Language and Representation

February 3, 2017 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

I may move the discussion to LiveJournal.  However, I have the feeling I need to just get this out, just in case.


Sets and systems.  A set is generally what is represented, and it is generally represented by a set in turn.  A represented set can safely be assumed to be a system, because it is being represented.  However, that notional system has to do with perception rather than the thing itself, unless someone has managed to find Ursula K. LeGuin’s Words of Making (A Wizard Earthsea trilogy, but a useful concept; such words when spoken affect the things that they represent directly, as the ideas in the Judaic God’s mind do).  However, whoever is observing it may not know how the system works and be prepared to ‘experiment’ on it, whether by using the empirical system or some other method of reason and testing.  [See James Blish Cities In Flight for why science originated and where precisely he expected it to end.  Then read Hoyle’s The Black Cloud, and simply John Brunner in general.  I found them beautiful explanations of implications of what I was thinking, although you need to go to Dooyeveert’s Modal System to arrive at the tentative system I was using at 13 and discarded at 14; by the time I encountered his version as delivered by the most delightful professor from Dordt College, Dr. Runner.  He offered me that scholarship through a doctorate because I laughed more quickly than anyone he’d ever told a certain joke to.  It was about a branch of philosophy that held that names could force actions, and then he mentioned a perfume called Seduction, the point being that the man who smelled it was impelled.  It was a dirty joke, in a church, and I was rolling on the floor almost literally not over the joke, which I understood .  I can remember the name of the perfume but not the word.  Mind you, it’s philosophical.


I have spent far too much time searching for this one rare word.


A set used for representation either has interior rules, or a one-to-one relationship with the represented set.  A set with interior rules is a system.  Now, the represented set may only have interior relationships because of the viewer.  It’s unlikely.  It appears unlikely that anything can be considered by itself and be valid.  Singular causes may occur in experiments.  That sort of isolation, however, rarely occurs in what we observe as the real world over a long period of time.  [That’s merely talking about the physical world.]  A representational system is infinitely unlikely to have all of and only the characteristics of the set/system represented.  It will intrinsically however assume that this is true.  That’s true of the Words of Making (someone has to use them, you see), and nothing less than someone that knew God’s private words would even know enough to…perceive even enough of the world let alone the universe to manage to make an absolute, exclusive definition.  An exclusive definition sets borders around all concepts and attempts to call everything outside irrelevant.  [An inclusive system starts by assuming errors.  I have actually noted some of the error sources that seem to be irremediable.  It assumes that all references are timely—that they will have to adapt at an unknown pace. It assumes constant change and therefore a complete inability to make any kind of permanent decision.]


English assumes that reality is a plane, basically.  Linear causation is more primitive than that—that’s the kind of causation that attempts to describe every incident of similarity as identity. However, English and every other language of which I’m aware proceeds to indicate more than one object with a single word, phrase or sentence (an object in this case may also be a process or even something  founded on  ‘belief’ that has no basis in observation except that the given society demands the given usage.  Inanimate objects may be given putative sex.  ‘Value’ is the best, except to do with the most basic necessities.


The hypothesis of identity  observably doesn’t work, while precise similarity does.  The first reason you know it isn’t in this age is that it can’t be true.  A part of the identity of any given object is location.  If two objects are identical they must occupy the same place at the same time.  The second is that we have limited and finite senses, bodily and in terms of time.  Identity either requires stasis or is impermanent.  Time is change.  “What wins, the immovable object or the irresistible force?”  Ever heard of the Maginot Lines?  Restate the question.  “What wins, change or stasis?”  Restate the question.  “Is survival possible without adaptation?”


