Re: intersubjectivity

Devi Jankowicz (
Fri, 25 Apr 97 22:07:47 +0100

Gary Blanchard asks,

>Do you think cats live in language, too?

To be quite honest, I'm very unsure of what "living in language" might
mean, other than that language makes more sense to me when construed as a
representation system rather than a communication system. But an answer
to the question presupposes some relationship between me as "thinker" and
cat as "liver", rather than involving any definitive comment about the
extent to which cats represent phenomena by their own construing.
Everything depends on how we define "construing", as the most interesting
discussion on this topic has demonstrated. I particularly appreciated the
reminder that "construing" can be taken to include _any_ representation
in which a distinction is made, thereby including the possibility of
unconscious/preconscious/ purely physiological-process-based
"construing". Mind you, I do sometimes wonder whether this is to confer
such generality on the idea of "construing" that the concept loses its

Returning to the question posed. My father used to use an old Polish
saying, "przelewanie z pusta w proznie", i.e. "pouring emptiness into
vacuum" of questions like this. In other words (and please give the
latter option as much weight as the former, for I certainly don't wish to
a) I'm not sure it's a very useful question
b) I personally lack the background reading and concepts to hazard a
sensible answer!

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz

PS But I _do_ know that cats are contrary beasts....