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 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:50 pm

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
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am

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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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda » 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.

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:48 pm

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.

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:33 pm

Further, there are things which I can express, but I cannot communicate.

How to ride a bike is one of those tings. Procedural knowledge requires experience.

Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:28 pm

IF you can express "I felt pain but despite my instincts I chose not to scream".... your stimuli-response just became language.
If the language is no more than " Damn!" it's not conceptual but if the language has 'I', or 'choose' , or 'instincts' in it as in your example the concepts of I, instincts and choose make it conceptual ? In fact, if you were to put your example into computer language as is your wont it would contain quite advanced logic wouldn't it?

Can a computer language say 'Damn!" and mean something?

On the other hand

Let a = I

Let b = instincts

Let c = chose

Let d= felt pain

Let s = scream

Given d , if and only if c then a and b not s
Last edited by Belinda on Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:38 pm

Belinda wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:28 pm
If the language is no more than " Damn!" it's not conceptual
Irrespective, it's expression of frustration, pain etc.

The OP is about "can you THINK without language", not "can you squeal like a pig when you feel pain".

Pretty much every animal expresses fear/pain through some auditory mechanism.
Belinda wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:28 pm
Can a computer language say 'Damn!" and mean something?
Probably not. Unless the machine feels pain.

But we COULD make it say "damn" to appear more human to the humans.

Averroes
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:49 am

Hello forum members! Last time I posted the following:
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. (...)

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! (...)
Two months have passed already, and here I am again. No one has attempted my challenge. Timeseeker has already given up! No surprise here! So, I give some more time, two more months!

Averroes
Posts: 267
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Averroes » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am

Logik wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am
So here is where i am at. I was wrong.
Hi Logik. This is the first time I am exchanging with you! And you are already saying that you were wrong! Alright, I can't argue that!
Logik wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am
Averroes is right.
And you also added that I am right. Alright. Thank you, but I already knew it! :)
Logik wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am
It is impossible to think without language.
Okay! If you have reached a final conclusion on the matter, then good for you.
Logik wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am
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.
Indeed, you did go against the law of non-contradiction on that thread by making many contradictory statements! Hence, you made many logical errors. I will write a post on that thread showing the logical errors you had made after posting this present post, if God, the Almighty wills.
However, you did not invent a new language as your posts were written in English and your program was written in Python. And both these languages you did not invent! The Python interpreter was written by Guido van Rossum using the C programming language, and I really doubt that you are Guido! If you were, I will really be disappointed by his skills!

Now, an interesting fact about programming languages is that every statement made in all the commonly used programming languages can be translated into English (or any other natural language)! This is easily verified by everyone. Take any common programming language used nowadays, and one will find that the documentations, explaining the language constructs are written in the English language (in addition to other natural languages)! So, whether one were to use English or any known programming language, if one were to violate the law of non-contradiction, and make contradictory statements in one's discourse, then one would be making logical errors. And if one were to constantly indulge in such kind of discourses, there are high chances that the readers/audience would label the author as stupid and ignorant. Sometimes, these authors are even ridiculed and their discourse ignored. In many other cases people are even imprisoned or have to pay a penalty when they make contradictory statements! The later has happened and happens on a daily basis in courts of laws. Even presidents are not spared by this!

Logik wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:30 am
Language is the expression of thought.

If you find yourself unable to express your thoughts then try another language. Invent it if you must.
You can still try inventing a new language and expressing yourself with it on the forum instead of using the English language or the Python programming language or any other programming language not invented by you. If you are also writing a new programming language, don't forget the documentations! Even Guido had to write the docs of Python in English! You, however, will have the choice of your new invented language to write your docs! There is much work in that enterprise, I agree. Therefore, I give you two months if you wish to take the challenge of inventing a new language and expressing yourself exclusively with it on the forum. Extensions will be given if you need it. Again you can take your time, I am not in a hurry! I will assess your work in two months, if God wills.

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:19 am

Averroes wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am
Hi Logik. This is the first time I am exchanging with you! And you are already saying that you were wrong! Alright, I can't argue that!
Logik == TimeSeeker. Lost my login.
Averroes wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am
And you also added that I am right. Alright. Thank you, but I already knew it! :)
Fair enough, but there are some things you don't know...
Averroes wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am
Indeed, you did go against the law of non-contradiction on that thread by making many contradictory statements! Hence, you made many logical errors.
This is where your understanding falters.

In a pure constructivist paradigm the LNC itself is a proposition: P ∧ ¬P ⇔ ⊥
So IF I can construct a mathematical object P such that P ∧ ¬P ⇔ ⊤ then that is a constructive proof for the existence of contradictions thus self-contradicting the LNC.

Demonstration: https://repl.it/repls/CommonCandidDrupal

Why am I able to do that? because the LNC does not apply to this universe.
contradictory propositions cannot both be true 'at the same time and in the same sense.

You can't evaluate P ∧ ¬P at the same time. Not unless you have a "pause" button for time.
Averroes wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am
I will write a post on that thread showing the logical errors you had made
Your post will count for nothing. You don't know what a 'logical error' is.

As you have made a claim that all thoughts can be expressed, please define "logical error" in a consistent and complete logic.

Take all the time you need ;)
Last edited by Logik on Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:49 am, edited 5 times in total.

surreptitious57
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by surreptitious57 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 am

Logic wrote:
I can construct a complete AND consistent logic system in which they are routinely violated
How can a system be consistent and logical if it contradicts itself as that makes no sense

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:02 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 am
Logic wrote:
I can construct a complete AND consistent logic system in which they are routinely violated
How can a system be consistent and logical if it contradicts itself as that makes no sense
Why do you think it contradicts itself? You are looking at a computer algorithm. It runs on a real, physical machine and produces a result.

The result disagrees with your EXPECTATIONS ( that P ∧ ¬P => False )

The HOW and the WHY is right before you. Living proof. Evidence.

So what do you trust more? Your EXPECTATIONS of reality or reality itself?

Now if you believe that anything before you is in "error". Well - that's just your opinion ;)
Last edited by Logik on Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:09 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 am
How can a system be consistent and logical if it contradicts itself as that makes no sense
Every “system” that is split off from the whole (as such limited) will eventually contradict itself, simply because it opposes the unity of all.
On the other hand, a system that describes “all” makes no sense as it really describes nothing at all...

surreptitious57
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by surreptitious57 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:16 am

Logic wrote:
Because contradictions are man made concepts
Mathematics and science and philosophy are also man made concepts
And in fact all knowledge and understanding are man made concepts

There is nothing we know or understand that is mind independent or ever can be
Everything comes through the mind but that in itself is not a reason for rejection

We therefore have to separate the concepts that are useful to us from the ones that are not rather than reject them all
Simply saying something is a man made concept doesnt actually tell you anything about it from a pragmatic perspective

Logik
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Logik » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:18 am

AlexW wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:09 am
Every “system” that is split off from the whole (as such limited) will eventually contradict itself, simply because it opposes the unity of all.
On the other hand, a system that describes “all” makes no sense as it really describes nothing at all...
Every system that is part of the whole is a subset of the whole, and therefore - incomplete.
You can fully describe parts of the whole.

Logic is just the foundation of human thought.We are projecting it onto the universe.

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