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Passions in Poetry

Probably a stupid question...

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serenity blaze
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0 posted 07-11-2007 06:05 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Does definition of language affect the nature of reality?

Be gentle with me folks--my brain got outta the gate again.
Drauntz
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1 posted 07-11-2007 06:26 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

"definition of language" ....?
Kangaroo...an animal to some
Kangaroo...to aboriginal people means "I don't know"

or self-interest...Sir Ron, sir Balladeer, sir Brad and sir Grinch are all have different definitions  

"nature of reality".....anything not yourself, right??? including other human's thinking, behaving, other animal's thinking, behaving and mountains and rivers and stars and universe, of course poems.


I say, yes by my understanding of your words...the definition of your language.

AM I understood?  

oceanvu2
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2 posted 07-11-2007 06:26 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi SB!  Yes.  It's all we got to work with.

  Jim
oceanvu2
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3 posted 07-11-2007 06:30 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Drauntz!  "AM I understood?"  Not all the time, but that's part of life.

  Jim
Drauntz
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4 posted 07-11-2007 06:37 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

misunderstanding drives me crazy, ya know. And Poems can't flow out of a crazy person!!!!
serenity blaze
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5 posted 07-11-2007 06:47 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well, I was wondering if, as language evolves, than does reality also evolve?

(I was reading an article by Edward Schiappa...)

He uses some examples that are politically provacative, so I chose not to quote him.

But in case you are wondering where my stupid question came from, you can read it here:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2342/is_1_38/ai_n13504343/pg_1

On a personal note, I'm called "crazy" (quite often by myself, too) but as I read this, I thought of The Little Prince, specifically the little prince's rendering of a snake, digesting an elephant.

He would show this to people, and if they congratulated him on his accurate rendering of a hat, he'd fold his artwork and put it back in his pocket. If the person would remark about how imaginative his drawing of a snake swallowing an elephant was, he would know he met someone who would understand him.

So I'm not so certain if language is all we have to work with...

And "here" is still "here", but yours is over there, and that's understood. Equal and seperate and decidedly different "realities" and neither is less true (or even more true) than the other.

Then we have the oxymoron--

as Ron pointed out:

quote:
Occasional bliss? Isn't that an oxymoron? A bit like very unique?


I know I'm not the only one here who has had a vaguely memorable night.

But oh, reality...now there's a tough one.

What's crazier? Calling an apple an orange, or starving to death while you argue over the proper terminology?

So...I dunno.
Huan Yi
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6 posted 07-11-2007 09:15 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Not reality but the perception of reality.
David Ignatow once remarked that he saw it
as a mark of maturity that he could look
at a mountain as a mountain
and not a comment on his life.


.
Drauntz
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7 posted 07-11-2007 09:40 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

My dear sir YI Huan  

I can't believe that a poet can be so mature that he refers a mountain as a mountain, a bird as a bird!!!!  A poet is, after all, a poet. A great poet, particularly in my view, is a muse if not a mountain of my heart!
serenity blaze
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8 posted 07-11-2007 09:46 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Um...the original phrasing of my question was indeed "perception of reality"--I just figured that it was understood, since that is really all we have.

I thought that if I said "perception of reality" it would be akin to explaining, say, the mechanics of the human eye as a camera, and how we actually see everything upside down but the brain perceives it right side up--I thought it unnecessary, but I guess not.

So yes, amend that to perception of reality.

And I like Drautz's comment as well--because I was indeed hoping to get around to the employment of language and definition as craft of writing.

But I do ask you, how do you not personalize all that you see? I'm not buddha, I'm not Christ.

I've got this brain with faulty wiring, that has been programmed by personal experiences.

Would you mind expounding on the mountain thing for me, HJ?

icebox
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9 posted 07-11-2007 10:01 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox


Commonly held definitions by words may AFFECT the descriptions of physical reality but not EFFECT the substance of that reality.  The affect of a change in acceptable definition may effect a change in the perception of reality, but not in its substance.

So, get enough people to call an apple an orange and it will be known as an orange; that will not change the substance, taste, color, texture, etc. of the fruit.

After World War II, the swastika has generally been seen as a symbol of an unacceptable collection of social, economic and/or political theories and beliefs.  In some parts of the world this affect has even made the display of the swastika a violation of law.  Prior to the rise of the German Third Reich, the swastika in any one of several forms (and in either rotation) for over three thousand years in many cultures was a positive symbol of luck, a symbolic force of "good" energy.  The affect of hatred was to change the belief in acceptability of the symbol's use.  The effect is that this symbol of positive life force is seldom seen today in a positive light.

