RE: Science---or Myth?
Mon, 10 Jun 1996 13:44:20 EST

"" writes:

>Date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996 13:01:56 -0700
>From: Gary Blanchard <>
>Subject: Science---or Myth?
> wrote:
>> Gary Blanchard writes the following about John Fisher's post:
>> 1. What do you mean by 'language'?
>> > 2. If something is 'pre-verbal,' by which one means
>> > 'outside of / beyond language,' then how do we know of
>> > its existence? How do we consider / view / think
>> > about it? How does it presence itself to us?
>> > 3. If something is, indeed, 'outside of language,' can
>> > we humans even be aware of it? Example: A dog
>> > whistle.
>> I can't speak for John, but I'd like to address these questions. By
>> language, I would (start with) sign activity, where signs are defined
>> as arbitrary symbols used to communicate shared meaning. I would
>> differentiate signs from other types of symbolic activity, like images,
>> gestures, or from signals, like facial expressions.
>> I also prefer the notion of non-verbal to preverbal. Imagistic
>> activity can be non-verbal, as when I imagine my wife, the smell of
>> coffee, or a Mozart sonata. Images are not necessarily linguistic,
>> but they can be structured in part by signs, or at least by meaning.
>> We know about images from our subjectivity of them; they are presented to
>> us in the activity of construing something when it is not immediately
>> before us.
>> A dog whistle is not simply "outside of language" -- it is outside
>> of the range of out sensory receptors. We can entertain all types of
>> experiences that are outside of language! These would include the
>> examples of images listed above, as well as emotional feelings, the
>> feeling of being in the forest after a rain, coldness, etc.... Language
>> is a vehicle of commuication, enculturation, as well as inner thought,
>> etc. But it does not exhaust human functioning; to imply as much would
>> be to offer a reductionism -- a different kind of reductionism, but
>> a reductionism nevertheless.
>> Mike Mascolo
>Dear Mike-
>Thanks for your message. I believe I understand what you are saying. I
>am willing to engage about it, if you are interested.
>My first question: What is your source for the claims you have made
>above, about how the world is, and how it works?
>What if what you are saying could be shown to be simply an aspect of
>Naive Reality (no pejorative intended)? Naive Reality, or Objectivism,
>is characterized by a speaker believing that what they think/feel they
>see/know about reality is in fact actually so, and can be proved to be
>so with evidence, i.e., scientifically. Wouldn't you want at least to be
>aware of / look into / consider an alternative view?
>By my questions I simply am seeking to launch such an inquiry. And the
>same rules of evidence would apply to any claims I make as they do to the
>claims of others. This is not about a dominance-submission game, or
>wanting to be 'right.' This is about getting as clear an understanding as
>we can of the way things actually are. To do anything less than that is
>to operate on the basis of illusions / myth / religion / anti-science, it
>seems to me.
>Come back to me, okay?
> Best, Gary