Re: Information

From: Mark Mills (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 02:14:52 BST

  • Next message: wilkins: "Re: Information"

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    Subject: Re: Information
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    John Wilkins wrote,

    At 10:30 AM 5/7/01 +1000, you wrote:
    >There is a philosophical conundrum known as the "linguistic prison" - in
    >order to discuss things we must cast them in liguistic terms, but we are
    >discussing in the areas of truth and mind matters that cannot be so cast
    >without prejudicing the argument - in short, whereof one cannot speak,
    >thereof one must be silent (and as some wag had it, "and you can't
    >whistle it either"). How meaning is encoded is very much context
    >relative - see Dretske's book. The encoding protocol used determines the
    >meaning of a message at receiver.

    This seems to presuppose the externalist premiss that there is nothing but
    a blank slate from the skin in.

    If all people have a similar set of conceptual dispositions, dispostions to
    create stories for instance, then one can lead a 'listener' through an
    exercise in perceptional chains with somewhat predictable results. The
    message may not be one that can be 'spoken,' but a predictable mental state
    may be replicated (communicated) to the listener.

    In Wittgensteinian terms, 'of what one cannot speak, one must be
    indirect.' Wittgenstein was a confirmed externalist, so he would naturally
    disagree. Example of this are mass marketers in great multitudes. Eastern
    spirtual advisors do the same thing, too.

    BTW, I thought you hated the 'encoding' notion...


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