.g thought.

TL;DR I reached the same conclusions as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, but by introspecting about logic and metaphysics.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

JustinTruth wrote:
I believe that most statements in any language are meaningless without experiences that are not linguistic. Specifically I mean any statement that is not about language itself. In a very real sense, for a large class of utterances, the meaning of the utterance cannot be found in the language itself. Rather other experiences exist that are associated with the utterance. That allows someone to know the meaning. Then, if they also know the meaning in a second language, the translation can be provided.

I think it is impossible to say in english what a word means in say Spanish (ignoring the eptymology), just by knowing the utterances capable in Spanish. There is no way to correlate it. That was why they *needed* the Rosetta stone. They knew one languages meaning. They had from the stone the correlation to the other language. From that they were able to decipher. Not saying that is the only way but it illustrates the problem.
With reference especially to your first paragraph above I understand it as language as part of human social behaviour.As human social behaviour the meaning of the utterance is social meaning.Social meanings refer to shared experiences which are not linguistic but are practical for instance the social group shares the knowledge of what food is in the fridge and when Jane gets the chocolate out of the fridge the others know that she will be getting a little fatter. Or when the farmer harnesses the horse in July the others know he's going to make hay. The prevailing ideology is seldom talked about and the actions 'speak louder than words'.

With reference to your second paragraph , when in Spain one will not understand the language until one has felt what it's like to be a Spaniard, for similar reasons. The Rosetta Stone is relevant only like some augmented dictionary unless it was used as a historical primary source.

I don't know if this is what you meant.
Justintruth
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Justintruth »

Belinda wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:54 pm JustinTruth wrote:
I believe that most statements in any language are meaningless without experiences that are not linguistic. Specifically I mean any statement that is not about language itself. In a very real sense, for a large class of utterances, the meaning of the utterance cannot be found in the language itself. Rather other experiences exist that are associated with the utterance. That allows someone to know the meaning. Then, if they also know the meaning in a second language, the translation can be provided.

I think it is impossible to say in english what a word means in say Spanish (ignoring the eptymology), just by knowing the utterances capable in Spanish. There is no way to correlate it. That was why they *needed* the Rosetta stone. They knew one languages meaning. They had from the stone the correlation to the other language. From that they were able to decipher. Not saying that is the only way but it illustrates the problem.
With reference especially to your first paragraph above I understand it as language as part of human social behaviour.As human social behaviour the meaning of the utterance is social meaning.Social meanings refer to shared experiences which are not linguistic but are practical for instance the social group shares the knowledge of what food is in the fridge and when Jane gets the chocolate out of the fridge the others know that she will be getting a little fatter. Or when the farmer harnesses the horse in July the others know he's going to make hay. The prevailing ideology is seldom talked about and the actions 'speak louder than words'.

With reference to your second paragraph , when in Spain one will not understand the language until one has felt what it's like to be a Spaniard, for similar reasons. The Rosetta Stone is relevant only like some augmented dictionary unless it was used as a historical primary source.

I don't know if this is what you meant.
This thread refers to thinking.

There is a very deep, deep problem in the nature of thought in our culture that has to do with coincidence.

I had an experience while first studying Husserls book Ideas. In it he recommends suspending temporarily all consideration of what is and just pay attention to experiencing itself. Ok, fine. Seems like a innocent intellectual act that we all can do. I can think of my cell or my laptop and just decide to consider only my laptop. Admittedly that is thinking of one thing and not another but so... should be able to do that easily. However, I will relay to you exactly what happened and it was very surprising to me.

I was sitting on some steps in front of a "quad" at college looking at the grass lawn. I attempted to do what he recommended and ... wow...things changed. What I saw formed this phrase in my mind: "Wow, that is the greening of the green in the grass!" I was not just seeing the grass but seeing the meaning of greening aka green. What happened was not just intellectual, if by that we take the narrowest sense, something changed in how it *looked*. It was "greening" - not "green" - or rather the "green was greening". The languaging that occured changed and the experience I had of the grass, I previously would have only passingly noticed its color if at all and if someone would have asked me to go look and see what color the grass was a casual glance would have answered the fact that it was greeen. Nothing surprising. But this was. By languaging I mean the emergence of "wording"from "word" - before just word - after the "wording of the word" was evident. I was looking at the meaning of the green and it was the greening of the green in the grass (Ok back then I hadn't considered that green is not an objective property).

