Monday, May 18, 2015

Is there Thoughts without Words?

Miscommunication is the symptom of many human conflicts, but the "thought" behind it is the root cause of almost all human problems.
Questions of computability have often been linked to questions about the nature of the human mind since one may wonder if the mind is a computational machine. In other words, is there thought without the word? Are we really using language or used by it? Can there be thinking without memory? What about reading between the lines? What about creative explaining with using metaphors? Is language a pure art or the mix of art and science?

Natural language is the means to express our thoughts. When Descartes concluded that the first truth is that we are not afraid to express our thoughts without being wrong, it was the statement that we are thinking beings. Language and its expression and thinking process change because of its context relativity. Also, language is more pliable than maths. One is allowed to argue against opposites depending on vocabulary one holds to any stretch. Numbers and their processing signs (-,+,=) are rigid, whereas alphabets are compound within themselves (auto logic). Symbolic representation becomes dynamic because of combinations and permutations. However, the thought is constantly creating problems, and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them, it makes the problems worse because it doesn't notice that very thought is creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates. As Einstein wisely put, you can’t solve the problem with the same thinking you created it. Through communicating problems with words clearly to other minds, and reframe the question with the new level of thinking, the fresh mind with a cognitive difference can perhaps solve the problem seamlessly.

The root cause of “Lost in Translation”: We can't treat language just as a system of words (and grammar) being just names of things. Language system is not only a dependence: thing = name (symbol). If you take into consideration more than one language, such as translating something from one language to another. There is not always ratio 1:1. Actually, it is dangerous to explain (translate) one word from one language into one word in other. Everyone, who has tried to use some internet translators or computer programs, knows, that it doesn't work in this sense of understanding. The computational approach in some cases is failed. You may say the same about metaphors. You need to understand the whole statement - all words together as common sense, not in their particular ratio 1:1 (meaning one name, symbol = one thing).

Emotional patterns exist in language and spread through language. We learned to feel emotions and the sea of ideas produced in the language. The context in the spoken language becomes a concept as a target either to achieve or to avoid. A concept is an abstraction or generalization from experience or the result of a transformation of existing concepts. The concept rectifies all of its actual or potential instances whether these are things in the real world or other ideas. When we just hear words or read written sentences, we turn on our imagination and knowledge that we have (about world and interlocutor if we know him/her) to decode the thought hidden not only in the message as itself but also in another mind. When we see interlocutor, we analyze "language" with the background, like gesture, facial expressions, circumstances altogether. Language represents reality in its own sense so there are phenomenal differences in ideas and expressions.

We both use language and, are used by language: We are able to acquire language, because of specific skill of our brain (mind), so as children, we possess natural ability to start communicating (we experience language even before birth). But after a few years, there comes a moment, that we start to think of a system. In this way, we are used by languages. We are used by language because we have rules and words common for people we live with. If we want to be understandable, we have to choose from a set of symbols, set of rules, but even when we make a mistake, we may be still understandable. That is why there is no "perfect language" and there are no perfect interlocutors in communication. Not only correct sentences belong to the language. Language and its expression and thinking process change because of its context relativity. We use language because we create it. And we "are used" by the language, because we are limited by words and rules which are needed to communicate with others and understand the rest of the world. When we see the problem from both sides, it seems clear that language is partly acquired and partly learned. Opposites ingrained in language, so pessimism versus optimism, order-disorder, theism – atheism, and so on rooted in language but not anywhere in nature. In between, there is friction of opposites while translating and interpreting from one to the other. we got to admit that language is also as dynamic but not static as its structure suggests. The language might not use us, but the language may cause reactions in our mind, speaking, behavior - provoke us and influence on us.

Essentially languages are constructed for memorizing past events and experiences so as to refine them in the present. Even the refined state of consciousness is inadequate to meet the present. Therefore, there is continuous strive for better knowledge in the world in which we live. There are forms of symbolic language, and visual language, telepathy, etc. to convey the thought without words. Language is an art, but with a scientific angle to understand the world profoundly.


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