Re: intersubjectivity

Gary F. Blanchard (
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 23:36:16 -0700

Dear Devi-

One possible way to get an idea of what 'living in language' means might
be to imagine what your reality/world would be like if you suddenly
encountered a term of irremedial amnesia.

I invite you to speculate/reflect upon that, as I have periodically for
some time now, ever since the claim was presented to me in what I now
regard as a massive linguistic perturbation. That is to say, the onset
of a major time of learning and insight.

But that was me. And then. Not now. Or you. Perhaps you, or others
who give this suggestion a try, may emerge with different
results/awareness. I'd love to hear.



Devi Jankowicz wrote:
> 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
> value.
> 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
> offend!)
> 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....