To make a very long story short this led to me understanding how a lot of art works and to some extent how mystical experience works. But it is a long story. Latter on, this same process occurred with ontology. In other words phenomenology applied to ontology not just nature.

Now I am saying nothing about how to judge all of this. The way I say it is "I am some kind of ape, and my ape brain did that". How we judge it intellectually will come in the future.

Now, there is a social aspect to language. That phrase in my mind at that time was socially induced. I was taught at an early age to flap my mouth and tongue as Searle would say and produce that utterance. Latter I was taught the alphabet and then was taught how to spell, read, and write. All of that was social. But all of that social stuff I now realized was based in original experiences of the meaning of the words. You see the green was not just the green of that grass. Rather it was the attachment of a kind of referring. This was an example of what people refer to when they say green and in me I was seeing the phenomenal basis of a certain ideation - natural in this case - the ideation of green and its meaning coming from an instance which was not completely it. The green in that grass was not all green. Green was in other placess that also greened.

I saw but understood meaning and it was attaching to phrases thought in my mind in socially induced English but you cannot reduce that experiencing to what was socially induced. I think the biological basis is there. You can't get the semantics of a language from its syntax. And, in some sense, syntax is what a language is. Verde is green in spanish but the green is the at least enough the same to say that verde is the correct translation of green and not of red.

Now that was grass. If you look at a face in anger or pain or joy or any of those exquisite states which our brains read, there too the process occurs. I believe - am almost certain but I am not a scientist - that this is instinctive cognition.

So, I do not see language as being limited to social behavior. The social aspects are there but there is, in a single organism alone, experiencing of meaning and that is necessary for the language to form and inherited instinctual cognition. A lot of this, I believe is inherited. Have you read "Gramatology" by Derida? I hear him in the back of my mind nodding and pointing out how that whole thing that happened occurred by me reading and trying to understand Husserl. He would say that was key and yes, that is social on a grand scale of writing.

So I think my behavior, my cognition, cannot be understood without deconstructing the social aspects. But when I do that I find aspects that are not social. My own optical pathways and color vision were involved.

If you think of it someone had, originally, to utter something with respect to green. Our language comes originally from individual experiencing. We can talk to ourselves.

If you look at a line drawing of a cube you will see changes that are not socially induced I think.

I don't think you have to know what it is to be a Spaniard to know or speak Spanish. You can learn the language yourself. We seem to store and retrieve information that way. Once I was working in Japan, staying at a hotel where you had to leave your key and ask for it by stating your room number. Mine was "San ju go" in Japanese or 35. I said "San ju go" over and over and over everytime I retrieved the key. After over a month an english speaking colleague asked me my room number. My first thought was "San ju go" which I said then realized he wanted English. It was amazing how long it took to come up with "thirty five" I did not immediately know it.

So it is a complex phenomenon. Neurology is required to fully understand it but will not give us the whole picture. Socially induced aspects but more than that. And "being a Spaniard" involves language I think. But there are more simple things happening in individuals.

You used "shared experiences". In some sense we "share experience" but in another sense we do not. We each have our own experiencing.

We are of Copernicus. In the future there will be a revolution in thought. The degree to which things like the collective unconscious of Jung will play well become clearer. Certainly there are very deep questions that deal with how fads pass like ripples on a lake through human cultures.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

JustinTruth, I'm impressed by your experience with green which seems to be an unadulterated quale. Your interpretation is eccentric enough as I think you will agree that it needs a little more attention.

Were you at the time acquainted with the idea of substituting verbs for nouns and adjectives? If so your talk to yourself may have taken the form "the grass is greening" : or as an idealist "I'm greening the grass" : or as a Buddhist "At this moment I am green": or as a Wordsworthian " that green is far more deeply interfused ----" tending to pantheism. The subject is inevitably solitary despite shared archetypes which may underlie experiences of qualia but are mixed with learned attitudes. I guess that adults have lost the original clouds of glory and you were simply lucky on that odd occasion.


In support of your interpretation is naturalism which allows for the wholistic structure of nature so that shared archetypes are inherent in man or in any other species as evolved traits. The difficulty is that man unlike other intelligent species evolved artificially, by man-made cultures.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/ ... -childhood
Wyman
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Wyman »

I find that sometimes it is very difficult to put my thoughts into words, so I would say yes, it is possible to think without language.
Justintruth
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Justintruth »

Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm
... Were you at the time acquainted with the idea of substituting verbs for nouns and adjectives? ...
No, and I dropped it - didn't pay it any mind until decades latter.

