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Language as Tool of Destruction

October 14, 2009

Note: The following is my answer to an anonymous commenter who, despite my earnest efforts to encourage him/her to reveal his/her identity, still decided to hide behind an absurd pseudonym. He/she simply resorted to evasion by simply saying that he/she believes in “authorism” (whatever that term means) so he thinks he/she is justified to conceal his/her true identity. To me, however this commenter defined his refusal to share his/her identity, that’s a sign of cowardice. If you have the guts to engage in an intellectual discussion, you must also be ready to show who you are. Identity of parties is an essential requisite in an informal or formal debate. Click here for the commenter’s full comment.

This whimsical thinking will only lead to man’s Orwellian destruction, wherein language is at the arbitrary whim of those who have the capacity to define words according to their collective, irrational or dictatorial objective.

The world of matrix (the phenomenal world), where reality is not percepts but words, which have no core meaning. If words had no core meaning, how could man think properly?

The world of matrix (the phenomenal world), where reality is not percepts but words, which have no core meaning. If words had no core meaning, how could man think properly?

Anti-essentialism (however you want to use that term),

I can detect your purpose in trying to narrow down the discussion here. But that’s just fine. I can give you a few minutes in spite

of your anonymity. As much as possible I don’t want to deal with anonymous commenters, and I admire those who’re brave enough to reveal their identity. When I wrote this blog, I never entertained the idea of hiding behind a pen name. Now in your reply, I hope that you’d muster enough courage to show your identity (which means you’ll give me some ways to validate your identity).

This is your main point: “We must recognize that words have no core meanings. We mean what we want them to mean, albeit not as arbitrarily as this may sound.”

What I can gather from this subjectivist approach to language is that since words have no core meaning, anybody can simply alter the concepts of a particular word. Language is a tool and domain of concepts. With the exception of proper names, every word we speak is a symbol that denotes a concept. We need to have an objective language because language and concepts are fundamentally a vital instrument of cognition, not of communication, the latter being merely the consequence. You must understand that cognition precedes communication. You can’t think properly without objective words or language. Thus the main objective of language and of concepts is to provide the speaker with a system of cognitive organization and classification, which enables him to gain knowledge on a broader or indefinite scale. In other words, the purpose of language and concepts is to keep or maintain order in man’s mind and to enable him to think properly.

Language is a tool and domain of concepts.

You’re simply echoing what the linguistic analysts embrace– that reality is not even percepts, but words. You adhere to the idea of these linguistic analysts that words have no specific referents at all, but simply mean whatever people would want them to mean. That means that words must be subjective because everybody can have his arbitrary interpretation of reality.

Like the linguistic analysts you’re also opposed to consistency, basic axioms, and to necessity of any grounds for one’s arguments or convictions. Like them, you deny the hierarchical structure of concepts (meaning the process of abstraction) and consider any word an isolated primary– and that you’re against the process of system building for the integration of knowledge.

The only concept I can gather from your assertion is this– that the meaning of concepts is primarily determined in the minds of average individuals. The thinkers whom you so admire regard words as an arbitrary social concept or product not subject to any standards or principles, an unsimplified primary immune from inquiry in regard to its purpose or origin– and that we can simply breakdown all philosophical issues by clarifying the functions of these meaningless, causeless, arbitrary sounds which hold absolute power over reality.

These grotesque linguistic devices undercut the cognitive function of concepts. I understand that the premise of their baloney linguistic devices is that words are generated by whim, they simply try to propose a choice of whims– individual or collective. It means that there are only two ways by which we can define words: “reportive” (to be determined by surveys or polls) and “stipulative” (to be determined by anyone else). This whimsical thinking will only lead to man’s Orwellian destruction, wherein language is at the arbitrary whim of those who have the capacity to define words according to their collective, irrational or dictatorial objective.

Thus, with that grotesque idea or premise (or whatever you call it since you believe words have no core meaning) which you learned from the language analysts of absurdity, I must add that you can even question every term and every abstraction I used for my blogsite. Why? Simply because you can alter, redefine or distort reality only in your mind. You can even say that a table is not actually a table but an inanimate object that is a product of our illusion. You can even say that reason does not exist but just a product of man’s mystical reunification with the energy of the universe. Remember Matrix Reloaded (I’m sure you’re a fan of that creepy film), which was inspired by the philosophy of Immanuel Kant?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. anti-essentialism permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:38

    Thank you for posting this entry. I did not think my comments would warrant a separate entry, and I feel quite flattered, frankly.

    But since you don’t want to engage with me anymore, and you have called me a hippie, a context-dropper, an absurd, and a coward, I’ll just drop by to express my sincere gratitude at how you have dissected and belabored my comments (no sarcasm here, promise).

    PS

    I am not a fan of Matrix Reloaded (now this is a real insult!😀 ). And I think it was inspired more by the semiotics of postmodern extraordinaire, Mr. Jean Baudrillard than Kant’s philosophy.

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