Is it possible to have non-linguistic thoughts? | Page 5 | INFJ Forum

Is it possible to have non-linguistic thoughts?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Ren, Jan 18, 2018.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 17 users.
More threads by Ren
  1. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    I think I read about 70% of this thread. Now I want to give my opinion.
    The life, the experience and the actions of humans are complex.
    We see, hear, feel and whatever else comes into our mind through our senses.
    All these sensations are processed according to their origin. It is not necessary to translate everything into words.
    Therefore, at least I myself am able to process and understand all these sensations without thinking of them as words.

    I would also like to give a small example here, which I noticed some time ago:
    When I learn a musical instrument, I see a note on a sheet of music.
    I convert this note into its name in my head. For example a "C".
    Then I think about how to play this note on my instrument.
    Then I take this note and it sounds.
    But as soon as I have mastered the instrument I no longer need this intermediate step of translating.
    I see the note on its staff, and grasp the right note. In this example, language is only a tool that slows me down in my thinking.

    I think a lot in pictures, or rather it is like a living cinema. It may even be that I think about smells, or how the wind blows in my face. I do not need words for that.
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  2. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    Looking back and in light of recent posts and Chomsky's interview, I think the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that nonlinguistic thinking is not only possible but even frequent. Sure, one might define a thought as something linguistic, and then say that nonlinguistic thoughts are impossible, but this would obviously beg the question. I think that to an extent I was guilty of that in my arguments two years ago. I've changed my mind since.

    One might suggest that linguistic thoughts are qualitatively peculiar as compared to other kinds of thoughts, but Chomsky indicates that it would be artificial to divide thoughts between 'linguistic' and 'nonlinguistic', as if there were only two main categories of thoughts, whereas there are probably many more.

    Very interesting topic. What about AI? Would you say AI can have nonlinguistic thoughts in the same way that humans do?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K, Wyote and Sandie33 like this.
  3. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    A simple short answer:
    AI do not think
     
  4. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    Can you provide an argument as to why they do not think?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K and Sandie33 like this.
  5. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    So it was a short answer. :tonguewink:

    It has to do with how I see the world and the people in it.
    This would make a rather long article, and I'm afraid that my knowledge of English would not be sufficient to put what I think into words.

    But only briefly:
    I believe that there is something I call the inside, and something I call the outside. An AI is missing this inner part.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox
     
    #85 Sorn, Aug 1, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  6. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    68
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    Intj
    I think in abstract concepts, and don't have an inner dialogue/monologue for the most part. I also seldom engage inner/mental visualisations.

    It's difficult to describe my thoughts which are mostly without words or images. Maybe an example is if I think of myself: I know myself intimately and have a very complex and definite concept of myself and my identity. But when I think of myself, it isn't a visualisation of my body, and it isn't a collection of words or my name... it's just the mental what's-it-called which lets me immediately intuit when something/someone is similar or different to me.
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  7. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Imagine going to an interview, or you'll be asked to see your boss. With me, it's like I'm already imagining everything is a drama.
    The questions, the answers, the movements, how someone asks me if I want a drink, the smell of coffee,
    the noise of the street with the window open. I can already see and hear or sometimes smell all this before my inner "eye".
    What is it like for someone who perceives this as an abstract impression in his thoughts?
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  8. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    68
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    Intj
    It's a mixture of "senses": a sense of trust in my own abilities, experience, and knowledge; a sense of curiosity with a touch of caution about the boss's intentions; an awareness of my physical posture, appearance, and any tension or bravado; a sense of my own integrity and diligence; and what I can only describe as a "sense of the big picture."

    In terms of the cognitive functions, my mind is working on intuitive mode with an internal review of my own character (Fi). My extroverted thinking and sensing is completely ready to engage with whatever might be raised in the meeting.

    Juxtaposing with what I expect an INFJ might be preparing to encounter with their extroverted feeling, I barely give any thought or anticipation to what the boss might be feeling or anything like that. Even in the meeting, if the boss is frustrated, I assume he's frustrated because of some workplace problem I can help address.
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  9. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Does this also mean that in normal life, where you are not focused on planning future events, you experience the present in this way?
    And what happens when you close your eyes, can you imagine the environment you are in as a picture?
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  10. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    68
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    Intj
    I just know my environment without having to visualise it. All I can describe it as is intuitive.

    I especially notice how it works when I have to reproduce something I have seen by drawing it. When it's a schematic, or some sort of functional design, I can reproduce it very accurately, often adding improvements or notes, but when it's something like a landscape, buildings, or people, I find it hard to draw in things which could identify the object, so someone else could pick out the person/object. I especially can't draw the outline of counties, so they're recognisable.

