The Littlest Language – Snipette. What language do you think in? Sometimes, thoughts come into your head. Just like that. It’s only later that you put them into words. Other times, when you’re consciously thinking about something or trying to figure it out, the thinking happens in a certain language. Even when I’m not quite aware of it, I often look back and realise I’ve been thinking in words. What’s more, the words and languages can be different depending on the context. Thoughts are not limited to spoken languages. Programming languages express things in a very different way from languages like Tamil or English. In fact, programming languages have even given rise to a whole new art form: code poetry. Languages are not just about expressing things. In English, you’re probably used to saying things like “I am going” or “he is walking”. Once, an experiment was conducted on bilingual people who knew both English and German.
After the session, the people were asked to describe whatever they could remember about the videos. Imagination is such an ancient ability it might precede language | Aeon Essays. Imagination is intrinsic to our inner lives. You could even say that it makes up a ‘second universe’ inside our heads. We invent animals and events that don’t exist, we rerun history with alternative outcomes, we envision social and moral utopias, we revel in fantasy art, and we meditate both on what we could have been and on what we might become. Animators such as Hayao Miyazaki, Walt Disney and the people at Pixar Studios are masterful at imagination, but they’re only creating a public version of our everyday private lives.
If you could see the fantastic mash-up inside the mind of the average five-year-old, then Star Wars and Harry Potter would seem sober and dull. So, why is there so little analysis of imagination, by philosophers, psychologists and scientists? Apart from some cryptic passages in Aristotle and Kant, philosophy has said almost nothing about imagination, and what it says seems thoroughly disconnected from the creativity that artists and laypeople call ‘imaginative’. Cormac McCarthy on the Origin of Language. Cormac McCarthy is best known to the world as a writer of novels. These include Blood Meridian, All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, and The Road. At the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) he is a research colleague and thought of in complementary terms.
An aficionado on subjects ranging from the history of mathematics, philosophical arguments relating to the status of quantum mechanics as a causal theory, comparative evidence bearing on non-human intelligence, and the nature of the conscious and unconscious mind. At SFI we have been searching for the expression of these scientific interests in his novels and we maintain a furtive tally of their covert manifestations and demonstrations in his prose. Over the last two decades Cormac and I have been discussing the puzzles and paradoxes of the unconscious mind.
—David Krakauer President and William H. Why the snake? A logical place to begin would be to define what the unconscious is in the first place. All animals have an unconscious. A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain - Scientific American Blog Network.
Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible... the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal.
However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain: Cognitive science calls this entire philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds... What exactly does this mean? Embodied cognition has a relatively short history. Is the study of language a science? | Aeon Essays. Science is a messy business, but just like everything with loose ends and ragged edges, we tend to understand it by resorting to ideal types. On the one hand, there’s the archetype of the scientific method: a means of accounting for observations, generating precise, testable predictions, and yielding new discoveries about the natural consequences of natural laws. On the other, there’s our ever-replenishing font of story archetypes: the accidental event that results in a sudden clarifying insight; the hero who pursues the truth in the face of resistance or even danger; the surprising fact that challenges the dominant theory and brings it toppling to the ground.
The interplay of these archetypes has produced a spirited, long-running controversy about the nature and origins of language. Recently, it’s been flung back into public awareness following the publication of Tom Wolfe’s book The Kingdom of Speech (2016). This counter-attack takes the form of the Chomskyans’ response to Everett. Noam Chomsky on the Evolution of Language: A Biolinguistic Perspective. (Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout) Human language is crucial to the scientific quest to understand what kind of creatures we are and, thus crucial to unlocking the mysteries of human nature. In the interview that follows, Noam Chomsky, the scholar who single-handedly revolutionized the modern field of linguistics, discusses the evolution of language and lays out the biolinguist perspective -- the idea that a human being's language represents a state of some component of the mind.
This is an idea that continues to baffle many non-experts, many of whom have sought to challenge Chomsky's theory of language without really understanding it. Journalist and ''radical chic" reactionary writer Tom Wolfe was the latest to do so in his laughable new book, The Kingdom of Speech, which seeks to take down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky through sarcastic and ignorant remarks, making vitriolic attacks on their personalities and expressing a deep hatred for the Left. C. J. When computers learn language they inevitably adopt human's implicit biases — Quartz. Come to Silicon Valley, California. Build something important. Get rich! It’s a narrative that has attracted thousands.