Similarly a society, or its ruling power structure, might promote an affective change in that society's history in the hope that the effect will be to change history itself.  This is in one way reflected in the old saw that "history is written by the winners."  In this case if the revision is thorough enough, in time when all those living at the time of affect are dead and replaced by generations who hold as real the affective bit of historical fiction, then effect takes over, the fiction becomes the only known reality, and any decision leveraged by that point of information will be effected by the original intentional affect.  

This is not the case with the apple; after a thousand generations the apple (at some point only known by its affective name "orange" ) will still have the same physical properties that it had when it was known as an apple, and when one of those future people thinks of an orange they will be thinking of what is today called an apple.

See, my soul wandering Witch?  It is simple. *grin*

serenity blaze
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10 posted 07-11-2007 10:52 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



Thank you Charly. For your insight.

mmmmhmmm.

You are going to make people think I had some sort of agenda here....

*laughing back atcha*

Or withya.

serenity blaze
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11 posted 07-11-2007 11:02 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and btw? Not to quibble a point--it actually emphasizes what you say about history being written by the "winners".

President Bush redefined "wetlands"--and now, it seems we are gaining ground, instead of losing it--amazing.

A few strokes of an assistant's keyboard and he just undid 75 years of erosion.

But I wasn't gonna go there.
Stephanos
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12 posted 07-12-2007 01:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen,

I'm not interested in responding to this right now.  But I did want to say ... you could have picked a better title for this thread.  No genuine question is stupid.  It's stupider not to ask.  And yes, stupider is a word.  


S
serenity blaze
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13 posted 07-12-2007 01:41 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I know.

But I got tired,

so I just shrugged.

That ever happen to you?

It happens to me--ALOT.

*laughing* but not without love...



g'nite good people.
Drauntz
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14 posted 07-12-2007 01:51 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

My dear SB, how are you?
You asked a question and you got tired of the answers?!!!!

every thing will be affected by our language, from beginning  to end and in between.  you know, Mars can't mind his own business because of the language of NASA.

Have a good night and many hugs and kisses.

Susan Caldwell
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15 posted 07-12-2007 12:42 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

"A few strokes of an assistant's keyboard and he just undid 75 years of erosion."

*nod* you know I work for the gov. right?  I have seen this type of thing from time to time...meh..

and dang I wish I had Icy right next to me all day, every day, educating me..

and I have often had similar thoughts..the first of which was probably when I was around the age of 6/7 and said the "F" word and got into a bit of trouble...I remember thinking it's just a word, who attached the bad meaning to it?? (maybe not in that specific context but the thought process was the same).

So I guess my simple answer is yes. My more (just a tad) complex answer is; even that is a matter of perspective.

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

Grinch
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16 posted 07-12-2007 06:57 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Does definition of language affect the nature of reality?


I'd have to say no.

Language just aids, and sometimes hinders, understanding but doesn't affect reality at all, rather language is a tool used in the attempt to reflect reality.

Schiappa's argument, put simply, is this:

Definitions should be treated less as questions of “is” and more as questions of “ought.” Instead of “What is X?” he suggests that questions regarding definitions should be  “What should  X be in relation to Y?"  (Y being the context of X viewed pragmatically according to needs and interest).

The problem is that reality is .. well relative so definitions tend to be subjective which is why my definition of something complex like self-interest differs from Ron, Michael and Brad's. If you don't believe me try defining "a summers day" then compare it to someone else's, they'll both be valid definitions but they're not likely to be exactly the same.

Schiappa's rhetorical argument as outlined above is very similar to Rand's Objectivism though on a smaller scale and, in my opinion, suffers from the same stumbling blocks, the biggest being that you can't automatically get from an "ought" to an "is" (Hume's Guillotine) especially when individuals are deciding the "oughts".

That's not to say that Schiappa's ideas aren't useful, the re-definition of rape for instance is an example where types can be clarified by using the system for legal interpretation but as soon as you try the same trick on something a little more vague such as "a summers day" the results aren't so clear cut.


Drauntz
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17 posted 07-12-2007 08:52 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

1. In the beginning was Word.
2. How Eve got talked into eating the fruit? then came the human fate.
3. Tower of the Babel. the different language.
4. But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8) ....can determine the future.

too deep a philosophical question. Dear SB.
Drauntz
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18 posted 07-12-2007 09:13 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Language, human or bird, is for communication  of life activity. Life, as food, shelter, entertainment, war, all related to nature of reality.

AM I right? Dear SB.

Sir Grinch, how do you understand "definition of Language" and " nature of reality"? (hope you had a good trip to Spain.)
Grinch
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19 posted 07-12-2007 09:48 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Drauntz,

Do you mean how do I know what both terms mean?

If so my understanding of the terms is based on context.

In this case I used Schiappa's explanation of the definition of language, Karen's definition of reality and my brain to connect the dots. Which seemed sensible as Karen referenced Schiappa and clearly defined the reality she was talking about.