    All that said, I can visualise things, but it takes conscious effort, and seldom seems useful.
     
    John K and Ren like this.
  11. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Thank you for your insightful answers.
     
    John K, Ren and Wyote like this.
  12. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    The Chinese Room argument (assuming that it's successful) shows that computers have syntax but no semantics. Very well, but does thinking require semantics? I think that it's precisely because our own thinking has a semantics that we can think in something else than words; anything will do as long as it means something. Words mean something but e.g. images and various symbols do too. Perhaps we could say that AI has no choice but to think in a language, i.e. its pre-programmed language, precisely because it lacks the semantic capacity.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K and Sorn like this.
  13. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Yes, to recognize meaning, that is the center.
    But it's not just a question of capacity.
    Before an AI can even interact properly with people, it would have to be fed with all knowledge,
    connections and moral principles. But even that is not enough. My encyclopedia has all that, too.
    Also on the Internet. It is full of knowledge and connections. But it still lacks the authority to understand,
    to grasp the meaning.
    I perceive it as an infinity within me, something that I myself of course cannot comprehend.
    This infinity...
    is the reason why I mentioned Sorites_Paradox.
    Is it enough to make an AI only complex enough to cross a line at some point where the AI starts to think for itself?
     
    John K, Themis and Ren like this.
  14. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    This is the question that philosophers of AI are obsessed with. Personally, I cannot see how this gap can be bridged. Nothing indicates that high complexity will suddenly cause the emergence of meaning.

    So I think we agree on this, essentially. Our differences regarding thinking are just a matter of what we each define by 'thinking', so in a sense they are not real differences.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K likes this.
  15. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    This sounds to me more like you have an intuitive notion of 'what it's like' to be you, and the concomitant notion of what it's not like.

    But I'm not sure this is equivalent to having knowledge of who you are, if you know what I mean. It's more akin to an impression or a feeling.

    I relate very much to what you are saying here, by the way. I experience something similar.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K likes this.
  16. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    Indeed, this is not what an INFJ would spontaneously assume. We would tend to assume the frustration is due to interpersonal tension, not some technical externality which we could impersonally address.

    At least this would hold true for me.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K likes this.
  17. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    5,097
    Featured Threads:
    3
    Likes Received:
    49,755
    Trophy Points:
    3,012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5W4 549
    There are many examples of non-linguistic thought that we come across routinely, though it all depends what's meant by thought I guess. For example both of these seem to me to be exquisite expressions of thought without any use of language at all.



    upload_2020-8-4_8-49-36.png

    I can see another angle on this when I think back to my children learning to talk as infants and asking about things they had no words for along the boundary between language and non-language thinking - they are clearly thinking about it or they couldn't ask, but the asking reflects their non-linguistic concept of the object.

    Or does it. I was intrigued to re-read what I wrote here two years ago
    https://www.infjs.com/threads/is-it...linguistic-thoughts.34829/page-4#post-1077255

    I still think this. All the mental processes of living creatures must use some kind of symbolic representation to relate to the world or they would not be able to identify and react to it as it presents itself to us. This is completely unconscious in all but humans, and mostly unconscious in us - some is hard wired genetically and some learned. Language is simply a kind of foam on top of the deep sea of these symbolic models - we can think without it, but language gives us a god-like power to take control and understand in a way that non-linguistic thinking never can. The development of language is probably the Original Sin of the Bible lol.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Wyote and Ren like this.
  18. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    55
    Messages:
    11,682
    Featured Threads:
    29
    Likes Received:
    89,649
    Trophy Points:
    4,246
    Location:
    Dublin
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4-5-8
    This is interesting, it sounds kind of Kantian in a sense. But this is exactly what Chomsky rehabilitated after the decline of behaviorism.

    Chomsky says it is almost better to speak about language acquisition as 'growth' rather than 'learning'. I think it aligns rather well with your notion of language as something that comes 'on top' of a framework of already functional internal symbols.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. Sorn

    Sorn Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Threads:
    3
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    787
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    I also find it interesting that there is a "Machtwort" (power word or command) in German.
    Or spells.
    Or Bible John 1:1
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    A true sorcerer does not need a spell or a magic wand but only his imagination and will.

    Language apparently has something to do with creative power.
    It has the ability to manifest things.
     
  20. dragulagu

    dragulagu Galactic Explorer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Threads:
    64
    Messages:
    2,821
    Featured Threads:
    12
    Likes Received:
    14,026
    Trophy Points:
    1,677
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Andromeda
    MBTI:
    INTJ
    Enneagram:
    549
     
Loading...

Share This Page