But for some, it turns into a nightmare. That appears to be the story of Penny Kim, a former marketing director at a company called WrkRiot (before that, JobSonic and 1for.one). For all the company’s self-professed straight talk, Kim tells a devastating tale of alleged deceptions, including forged wire transfer receipts, late paychecks, and lies from executives. “It was traumatic for me,” Kim tells Quartz in an interview. The world is captivated by the success stories of people like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and many chase their own entrepreneurial ambitions in Silicon Valley. In retrospect, Kim realized there were red flags about the company all along, but she pushed aside her concerns. The software engineering team was largely made up of young Chinese employees relying on visas sponsored by the company to remain in the US, Kim says.
The link between language and cognition is a red herring | Aeon Ideas. Scientists working on animal cognition often dwell on their desire to talk to the animals. Oddly enough, this particular desire must have passed me by, because I have never felt it. I am not waiting to hear what my animals have to say about themselves, taking the rather Wittgensteinian position that their message might not be all that enlightening. Even with respect to my fellow humans, I am dubious that language tells us what is going on in their heads. I am surrounded by colleagues who study members of our species by presenting them with questionnaires.
They trust the answers they receive and have ways, they assure me, of checking their veracity. This might be true for simple attitudes free from moralisations (‘What is your favourite music?’) No one is going to admit to murderous thoughts, stinginess or being a jerk. Now that I think of it, my distrust of language goes even deeper, because I am also unconvinced of its role in the thinking process. There is a notable irony here. The evidence is in: there is no language instinct | Aeon Essays. Imagine you’re a traveller in a strange land. A local approaches you and starts jabbering away in an unfamiliar language. He seems earnest, and is pointing off somewhere. But you can’t decipher the words, no matter how hard you try. That’s pretty much the position of a young child when she first encounters language. In fact, she would seem to be in an even more challenging position. Not only is her world full of ceaseless gobbledygook; unlike our hypothetical traveller, she isn’t even aware that these people are attempting to communicate.
In the 1960s, the US linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky offered what looked like a solution. At a stroke, this device removes the pain of learning one’s mother tongue, and explains how a child can pick up a native language in such a short time. Get Aeon straight to your inbox But let’s back up a little. What is in dispute is the claim that knowledge of language itself – the language software – is something that each human child is born with. Chomsky Was Right, NYU Researchers Find: We Do Have a “Grammar” in Our Head. A team of neuroscientists has found new support for MIT linguist Noam Chomsky’s decades-old theory that we possess an “internal grammar” that allows us to comprehend even nonsensical phrases.
“One of the foundational elements of Chomsky’s work is that we have a grammar in our head, which underlies our processing of language,” explains David Poeppel, the study’s senior researcher and a professor in New York University’s Department of Psychology. “Our neurophysiological findings support this theory: we make sense of strings of words because our brains combine words into constituents in a hierarchical manner—a process that reflects an ‘internal grammar’ mechanism.” The research, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, builds on Chomsky’s 1957 work, Syntactic Structures (1957). In an effort to illuminate this debate, the researchers explored whether and how linguistic units are represented in the brain during speech comprehension. Lewis Thomas on our Social Nature and "Getting the Air Right"
“What it needs is for the air to be made right. If you want a bee to make honey, you do not issue protocols on solar navigation or carbohydrate chemistry, you put him together with other bees (and you’d better do this quickly, for solitary bees do not stay alive) and you do what you can to arrange the general environment around the hive. If the air is right, the science will come in its own season, like pure honey.”— Lewis Thomas In his wonderful collection of essays, The Lives of a Cell, the biologist Lewis Thomas displays a fairly pronounced tendency to compare humans to the “social insects” — primarily bees and ants.
It’s not unfair to wonder: Looked at from a properly high perch, are humans simply doing the equivalent of hive-building and colony-building? In a manner Yuval Harari would later echo in his book Sapiens, Thomas concludes that, while we’re similar, there are some pretty essential differences. What causes the difference then? Still Interested? Yuval Noah Harari on Why Humans Dominate the Earth: Myth-Making. How 'Concept Creep' Made Americans So Sensitive to Harm. A mother leaves her son in the car while popping into a store at a strip mall. She is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A high school senior complains to her Facebook friends about a teacher and is suspended for “cyberbullying.” Students at Wellesley start a petition calling for the removal of a statue of a man in his underwear, claiming that the art piece caused them emotional trauma.
