Monday, May 22, 2006

Mental Masturbation on Language and Rationality

Listening to NPR while jogging last week around the glimmering sunny Lake Lagunita (Lake "Lake"), Tom Wolfe mentioned his belief that human rationality, the very essence of humanity, came about with language, the ability to communicate sparked reason, sparked civilization, sparked humanity.

This sparked a chain of random fun ideas, on Wittgenstein's (I believe old Wittgenstein as opposed to new Wittgenstein) concurrence that reason is only possible with language and thus truth is inherently unknowable (echoing Humean empiricism) because language is necessarily imperfect (echoing the proof by Godel that even the language of math is necessarily imperfect and certain ideas must be inexpressible in any mathematical system, echoing Church and Turing on the inherent incomputability of some things), and then reminded of W-'s explanation of how Habermas' reconciles post-modernism with objective reality by saying that reality is objective, but the imprecision of language and the necessity of language to perceive reality makes our perception of reality necessarily subjective.
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