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Thread: Can we ever truly or effectively communicate?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array
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    Jul 2009

    Default Can we ever truly or effectively communicate?

    This more applies to language than art, but I suppose it may apply to both. I don't think it's as likely to apply to art because art is the rawest form of expression for pure, conscious/unconscious, creative energy we have as humans. I don't think it has as many readily available connotations attached to it as words and written ideas/concepts do. For now I will ask this question about language. Can we ever really communicate?

    For example: I am talking to someone about cars. Each of us has our own emotional/thought history connected to cars. Say my father died in a car accident, but the other person was an automobile mechanic. The image I see in my mind and the feelings the word evokes in me will be different from the mechanic and everyone else on the planet. Everyone's individual reality and the way we see things is different because everyone's experience is different, from huge to small differences. Your mind is your own unique, liquid tapestry. How can I ever hope to truly communicate with the automobile mechanic? Maybe I don't need to because all I need is an oil change... but...

    This sense of not being able to truly understand the way someone views things in their reality is somewhat disturbing to me. I suppose because it makes everything feel solipsistic and alienated. There is no way to change this I know (unless we become superhuman and transfer our minds to computers and can download other realities). Do people just have to come to terms with their alone-ness in the world? Since everything you experience is in your mind, that makes it singular. You will never know how someone else is really feeling or thinking. How can you be sure of anything when it comes to other humans?
    Okay enough questions...anybody have any thoughts? ...hah

  2. #2
    desert pelican Array Owl's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    From Max Black's Language and Philosophy (Cornell University Press, 1949):

    "On Lewis' [i.e., C.I. Lewis] view indeed, we ought to be in no position to understand any of his own statements. And if this is so, his view involves a very peculiar type of reductio ad absurdum. For if his thesis were true, it would be meaningless to us; therefore we cannot be expected to believe it. (The form of this reductio is, of course, somewhat different from the more familiar type of argument in which some proposition is shown to entail its own falsity.)

    To state the situation more bluntly: only the sceptic can ever know what he means by his sceptical assertions; and he can never tell us.

    Conversely, if we can understand him and his contention is meaningful, then his thesis is untrue."

    I hate this problem, and I appeal to God to get around it--for now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Sacrator's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Well i kind of agree with the superhuman perspective. If we had advanced vocal cords and larger communication areas of our brain then we could transmit information back to each other using some type of advanced frequency language then we could pretty much transmit anything we want. Like in my previous post about telepathy i have felt that i have effectively perceived another persons perspective of reality and thoughts in perfect detail but whats the use if i cant transmit back? So in my opinion we are a ever changing species and we look for deeper levels of conversation in our mates so without a doubt the level of depth in a conversation will always grow as long as humans continue to long for it. Humans are still just a baby in the big picture. One day im sure things like that will happen without even needing technological assistance.

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