what is the language of thought?

Michael Skywalker (@dd23) 8 years, 10 months ago

Amidst a deep meditative thought, I was struck by a strange yet simple question that I personally have never discussed with anyone. This question that came to me was essentially: What is the language of thought? In order to understand the direction from which I’m coming from I urge you to take a moment and think about something, anything. I think what you will find is that your internal thought process is facilitated by the language you have been taught. i.e. if you were taught english as your native language then you are most likely thinking your thoughts with english words. Take the hypothetical situation in which you were born and never taught a language. Or we could take it a step further and say that you were not taught a formal language because you are the only person on the planet (extreme hypothetical but enforces my point). What do your thoughts sound like then? Imagine what your mind would be like had you never known any formal language or thought process existed.

February 7, 2013 at 9:26 am
Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23, I think verbal thoughts that we hear (the language we are taught) are just our brains translating thought for communication.

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Michael Skywalker (6) (@dd23) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@trek79, I agree, however what if we were never taught/given that link (language) between thought and communication? Interally, what would our personal thoughts “sound” like? How would our thoughts takes form or structure within our mind? (the more i think about this the more i realize there may not be an answer nor any real way to ever answer it)#headache

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23, Well if we do not know a language then we would not use a language so we would not need to translate a thought into words. I think it would have the advantage of being a much more efficient style of thinking but the disadvantage of you never understanding what others are trying to communicate so you would not be spurred into new directions of thought by outside influence, only what you can create in your own mind.

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Beni (110)C (@beniandtheuniverse) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@trek79, I think perhaps if a dog can overcome that hurdle and start to understand what a trainer is communicating to them then a human could do the same. I guess understanding and comprehending would be far more basic without a language but still possible.

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Michael Skywalker (6) (@dd23) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

This is a hypothetical situation in which “Language” is a concept you were never taught. It doesn’t exist. I am speaking of purely internal thought. Communication between two different organisms is not part of this fictional situation.

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Sisyphus (48) (@sisyphus) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

After noticing his thread about charisma for the deaf, perhaps @mzeejibb could provide some sort of insight?

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

So much thought provoking information is provided by communication, that is what language was invented for to communicate thought, so even in the complete absence of language or communication thought would still exist.
An interesting idea would be: If a man grew out of a rock on the moon, never seen anything but the surface and the stars/planets/sun, but never could die or reproduce, what would his life be like in 1000 years time, or a million years? Would he eventually invent things, maybe even a spacecraft to get off the rock? Would he even be capable of conceiving the idea that he is alone or in need of getting off the rock?

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Anonymous (46) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

All thought are shapes and math upon the shape, the connectoom and in a way the network of contemplating upon the thought. Where it is build either on a question or a perception of insights you build upon it.. simple binairy from opposites where colour is added, formed to shapes that are multiplied and devided…. Times is being added in the equational thought and presented as something forsseable based on the things you have seen and build upon from the simple 1 of colour represented by the connectoom in your head.. 1010001101010+left/right/left/right/left/right/up/up/right/left + blue/yellow/red+symbols/symbols/symbols+taste/smell * will

COULD BE

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YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23, I have wondered this also. Do bilingual people think in their native language? Is it possible to switch? Thats how I would guess to test it.

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Jamin Slack (6) (@jaminslack) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23, I would assume that thought would simply be an assembly of what you perceive with your other senses in that case. Such as images and sounds.

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Being_Scott_Embry (24) (@honeyeater) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I found out the language of thought through Salvia divinorum. Beyond mind blowing

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23,

The language of thought is relativity. The alphabet of any language are simple mathematical symbols. All languages serve the same purpose – to create words (symbols) that have emotion ascribed to them. With this function you are able to hold emotions in relativity to each other to create ever more complex emotions. I believe consciousness (self-awareness) as we know it may arise from language.
Jesus said, “The word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”
If you think about it, your first memories should have been right around the time you were developing language further and further.
MINDGASM OR WHAT?

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Language is what connects the cerebral cortex to the nervous system.
This so called enlightenment we are all looking for is exactly the seamless integration of body and cerebral.
I’m still developing these ideas so bear with me.

