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Control expression and you control thought is the basic principle.
Originally posted by Heike
...I've been thinking about it since though, and it has occurred to me to mention that when I am thinking in German, not only do I think the German words and terminology, but my thinking patterns are different because German sentence structure differs from English. German sentences translated into English can be very awkward because things are ordered differently. So when my language changes, my thinking patterns change, too.
Also, because German uses definitive articles for objects that specify gender (der, die, das), when I am thinking in German the idea of an object (table, window, door, plate, etc.) comes with its attached "gender," (masculine, feminine, or neuter) although in English I don't think of objects as having a gender, because in English they don't. How weird is that?
Hey SD, what would you think about expanding your thread to consider how the internet has changed our thinking processes by changing our language? Just as an example, my first reaction these days to someone asking me about a subject I don't know much about is "I don't know, let's google it." The concept of "googling' something didn't exist just a few years ago; faced with the same question I would have had to say "I don't know, we need to find someone who knows more about it or look it up at the library..." That's just one little example there because I don't want to derail your thread without getting your reaction ... but what do you think? Or perhaps it could be worth its own thread...
Hey SD, what would you think about expanding your thread to consider how the internet has changed our thinking processes by changing our language? Just as an example, my first reaction these days to someone asking me about a subject I don't know much about is "I don't know, let's google it." The concept of "googling' something didn't exist just a few years ago.
But as far as thought is concerned we are restricted by our language.
Originally posted by americandingbat
...I think it's part of the human need to tell stories, to make sense of experience.
I'm not sure that words are the only kind of symbols we can use to think with, but I do believe that we think in symbols.
Maybe to me, thinking in math or chemistry is like a musician thinking in music -- it's just one area in which the verbal mechanisms that usually filter everything we experience get bypassed.
The Language of Thought Hypothesis
First published Thu May 28, 1998; substantive revision Tue Jul 27, 2004
The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) postulates that thought and thinking take place in a mental language. This language consists of a system of representations that is physically realized in the brain of thinkers and has a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in syntactic operations defined over such representations. Most of the arguments for LOTH derive their strength from their ability to explain certain empirical phenomena like productivity and systematicity of thought and thinking.
Originally posted by schrodingers dog
reply to post by americandingbat
You know, I'm not married to this idea, that's why I'm throwing it out there for consideration. But I think that if you take the time a few times a day to stop and notice yourself thinking, you will find that every thought has a word attached to it.
Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't see how else thought is even possible.
[edit on 9/21/2008 by schrodingers dog]