RE: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)

From: Chris Lofting (
Date: Sat 17 Jun 2006 - 11:56:57 GMT

  • Next message: John Wilkins: "Re: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)"

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On Behalf
    > Of Robin Faichney
    > Sent: Saturday, 17 June 2006 9:09 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)
    > I think I'm basically in agreement with Tim on this, but would put it
    > slightly differently.
    > Meaning has a subjective component and therefore, strictly speaking,
    > has no place within memetics.
    > I follow Wittgenstein in viewing the meaning of language as its use in
    > a given context. You know what a word means if and only if you know
    > how to use it.

    Words are representations of feelings. The basic feelings are genetic such that we all have a sense of 'wholeness' but what it is applied to is up to personal and/or collective preferences.

    It is possible to communicate with others without speaking the same language in that as species-members we all have the core meanings as these qualities. Thus given a novel context any member of the species can guess what is being communicated based on the 'hard coded' set of meanings we all share.

    This gets into the differences of primate emotions vs those derived from a developed sense of self (starting about 24 months after birth). As such, we may have problems communicating using derived emotions but will find it easy using genetically-determined emotions.

    We still depend on over 50% of communication being none verbal and operating holistically (in parallel). That form of communication may be 'vague' when compared the precision of our serial forms of communication but it is still communication and contains universal elements and so not related to local context.

    Since the qualities of meaning are sourced in patterns of self-referencing, and the universe demonstrates properties of self-referencing, so the universe can be found to be 'meaningful' without there being any agent of communication present other than the perception of that universe by individual consciousness.

    Since context can push instincts/habits so it can push 'meaning' without the individual consciousness actually 'knowing' what is going on; the species-nature reacts as the consciousness-nature is still trying to interpret things; IOW there are cause-effect dynamics going on that relate to 'purpose' without the individual realising that dynamic.

    This moves into the singular/particular-general differences where the singular is driven to interpret and so comes up with specialist perspectives that create a 'new' language to describe something already described in some other form(at).

    Included in the realm of the singular is the creation of specialist languages that rely on existing, unconscious, qualities as the foundations for language creation through application of labels. These basic qualities are universals in that they are context-insensitive. Thus all specialist languages are relabelling of these universals and it is the universals that allow for translations etc.

    Specialisations, and so specialist languages, be they of the individual, general collective (e.g. English), or some specialist discipline (e.g. physics), all have a common base that allows for one specialisation to be used as a source of analogy/metaphor in describing some other.

    Children, when first learning what to associate the inbuilt qualities with the local labels have no idea what the word means, they just associate it with intuitive qualities of wholeness, partness, etc and develop from there using heuristics.

    Thus the local universals such as the word 'house' are associated with the general qualities (objects/relationships) and work by rote. THEN comes finer details analysis and the recognition of abstract terms as well as concrete terms.

    The hard coding of meanings allow for customisation to make one's own language and so communicating with self - this is common in psychosis as it is in general singular development (fundamentalism leads into new 'language' developments to sharply differentiate the particular collective from all others).

    Given the studies on other neuron-dependent life forms so feelings equate with meaning derivation - and so there is no need for words per se where words are serial communication and can be precise and so refine parallel communication where words are no longer necessary ;-)

    Emotional communication is by resonance where it is the only method that allows us to share the same space with another - where empathy/sympathy operates, where mirroring operates, where mime operates. No words necessary.


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