Which Comes First – Vocabulary or Knowledge? « mytokessay “The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know.” Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge. Word Count: 1,699 Knowledge acquisition is a complex process, constantly being influenced and restricted by various factors, and the validity of the knowledge we acquire is often questionable depending on the ways of knowing that are used. In this sense, though vocabulary communicates our knowledge, it can also shape what we can know to a certain extent because it does not represent the totality of reality. Before analyzing the statement, it is necessary to first define ‘vocabulary’. Vocabulary sometimes limits what we can know because it does not always encompass the entire reality of a concept. However, while vocabulary does not always encompass the totality of reality, the absence of vocabulary does not necessarily suggest the absence of knowledge, as the claim indicates. Works Cited: Crane, John, and Hannibal, Jette.
Physical symbol system A physical symbol system (also called a formal system) takes physical patterns (symbols), combining them into structures (expressions) and manipulating them (using processes) to produce new expressions. The physical symbol system hypothesis (PSSH) is a position in the philosophy of artificial intelligence formulated by Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon. "A physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for general intelligent action This claim implies both that human thinking is a kind of symbol manipulation (because a symbol system is necessary for intelligence) and that machines can be intelligent (because a symbol system is sufficient for intelligence). The hypothesis has been criticized strongly by various parties, but is a core part of AI research. Examples of physical symbol systems Examples of physical symbol systems include: Formal logic: the symbols are words like "and", "or", "not", "for all x" and so on. Newell and Simon Turing completeness
Language of Thought Hypothesis [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] The language of thought hypothesis (LOTH) is the hypothesis that mental representation has a linguistic structure, or in other words, that thought takes place within a mental language. The hypothesis is sometimes expressed as the claim that thoughts are sentences in the head. It is one of a cluster of other hypotheses that together offer a theory of the nature of thought and thinking. The other hypotheses in the cluster include the causal-syntactic theory of mental processes (CSMP), and the representational theory of mind (RTM). The former is the hypothesis that mental processes are causal processes defined over the syntax of mental representations. The latter is the hypothesis that propositional attitudes are relations between subjects and mental representations. LOTH was first introduced by Jerry Fodor in his 1975 book The Language of Thought, and further elaborated and defended in a series of works by Fodor and several collaborators. This article has three main sections. 1. a. b.
On learning difficult things I have been autodidacting quite a bit lately. You may have seen my reviews of books on the MIRI course list. I've been going for about ten weeks now. This post contains my notes about the experience thus far. Much of this may seem obvious, and would have seemed obvious if somebody had told me in advance. Part of the reason I'm posting this is because I don't know a lot of autodidacts, and I'm not sure how normal any of my experiences are. Pair up When I began my quest for more knowledge, I figured that in this modern era, a well-written textbook and an account on math.stackexchange would be enough to get me through anything. But not really. The problem is, most of the time that I get stuck, I get stuck on something incredibly stupid. "Dude. These are the things that eat my days. In principle, places like stackexchange can get me unstuck, but they're an awkward tool for the job. The thing I miss most about college is tight feedback loops while learning. Read, reread, rereread There you go.
Does Language Shape What We Think? My seventh-grade English teacher exhorted us to study vocabulary with the following: "We think in words. The more words you know, the more thoughts you can have." This compound notion that language allows you to have ideas otherwise un-haveable, and that by extension people who own different words live in different conceptual worlds -- called "Whorfianism" after its academic evangelist, Benjamin Lee Whorf -- is so pervasive in modern thought as to be unremarkable. Eskimos, as is commonly reported, have myriads of words for snow, affecting how they perceive frozen percipitation. A popular book on English notes that, unlike English, "French and German can distinguish between knowledge that results from recognition ... and knowledge that results from understanding." For all its social success, Whorfianism has fared less well scientifically. Oh, and Eskimos don't have all that many words for snow. The lack of number words had a profound and surprising effect on what the Pirahã could do.
Pinker Outline I. Linguistics: The Science of Language A. An overview of language 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. B. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. A. 1. 2. B. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. C. 1. a. b. c. 2. a. b. c. d. e. 3. a. 4. a. III. A. 1. 2. 3. 4. B. 1. a. b. c. d. 2. a. b. c. d. e. 3. a. b. (1) open-ended creativity (2) expression of unfamiliar meaning (3) production of basically infinite combinations c. d. 4. a. b. C. 1. 2. 3. a. (1) Example: “more outside,” “all gone sticky,” the child would not have heard these phrases from adults b. (1) Phase of saying “he holded the baby rabbits,” apply rule though they don’t know about irregular verbs yet, they over-generalize the rule (2) Wug Test – tell a young child a picture of a bird is a “wug” then when you ask them what there is when there are two of the birds they will say “wugs”, something they could not have imitated from hearing an adult say it c. (2) Example: how children learn to form questions (3) A child is exposed to two possible rules D. 1. 2. 3. IV. A.
The Language of Thought: Entry In his (1975) Jerry Fodor offered a bold hypothesis: the medium of thought is an innate language that is distinct from all spoken languages and is semantically expressively complete. So-called "Mentalese" is supposed to be an inner language that contains all of the conceptual resources necessary for any of the propositions that humans can grasp, think or express--in short, the basis of thought and meaning. While few have followed Fodor in adopting this extreme hypothesis, some weaker form of a language of thought (LOT) view, i.e., that there is a mental language that is different from human spoken languages, is held by many philosophers and cognitive scientists. As we will see below, however, although it is fairly clear that (some) thought is linguistic, there is no basis for believing in a Mentalese, let alone an innate, semantically complete Mentalese. Fodor's LOT hypothesis may be divided into five component theses: Representational Realism Linguistic Thought I. (1) I'm very worried. II.
How to work 18. Newspeak The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought. 18. Newspeak Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and the Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought - that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc - should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. ...All words grouping themselves round the concepts of liberty and equality, for instance, were contained in the single word crimethink, while all words grouping themselves round the concepts of objectivity and rationalism were contained in the single word oldthink. ...So far as it could be contrived, everything that had or might have political significance of any kind was fitted into the B vocabulary. "The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition," said Syme. Reader asks for doublethink examples: DUCKSPEAKING DOUBLETHINKERS
Everybody in Almost Every Language Says “Huh”? HUH?! Listen to one end of a phone conversation, and you’ll probably hear a rattle of ah’s, um’s and mm-hm’s. Our speech is brimming with these fillers, yet linguistic researchers haven’t paid much attention to them until now. New research by Mark Dingemanse and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, has uncovered a surprisingly important role for an interjection long dismissed as one of language’s second-class citizens: the humble huh?, a sort of voiced question mark slipped in when you don’t understand something. Dingemanse’s team analyzed recordings of people speaking ten different languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Icelandic, as well as indigenous languages from Ecuador, Australia and Ghana. In each of the languages investigated, the vowel is produced with a relatively relaxed tongue (never a vowel that requires you to lift your tongue, like “ee,” or pull the tongue back, like “oo”). Huh? But why would huh?