Then I was having a debate over Dennet's American flag illusion. You stare at a screen for a while and then the image is turned off and you still see the afterimage for a while but in the red, white, and blue colors. Dennet was basically saying it shows that what you call "quale", and the continent calls "phenomena", are not real. But I had a problem with that as I was *really* seeing them or as I learned to say, I was really them seeing. Calling them smply not there fails to distinguish between the case of "American flag seeing actually occurring" and an "American flag seeing not actually occurring'. Also, calling them illusions is false. That fails to distinguish the case when you thought it was a real flag but then realized that it was just "American flag seeing" so you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag. I was actually just American flag seeing. If you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag I was just seeing an American flag you do less well communicating. It was then I began to see how powerful the word "just" is- how you can say "It's just your brain" etc and become hopelessly confused.

I believe all of this occurs becasue of the incarnate facts of nature - that our peception is "in" a body that can be percieved - where here "in" must be carefully disambiguated with its usual use. That incarnation can lead to where a perception does not correspond to other perceptions and we say that the perception was "just an illusion" - there is that "just" again - and was not real.

But either it was or was not really an illusion and then you have the case where you are not "illuded" if that is a word, and you are just refering to the condition of seeing something - a state I now call "_____ seeing" (fill in the blank). I think it works nicely and I think it holds promise for experiences that are not sensory, like experiences of validity, maybe even experiences of Love, God, Beauty, pain etc.

When I said "I see an American flag" someone would inevitably strawman me and say something like "Oh you think there is an American flag there and somehow staring at the screen allowed you to finaly see it!" and I would moan "Noooo1 Of course I don't think that but I still think I am seeing an American flag" and they would persist and say something like "Oh, you think there are American flags in your head, right?!" "Noooooo!" I would moan, you know already I don't think that. And then they would fein modesty and ask "So, help me, where is this American flag you are seeing" and I would say it wasn't anywhere because as I move my head it moves. So, I realized that I did not think that in that afterimage case there really was an American flag somewhere that I was perceiving but nevertheless I either was or was not American flag seeing and that was a real fact and the character of that seeing was real and that defeats everything Dennet is trying to do I think - incuding his anti-religious pogrom.

So I learned a trick. Instead of saying "I see an American flag" I would say, "I am American flag seeing". I then remembered a long time ago saying "The green was greening". Really it is a kind of awareness that a human can have. Some people call it thinking but I think that calling metaphysics "thinking" can have its own problems. When a face in a line drawing of a cube moves forward it "happens". In the same way profound metaphysical awareness like Satori in Zen or whatever actually are something that happens in a mind not so much something it does. It is not connected with the will in the same way. In fact, defeating the will in metaphysics is the necessary insight. In a sense achieving that awareness occurs by ceasing an activity not performing that. But nowhere I can find are people discussing this. They can't seem to free themselves from repeating Copernicus over and over. They can look back very well but cannot see what is now comming upon us. Check out "I see lights breakinng upon us" you may be one of the few people able to dismiss its flaws and see the insight in it.

https://www.amazon.com/You-See-Lights-B ... 096254311X

Don't agree with all of it but love the idea of looking forward into the age that is coming.

You can use your will to try to see it that way and after a time it changes. For a short time I was able to switch and have mystical experience then remove it then have it just like a line drawing of a cube! I am not sure I would believe me if I was you but I assure you it was true.

The change is not instantaneous. You try and at first nothing happens then ...it changes.. experiencing is not experiencing experiencing in the same way. In the same way the phenomenal basis of phenomenology, the metaphyiscs of phenomenology, is not thinking but something that happens to thinking as a result perhaps of thinking, that is what happened to me, but others have it in other ways, by concentrating on not thinking for example. Either way, if it happens it happens to you and it is a fact whether it happens or not. Some perception it gets...again not of some thing but a change in percieving nevertheless. These changes are real. They are facts. They are first person, true, but whether they occur or not is a fact.

A lot of philosophy can be unpacked this way but in the end how you consider the result is still not in the culture. We have a few, Nietzche for example, or maybe WIttgenstein who claim the answer but they were just wrong. Heiddegger looked forward. There is some doubt whether we can reach the new era but I think once we get engineering control over our brains we have a very good chance. Yes it is purely speculative. We are not there yet.

