Author Topic: Words & Meaning  (Read 2116 times)

Offline Sal1981

Words & Meaning
« on: March 28, 2013, 08:35:38 AM »
Because we're separate from one another we have all subjective experience of the world; a Point-Of-View that sets us apart, because we obviously only have indirect access to the thoughts of others. Even so much so is this POV causing separation that it can be argued pretty well that our senses don't really sense reality, which gives rise to ridiculous thoughts like brain-in-a-vat and solipsism.

It is true that there's a slight disconnect between the observerable and observing. We have a pretty damn good working induction on what reality consists of and how stuff works despite this fundamental shortage. It just means we have to be on our toes, which I'm sure you already know by now if you've read my signature from time to time. We must always invite the possibility that we might be wrong in our inductive reasoning, our observation and our conclusions.

What words we use is to convey meaning behind those words, which is the core of the issue: Because we're separate & subjects of POV means even the meaning behind words we use becomes variant from one another. I.e. different people perceive and account for different internalizations of the meaning behind words used. But, luckily, there exists meaningful consensus in this Tower of Babylon, despite how we learned the  meaning behind certain words.

Ideally every word should have an explicit meaning. But because it isn't, we have stuff like context, intention & interpretation. All of which, I believe, would not be necessary or even have, if meaning was explicit.

I admire the sciences because it seems they use explicit meanings of words (& symbols). I truly think that if we had a language that solely used explicit, rigid meanings and sentence structure such that one sentence could only be interpreted in one way we'd have so much better understanding between people.

However, I admire poetry that use the richness of language to convey meaning in all of its convolution.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline surly74

(No subject)
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 08:44:30 AM »
I like the preceiseness of the language of science. It wreaks havoc on my co workers because part of my job is to troubleshoot network and software issues. I try to use the same preciseness because less context and interpretation is required.

It's the opposite of legal language which intentionally leaves things open to interpretation. at least in my experiences with CBA's.
God bless those Pagans
--
Homer Simpson

(No subject)
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 11:59:08 AM »
English, in particular, is not very specific.
???  ??

Offline Plu

(No subject)
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »
Quote
I admire the sciences because it seems they use explicit meanings of words (& symbols). I truly think that if we had a language that solely used explicit, rigid meanings and sentence structure such that one sentence could only be interpreted in one way we'd have so much better understanding between people.

We'd also have very long sentences.

Offline stromboli

Re: Words & Meaning
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 03:38:28 PM »
Amplify that a little bit by the fact that "shared experiences" from one culture to another are perceived differently based on the eccentricities of your culture, different environments and so forth. Our language from its base has been changed by so many factors- history, technology, science and so on.

And I agree. Science is elegant because the language and concepts generated from it are more universal than other aspects of language. The focus is on learnable and knowable truths that can be proven across the map.

Offline Sal1981

Re: Words & Meaning
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 04:09:12 PM »
Quote from: "stromboli"
Amplify that a little bit by the fact that "shared experiences" from one culture to another are perceived differently based on the eccentricities of your culture, different environments and so forth. Our language from its base has been changed by so many factors- history, technology, science and so on.

And I agree. Science is elegant because the language and concepts generated from it are more universal than other aspects of language. The focus is on learnable and knowable truths that can be proven across the map.
That's one of the beauties of science; it exists beyond any culture, nationality or what language it is written in, it's the same science despite any of these. There's no Danish mathematics, no Australian physics, no American chemistry nor English medicine. It's the same mathematics, physics, chemistry and medicine regardless of where it is, and what language it is described in.

However our perception and understanding varies from person to person, I think science builds a literacy bridge that closes the gap between people of any nationality or culture, bringing us closer together.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman