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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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