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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Is it possible to think without using words? Thinking in the most generalized case doesn't need to involve words... for example when I ask you to think about a horse... the first thing that appears in your mind is probably an image of a horse rather than a description of what a horse is... or the word HORSE. Words are simply the means to provide a symbolic representation towards ideas/objects... the way to store multiple experiences we have on a given topic. It appears to me to be a way to get around the limits of our mental processing capacity (working memory is 7 plus minus 2 objects). By labelling a huge list of experiences together as a symbol (one word), we can now start to relate different experiences/ideas together.

    Here's a what-if scenario... What if our minds have unlimited processing capacity... do we still need language to think rationally? Feel free to completely bash this nonsensical idea if you feel like it... just provide justification for your thoughts.
    http://www.pabuddhistvihara.net/uplo...ychicPower.pdf
    http://www.netplaces.com/psychic/wha...y-psychics.htm
    http://books.google.com/books?id=TW7...page&q&f=false

    Possible evidence that we were capable of telepathy as early as ancient times.

  2. #52
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    Default Our Mother Tongue, Literacy, and eLanguage: Spoken, Written, and Electronic

    There is spoken language which we learn at our mother's knee: our mother tongue.

    And then there is the written language which we are compelled by State law to learn at cerified schools, called literacy.

    And last there is the electronic language which we are using now: elanguage.

  3. #53
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    @Mole what you said.

  4. #54
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    Concepts are essential for rational thinking. Even though verbal/written language is just a mode of conceptual expression, it is not necessary. I guess the line begins to blur if you think that having an inner-monologue means you're communicating to yourself, or if you believe that thoughts are forms of expressing something deeper but still essential to who you are.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    Concepts are essential for rational thinking. Even though verbal/written language is just a mode of conceptual expression, it is not necessary. I guess the line begins to blur if you think that having an inner-monologue means you're communicating to yourself, or if you believe that thoughts are forms of expressing something deeper but still essential to who you are.
    What is nice is when our inner talk stops temporarily and we are alert and awake.

    It is though the world talks, not in words, but in shapes.

  6. #56
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    bump

  7. #57
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    I've always thought in "associations" and I'm not sure how people think otherwise. When you say "think of a horse" I immediately consider all objects (as opposed to concepts, or people or other groupings I have) and separate a class labeled "horse", from the class "animal", and think of all the associations of that class.

    It means that, when I think of "horse", I immediately think of things like "stallion" and "mare". I think of qualities of horses; "big" and "powerful" and "flappy gums". I also think of "donkey" and "zebra" and other animals of burden.

    I don't think in language and I never have. I think this is because, growing up, I essentially learnt (during that pivotal period of time) two completely different languages so I quickly became aware of how language is just a tool and is completely unnecessary in thinking.

    It's why I was a natural at logic. I think in "objects" or "classes" and what can be done to those objects...how they associate.

    Interesting tidbit...all things that can be done to an object can be can done by adding it to another, comparing it to another, or considering its opposite. That is...negation, conjunction and disjunction completes all associations of any object. Something I needed to go to a logic class to figure out, but something that I couldn't believe I hadn't realized prior!

    Unfortunately...when you get to thinking about all this...you realize just how useless thinking actually is. It's like...my thoughts think themselves at this point. So, I've moved on to other modes of interacting with the world.

    Feelings, man. That stuff is tough.

  8. #58
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    haven't read the thread really so excuse me if i'm repeating something, but i think it's definitely possible to think outside of language. the problem comes in communicating those concepts effectively so they can be shared and thought about by other people. which is important.

    also, on the receiving end, it limits the conceptual stimuli you're exposed to. you might be able to understand a concept much better if language had a more precise or nuanced way of expressing it. i think knowing different languages can help come at concepts from different angles, and be able to think about them in different ways, which is cool.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  9. #59
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    Yes. "Thinking" without words is not controlled by consciousness and is thus irrational by definition.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  10. #60
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    There are many languages and many ways of expressing a single language.

    For instance, mathematics is a logical language. And semaphore is a logical language.

    In fact we could say that anything logical is a language.

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