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  1. #41
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    And because we're human, philosophy doesn't have a choice but to contend with limitations imposed by language.

    Yes, but we dont have to be confined to the language that we have now, we can expand on it. We can make new words up even new rules of communication. There will be plenty of ideas that we would not be able to talk about, but still less than we currently have.

  2. #42
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Yes, but we dont have to be confined to the language that we have now, we can expand on it. We can make new words up even new rules of communication. There will be plenty of ideas that we would not be able to talk about, but still less than we currently have.
    This is irrelevant. I'm not talking about the limitations of our language; I'm talking about the limitations of language, period.


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  3. #43
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    This is irrelevant. I'm not talking about the limitations of our language; I'm talking about the limitations of language, period.
    Well than we have the Kantian distinction between the noumena and the phenomena.

    Many things just can not be experienced and this is exactly where we run into the limitations of language.

    For whatever we can experience we can talk about as we can expand our language to be fitting in that case.

    Here are things that cant be experienced, time, space, motion, heat, light. And infinity of space and time is the root to many of them.

    We can feel many of those, but we can't experience them for their innermost essence. Hence since God is infinite, we can never know what he is because we can only hear about him from testimony or draw conclusions based on partial evidence but we know not enough about him to reflect on him with sufficient plausibility.

    But again, even many things of this world are so subjective, like for instance, the taste in your mouth, or this or that feeling can be symbolized, but only vaguely, hence we can keep on going down that route till the point where we find ourselves where we cant find the words that adequately depict what we are experiencing for all our worth.

  4. #44
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Well than we have the Kantian distinction between the noumena and the phenomena.

    Many things just can not be experienced and this is exactly where we run into the limitations of language.

    For whatever we can experience we can talk about as we can expand our language to be fitting in that case.

    Here are things that cant be experienced, time, space, motion, heat, light. And infinity of space and time is the root to many of them.

    We can feel many of those, but we can't experience them for their innermost essence. Hence since God is infinite, we can never know what he is because we can only hear about him from testimony or draw conclusions based on partial evidence but we know not enough about him to reflect on him with sufficient plausibility.

    But again, even many things of this world are so subjective, like for instance, the taste in your mouth, or this or that feeling can be symbolized, but only vaguely, hence we can keep on going down that route till the point where we find ourselves where we cant find the words that adequately depict what we are experiencing for all our worth.
    You're suggesting we need to come up with words to describe novel phenomena, correct?

    I'm suggesting that your experience of the novel phenomena is necessarily limited by language. It's how we assess and describe things. What we ultimately call the phenomenon is irrelevant.


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  5. #45
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    You're suggesting we need to come up with words to describe novel phenomena, correct?

    I'm suggesting that your experience of the novel phenomena is necessarily limited by language. It's how we assess and describe things. What we ultimately call the phenomenon is irrelevant.
    We can still have thoughts that we cant describe. For instance when I read in a novel something that is confined by words, I can go on to dream about it and come up with ideas that are not limited by words. I am sure many creative artists had ideas that are literally indescribable.

  6. #46
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We can still have thoughts that we cant describe. For instance when I read in a novel something that is confined by words, I can go on to dream about it and come up with ideas that are not limited by words. I am sure many creative artists had ideas that are literally indescribable.
    I maintain, the inquiry is bogus.


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  7. #47
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    . . . Truth is immutable . . .
    The definition of truth in philosophy is like Euclid's axioms in geometry. It is a dangerous term to fling round. I will accept that truth is immutable in the sense that in any particular instance, what is true shall remain true, and what is false shall remain false.

    The definition of truth is not immutable however, in many areas (e.g. formal logic) it is defined through linguistics as a property belonging to sentences. In this context the concept of absolute truth is nonsensical.

    In any case I don't see the relevance of this to the subject at hand. The thread is about modern linguistic determinism. Is our language a limiting factor for thought? Arguments on this topic usually include silly references to Eskimos and different words for snow, or not so silly references (i.e. based on actual research) to counting ability in remote tribes that have limited number systems.

    The way we think depends on the neurological structure of the brain.
    The properties of the brain depend on physical processes, not philosophical ones.
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah
    Second, I don't know that we're asking the right questions. Once we learn language it is tied up in everything we do. Language is you. You can't separate language from anything you're thinking about. Either (1) we all have an innate language template, and the question is moot, or (2) all but a very few exceptions are exposed to language at a really young age and formalize it before we are capable of full-blown rational thought, in which case the question is pretty much moot.
    Why? How are language and math linked then, I didn't think math abilities went with Wernicke's and Broca's areas. From Wiki, "if one constructs an artificial language in which syntactic rules are based on the linear order of words rather than the hierarchical structure of phrases, Broca's area does not play an active role in managing this rule." What parts of the brain is that related to then? When Wernicke's is damaged, does the person lose the ability to act rationally, because their ability to understand content essentially disappears? Could you point me to some resources to explore this more, if you know of some good ones w/o having to dig for them?

  9. #49
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanamori View Post
    Why? How are language and math linked then, I didn't think math abilities went with Wernicke's and Broca's areas. From Wiki, "if one constructs an artificial language in which syntactic rules are based on the linear order of words rather than the hierarchical structure of phrases, Broca's area does not play an active role in managing this rule." What parts of the brain is that related to then? When Wernicke's is damaged, does the person lose the ability to act rationally, because their ability to understand content essentially disappears? Could you point me to some resources to explore this more, if you know of some good ones w/o having to dig for them?
    Hmm, I'll have to dig up some resources (remember, I'm years out of practice!). I'll see what I can find, then post. Just wanted to let you know I'm not ignoring your questions, but I have to think about them some more.



    EDIT - And wow, this is a pretty cool article.


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  10. #50
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    Well, in between some papers I'll probably talk to my old Linguistics and Psychology professors and get some links from here, and post them when I get around to all that. Thanks for the link.

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