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Destroy language = Destroy thought?

Syko
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6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.
For Mother Russia.
RainbowDash52
Posts: 294
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6/7/2016 2:14:56 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

I don't think younger people's vocabularies are shrinking; their vocabularies are just consisting of less older words and more newer words like hashtag and twerking.
Syko
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6/7/2016 2:58:47 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:14:56 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
I don't think younger people's vocabularies are shrinking; their vocabularies are just consisting of less older words and more newer words like hashtag and twerking.

Older people also understand these words, even if they don't use them. However young people don't often use 'crepuscular' or 'ostentatious' and wouldn't know what they meant if thrown at them.
For Mother Russia.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,085
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6/7/2016 3:56:03 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
I doubt I have ever said the word 'crepuscular' in entire life - I've only ever seen it written down.... and I'm more likely to say 'flash' or 'showy' rather then ostentatious - I'd come across as rather ostentatious if I did!

Whether impoverishing language improverishes the range of thought a person can have is a good question - but like all such question I think it has to be anwered empirally rather than by abstract debate. It is however hard to see how the idea could be fully tested in practical terms.

A typical actual experiment is described here:
http://research.gold.ac.uk...
but it refers only the use of colour words by a particular African tribe (the Himba)and is open to various interpretations. I would suggest that maybe the Himba have little interest in colours because in their culture there is rarely a sitatuation were things differ only in colour, and everyting has its own colour - sky is always blue and grass is always green, so it is not necessary to have different words for blue and green - they don't have green skies or blue grass like we have green blue pens for example. We live in a world where we are surrounded by objects which have artificial colours - not so for the Himba.

So I think a Himba would be a lousy choice as an interior design consultant New York or London, but not because their languate is impoverished in terms of colour words. Rather their language reflects the unimportance of colour to the Himba- they have all the colour words they need. We might be tempted to differentiate two sticks on the basis of colour, and be able to do so quicker and more consistantly than a Himba, but perhaps if what mattered was whether it was a stick for stirring or a stick for scraping we would be less efficient than a Himba.

I am not sure the Party's plan to reduce thought by reducing language would work. Rather I think political language would be impoverished by the lack of thought brought about by concealing that there is any alternative to the Party's rule. People get used to the idea that somethings are as they are and cease to think there can be alternative because they can't imagine one.

There is an old song - 'How you gonna keep them down on the Farm after they've seen Paree?'. It is exposure to experiences that enriches thought, and restricting experience (not vocabulary) then stunts it.
https://en.wikipedia.org...'em_Down_on_the_Farm_%28After_They've_Seen_Paree%29%3F
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.
keithprosser
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6/7/2016 5:57:55 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
I pretty much agree with DC. The party's policy should be to present their rule as the only possible reality. That is not so far fetched. Imagine the impact of watching Dallas on a North Korean peasant or African subsistence farmer - a whole new world of possibilities would open he would not have dreamt of. Words to describe that dream would follow. An informed populace is a compliant populace.

So my advice to the IngSoc Party is don't restrict vocabulary - eliminate exposure to alternatives.
ironslippers
Posts: 520
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6/7/2016 6:14:12 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.
George Orwell's writings reflect humans dependence to society. The need to communicate has taken priority over need of thought. Without language thoughts would not be restrained be evolving definitions.
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
keithprosser
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6/7/2016 6:19:41 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
The way to avoid 1984 is with 1776

Without independence Americans would be suffering under a system of brutal colonial oppression and the exploitation of their natural weath, much like Canada is today.

Apart from a change of personnel in the ruling elite, most wars and revolutions don't change much. Ordinary people still have to go to work and pay taxes who ever is in charge. As The Who said - "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss".
Syko
Posts: 393
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6/7/2016 11:19:46 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

With the exception of semantic primes, all words can be describe by the use of simpler words. Therefore with just semantic primes, you could eventually develop an entire language, which is most likely what happened. New words weren't made for new concepts, new concepts were described with old worlds, before being given new individual words, which expanded the language. Before then, it would have been difficult to conceive of what someone was talking about when the stone age hunter was attempting to describe fire to his fellow hunters.
For Mother Russia.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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6/8/2016 12:53:26 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

Yes. Language and thought are very interrelated. Reasoning requires terms. For example:

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Socrates is mortal

Reasoning is done by going from one statement to another. Statements are made up from terms and words. We are joining two "classes" of things in a statement. We are saying all "men" are also "mortal." Without words or ideas to express these classes, we can't reason.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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6/8/2016 12:56:39 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

Also there are some African tribes I believe who have no words for numbers, and no number system in general, and as such have no comprehension of numbers. They have words like "a few" or "many" but they don't understand "one" or "fifteen."
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Mr.Wonderful
Posts: 98
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6/8/2016 10:10:24 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

Interesting but I think regardless if you changed a language people would find a way to communicate what they are thinking... written and linguistic communication helps us share a common understanding but people and groups have communicated in their own made up languages since the beginning of time and making up languages is a powerful and effective way to keep people from knowing what you are saying or what you truly mean, a practice readily embraced by intelligence and counter-intelligence agents throughout the world.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/8/2016 5:07:48 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

In a word: No.