Language is the representative set most commonly used.  That’s because the one observable instinct that humans (and all mammals; the in-betweens are variable) have is…copying the first thing they can identify with.  [Don’t have time for grammar corrections quite possibly, sorry.]  That’s a survival trait.  Noted in ducks.  Humans raised with wolves (the first ‘myth’ of which I’m aware is Roman and since many myths have proven true I won’t say it’s false; the problem would be acquisition of language thereafter; the internet has a few stories (don’t trust Wikipedia); your local college or library system has a lot more; English 19th century child apparently raised by apes of some sort, 20th century Russian kid and dogs or wolves, Tarzan was inspired by the kid raised by apes, incidentally—real one never did do well at picking up human speech); the ducks adopted the ornithologist; the great apes learned the language from researchers and spread it…the mammal has a longer babyhood and this may be one key. The pet raised by humans and kept inside is ‘more intelligent’.  But most of all…


Just go to Quora, first, and look for the question can there be thought without language?  There cannot be thought without a representative system.  It has to be a system because the parts have to inter-relate somehow,  in order to fit the pieces together.  [Dog-faced  baboons are the earliest known example at this point, vocabulary of approximately 64 words.  That is, of language that humans can easily identify.]  Any species which breeds possesses language.  Language is a representative system the rules of which are first and foremost not to indicate things, but the  proper things for beings to do in a group.


The  most primitive form of language according to research by both chemists and psychologists isn’t ‘ideational’.  Scent seems to be a strong part of it in applicable situations.  Cats yowl when they need some.  The whales’ songs have never been ‘decoded’. Language is a representative system used to communicate between individuals.  It is not the system used inside the brain.  We can’ t decipher brain waves.  Brain waves transmitted from one brain to another don’t work.  However, if someone hasn’t somehow thought of the trick of thinking, they are going to learn by copying. To an extent it’s absolutely necessary in any group which forms a definable society.  Species need others of their kind, which is a society.  The rules which bind them together define that specious identity because they’re identifiable in terms of a shared system.


Human adaption is solely in terms of language.  That is how we have stored and shared knowledge according to all records.  The cave paintings are an example of language.  Language is a representation which is clearly related to the environment as we use the word.  Insanity is intimately related to that definition and also means that it is judged only in terms of the largest group.  There’s a reason for that but it doesn’t belong here. The nature of language and that root assumption of identity mean that there are also rules and assumptions within the process of representation which can’t be represented by that same system of representation, because the process of representation is confined by the rules defining intelligibility.  One of these is that exclusive definitions are true.  That is nearly unavoidable, admittedly.  One aggressive society forces all others with which it comes in contact to assume a similar stance (definition of acceptable identity is the main thing here—think of patriotism—and absolute acceptance).


The rule is not and never has been “fight or flight”.  It’s fight, flee or submit.  Society is submission.  Civilization (city-centered social structure) absolutely depends upon it.  And the moment that you build cities you are dependent upon a whole structure of protocols.  Which are learned via language, which is learned via copying.  This is also quite sheerly and merely a primitive restatement of behaviorism.  Language as we know it is the product of behavioral conditioning. More than that, language is something which can indicated the exterior.  Do you feel as another does when they are crying?  What about the tears with no cause? Emotions have to do with identity…which appears to be definition of a place in a social system.  Moral systems are products of social systems as far as any records go.  Faith is generally belief in something that can’ be directly sensed.  We perceive surfaces.


The point of this is that a relative system by nature can only make absolute statements about itself and the logic—specious or not—which is employed.  To make absolute statements about the physical world is to attempt to make a plane (at best) describe a 4-dimensional surface; in order to employ even a plane we have to use more than one ‘thread’ of description at once. That means using descriptive and analytical systems that don’t translate into English.


A new concept demanding new words and a new surrounding metaphysical structure…requires thought bereft of the language that the speaker or writer might use.


This isn’t preverbal thought.  That’s one of two things.  It’s a child beginning to think (the most common psychological usage) or a thought that hasn’t quite been spoken.  Freudian psychology and humanistic psychology find it useful.  It’s not nonverbal communication.  That’s the language that humans and presumably others use without knowing it.  This isn’t unconscious thought, because the primary assumption there is that conceptualization is language-dependent.  It’s thought which has no path to follow.  And every human being actually has to use nonlingual thought, thought without words which is translated into language as opposed to an interior and personal representative system.  The word is no more the thought than it is the thing (remember those Words of Making I mentioned?).


To end this part, I’ll put it simply.  All words are to an extent lies.  Guess what the apple was she bit.  I don’t expect much of this to be accepted, by the way. Don’t feel bad.

Entry filed under: definitions, modal philosophy, social psychology. Tags: , , , , .

Me presagements*

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