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    Talking Thought in Chaos & Clear, Orderly Language


    This topic is an off-shoot of 'Thinking & Language,' where the question was 'Is thinking possible without the help of language, or impossible because they (thinking & language) are the same thing ?'

    Perhaps these two words (& the ideas they represent) should be defined clearly at some point. One reason for postponing such definitions (in addition to the difficulty of it) is that a definition is by definition abstracting & limiting, and can kill creative thinking which is the main purpose of discussion.

    The two kinds of mental activities involved in intense thinking & speech are very different from each other. Let me describe what is happening at the moment.

    "I have a vague, but lingering 'idea' about what might be happening before a thought chrystalizes. Some bits are floating around, as a result of questioning in the aforementioned 'Thinking & Langage' thread and reading replies. The thing about my lingering 'idea' is that it has not chrystalized yet. It is more like a hint or a guess that I feel might give some definite result after some work, but not quite fully formed."

    Regarding language, & how it participates in my pursuit of the lingering 'idea.'

    "I am going around after random possbilities that might let me post a clear question. Using certain leading words/phrases that are customarily used in expressing or formulating a question post in acceptable format, I am constructing these sentences."

    "I am concerned that the words & grammar of my writing are readable; so I continuously check back on a conscious level whther I am following the rules of grammar & langauge convention."

    "I am also concerned that what is written adequately reflects the key point (question, conflict, tension, motion) that I want to convey. This lingering 'idea' may or may not have a common expression. I simply do not know that until I've constructed several sentences & paragraphs to achieve the desired effect: being reproducing the same (or loosely identical, equvalent) point (question, conflict, tension, motion) in the readers' heads."

    Above is a formal self-observation trying to describe my present acitivy regarding thoughts & clear language. The following is my acutal attempt.

    Main (conflict, tension, motion)

    Can the following two become reduced to one ?
    Or are they fundamentally different, two processes that make up our brain activity of thought & speech ?


    Before consolidating an idea, the pre-idea remains vague and undetermined. The mind wanders here and there looking for a place to sit down & settle(words; a subject; an attribute; a predicate). It is like a homeless person, who might or might not have a place to stay for the night. Nevertheless, he is the primary creator of whatever follows. He gives life to the words that are meaningless on their own. He can be likened to the young bachelor looking for his bride; without a clear picture of the maiden, he checks out this girl and that, asking his inner voice whether she is the one. (Funny comparison, but true !)

    Clear-language (Clear-thought ?)

    Sentences are being created to convey the lingering 'idea,' but the sentence for this purpose, & in this form, never existed before. Some might be pre-judged as not creating the same effect in the reader, and therefore get thrown out. Some might have the wonderful result of producing the precise desired effect in the reader and be kept. Some might not draw an exact picture of the lingering 'idea,' but having no immediately thinkable alternative, might still be kept as acceptable sentences, although only as roundabout expressions of the 'lingering idea.'


    Depending on whether the verbalizing effort was successful or not, the lingering idea may or may not have been well represented. The result may be highly successful, giving more meaning that was originally thought of in the pre-thinking stage. The result may be a relatively poor one, failing to convey much meaning, primarily by not being a good idea to begin with, and secondly by under-representing an otherwise good idea that met an inarticulate writer. Or yet the result may be a totally misrepresenting one, but still having an unexpected, useful effect.

    Question: Pre-thought in Chaos & Clear Language

    If the primary motive that drove me to write all this with the purpose of giving it a decent form of expressing & communicating it AND the resulting writing are two different elements that I can experience, then how can I say that (pre-)thought and language are the same thing ? They sure seem different to me. Whereas for the reader, since they only have the written form to reconstruct my idea, the sentence & the thought would be the same. (Unless the reader has other knowledge of me/my thoughts regarding the topic.)

    So, are thoughts and sentences conveying those thoughts still the same thing ? The lingering idea is like a dim light in the dark; hence I named it chaos. Clear language is self-evident. From whose viewpoint should we define 'Thought & Language' ? Are an idea & an expression of it not two different things ?
    Last edited by lexico; 17-04-05 at 22:32.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.


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