Re: Re: more Re: [unrev-II] Thinking about communicating

From: Peter Jones (
Date: Mon Aug 20 2001 - 11:51:17 PDT

The great Schleiermacher wrote:

Two definitions of understanding.
Everything is understood when nothing nonsensical remains. Nothing is
understood that is not construed.


P.S. I seem to remember a post on a newsgroup about the difficulties of
expressing statements with emotional content in Loglan, and about how that
impoverished communication.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Park" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 2:41 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: more Re: [unrev-II] Thinking about communicating

> Forwarded from an Unrev user who has problems with yahoo groups.
> >From: "earth"
> >henry:
> >
> > >1. Steven Pinker, linguist and psychologist, now at MIT, doesn't think
> > > much of the Whorfian hypothesis. Writes he in his 1994 book,
> > >"The Language Instinct," that "there is no scientific
> > >ebidence that languages dramatically shape their speakers' ways of
> > thinking."
> > >(p.58), which is called, I gather, linguistic determinism.
> >
> >Well, sure. Thats why its called the Whorf (/ sapir) hypothesis, not the
> >Whorf Fact ;] Half my undergrad major was linguistics, for context.
> >Its clear that Pinker is reacting against some of the muddled thinking
> >that was constructed around an ill-conceived hypothesis in the 60's,
> >70's and 80s..
> >
> >But 'scientific evidence' is difficult to gather on this topic since
> >decisive experiments are extremely hard to devise.
> >
> >It seems intuitively obvious that language shapes behaviour,
> >but proving that is another matter altogether.
> >
> >I, for one, am certain that in the softer-senses the whorf hypothesis
> >is correct: that language (even diction) shapes behaviour. The
> >distinction, however, between 'language' and 'idea' is non existant.
> >The idea of a 'meme' can discussed in terms of chunks of language
> >which spread around, translate, morph, degrade, die, etc.
> >
> >Meme's (Ideas) shape behaviour and it is quite obvious to me
> >that the language used to describe Ideas are key to the behavioural
> >shifts. A mantra I came up with in college, however, when studying
> >all the various sciences, analytical fields of various flavors was:
> >
> >"Just because there's a word for it doesnt mean it exists."
> >
> >This was in reaction to the absurd proliferation of naming of
> >hypotheses, 'syndromes', literary bits, scientific findings, etc.
> >It was clear that having a word for various things, in itself,
> >changed people's behaviours around things. Self identifying
> >with various diseases is a reasonably good example. People are
> >sometimes presented with a word which describes a syndrome
> >or set of symptoms or disorder and can sometimes decide that
> >it fits them and self identify. Through learning that niche-word, they
> >will often change their behaviour.
> >
> >I've noticed this myself as I've developed a host of words for
> >different types of insomnia :]
> >
> >But, again, building a set of definitions and logical structure and then
> >on to prove the whorf hypothesis is more work than I have time for at
> > the moment :)
> >
> >happy august 2001,
> >
> >bcl
> >----------
> >please do not post my email address on a public website, newsgroup,
> >or similar bot-open location
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