In a sentence: That is the kind of relativist attitude that Sapir and Whorf espoused in their anthropological work and which has been thoroughly refuted in academia, and though it is currently experiencing a comeback in certain corners of the linguistic world, its invalidity remains the mainstream opinion and the side that the majority of the evidence points to.

I can explain further, but I would encourage you to read Pinker's treatment of linguistic relavitism in The Stuff of Thought instead. He treated the subject better than I ever could.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Syko
Posts: 393
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6/8/2016 5:10:16 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/8/2016 5:07:48 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

In a word: No.

In a sentence: That is the kind of relativist attitude that Sapir and Whorf espoused in their anthropological work and which has been thoroughly refuted in academia, and though it is currently experiencing a comeback in certain corners of the linguistic world, its invalidity remains the mainstream opinion and the side that the majority of the evidence points to.

I can explain further, but I would encourage you to read Pinker's treatment of linguistic relavitism in The Stuff of Thought instead. He treated the subject better than I ever could.

Could you sum it up to get the point across?
For Mother Russia.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/8/2016 5:10:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/8/2016 12:56:39 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

Also there are some African tribes I believe who have no words for numbers, and no number system in general, and as such have no comprehension of numbers. They have words like "a few" or "many" but they don't understand "one" or "fifteen."

They do have numbers, from 1 to 2 (sometimes 3) - they simple don't go beyond that. But it's not a linguistic matter: The counting algorithm is a piece of mathematical knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

BTW, people from the Warlpiri tribe who came in contact with outsiders tend to quickly learn the English number system with little difficulty, so even after their critical period, they can acquire the concept of numbers easily.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/8/2016 5:17:20 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/8/2016 5:10:16 PM, Syko wrote:
At 6/8/2016 5:07:48 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

In a word: No.

In a sentence: That is the kind of relativist attitude that Sapir and Whorf espoused in their anthropological work and which has been thoroughly refuted in academia, and though it is currently experiencing a comeback in certain corners of the linguistic world, its invalidity remains the mainstream opinion and the side that the majority of the evidence points to.

I can explain further, but I would encourage you to read Pinker's treatment of linguistic relavitism in The Stuff of Thought instead. He treated the subject better than I ever could.

Could you sum it up to get the point across?

His argument was quite long-winded and complicated... Basically, he spelt out a lot of versions of how language affects or constrains thought, and shows that only the most trivial claims among them are true. He cited a lot of evidence in the literature, refuting the ones that purport to support linguistic relativism. The categories that are embedded in our language can affect our thoughts slightly when we need to resolve ambiguities, but otherwise has no major impact on how we think or perceive the world. So removing the word 'rebel' will not prevent us from conceiving of this concept (indeed, from a diachronic perspective, I think people will just invent a new word to represent the concept, at least among the proles, since they don't get supervised as much.)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/8/2016 5:19:27 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/8/2016 12:53:26 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:04:51 PM, Syko wrote:
If you're familiar with George Orwell's 1984, the ruling party is in a long and difficult process to gradually remove words from the English language, which they call Newspeak. The premise of this concept is that by removing words such as 'rebel,' from the vocabularies of the common man, it would essentially be impossible to conceive of rebellion.

Is this possible? Cuz if it is, vocabularies are shrinking in younger people and I'm sure you've noticed it.

Yes. Language and thought are very interrelated. Reasoning requires terms. For example:

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Socrates is mortal

Reasoning is done by going from one statement to another. Statements are made up from terms and words. We are joining two "classes" of things in a statement. We are saying all "men" are also "mortal." Without words or ideas to express these classes, we can't reason.

Language is an extremely important tool that helps us reason, but it's not the only one. Vervet monkeys have been shown to be capable of reasoning to some extent (they can deduce concepts related to kinship) but they do not have language in any significant sense (they are simply calls, each associated with a certain predator).
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/8/2016 5:23:55 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 3:56:03 PM, keithprosser wrote:
So I think a Himba would be a lousy choice as an interior design consultant New York or London, but not because their languate is impoverished in terms of colour words. Rather their language reflects the unimportance of colour to the Himba- they have all the colour words they need.
+1000
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,246
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6/9/2016 4:36:44 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

WRONG.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

You are literally the one person on this site other than myself who is comfortable engaging with the idea that metaphysics and epistemology are coextensive. Moreover, you accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics. What else is there but language?
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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/9/2016 4:47:51 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 4:36:44 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

WRONG.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

You are literally the one person on this site other than myself who is comfortable engaging with the idea that metaphysics and epistemology are coextensive. Moreover, you accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics. What else is there but language?

