We Live in Language

Fri, 3 May 1996 12:14:28

Dear friends,

My second thought on the matter of 'dissension' on the net, etc., comes from my
teacher, Fernando Flores, PhD (co-author with Winograd of "Understanding
Computers & Cognition," and former student and now colleague of Humberto
Maturana, PhD, (co-author, with Varela, of "The Tree of Knowledge," and soon
to visit a Philadelphia University for a public speaking engagement).

The thought derives from the notion that 'language is the house of Being,' and
states: We live in language. We are pre-eminently linguistic beings, and
literally live there, but don't know it since we always have and it has become
transparent to us. It is language which perturbs and evokes us, and language
with which we respond with constructions of meaning as to the significance of
the perturbation.

>From my 12 years of studying, practicing and teaching the constructivist (vs.
objectivist) view of life, I can tell you that I see that clearly and am
enormously and forever indebted to the above gentlemen. I mention it as a
share with those of you interested in constructivism and, perhaps, unaware of
this aspect of the matter, or this point of view.

The point about the net is simply this: how could we be aware of 'dissesion,'
or reacting to it, in some cases with bodily alarm, if it were not for
language? This net is itself a powerful example of us living in language,
moment by moment, day by day, upset by upset, happiness by happiness, etc.

I'd appreciate hearing from any of you who'd care to respond. I am not seeking
to pursuade or argue as much as to show the point of view, so you can take a
look and poke around for yourself.

Yours for fruitful science, one paradigm at a time........gary