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Re: [ontolog-forum] Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Steven Ericsson-Zenith <steven@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 12:57:54 -0800
Message-id: <CE09894C-6A2C-4357-98A7-1810A1995A0C@xxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,    (01)

This is a fascinating personal account. When you say "language is irrelevant to 
(your) thinking" this is not the same as saying that language is irrelevant to 
your behavior, even if it is suppressed at times by the disorder you 
experienced. Much that is thinking clearly does not involve deliberate use of 
language.     (02)

For example, I often attempt to clear my mind of all thought in order to solve 
problems and many individuals report solutions after rest or sleep. Most 
common, for me, is that I think of a problem (typically a mathematical problem) 
unrelated to the first that appears much harder, often insurmountable, in order 
to distract myself.     (03)

Consider the vast variety of experiments involving brain damage (Roger Sperry's 
for example) that show we are not always able to report. I am thinking of cases 
where a witness cannot report, or misreports, verbally but the hand still 
reports correctly using language, a fact that the individual appears unaware of.    (04)

My point being that the habit continues even if language use is disabled 
temporarily or "hidden." You may think it irrelevant but it is not.    (05)

Best regards,
Steven    (06)

Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering
http://iase.info    (07)

On Feb 25, 2013, at 9:16 AM, Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx> wrote:    (08)

> I could think without language in exactly the same way, and just as 
>effectively, as I can with language. Language is irrelevant to (my) thinking. 
>Even without the seizures, most of my thinking is best described using 
>diagrams or mathematics, rather than verbally. All my academic life I have had 
>a sharp distinciton between having the ideas, which is the thinking part, and 
>writing them down in language, which is a tedious chore almost entirely 
>unrelated to the thinking, and one that requires completely different kinds of 
>effort. To write English prose does require thought, of course, but it 
>requires thought *about English prose*, not about the topic being described.    (09)

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