Is language simply a tool?

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Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#1  Postby Synthesis » October 3rd, 2017, 12:54 pm

Tools have been created over the millennia in order to help mankind become more productive [in an economic sense]. In this light, language might be considered the most productive tool ever created, facilitating broad-based efficiencies by allowing a temporally sensitive exchange of ideas.

If this is the case, then it can certainly be argued that language is the prime factor responsible for all of the scams delivered by all of the groups attempting to convince individuals that their hoax is better buy than that from the competition in the marketplace of rip-offs and shakedowns.

It then might follow that during a period of time where corruption is endemic [or epidemic], that observing language might be the best method to flush out such flim-flammery. And indeed this is the case. Gaze through any window, open any door and I challenge anybody not to find a statement proposed by any group that is not 99% lies packaged within an ultra-thin veneer of truth.

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Is language simply a tool?



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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#2  Postby Greta » October 3rd, 2017, 5:25 pm

As a dog owner and observer, I am most interested in the ways we communicate without words. What I note is that, if communication is an iceberg, then posture, body orientation, direction of movement and direction of gaze, volume and tone of utterances are the submerged bulk of it. Discordance between any of these elements and words spoken will render the latter largely meaningless.

Yes, languages are basically tools of connection, allowing for finer detail and control of connections between any parties that understand.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#3  Postby Steve3007 » October 3rd, 2017, 5:44 pm

Synthesis:
I challenge anybody not to find a statement proposed by any group that is not 99% lies packaged within an ultra-thin veneer of truth.


One too many "not"s here? If there are not too many "not"s, then I think I can easily rise to the challenge of not finding that statement that you're after.

If we remove the first "not", then I still think it would probably be possible to find some statements proposed by some group somewhere that is not 99% lies. I wouldn't be that pessimistic.

-- Updated Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:48 pm to add the following --

Greta:

I guess the fact that most of that submerged bulk of the iceberg is hidden in places like this is what leads to the apparent higher incidence of verbal wars on the internet than in real life, where body language can steer the titanic to safety.

-- Updated Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:57 pm to add the following --

Synthesis:

Look at it this way: If 99% of everything that people say is a lie, then you just have to remember a simple rule: Whatever they say, the opposite is the truth. Almost all of the time. Just remember that every day is "opposite day" and everyone will be telling the truth almost all the time. Faith in humanity restored?
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#4  Postby Burning ghost » October 3rd, 2017, 9:40 pm

I don't not, not get it.

There is the usual arbitrary % added in to flavor the statement with a sense of authority, and yet the term "truth" is applied, which outside language has no meaning.

Just because all languages are tautological is doesn't mean they are "lies". We can misuse and be misguided by language, but within the structure a sense of meaning resides that allows us to do things like land on the Moon.

Deaf kids in Nicaragua grew up and created their own language. It is innate and the prerequisite seems to be social interaction.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#5  Postby Spectrum » October 4th, 2017, 2:30 am

I challenge anybody not to find a statement proposed by any group that is not 99% lies packaged within an ultra-thin veneer of truth.

I take it you mean there are no statements that are 99% true, i.e. they are all 99% lies.


Based on the above definition, your premise cannot hold because all scientific truths presented the Scientific Group [community] which are justifiable, repeatable and testable cannot be lies.

Scientific truths cannot be lies by definition. Scientific truths are not absolute truths but relative & conditional truths and at the worst they are polished conjectures [Popper].

If some one insists the Sun is 500 million miles away from Earth, then that would be a lie, i.e. a falsehood. The scientific truth is the Earth is appx. 93 millions miles from the Earth.


    Tool: anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose:
I agree language is a tool to facilitate the "purpose" of survival (self-preservation) and therefrom "preservation of the species" [as inferred].

Language is such a critical tool to the extent the human natural propensity for language is hardwired in the brain in the Broca region.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#6  Postby Burning ghost » October 4th, 2017, 2:58 am

Spectrum -

Language is such a critical tool to the extent the human natural propensity for language is hardwired in the brain in the Broca region.


False. Language is not specific only to the Broca region.

By your vague use of the definition literally everything is a potential tool. Fair enough, but hardly anything but a tautological argument.

That being "Is language simply tool?", to which you then present the position of referring to every being a "tool".

Also, note that in the common use of the term "language" (as in the thing being used to communicate right now), the term "tool" falls within the holdings of "language". You may as well ask something like "Does everything measureable have a size?" Meaning, in case you missed it, you've effectively answered your own question within the question itself.

Your "flim-flammery" has been officially "flushed out".

Note: "Groups" don't propose statements, individuals propose statements. Although I cannot dispute that the "statement" much necessarily take on, in part, some semblance of universality in order to be communicated.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#7  Postby SimpleGuy » October 4th, 2017, 9:58 am

A very good question. If language is simply a tool. And then wich language is which tool, maths is a language to describe engeneering sciences as well as physics. Java, python, C++, R and matlab as well as assembler a language for programming computers. But what if certain languages provide more insight then other as everyday usage languages. For example the parsing of everyday book texts into some predicate language can be completed via LSTM neural networks from chinese into a mathematical predicate language for other languages this is still not possible. (Which shows the ingenousness of the corresponding chinese programmers.) Is a human everyday language an enhancement for thinking or not? Super good , question for the basic of computer science.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#8  Postby Synthesis » October 4th, 2017, 1:53 pm

I am going to reply to the group by suggesting that the main purpose of all social interaction is the expropriation of labor-value earned, and language is used mostly as a lever to achieve this end.

