On Friday, April 19, 2013 9:49:22 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> But language is tied to evolution, since we have evolved the ability 
> >> to speak, with large parts of the brain dedicated to this function. 
> > 
> > 
> > Parrots can speak too. 
> But they lack the genes encoding for a brain capable of human level 
> speech, regardless of the environment. 

My point is that you can have the behavior of human-like speech without a 
speaker with a human understanding. In the same way you can have a machine 
that appears to behave in a brain-like way without it having human 
understanding. There is no exterior appearance for consciousness because 
exteriority itself is already an appearance within consciousness. 

Public objects are one step removed, so that any particular apprehension of 
a public object by a private sensor can correspond to any number of 
phenomena, not just the one expected by the private sensor. This emoticon 
:-) does not correspond to a private emotion behind the characters. It is 
like a face if we see it as a face but there is nothing which sees it as 
its own face. The emoticon represents a face to us but it is not a face. 
Brain activity represents the many levels of personal experience to our 
eyes and hands, and their technological extensions, but they are not 
personal experience. 

> >> The particular language we speak ultimately depends on what random 
> >> proto-language sounds came out and were associated with objects and 
> >> concepts. 
> > 
> > 
> > Onomatopoeia is not random. Language is the opposite of random sounds, 
> it is 
> > using sound intentionally to communicate feeling, thought, practical 
> > execution, etc. Randomness is a myth. 
> But there seems no good reason why the same animal should be called 
> "chien" in one part of the world, "perro" in another and "dog" in yet 
> another. 

There are great reasons for that, but they can only be accessed through the 
direct human experiences which gave rise to them. Words are names, and 
names are not numbers. Names function as numbers also, they have 
cardinality and so can be assigned arbitrarily, but they also have 
aesthetic content which evokes the entire history of the language, its 
speakers, their history, etc.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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