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Mrityunjay Awasthy

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Role of language in forming concepts

The language(s) we learn play pivotal role in forming concepts, as the words in a language have per-determined concepts and with spoken or written words, though deviating a little bit sometimes, we take such concepts further. When I think of a feeling, associated with words like fear, pleasure etc. I am amused to think about how closely such concepts are knitted not only with memory (with aid of language) but also how language has narrowed or limited the concepts.

This might sound odd, but I decided to post this after I caught a mice in my hands yesterday and I couldn't relate my concept of fear with that of the mice.


Closing Statement from Mrityunjay Awasthy

Thank you everyone for your invaluable inputs,

Until here and onward::

Thomas Jones:
Words are like road signs indicating our proximity to a city. Language is essential to the formation of concepts.

Tony Kuphaldt:
Words encapsulate ideas(By the same token, mathematics is a "language" useful for expressing certain powerful ideas in very precise ways). It would be very interesting to study how certain ideas spread within different cultures, where differences in language may influence how readily an idea is accepted.

Ed Schulte:
the fun is in watching the many ways Cultural conditioning unspokenly influences concept forming then merges with others and then meets in a "consensus" totally unrelated with any Culture ...just plain old Applied Science.
Ed also shared beautiful poetry by Rumi;

But when it comes now to the bare essence...it is not the words or language itself but what quality of awareness, what level of consciousness those words emanate from , that will define their effect(s). Language evolves with need of transmitting awareness concepts" and shall we now point out , but the oldest of all ....Silence ....are all transmitters of consciousness towards higher quality within our Species.

Rhona Pavis:
Humanity can change. We can change. It is possible that our generation will be the one that co-creates a positive world for all humanity. We have infinite choice about what to focus on at every moment of our lovely lives. May as well choose positive.

Debra Smith:
I think that many times human beings have experiences for which there are no words and we think of them in a spiritual sense because that moment feels so elevated- that gap between definition and something new.

The Gay Science-Nietzsche-Book five-"on the genius of the species"
The feeling of what happens-Antonio Damasio
Consciousness Explained-Daniel Dennett.

I also suggest Cognitive Philology@

Thanks & goodbye for now :)

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      Nov 6 2011: Isn't it a beautiful poem? Thanks for share Ed

      You observation added two valid points; Fear and maximum success rate. Now I am thinking if these are two evolutionary goodies added to our basket and same instincts could have contributed to limitation of language which is a great tool, but is too focused on humanitarian concerns, narrows our motive to kind of life we live, thus flies and mice are hard to comprehend. It is usually when one is in a situation where language fails (almost, for the purpose), one realize how cautiously Canadian Engineers work and what price development extorts of the subject.

      Spectrum is bewilderingly wide and we are successfully hiding in a hairline fracture.
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          Nov 8 2011: You have broadened the scope of conversation Ed :)

          Not only we are looking into "after" the language part but we have "before" the language "quality of awareness; a source of language now. Allow me to gather what we have here:

          Concepts are formed(you added quality here)>Language evolves with need of transmitting awareness concepts(still concepts, quality of course helps, relative term though)> Language becomes highest potency of communicable ideas, awareness, a permanent(somewhat) casting mold, limited but focused and much without a utility in all stages of civilization is not casted.

          So what I see here is a species discovers most economical ways to share, transmit, receive from whoever's concerned. There can be concepts common to many forms of life, or at least are shared with aid of analogies. Language, I once again would say, is most economical, mass based tool, and the is scope of new casts is limited, hence we have ART to compensate for much that we realize isn't fuller. This also covers beautiful Poetry of Rumi you have shared here, thanks a ton.

          We have good eleven days if you its worth your time

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