Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Inquiring-Mind, May 27, 2006.
or is language the only medium.
Is it possible to express them without words? Sure, very easy.
Is it possible to communicate them to another person without words? It would take a LOT of ingenuity for every person involved. I don't think the average joe would be anywhere close to being able to communicate without language.
It's possible to express yourself through things such as dance, painting and music. They're pretty easy to understand. The only problem is that it might not mean the same thing to everyone.
It also depends upon what one considers to be a language and, more importantly, what is considered to not be a language.
I posit that language is any medium through which two people communicate based on an accepted, congruent standard of that medium.
i.e. if you say something, and the other person understands what you said, that could be considered a language. If you point in a direction, and the other person understands what you mean by pointing, that could also be considered a language (body language). Same for sign languages, programming languages, and potentially many other things.
makes sense, I forgot about sign language.
the same problem exists with written and spoken language.
Is there 'mind' without 'language'? I think not to all intents and purposes. Every thought is linguistic in form. (I mean thought here, not 'feeling' or 'intuition').
Our minds are made of language. It conditions our thinking 100%.
With a kiss, yes.
What about the minds of animals which do not have a language? Or, pre-humans?
I don't know that animals have mind in the sense we do. Certainly they can't have any ability to think in an abstract way as humans do, as that is wholly dependent on language.
However - I think we've been here before...my view hasn't changed since our previous exchange, some time ago on this issue.
You try telling that to the NASA monkies. Humans do not have a monopoly on intelligence, even if we have a monopoly on language. Even cows have been observed using their bowls as simple tools to move things.
My point is, language is not a prerequisite for intelligence. It definitely helps things along, and I doubt that something could be considered truly "intelligent" if it didn't have a running commentary inside its head, describing the situation to itself. But that doesn't mean animals aren't capable of learning language -- we have taught monkies through sign language and computerized spoken language, which means that even if their vocal chords can't speak like ours can, they are capable of learning and understanding words and other more advanced concepts.
Which is another point in and of itself -- most animals CAN'T speak even if they could learn a language. We can only because our vocal chords have dropped lower so that we can make a larger array of sounds, but animals don't have this neat evolutionary trick.
My dog responds to commands, knows its name, and even understands my emotions such as when I'm angry (tail between legs and run away!) or sad (sit next to me for comfort). Certainly that is intelligence without language. Otherwise how would ants remember where the hive was to bring food to?
Your thoughts may all be linguistic in form, but I can gurantee not all mine are.
Edited to add after reading the rest of the thread: in fact, the more abstract my thoughts are, the less linguistic they are. If they were linguistic in nature, then I'd have a simple time relaying them.
When animals, take for example a dog barks at another dog are they communicating?.....such as whales who will "sing" to one another is that maybe their language......what do you guys think?
I think that while animal noises aren't exactly a language, they are the primitive beginnings of one. Certainly a dog can't bark to express most of his thoughts or emotions, but certain ones will do things like alert other dogs to something (barking), or maybe let people know it's sad (whimpering), etc.
Although language is not the end-all of 'intelligence,' without language it would be very difficult to think about complex things.
When the mind is blank or inactive your mind is usually not thinking of anything but when it is active it is usually thinking of an idea, goal, thought, concept, theory, or a word. Everything is in linguistic form.
You say your thoughts are not all in linguistic form, but how do you express your none linguistic thoughts? How you think without language? Without language will our ability to communicate be limited to baby level?
Without languages I think we will be totally reliant on our two major drives pain and pleasure. I would know not to touch fire because it hurt but I would not be able to explain or express why it hurts to myself and others.
No, you're absolutely wrong. Not all of my thoughts are in linguistic form; some are, some aren't.
How can you (anyone) have a thought that is not in linguistic form?
Separate names with a comma.