Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

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Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

What fun, Sculptor ! I do it almost constantly. For instructions like cookery recipes or gardening advice my internal voiceover is like an insistent instructor.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Sculptor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:20 pm Some people do not have an internal dialogue.!!
I don’t actually think they don’t have an internal voice commenting certain events, decisions etc, but that they are rather not aware of it... if one is “caught in thought world “ all the time, then this voice becomes “me” and there is no more perspective available that one could use to look at this voice “from a distance”.
On the other hand, the more one is present and aware of thoughts, rather than being the thoughts, the more they subside - which will actually diminish the internal dialogue substantially (but again, I don’t think that’s what’s actually happening to these people, they simply are not aware of it as they only “live in the head”)
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

AlexW wrote:
the more one is present and aware of thoughts,
It's not "one" that is present and aware of thoughts rather it's insight which is a manifestation of reason.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Belinda wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:27 am It's not "one" that is present and aware of thoughts rather it's insight which is a manifestation of reason.
No, you are right, its not “one” that is aware, thats just language... there is awareness of thought (more language...) no aware one...
Anyway, what is insight to you? Just a new conceptual understanding Or something else?
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:41 am
Belinda wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:27 am It's not "one" that is present and aware of thoughts rather it's insight which is a manifestation of reason.
No, you are right, its not “one” that is aware, thats just language... there is awareness of thought (more language...) no aware one...
Anyway, what is insight to you? Just a new conceptual understanding Or something else?
To me, insight is disinterestedly being aware of my own thoughts and behaviours . I am not saying it's easy!
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Sculptor
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Sculptor »

AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:10 am
Sculptor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:20 pm Some people do not have an internal dialogue.!!
I don’t actually think they don’t have an internal voice commenting certain events, decisions etc, but that they are rather not aware of it... if one is “caught in thought world “ all the time, then this voice becomes “me” and there is no more perspective available that one could use to look at this voice “from a distance”.
On the other hand, the more one is present and aware of thoughts, rather than being the thoughts, the more they subside - which will actually diminish the internal dialogue substantially (but again, I don’t think that’s what’s actually happening to these people, they simply are not aware of it as they only “live in the head”)
Did you follow the link and see the interview? Are you suggesting that the woman in the video does not know the content of her own mind? Seriously?
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Sculptor
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Sculptor »

Belinda wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:04 pm What fun, Sculptor ! I do it almost constantly. For instructions like cookery recipes or gardening advice my internal voiceover is like an insistent instructor.
Yes, without me speaking to myself I'm sort of on automatic, and not aware I'm alive until I reflect and have a word with myself!
Were you surprised to learn that some people do NOT have this ability?
I was quite surprised.

On the other hand I've known a couple of people that not only talk to themselves internally but have a few "friends" inside their head with seemingly autonomous existences, but they were both Schizophrenic
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Belinda wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:44 pm To me, insight is disinterestedly being aware of my own thoughts and behaviours . I am not saying it's easy!
To me, what you are describing is simply "being aware and present here/now".
Yes, there is an initial insight required to practice "being aware" - but the practice itself is not a thought based exercise.
Its like coming to the conclusion that riding a bike to work is better than walking - you have an insight about this being true - but the insight alone wont make it possible for you to ride a bike - you have to actually do it, practice it in real life, not only believe in it...
But, I think that's what you are referring to anyway, right?
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Sculptor wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:10 pm Did you follow the link and see the interview? Are you suggesting that the woman in the video does not know the content of her own mind? Seriously?
No, I haven't seen the video before, just read the text...
Have watched it now and yes... interesting...
She seems to employ a different way of decoding/linking language to sense organs - most people link language to sounds (and only sounds) she seems to decode it via linking sounds/words to visual forms...

No, I am not saying she doesn't know the content of her own mind, but while he seems to have an ongoing monologue in his head (like many people do) she seems to have a monologue that is of a different kind (more of a visual kind)
But: both minds still seem to be active all the time - just in different ways ... she finds it hard to go to sleep, cant actually sit down and "do nothing" ... I wonder why...

Anyway, its still a very interesting condition and might be worth some more thinking about ... Maybe one should investigate the internal monologue of people that are blind or deaf - I guess they also employ a very different procedure of making sense of language... don't know... I'm no psychologist :-)
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Sculptor
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Sculptor »

AlexW wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:00 am
Sculptor wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:10 pm Did you follow the link and see the interview? Are you suggesting that the woman in the video does not know the content of her own mind? Seriously?
No, I haven't seen the video before, just read the text...
Have watched it now and yes... interesting...
She seems to employ a different way of decoding/linking language to sense organs - most people link language to sounds (and only sounds) she seems to decode it via linking sounds/words to visual forms...

No, I am not saying she doesn't know the content of her own mind, but while he seems to have an ongoing monologue in his head (like many people do) she seems to have a monologue that is of a different kind (more of a visual kind)
But: both minds still seem to be active all the time - just in different ways ... she finds it hard to go to sleep, cant actually sit down and "do nothing" ... I wonder why...

Anyway, its still a very interesting condition and might be worth some more thinking about ... Maybe one should investigate the internal monologue of people that are blind or deaf - I guess they also employ a very different procedure of making sense of language... don't know... I'm no psychologist :-)
I'd never heard of such a thing before yesterday.
I want to know how widespread this is.
Obviously the entire animal kingdom, aside from humans does it without a problem. But how many humans have this I do not know
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Sculptor, I clearly remember walking along a quiet beach by myself having a philosophical argument in silent language with an imaginary interlocutor.This is one of the uses of thinking in words.

Another is when for instance I am trying to follow directions and I 'hear' the actual words of the instructions and try to apply them to what I do.

Poets commonly hear the words, rhythms, and assonances when they are composing and it would be impossible to enjoy poetry without being able to 'hear' poems. Typically a poet begins with the rhythm of the words she is assembling. Similarly when recalling to memory the sound of someone who is dead or otherwise absent the memory is clearer when the medium of communication is recalled.

The difference between fantasy and hallucination is the fantasiser knows the fantasy for what it is whereas the hallucinator hears voices as external and autonomous.The latter condition has been traced to neurochemical imbalance.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

Alex, insight is like this: I want another ice cream and I know, not only subjectively but also objectively, I want another ice cream. My dog also likes ice cream and lacks objective insight into the desire.

Insight is useful for my health and safety.
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Belinda, yes sure, but insight alone is not enough, you also have to act accordingly - thats the point I am trying to make... insight is important, acting accordingly even more.

Imagine having a "bad" habit - eg biting your fingernails. You have an insight: Biting my nails is bad, I should stop it right now.
The problem is: The insight alone will not really be helpful to break the habit, you keep on biting your nails even you know you should stop (without even being aware of it)
The key to success is not the insight (alone), but rather awareness of nail biting happening - only when being aware of the process can the habit be broken.
It's the same with "the voice in the head" - as soon as one becomes aware of it, it will actually gradually subside and make room for reality.
Belinda
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by Belinda »

AlexW wrote:
It's the same with "the voice in the head" - as soon as one becomes aware of it, it will actually gradually subside and make room for reality.
If there be absolute reality, and I'd agree possibly there be absolute reality, is it not hubristic to claim absolute reality might be known?
AlexW
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Re: Is It Possible To Think Without Language?

Post by AlexW »

Belinda, I haven’t used the word absolute, have I?
But there is the reality of direct experience- this moment here, now, minus all conceptual interpretations - which is, to me, nothing else but reality (I don’t know of any other reality, do you?)
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