Permalink Reply by Dee Neely
Words don't have meaning on the objective scale. They are symbols which relate to ideas, but they aren't objective. They are subjective. They are subjective depending on condition, on circumstance, on culture, on language...
Take the word power which we are discussing. The English word "power" has 20 different meanings according tohttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/power
This makes the word very, very subjective. Science and mathematics are the only reliable way to determine meaning.
Your statement than many people have been powerful and not corrupt bears investigation. I would be interested in seeing who you think qualifies as powerful and not corrupt so we can compare.
Permalink Reply by MCT
"Words don't have meaning on the objective scale."
-Abject nonsense. The concept of ability is objective, whether we refer to it with the phoneme power or ability. It has necessary characteristics that are real and reducible to perceptual evidence in any language. We remove the unique subjective perceptions when we form concepts, that's what makes them concepts. Your willingness and attempt to defeat the process of definition by essentials cannot invalidate that XBox is an electric gaming system, no matter how you cut it. It is not a relative or subjective concept. It has necessary essentials. It is definitely some things and not others. Words, the phonemes for concepts, having objective meanings is necessary for communication about this one objective reality we all inhabit. Atheism is the belief that there are no gods. This is not a subjective definition, in fact, if it is a definition, it is not subjective. Objectification of our perceptions is necessary for language development. Cortically, this is exactly what is going on. Our cortex examines multiple versions of patterns of perceptual evidence about something that actually exists in reality and after we remove or omit the subjective arbitrary characteristics, such as color and material, in the case of a chair, and retain the objective characteristics, such as shape and purpose, we can hold this in place, attach a phoneme and communicate to others or hold in our awareness for comparing and contrasting other things like and dislike it. This is how we make knowledge. This is very consistent with new successful models of artifical intelligence, most notably Jeff Hawkins' Hierarchical Temporal Memory. Concept formation, which is necessary for rational thought and communication is the objectification of our perceptions. And someone who has the ability to walk, also, objectively has the power to walk.
I pretty much agree with most things you have said, and have also used the same types of examples you have used, when discussing words.
With the child(male for this explanations sake) in the above example, when he uses the word doggy for cow, how do we know what he means? Even if he didn't point to the cow, if a cow was the only animal around, we would still understand what he was talking about. From all the words the child knew, he used the word that best represented what he wanted to say. Even though the wrong word was used, the child still got his message across.
The assigned meaning attached to the word 'doggy' was cow. We understood he meant cow not doggy.
If the words "The child said 'look at the doggy'" were written in a book, we would think the child actually meant doggy.
If the words "The child said 'look at the doggy'" were overheard at a paddock with only one cow in the paddock and no dogs anywhere, we would think the child meant cow.
If a Southern woman said, "they are the best Grits we have ever had" she would mean the food. And about 300 million other Americans think the same thing.
It a Canadian women said, "they are the best Grits we have ever had" she would mean the Liberal Party. And about 35 million other Canadians would think the same thing.
In order for the word 'grit' to be understood by 300 million and 35 million people respectively, the word grit would have to have some objectivity, regardless of meaning assigned to it.
If the word 'grit' is purely subjective, are you saying that all 35 million Canadians have a different interpretation for the word 'grit'?
The sequence of phonemes holds no conceptual value in itself, other than what we assign.
As soon as two or more people agree to the assigned meaning, doesn't that make the word(sequence of phonemes) objective.
So, how about this.
Words are designed to be objective but can only be interpreted subjectively.
I think that nails it ;-)
sounds good leveni
Words are thought of first as sounds, and we all know that in the physical world there is no such thing as sound and/or color. In the absence of a conscious subject all remains simply vibrations. The wonderful world of color and sound is our creation, a biological readout, a world interpreted by the way it effects our personal biology--our apparent verses ultimate reality. So, no words are not I think objective or designed to be objective, words are one like biology communicating with another like biology about subjective experiences of an apparent common reality. The only thing objective about words, is the vibrations which constitute a stimulus which is to be later interpreted through our biology as sound.
Wow MCT sounds so godamn angry !!
A word is a symbol for what it means in the same way it could have a musical analogy for its meaning. It also depends if you're a left-brainer good at maths and symbols or an arty right-brainer who likes to hair split intuitions.