Spain was fine thanks.

Essorant
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20 posted 07-13-2007 03:42 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes.  Language is a little mote of reality when compared to reality as a whole.  But when we specifically refer to living beings, it becomes monumental.  It is a monumental part of our behaviour and affects it monumentally as well.  
Grinch
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21 posted 07-13-2007 09:44 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
What's crazier? Calling an apple an orange, or starving to death while you argue over the proper terminology?


Bad analogy, you need to choose two dissimilar subjects to understand where definition becomes important, try this:

What's crazier? Calling a rock an orange, or starving to death while you argue over the proper terminology?

The definition of a rock and an orange is vital to avoiding starvation; you can't even start the meal without selecting the right ingredients.

Take the recent Rand debate; it's vital that the definition of self-interest is clear before Objectivism can be understood, using the selfish definition would be like choosing the rock to make a meal. Rand attempted to re-define selfish using a version of Schiappas template, which isn't particularly wrong it's just downright confusing, it's like having an orange and an unknown item and deciding to call the unknown item an orange as well. You end up with two oranges but only one will satisfy your hunger.

I said that Rand used a version of Schiappas re-definition, that's not strictly true; Rand used the re-definition in reverse. Schiappas premise is that terms should be split by re-definition when the need arises, take death for instance, death was fine as a definition of the absence of life until transplants came along. At that point death needed a little re-defining because only one type, or sub-set, of death is conducive to a successful transplant - brain death.

Rand however needed a type of selfishness without the negative connotations but instead of creating a subset she chose it re-define selfishness itself and re-defined it to make it fit. Like I said that isn't inherently wrong it just makes it hard to understand and even harder to explain.

Schiappa himself has used this reverse technique - sort of.

He looked at the definition of Rape to try to clarify whether martial rape was actually rape, he created a sub-set of rape called marital rape and investigated the definition of the sub-set. Long story short his new definition ended up being rape by any other name so he redefined the term rape to include it.

However like I said earlier defining isn't easy, Schiappa's template is appealing because it works when you look at clear cut black and white subjects like rape and death but it fails when you get to more nebulous terms such as "a summers day". The reason is that the act of defining requires a mix of subjective and objective thinking, similar to how we ascribe morality to ethical choices and decide short and long-term self-interest.

I think the answer to the differing nature of ethical choices, defining and self-interest is probably a triumvirate of self (subjective), society (objective) and options (available choices) where combinations with differing emphasis depending on context leads to differences of opinion.

I can explain my theory if you're not already bored.


serenity blaze
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22 posted 07-13-2007 10:05 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

You are absolutely right--it's a bad analogy. I used two concrete nouns, when I should have used conceptual nouns better suited for discussion of ideas.

And I can't believe I spent most of last night looking through Byzantine poets to formulate that thought. (I should have just asked you.)  

But I'm really glad Essorant showed up, since I'd like his take on this too. If definition of language is so precise as to define our reality, then what are we to make of translations? Or even evolutionary definitions which broaden scope and intent?

Can we understand Nietzche without learning German? (Feel free to jump in, Brad.)

For that matter, can we understand the Bible without an understanding of Hebrew, Aramaic, Sanskrit, and Greek? (That would be your cue, Stephan?)

If the answer to my question is a qualified yes, does it logically follow that we don't know what the heck we are reading if we don't know the language in which the work was originally written?

Interestingly enough, it's been said that mathematics is the only precise language. (I forget who, but I'm sure someone will tell me.) The Hebrew language is also their numerical system. So should scripture be read as a code, deciphered?

And just 'cause I ask the questions doesn't mean I have the answers.   As someone pointed out, I've a bit of a wandering soul; and in case you guys have not noticed, I am usually more surprised than anyone when my stupid questions end up being long-ass threads.
Drauntz
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23 posted 07-13-2007 11:09 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Grinch,
Write more. It is interesting to read your thought. I kind  agree with you on most part...
Grinch
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24 posted 07-13-2007 06:19 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
mathematics is the only precise language


Karen,

That's probably true but why do you think that is?

Perhaps it's because mathematics is totally closed to subjective definition or preference, because the rules and language are fixed and universally accepted and only ever universally changed if required, leaving no room for ambiguity.

I'm sure "a summers day" could be represented by a mathematical formula but I'm also sure that however precise that formula was only one or two people would be able to understand it. Which sort of negates it's usefulness as a language for everyday communication.

Whether you can truly understand Nietzche and the bible without knowing the original language is a very interesting question. I'll leave Nietzche and the bible for Brad and Stephanos apart from saying that my view is that one is more likely to be understood than the other.

Drauntz,

I think it's highly likely I'll write more - I'm pretty much addicted.  

 
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