Have fun
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Justintruth wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:25 pm
Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm
... Were you at the time acquainted with the idea of substituting verbs for nouns and adjectives? ...
No, and I dropped it - didn't pay it any mind until decades latter.

Then I was having a debate over Dennet's American flag illusion. You stare at a screen for a while and then the image is turned off and you still see the afterimage for a while but in the red, white, and blue colors. Dennet was basically saying it shows that what you call "quale", and the continent calls "phenomena", are not real. But I had a problem with that as I was *really* seeing them or as I learned to say, I was really them seeing. Calling them smply not there fails to distinguish between the case of "American flag seeing actually occurring" and an "American flag seeing not actually occurring'. Also, calling them illusions is false. That fails to distinguish the case when you thought it was a real flag but then realized that it was just "American flag seeing" so you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag. I was actually just American flag seeing. If you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag I was just seeing an American flag you do less well communicating. It was then I began to see how powerful the word "just" is- how you can say "It's just your brain" etc and become hopelessly confused.

I believe all of this occurs becasue of the incarnate facts of nature - that our peception is "in" a body that can be percieved - where here "in" must be carefully disambiguated with its usual use. That incarnation can lead to where a perception does not correspond to other perceptions and we say that the perception was "just an illusion" - there is that "just" again - and was not real.

But either it was or was not really an illusion and then you have the case where you are not "illuded" if that is a word, and you are just refering to the condition of seeing something - a state I now call "_____ seeing" (fill in the blank). I think it works nicely and I think it holds promise for experiences that are not sensory, like experiences of validity, maybe even experiences of Love, God, Beauty, pain etc.

When I said "I see an American flag" someone would inevitably strawman me and say something like "Oh you think there is an American flag there and somehow staring at the screen allowed you to finaly see it!" and I would moan "Noooo1 Of course I don't think that but I still think I am seeing an American flag" and they would persist and say something like "Oh, you think there are American flags in your head, right?!" "Noooooo!" I would moan, you know already I don't think that. And then they would fein modesty and ask "So, help me, where is this American flag you are seeing" and I would say it wasn't anywhere because as I move my head it moves. So, I realized that I did not think that in that afterimage case there really was an American flag somewhere that I was perceiving but nevertheless I either was or was not American flag seeing and that was a real fact and the character of that seeing was real and that defeats everything Dennet is trying to do I think - incuding his anti-religious pogrom.

So I learned a trick. Instead of saying "I see an American flag" I would say, "I am American flag seeing". I then remembered a long time ago saying "The green was greening". Really it is a kind of awareness that a human can have. Some people call it thinking but I think that calling metaphysics "thinking" can have its own problems. When a face in a line drawing of a cube moves forward it "happens". In the same way profound metaphysical awareness like Satori in Zen or whatever actually are something that happens in a mind not so much something it does. It is not connected with the will in the same way. In fact, defeating the will in metaphysics is the necessary insight. In a sense achieving that awareness occurs by ceasing an activity not performing that. But nowhere I can find are people discussing this. They can't seem to free themselves from repeating Copernicus over and over. They can look back very well but cannot see what is now comming upon us. Check out "I see lights breakinng upon us" you may be one of the few people able to dismiss its flaws and see the insight in it.

https://www.amazon.com/You-See-Lights-B ... 096254311X

Don't agree with all of it but love the idea of looking forward into the age that is coming.

You can use your will to try to see it that way and after a time it changes. For a short time I was able to switch and have mystical experience then remove it then have it just like a line drawing of a cube! I am not sure I would believe me if I was you but I assure you it was true.

The change is not instantaneous. You try and at first nothing happens then ...it changes.. experiencing is not experiencing experiencing in the same way. In the same way the phenomenal basis of phenomenology, the metaphyiscs of phenomenology, is not thinking but something that happens to thinking as a result perhaps of thinking, that is what happened to me, but others have it in other ways, by concentrating on not thinking for example. Either way, if it happens it happens to you and it is a fact whether it happens or not. Some perception it gets...again not of some thing but a change in percieving nevertheless. These changes are real. They are facts. They are first person, true, but whether they occur or not is a fact.