So many residents of Santa Monica, California, claim to need emotional support animals that the local farmer’s market warns against service dog fraud. How did American culture arrive at these moments? A new research paper by Nick Haslam, a professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, offers as useful a framework for understanding what’s going on as any I’ve seen. He calls these expansions of meaning “concept creep.” Two stories illustrate how concept creep can be a force for good or ill. Concept Creep and Abuse The concept of abuse expanded too far. Haslam writes: What is blue and how do we see color? Analogy as the Core of Cognition. What a difference a word can make.
People spend a good deal of time talking to one another, and in general we do it pretty well. We might feel excited, angry, embarrassed, or — if we’re lucky — loved, in the course of our daily conversations. So is there any benefit to thinking about a science of talk? Can we really gain anything from scientific analysis of something we “just do”? I believe we can, and I’ve spent the last 20 years studying real talk from real people talking to each other in real time. And while the linguist Noam Chomsky once described conversation as a “disorderly phenomenon,” I can tell you that it’s no such thing. Conversation is highly systematic and organized … and it tells us an incredible amount about the power of language to shape our daily lives. On the face of it, this is utterly mundane. Perhaps this seems obvious. Like Nancy, Gordon produces an answering “hello.” Dana returns the greeting, but rather than move into the “how-are-yous” portion of the conversation, she asks Gordon a question. 1.
The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right. 'I know, right?': The anatomy of a wonderfully nonsensical phrase. Hidden Cues That Sway You. The Secret Life of Pronouns: James Pennebaker at TEDxAustin. Exercises. To Predict Dating Success, The Secret's In The Pronouns : Shots - Health Blog. Hide captionPeople who are interested in and paying close attention to each other begin to speak more alike, a psychologist says. iStockphoto.com People who are interested in and paying close attention to each other begin to speak more alike, a psychologist says.
On a recent Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments. I had gone to record the night, which was put on by a company called Professionals in the City, and what struck me was the noise in the room. What were these people saying? And what can we learn from what they are saying? That is why I called James Pennebaker, a psychologist interested in the secret life of pronouns. The. Dear Dr. Thinking alike changes how we speak : NewsCenter. As social creatures, we tend to mimic each other’s posture, laughter, and other behaviors, including how we speak.
Now a new study shows that people with similar views tend to more closely mirror, or align, each other’s speech patterns. In addition, people who are better at compromising align more closely. “Few people are aware that they alter their word pronunciation, speech rate, and even the structure of their sentences during conversation,” explained Florian Jaeger, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and coauthor of the study recently published in Language Variation and Change. “What we have found is that the degree to which speakers align is socially mediated.” “Our social judgments about others and our general attitude toward conflict are affecting even the most automatic and subconscious aspects of how we express ourselves with language,” said lead-author Kodi Weatherholtz, a post-doctoral researcher in Jaeger’s lab.
The links between bloggers' personalities and their use of words. The Weird Thing About Facebook: Status Updates Are The Most Memorable Writing You Do. Your words matter. Words Can Change Your Brain.mov. 5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think. The Hidden Connection Between Morality and Language. Language: What foreign words are difficult to translate into English. 11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures.
» Lera Boroditsky, “How Language Shapes Thought” Keith Chen: language that forecasts weather — and behavior. RSA Animate - Language as a Window into Human Nature. The language of lying - Noah Zandan. Words, words, words | Playlist. Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain. Daniel Everett: Endangered Languages. Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News. The Psychology of Language: Which Words Matter the Most When We Talk. Metaphors We Think With: The Role of Metaphor in Reasoning. The Mind is a Metaphor: As It Were. Poetry for Everyday Life. Metaphors We Live By, Lakoff and Johnson. Lost in Translation: Exploring the Connection Between Language and Thought.
Is A Cat A Cat? (Derrida + Double Dragon) – 8-Bit Philosophy. Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense - Issue 18: Genius. A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Guest Blog. The myth of language universals — Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Alan Watts - To Speak the Truth. Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain - George Lakoff.
The Chicken, the Egg and The Hermeneutic Circle.