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Thread: The Limits of Language

  1. #61
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    I don't know how much nuance/connotation is lost in the translation, but if it's faithful and the intended meaning isn't "Don't speak on topics you aren't knowledgeable in.", it's going to be widely misinterpreted.

    Having said this, @Elvira mentions that the quotation is the final line of one of Dr. Wittgenstein's major works. Without having read the book myself, I suspect the context of the quote may be indispensable to its proper interpretation.

    As an engineer, I regard most philosophy--and especially contemporary philosophy--as trying to erect a building on top of a heap of garbage, floating in water, drifting in outer space, in the middle of a supernova. And once this "building" is erected, whatever chaotic mess it turns out to be, the goal of the next eager philosopher is to erect a building on top of it.

    Intellectually stimulating, I suppose, but ultimately useless.

  2. #62
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    I took it to mean: if one lacks first hand knowledge (experience?) on a topic (matter?) then they should STFU about it and defer to those who do.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    Reads like a trivial tautology.

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    Re: The Limits of Language

    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.

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    Re: The Limits of Language


    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.
    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    I don't know how much nuance/connotation is lost in the translation, but if it's faithful and the intended meaning isn't "Don't speak on topics you aren't knowledgeable in.", it's going to be widely misinterpreted.

    Having said this, @Elvira mentions that the quotation is the final line of one of Dr. Wittgenstein's major works. Without having read the book myself, I suspect the context of the quote may be indispensable to its proper interpretation.

    As an engineer, I regard most philosophy--and especially contemporary philosophy--as trying to erect a building on top of a heap of garbage, floating in water, drifting in outer space, in the middle of a supernova. And once this "building" is erected, whatever chaotic mess it turns out to be, the goal of the next eager philosopher is to erect a building on top of it.

    Intellectually stimulating, I suppose, but ultimately useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I took it to mean: if one lacks first hand knowledge (experience?) on a topic (matter?) then they should STFU about it and defer to those who do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    Reads like a trivial tautology.
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.
    Music is a universal language, one that far transcends words.

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    Re: The Limits of Language

    "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    There is speech (the word, language), and there is silence.

    If you are not able to use language to describe, silence is the only recourse.

    Words are like the footprints of birds in the sky.

    Language is not capable of expressing meaningful thought.

    Experience expresses meaningful thought.

    For the individual, meaningful thought needs no expression. Silence will suffice.
    Among various individuals, meaningful thought can not be conveyed by words (language).
    The experience of one, can not be given to another.
    Silence will suffice.

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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Language shapes the way an individual thinks. Peoples with different languages conceptualise the world and it's problems in slightly different ways. Multilingual is the way!

    HOW DOES OUR LANGUAGE SHAPE THE WAY WE THINK? | Edge.org
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    A relative is not nuerotypical. They are autistic, nuero-atypical.
    Language is not absent, but nearly so. At age seven, they are beginning to understand the use and purpose of language.
    The way they think, shapes their language (not the reverse).

    For many weeks, a flamingo was "eleven". (Based on the legs)
    Other, short squat birds were simple "eagle" (thanks to a favorite cartoon episode that featured an eagle).
    As they begin stringing words together, a favorite toy might be "red, little, ball" if it is small, red, and roundish (Maybe a mickey mouse car).
    They have a thought they want to share. They start with the most important aspect, and color always rates high, then add other characteristics, as they see them and as they have mastered control of the word.

    Their mind has been full of thoughts, with no grasp of the purpose or use of language.
    Being an intelligent sort of person, they are figuring out this language business. Piece by piece they are putting the rules together.

    They have learned that simply thinking about something when they are with an adult, does not put it in their hands. Even describing it with two or three adjectives may not be enough.
    With hindsight,we are often amazed at the logic and thought process. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for the adults to realize the connection between thought and words.

    I am reminded of the language learning primate that asked (signed) for "water candy" , to get another piece of watermelon like they had the day before. Its thought process shaped its language.

    Language is more than words. Words are one expression of language.

    I am hesitant to agree that language shapes thought, any more than thought shapes language. I would need more consideration on the subject.

    Although my relative is neuro-atypical, the other primate was nuerotypical.

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