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Thoughts before language

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posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 04:45 PM
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Every now and again I try to imagine how humans thought before language. All my thoughts appear to be in terms of words, that is, I use language to do all my thinking. If I read something on ATS that I believe is complete trash, I literally internally think 'that is complete trash'. Sometimes I try to think without using words, but I've never succeeded.

I do understand that most thoughts, especially in non-humans, are emotional and instinctual, and that is somewhat slightly easier for me to understand and imagine. What really stumps me is logic. Clearly primitive humans had the ability to think logically, we had the ability to learn things without being taught. We made tools, including language, we thought of the future, and we even contemplated our own existence.

Does anyone else think about this? Or does anyone else try to put themselves in primitive human's shoes (or lack thereof) and imagine how they thought?




posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Josonic
Every now and again I try to imagine how humans thought before language. All my thoughts appear to be in terms of words, that is, I use language to do all my thinking. If I read something on ATS that I believe is complete trash, I literally internally think 'that is complete trash'. Sometimes I try to think without using words, but I've never succeeded.

I do understand that most thoughts, especially in non-humans, are emotional and instinctual, and that is somewhat slightly easier for me to understand and imagine. What really stumps me is logic. Clearly primitive humans had the ability to think logically, we had the ability to learn things without being taught. We made tools, including language, we thought of the future, and we even contemplated our own existence.

Does anyone else think about this? Or does anyone else try to put themselves in primitive human's shoes (or lack thereof) and imagine how they thought?



dude ive never thought of that (no pun intended) maybe the ancients thought of things in image form, maybe they envisoned their thoughts?

idk good point



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 05:03 PM
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Before languages were actually words, there were gestures and noises. Even today, we only get about 20% or so of the total message from the words that are spoken. Most of the message comes from body language and other factors.

Besides, they probably thought in pictures and sounds and learned through doing, which is probably why so many people are the "visual" or "kinesthetic" learners.



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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I usually don't think in words... It's perfectly easy for me to imagine thought without language, because most of mine is.



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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But even if "they" used images, something that many of us do today, that doesn't mean that language wasn't used. Pictographs are not that rare, don't the Chinese and Japanese use an image to replace a word?

I'm working on the assumption that language, even if it's just a private, mental language, uses symbols of some form to represent words.

My uneducated guess is that the earliest people had only instinct and memories. With just those two things they could learn that a deer meant "food." I'm not sure you can do anything that resembles what we call "thinking" without a language of some sort.



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