Well I'm not sure about Dylan's position (the CTMU is so hard to comprehend), but I can accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics while accepting that the lexicon of natural language alone doesn't determine our thoughts. There can still be a substratum, the LOT, that underpins language and facilitates thought - something like Jackendoff's conceptual structures, for example.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/9/2016 6:10:08 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 2:58:47 PM, Syko wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:14:56 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
I don't think younger people's vocabularies are shrinking; their vocabularies are just consisting of less older words and more newer words like hashtag and twerking.

Older people also understand these words, even if they don't use them. However young people don't often use 'crepuscular' or 'ostentatious' and wouldn't know what they meant if thrown at them.

I'm 18 and knew what both those words mean. (Crepuscular is dusk and dawn, ostentatious essentially means impressing and showing off)
Meh!
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/9/2016 1:07:35 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 6:10:08 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:58:47 PM, Syko wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:14:56 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
I don't think younger people's vocabularies are shrinking; their vocabularies are just consisting of less older words and more newer words like hashtag and twerking.

Older people also understand these words, even if they don't use them. However young people don't often use 'crepuscular' or 'ostentatious' and wouldn't know what they meant if thrown at them.

I'm 18 and knew what both those words mean. (Crepuscular is dusk and dawn, ostentatious essentially means impressing and showing off)

So do I, but the DDO crowd isn't really representative of the population...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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6/9/2016 4:03:15 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 4:36:44 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

WRONG.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

You are literally the one person on this site other than myself who is comfortable engaging with the idea that metaphysics and epistemology are coextensive. Moreover, you accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics. What else is there but language?

Language is more general than e.g., English. When I say that everything which can be described has linguistic structure, I'm not necessarily talking about "language" in the everyday sense.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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6/9/2016 4:06:34 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 11:19:46 PM, Syko wrote:
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

With the exception of semantic primes, all words can be describe by the use of simpler words. Therefore with just semantic primes, you could eventually develop an entire language, which is most likely what happened. New words weren't made for new concepts, new concepts were described with old worlds, before being given new individual words, which expanded the language. Before then, it would have been difficult to conceive of what someone was talking about when the stone age hunter was attempting to describe fire to his fellow hunters.

Yes, I agree. I qualified my statement afterward by saying that new thoughts can be captured by word order as well.
ShabShoral
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6/9/2016 5:20:34 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 4:03:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/9/2016 4:36:44 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

WRONG.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

You are literally the one person on this site other than myself who is comfortable engaging with the idea that metaphysics and epistemology are coextensive. Moreover, you accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics. What else is there but language?

Language is more general than e.g., English. When I say that everything which can be described has linguistic structure, I'm not necessarily talking about "language" in the everyday sense.

FALSE.

The Sophist Refuted, Once Again:

The Sophist: It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language.

The Master: Ah, so the claim is that things may be outside of language? Ha!

The Sophist: Oh, oh no, everything has linguistic structure! I have never said otherwise!

The Master: Oh, but you have!

<(8D)
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ShabShoral
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6/9/2016 5:22:11 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 4:47:51 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 6/9/2016 4:36:44 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 6/7/2016 5:44:15 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
It's obviously *possible* for people to have thoughts that can't be expressed in terms of language, otherwise language couldn't have evolved at all. We didn't begin with a set of words whose meanings were self-evident, but rather invented new words to describe thoughts we were already having and could point to. An impoverished language can restrict thought, but not for every thought, all the time, for all people. It's possible that people wouldn't be able to formulate complex thoughts without a language that encodes their more basic thoughts, but still: every thought, at some point, had no words to describe it.

WRONG.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

You are literally the one person on this site other than myself who is comfortable engaging with the idea that metaphysics and epistemology are coextensive. Moreover, you accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics. What else is there but language?

Well I'm not sure about Dylan's position (the CTMU is so hard to comprehend), but I can accept that all knowledge can be reduced to syntax and semantics while accepting that the lexicon of natural language alone doesn't determine our thoughts. There can still be a substratum, the LOT, that underpins language and facilitates thought - something like Jackendoff's conceptual structures, for example.

I don't see a way to distinguish the LOT from everyday language, except by expressibility, which has no bearing on whether the language itself encompasses a concept.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz

"No aspect of your facial structure suggests Filipino descent."
~ YYW
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/9/2016 5:24:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/9/2016 6:10:08 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:58:47 PM, Syko wrote:
At 6/7/2016 2:14:56 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
I don't think younger people's vocabularies are shrinking; their vocabularies are just consisting of less older words and more newer words like hashtag and twerking.

Older people also understand these words, even if they don't use them. However young people don't often use 'crepuscular' or 'ostentatious' and wouldn't know what they meant if thrown at them.

I'm 18 and knew what both those words mean. (Crepuscular is dusk and dawn, ostentatious essentially means impressing and showing off)

Oh and by the way, I thought crepuscular only refers to dusk?
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