Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

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Ivan
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Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 20th, 2018, 2:48 am

This might sound a bit naïve, but I suspect if we, philosophers do not do something now, then the modern arms might make the Muses fall silent for ever. We just need to find our own way to do something.

My first idea is this. We know about gender neutrality and race neutrality in language. Why not make another tiny step and to discuss, say, ‘nation-neutral language’? The language, which could prevent the whole nations from clashing in such a rapid way in our post-truth era. The language, which might help any nation to feel and stay unstigmatized (at least if it wishes to).
Let us discuss if it possible at all.

P.S. I am from Russia, so you should know what I mean)

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Alias » March 20th, 2018, 1:55 pm

Esperanto didn't work out; Na'vi has not yet spread far enough and may not ever be able to.
That means the Overlords will have to impose their new language.
All the ones we have are fatally flawed.
Artists make the best they can of what they have to work with; muses adapt.
Being Russian, you will have seen plenty of state-regulated art. Has it not the same range of beauty as aristocrat-patronized art or tycoon-commissioned art or starving art ?

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Hereandnow » March 20th, 2018, 6:05 pm

You mean I can't call Russians Ruskies anymore? And can't I play with that accent?

Anyway, the matter you refer to does not rest with language, so much. It's about lying and intolerance. Their will always be nasty people saying nasty things. We need parents, politicians and teachers to stop modeling this s***. Moral intelligence is the ticket, that is, an intelligence that understands that it hurts to do something; it hurts and to know it.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 21st, 2018, 3:12 am

Alias wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 1:55 pm
Being Russian, you will have seen plenty of state-regulated art. Has it not the same range of beauty as aristocrat-patronized art or tycoon-commissioned art or starving art ?
Alias, you are right. We admire Egyptian, Babylonian and Ancient Greek pieces of art, not paying attention to whether art was state regulated or not. In this respect any culture still has its absolute right to exist peacefully if it has a potential to create such things or make scientific breakthroughs. If we tried to devise some criteria for evaluation of culture or nation, I could not have proposed anything other. Since only such things are preserved for centuries. That is why I am so concerned with ‘musai' – or with ‘technai’ in general.

However, in the first message it was ‘Inter arma silent Musae’, that I had in mind. There is another modern proverb ‘When diplomacy ends, War begins’. So what I would like to say is we are too near to another world war. And I suspect, some degradation of our diplomatic institutions (in Russia, Europe, the U.S.) is not least to blame for it. Diplomacy is all about rhetoric and argumentation. But now it is becoming just another media resource, generating random creepy messages. When an empty test tube is shown at the UN as a kind of a casus belli, it may seem laughable. A Russian diplomat howling ‘Look into my eyes’ at the UN is disgusting. When Johnson says nowadays, that #Russiansdidit or Putin himself ordered the spy attack, that is just unbelievable. A single twit may sparkle a war!

So if diplomacy is failing to be argumentative anymore, then there should be some other measures and institutions at hand. I think philosophy (philosophy of language, ethics, etc.) might really help. You may still think it is naïve. But the Russell Tribunal is the one good example.
As to the language, I do not think any artificial language might help. We might begin with some basic set of rules or even taboos (like n-word nowadays). E.g., we should be very careful with any generalizations. Russians just could not be ‘good’ or ‘neutral’ for years and then turn out ‘bad’ during some five years or so. It is not probable. Of course, you can try to ‘whip’ the whole nation, just as Xerxes whipped the sea. But hey, it is the XXI century!