A lot of philosophy can be unpacked this way but in the end how you consider the result is still not in the culture. We have a few, Nietzche for example, or maybe WIttgenstein who claim the answer but they were just wrong. Heiddegger looked forward. There is some doubt whether we can reach the new era but I think once we get engineering control over our brains we have a very good chance. Yes it is purely speculative. We are not there yet.

Have fun
You write "have fun" and it reminds me that me thinking about thinking and the nature of consciousness is part of my effort to not think about the approaching cessation of most life on Earth.In what, twenty, fifty years?

Anyway, regarding after images I know two sorts. I've made a drawing with very black ink ,in negative tonal values, of a woman's face that included a set of spotd on the nose which were to be stared at for three minutes without a break. Then close the eyes and for good measure cup the closed eyes in the hands. Shortly the woman's face appears in positive tonal values with the insides of the eyelids as a sort of screen.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Justintruth wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:25 pm
Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm
... Were you at the time acquainted with the idea of substituting verbs for nouns and adjectives? ...
No, and I dropped it - didn't pay it any mind until decades latter.

Then I was having a debate over Dennet's American flag illusion. You stare at a screen for a while and then the image is turned off and you still see the afterimage for a while but in the red, white, and blue colors. Dennet was basically saying it shows that what you call "quale", and the continent calls "phenomena", are not real. But I had a problem with that as I was *really* seeing them or as I learned to say, I was really them seeing. Calling them smply not there fails to distinguish between the case of "American flag seeing actually occurring" and an "American flag seeing not actually occurring'. Also, calling them illusions is false. That fails to distinguish the case when you thought it was a real flag but then realized that it was just "American flag seeing" so you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag. I was actually just American flag seeing. If you say it was an illusion that I was seeing an American flag I was just seeing an American flag you do less well communicating. It was then I began to see how powerful the word "just" is- how you can say "It's just your brain" etc and become hopelessly confused.

I believe all of this occurs becasue of the incarnate facts of nature - that our peception is "in" a body that can be percieved - where here "in" must be carefully disambiguated with its usual use. That incarnation can lead to where a perception does not correspond to other perceptions and we say that the perception was "just an illusion" - there is that "just" again - and was not real.

But either it was or was not really an illusion and then you have the case where you are not "illuded" if that is a word, and you are just refering to the condition of seeing something - a state I now call "_____ seeing" (fill in the blank). I think it works nicely and I think it holds promise for experiences that are not sensory, like experiences of validity, maybe even experiences of Love, God, Beauty, pain etc.

When I said "I see an American flag" someone would inevitably strawman me and say something like "Oh you think there is an American flag there and somehow staring at the screen allowed you to finaly see it!" and I would moan "Noooo1 Of course I don't think that but I still think I am seeing an American flag" and they would persist and say something like "Oh, you think there are American flags in your head, right?!" "Noooooo!" I would moan, you know already I don't think that. And then they would fein modesty and ask "So, help me, where is this American flag you are seeing" and I would say it wasn't anywhere because as I move my head it moves. So, I realized that I did not think that in that afterimage case there really was an American flag somewhere that I was perceiving but nevertheless I either was or was not American flag seeing and that was a real fact and the character of that seeing was real and that defeats everything Dennet is trying to do I think - incuding his anti-religious pogrom.

So I learned a trick. Instead of saying "I see an American flag" I would say, "I am American flag seeing". I then remembered a long time ago saying "The green was greening". Really it is a kind of awareness that a human can have. Some people call it thinking but I think that calling metaphysics "thinking" can have its own problems. When a face in a line drawing of a cube moves forward it "happens". In the same way profound metaphysical awareness like Satori in Zen or whatever actually are something that happens in a mind not so much something it does. It is not connected with the will in the same way. In fact, defeating the will in metaphysics is the necessary insight. In a sense achieving that awareness occurs by ceasing an activity not performing that. But nowhere I can find are people discussing this. They can't seem to free themselves from repeating Copernicus over and over. They can look back very well but cannot see what is now comming upon us. Check out "I see lights breakinng upon us" you may be one of the few people able to dismiss its flaws and see the insight in it.

https://www.amazon.com/You-See-Lights-B ... 096254311X

Don't agree with all of it but love the idea of looking forward into the age that is coming.

You can use your will to try to see it that way and after a time it changes. For a short time I was able to switch and have mystical experience then remove it then have it just like a line drawing of a cube! I am not sure I would believe me if I was you but I assure you it was true.

