Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Meaning (Was Postmodernism)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0070  Thursday, 22 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Ralph Gainey <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Jan 1998 09:14:59 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Types of Language

[2]     From:   Norm Holland <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Jan 98 22:29:24 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0067  Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ralph Gainey <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 21 Jan 1998 09:14:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Types of Language

Bill Godshalk wrote:

            " Let's face it: we don't know exactly how
             meaning is passed, via language, from
            brain to brain, but, day to day, we rely on
            this phenomenon. If we couldn't do it, pass
            meaning by language, this list would not,
            could not, exist."

I don't think it is so much a matter of not knowing how "meaning" is
communicated, as it is our general failure to appreciate the fundamental
manner in which all language is constructed and utilized, as a matter of
mutual agreement. As a species, H. sapiens has THREE FUNDAMENTAL TYPES
OF LANGUAGE, and each of them is built on a common schemata of ELEMENT,
OPERATION, CONSEQUENCE. We have, so far, invented these three types so
that they are consistent, one with another, although, because of their
disparate histories, the fundamental schemata has not been rigidly
adhered to, and the result does, indeed, resemble a chaotic pizza.

The situation, however, is not hopeless, and we can both reconstruct the
existing natural language(s), and invent/construct new ones.  In
addition, we need to generalize the Euclidean geometry so that it is
capable of exactly modeling natural systems, and also to provide a
common foundation for number theory, set theory, and logic. It can be
easily shown that any concept is readily expressed in any of the three
languages, and thus they are essentially equivalent in communicative
power. This should alert us whenever we posit what appears to be either
a unique description, or what appears as a paradoxical either/or
situation, such as in the wave/particle dichotomy.

Greetings from Little River

My very best regards,
Ralph Gainey

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norm Holland <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 21 Jan 98 22:29:24 EST
Subject: 9.0067  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0067  Re: Postmodernism

Oh my, oh my.  Your cyber-resident reader-response critic notes that the
discussion of Terence Hawkes postmodern rhetoric has lapsed into the
familiar problems that we get into when we assume that meaning is "in" a
text, to be pulled out by the midwife-critic.  Once we recognize that we
on the receiving end construct meaning by psychological processes well
known to the many psychologists who study the rudimentary acts of
reading by schoolchildren, village idiots, and postmodern critics.
There is little or no mystery in how we communicate.  You create an
aural or written text using the codes and canons of our shared language,
and you think it means what you think it means.  I construe it using the
codes and canons of our shared language, and I think it means what I
think it means.  And surprise, surprise! since we are using the same
codes and canons (although we apply them differently), we often
understand each other.  All this is explained in pre-postmodern language
in a book called _The Brain of Robert Frost_ (Routledge) by yours truly,
Norm Holland
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.