Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thinking without Language?

In psychology last year we studied Genie, a ferrel child who was tied down to a potty trainingseat. She had no language (i.e. speaking ability) and had to learn all the basic things like walking that many other children her age knew. They question I am posing to you all is: Can we think if we don't have language?
-Rachael Reeves

4 comments:

Vvyynn said...

Yes, we think in pictures. I'm getting tired of writing this.

Peter K. said...

I concur, but here's to proving it as "true":

Ok, think of a nice red juicy apple. There you go. Most people would make a mental image of that which is thinking. You may have thought of how it looks, or how i tastes. or the crunch as you bite into it. So how does that apply to various theories:

Correspondence theory:
I have thought of an apple, and i could see it in my mind, and there wasn't language. So, yes it is true.

Coherence theory:
I still don't really understand this one too well, but i'll give it a shot. Men can think, but men have not always had language, could they have thought before language? they must have, Thought created language. We could not of created language without thought.

Pragmatic theory:
Is it useful for me to think without language? if i do not know language, yes, it is very useful. It is also useful for us to say we can think without language, as an explination for how we can picture an apple. It is the simplest way of explaining how we can picture an apple.

J.Malone said...

Rachael... you should backtrack a few postings and read ALL about this. Many of your questions have been answered by your opinionated peers. Read on...

Vvyynn said...

Ah, you're sweet to call us opinionated Mr. Malone. Yes, since the apple example has passed each and every one of the "Truth Tests", than it is, in fact, true: Thought can exist without language. If the opposite true? That is a question for another day. Perhaps brought up in my latest entry.