Why lie otherwise?
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#9  Postby Steve3007 » October 4th, 2017, 3:06 pm

expropriation of labor-value earned


I don't know what that means.

Do you mean that the purpose of all social interaction is profit?
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#10  Postby Synthesis » October 4th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
expropriation of labor-value earned


I don't know what that means.

Do you mean that the purpose of all social interaction is profit?

Indirectly. The main purpose of social interaction is stealing other people's labor-value [the money-value of their work], be it through the various labor schemes [slave, feudal, or wage], and government [in all its incarnations] with their taxes, fees, levies, fines, so on and so forth.

Consider the three largest groups in existence, governments, corporations, and religions. What is their common denominator?
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#11  Postby Steve3007 » October 4th, 2017, 6:35 pm

In the country where I live taxes fund public services. Don't they do that where you live?
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#12  Postby Burning ghost » October 4th, 2017, 9:44 pm

Synthesis wrote:I am going to reply to the group by suggesting that the main purpose of all social interaction is the expropriation of labor-value earned, and language is used mostly as a lever to achieve this end.

Why lie otherwise?


I am guessing you're doing the same thing you did in your previous posts here? That is introducing the meaning of the term "labour-value" and applying ubiquitously across all themes of human endeavour and understanding.

So what is likely to happen is you'll slowly feed in a couple of examples and cover up that all you are saying is nothing much at all. ie. that if you class "labour-value" as being the exchange of words, information, love, empathy, or money and goods, then you're vacuously correct in saying so.

If "language" means everything and is applied to everything, and "labour-value" means everything and is applicable to everything, then so what?

You've presented a very intricate window into the world of political rhetoric. Well done, whether you've done so intentionally or not.

note: Please don't extend the analogy by introducing another redundant and ambiguous term to represent the "fulcrum" of the "lever".
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#13  Postby Supine » October 4th, 2017, 10:59 pm

Maybe philosophically one can conceptualize language as a tool. But I think anthropologically "tools" would be limited to physical objects that humans use to carry out some work.

Math is a language--a quantitative language--and I think language expresses ideas and values. Which is different than using some object to carry out work, like keys on a keyboard to type letters with, or some object used to pry open the cap on a bottle.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#14  Postby Greta » October 5th, 2017, 1:18 am

Technically yes, Supine, and probably a reasonable, if contestable, complaint regarding taking metaphor too far. I personally love metaphors as a means of better understanding the repeating fractals of reality. So the idea of a "tool" can, in terms of understanding, be extrapolated to simply mean "something that helps us achieving an end" - be that physical or informational.

It could be said that language helps us to express those ideas and values just as a shovel can help one dig a hole. As with tools, the more language that is at our disposal, the more we can do. So a child with simple language skills simply cannot even generate many philosophical ideas, let alone express them. By the same token, someone with a shovel could not possibly dig a hole comparable with mining equipment.

To this end, there's a helpful video dealing directly with the idea of maths as a language and as a tool (the video's speaker is basically a walking, talking cartoon but he is knowledgeable and a clear and systematic thinker) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inPcQeYWVT8.
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Re: Is language simply a tool?

Post Number:#15  Postby Spectrum » October 5th, 2017, 1:34 am

Burning ghost wrote:Spectrum -
Language is such a critical tool to the extent the human natural propensity for language is hardwired in the brain in the Broca region.

False. Language is not specific only to the Broca region.

I agree there are other regions that are responsible language, speech and other elements for communications.
However, the Broca area is the basic and primary region for language in general.

By your vague use of the definition literally everything is a potential tool. Fair enough, but hardly anything but a tautological argument.

That being "Is language simply tool?", to which you then present the position of referring to every being a "tool".

Also, note that in the common use of the term "language" (as in the thing being used to communicate right now), the term "tool" falls within the holdings of "language". You may as well ask something like "Does everything measureable have a size?" Meaning, in case you missed it, you've effectively answered your own question within the question itself.

I agree in a very general sense everything can be viewed as a 'tool,' like sex? the sex organ??
As such I am not wrong in stating Language is simply a tool.
However within the linguistic community, language is often refer to a tool, e.g.


Your "flim-flammery" has been officially "flushed out".

?? Note my justifications above

Note: "Groups" don't propose statements, individuals propose statements. Although I cannot dispute that the "statement" much necessarily take on, in part, some semblance of universality in order to be communicated.

Scientific statements [theories] cannot be confirmed by an individual. Before any scientific theory can be accepted it must be peer-reviewed an accepted with consensus by a community of scientists.

e.g.
wiki wrote: In 2005, Eris, a dwarf planet in the scattered disc which is 27% more massive than Pluto, was discovered. This led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term "planet" formally in 2006, during their 26th General Assembly. That definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a dwarf planet.


As such, there will be a group involvement before any 'statements' [theories, principles, etc] can be accepted.

Still insist " 'Groups' don't propose statements" ???

Nb: there are various meanings to 'propose,' I take it in terms of 'propositions' [philosophical].
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