Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 10:45:31 MST


Subject: Re: non-linguistic thinking

1. I don't think you can say that "English is a system of abstract


You might be able to say, perhaps contrastively, that culture furnishes its

members a system of abstract reasoning. But it would be hard to claim

that all of culture was in the language, even if you included all the

rules of use for the language in the culture.

2. What can be said of the question "How do you think of abstracts, or

think abstractly?" I take this as an epistemological problem, as I

take this whole thread. My answer is I don't know. I became a behaviorist

so that this answer would be part of the catechism, that is, it is a

proper answer to a kind of question. Insofar as a given language may or

may not furnish a vocabulary item for a particular abstraction does not

recommend that I have that abstraction in my thinking or what I "code it"

(a metaphor) in the form language may have [*that* I "code it"].

I don't know. If you do know, how?

Ron Rabin

Thank you, Ron. Your post (above) is the most interesting one I've

seen here in quite some time. A friend of mine was translating

Western ideas into Korean. When he came to a bit about feelings, as

opposed to logical thought, he was stumped. He told me they have no

word for it. Therefore, as far as he could discern, it was not a part

of their shared awareness. I believe that by having that word, our

ability to understand its abstract meaning is greater.

Tom Uharriet