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Anonymous (1) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@danfontaine,

That’s an interesting theory, that your first memories stem from when language begins to develop.. i know i cant recall memories as a baby. i don’t think..? but what about when babies, put together in a play pen perhaps, begin to communicate with each other? the mind of the infant, although we were all one once, is such a mystery to me. they use gestures and sounds.. but us adults are almost on another brain wave, like we can no longer perceive how they do, our senses are more clouded. there is also the fact that infants can even hear and recognize when in the womb! knowing the fathers voice or the sound of Mozart. although consciously the memories are not retrievable.. subconsciously they must be stored.. i feel like the mind of infant is like a world within itself.. newly developed, pure, fully intact.. so amazing the idea of a new life first experiencing the physical world! perhaps the language.. the voice of the mind.. may stem from the voice of God.. God’s being is universally understood.. through the very fibers of everything.. i believe before (in the bible) God destroyed the tower of Babel, it speaks of a universal understanding of all languages, like an inner voice (God) connecting all souls in the core of their mind.. hmm. just a babbling thought on the subject but one i love to ponder! how can we ever know in what way a born deaf person thinks?? amazing.. thinking through relativity may make sense.. they do say that there is a mathematical connection between all things in the universe..

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Michael Skywalker (6) (@dd23) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@spiraltouch, very interesting. I have often thought about the parallels between the processes of the human mind and binary code. Language (letters/symbols) are undeniably the binary code for which our thoughts can become visually experienced. I think a good example of this would be to think about what it actually means to read a book. We can look at a page with strange symbols represented on the page. Through reading those symbols in a certain succession we are able to translate the ink scribbles into “real” thought. Within the meaning behind those symbols we can intangibly visualise a story unfolding in our head. Again, this does eventually come back to the fact that we are taught the meaning behind the symbols of our language. Therefore, this a learned process of thinking but does not fully encompass what it is to think or to have thought.

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@angiemanochi, Perhaps it is that we have access to all of the emotions we have ever experienced through integration with subconscious. Perhaps it is that we are able to give light to areas of our life when we were in a less conscious state.
Think through relativity makes ultimate sense to me. All is me.
Please…. tell them. That I am GOD.
;)
Thank you for the reply

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

The language of thought is symbols. We extend and complicate these symbols with more symbols called language.

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@hollowinfinity, You’re not saying anything.

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@danfontaine, Symbols, like pictures or a peace sign. That kind of thought is more primitive than our modern language. If we couldn’t use modern symbolism to make things universal and mean multiple things, I imagine we would have thought in slide-show form almost.

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@danfontaine, And you’re right. I’m not saying anything..I’m saying something. ;)

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Just everyone think about this for a second. Everything you say or think is an axiom. What is it an axiom for though? Things in the physical world? What about axioms for emotions?

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@hollowinfinity, Yeah I know this stuff. But why do you shrug it off your chest in such a simplified manner. You want me to think you’re really fucking smart or something?

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@danfontaine,
Shouldn’t you simplify it? It becomes more accessible when its simplified. As far as shrugging it off my chest, I don’t know what you are talking about, and I don’t know why you are so upset with my response(s).

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Anonymous (46) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@dd23, In a way we are talking about a baseline where the language is build upon. From the baseline it is build until it reaches the heavens introducing the many patterns and new ways of interpretate thought and act upon the wish, will and need of thought.

In think the baseline is the emotion, good or bad, the dark or light, or the lack of hate in love, moreover the intention it’s focussed upon creating a solution. This you can find back in mathematics and is mostly personal for the intended outcome of the thought is part of the solution.

When you dive under the language, with this principle you could say:
I+love+you , the desired outcome can be the answer : I+love+you+to, which is at this point the solution. But there so many variables, like the intention, which can change in situations, or the lie or the truth.. But basically it’s all mathematics, but while we learn to cry, to love to express laughter you create a billion different levels, an unending PI of will based on the simplicity of yes/no 1/0 dark/light – think about it, in a way every form of language expressed from thought is an equation for the opposite party to react upon, it’s spirals ;))

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Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@hollowinfinity, Conciseness is key. Over-simplification leads minds astray. If anything use abstraction if you want to be overly simplified. I’M NOT UPSET I’M JUST ALWAYS UPSET.

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