Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 10:45:31 MST
From: Tom Uharriet UTOM[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ADMN.712.NEBO.EDU
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?
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.
utom[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]admn.712.nebo.edu