The change is not instantaneous. You try and at first nothing happens then ...it changes.. experiencing is not experiencing experiencing in the same way. In the same way the phenomenal basis of phenomenology, the metaphyiscs of phenomenology, is not thinking but something that happens to thinking as a result perhaps of thinking, that is what happened to me, but others have it in other ways, by concentrating on not thinking for example. Either way, if it happens it happens to you and it is a fact whether it happens or not. Some perception it gets...again not of some thing but a change in percieving nevertheless. These changes are real. They are facts. They are first person, true, but whether they occur or not is a fact.

A lot of philosophy can be unpacked this way but in the end how you consider the result is still not in the culture. We have a few, Nietzche for example, or maybe WIttgenstein who claim the answer but they were just wrong. Heiddegger looked forward. There is some doubt whether we can reach the new era but I think once we get engineering control over our brains we have a very good chance. Yes it is purely speculative. We are not there yet.

Have fun
You write "have fun" and it reminds me that me thinking about thinking and the nature of consciousness is part of my effort to not think about the approaching cessation of most life on Earth.In what, twenty, fifty years?

Anyway, regarding after images I know two sorts. I've made a drawing with very black ink ,in negative tonal values, of a woman's face that included a set of spots on the nose which were to be stared at for three minutes without a break. Then close the eyes and for good measure loosely and gently cup the closed eyes in the hands. Shortly the woman's face appears in positive tonal values with the insides of the eyelids as if they were a sort of cinema screen.

I gather that this effect is purely optical with no conceptualisation or language involved.

The other sort of 'unreal' image I've known happened after some event which I have forgotten about. I think it was after I lost some of the sight of one eye. For some days after the event was able to cover my eyes and wait quietly then lacy patterns would fleetingly and involuntarily appear and even little people sometimes appeared. This was due to optical events which lacked information from my environment and to which I applied my mind-brain's ability to make patterns out of random stuff.

This "waiting quietly" I think is what we need to do to get a satori experience. One way to "wait quietly" is to concentrate on something that's not of any immediate interest to oneself and which is outwith one's control. Whether or not one is using language doesn't matter what matters is that the language is not about controlling or planning or making decisions.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik »

Averroes wrote: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:12 am To all members of the forum who are interested:

A statement was made but the claimer found himself/herself incapable of backing it up even when challenged. It was claimed that there can be thoughts which cannot be expressed in language. Here is one of the statements:
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?
And further, it was claimed that the statement that there are “thoughts which cannot be expressed in language” can be proved in intuitionist logic thus:
TimeSeeker wrote: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm The only way I know how to prove a negative is to abandon Aristotelian logic and embrace constructive/intuitionistic logic.
My question to you all is as follows:

Can anyone here prove (or disprove) these claims either from classical logic or from intuitionist logic? One can use English or whatever formal or computer language that one wants to prove (or disprove) this claim.

I give you two months for that, but extensions will be given if required! In a nutshell, you have all your time, I am not in a hurry! :D
So here is where i am at. I was wrong. Averroes is right.

It is impossible to think without language.

That said not all languages are the same. As I have demonstrated in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=26192
I am able to contradict non-contradiction by INVENTING a new language.

Language is the expression of thought.

If you find yourself unable to express your thoughts then try another language. Invent it if you must.
Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Conceptual thinking requires a symbolic system as a medium for the thoughts. However if being aware that one is reacting to a stimulus is a thought then it's possible to think such thoughts without language.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik »

Belinda wrote: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:44 pm Conceptual thinking requires a symbolic system as a medium for the thoughts. However if being aware that one is reacting to a stimulus is a thought then it's possible to think such thoughts without language.
Maybe. I will ponder on this.

As a first brainfart, IF you recognize the stimulus and IF you recognize the reaction that is about to follow, then you are necessarily allowing the "instinctive response" to proceed.

If you didn't want the instinctive response to a stimulus to proceed, then you would take control.

That process is based on rules. And I think it can be expressed in language. Decision theory...

But this is merely a conceptual misunderstanding. That which you call "language" excludes those things you call thoughts.
IF you can express your thoughts they immediately become language. Catch 22, eh ? :)

IF you can express "I felt pain but despite my instincts I chose not to scream".... your stimuli-response just became language.
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