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Alias » March 21st, 2018, 8:41 am

I have no idea what that means, muse-wise,

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 21st, 2018, 11:25 am

Ivan:
So if diplomacy is failing to be argumentative anymore …
I think it too soon to declare the death of diplomacy, although it is in critical condition. Language is being used as a weapon, but I don’t think a neutral language would disarm language or mitigate the aggression behind it. And money talks. (In the United States this is no longer just a figure of speech. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has made it the law of the land.) Diplomacy does not work because all parties involved have agreed to talk nice. It works because all sides come to see that whatever is agreed upon is in their own self-interest. Diplomacy fails when one side attempts to win at the cost of loss to others. This is something "Art of the Deal" Trump seems to have failed to understand. But he is not alone in the use of strong-arm tactics. There are other "strongmen" leaders and he praises them all.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Burning ghost » March 21st, 2018, 12:36 pm

I vote for Klingon :D
AKA badgerjelly

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 22nd, 2018, 7:00 am

Fooloso4, I do agree, that a neutral language would not ‘disarm language’. It’s OK if language is used as a weapon. After all, cold war might be the ‘best’ kind of war humankind has invented so far.
We could even think of all those potential weaponry, including nukes, as a part of our national and diplomatic ‘discourse’, as an argument only, strong-arm tactics, etc. Taking into account all the history of our relationships, we could say we got used to this way of talking. But:

1) You are right, diplomacy (at least its public part) is in critical condition. The additional problem is in the modern world there might be some actors, taking all such words/statements seriously. E.g. with that skirmish between Trump and Kim Jong-un many of us could really imagine some of them ordering to nuke something. So the probability we might get lost in this game is not zero.
2) Another big problem is nowadays we cannot be sure we really know just what we would like to achieve on the national level. We seem to be losing the agenda, which would be equally clear for all of us. Is it still worth it or comparable with those ‘last arguments’ used? Our ideologies and sets of values are degrading, while the ‘arguments’ are getting even stronger and more expensive.

That is why I think of both national and international philosophical diplomacy, or even philosophical arbitration. Which might use its own ‘language’, somewhat different from typical language used in both diplomacy and media.
E.g. nowadays, our account of what we may call a fact or an evidence seems to be changing quite rapidly. Of course, it is not a sensation and might be traced back to the emergence of social constructivism. However, this trend seems to have reached its apogee recently.

So I would ask those philosophers to work with facts, evidences and statements about them :) I do not think it might interfere much with our diplomatic endeavors if those statements would be stripped of all that noise and will be available to anyone. Something of this sort. But their mission should always be the same: to exclude the possibility of any direct confrontation.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 24th, 2018, 2:25 am

Alias wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 8:41 am
I have no idea what that means, muse-wise,
Muse-wise it means when tomorrow arms speak, the Muses will not be just silent. They will be dead. We may all be dead, but still the Muses (our cultural heritage, etc.) would be the first to be mourned over.
So we need someone to shed some cold light of reason… And I do not think I am an alarmist.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Alias » March 25th, 2018, 10:12 am

If everybody's dead, what good is culture?

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 25th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Alias wrote:
March 25th, 2018, 10:12 am
If everybody's dead, what good is culture?
That is the question :) I may agree I pose it in a somewhat unusual manner (I am from another culture).
However IMHO it is much more existential, than any other today.

And I really think we should change something in our manner of thinking and speaking to stay alive.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Alias » March 25th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Better still - change several things. Big ones.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 25th, 2018, 5:37 pm

What kind of things?

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Alias » March 25th, 2018, 10:10 pm

We need to change our current concepts of how to organize society, how to get what we need, how to relate to the world.
Plus, it might be a good idea to refer to early (low-tech) cultures for an assessment of Nature, human nature, and morality.

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Re: Would Neutral Language prevent Muses from falling Silent for ever?

Post by Ivan » March 26th, 2018, 3:19 am

I do agree. However, those things are really big. And I do not think we have enough time to do that.
So the question is what is the minimum, that we could really do to settle it all down.

What is amazing for me is that in all our cultures (the U.S, EU, Russia) multiculturalism have been a kind of a cornerstone for so many years. If our foreign affairs were based on the same principles, we might avoid most of the problems we are facing now. We just could not so easily slide into this ‘post-truth era’ all of a sudden.
That is why I began with the question of neutrality in language.

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