Hope I'm doing this right... I'm a poet. I feel the "motto" proposed might be one to be included in a "collection" of representative quotes but alone it stresses logic as the end-all of language, which it is not... amzolt 04:03, 24 Oct 2005 (UTC)amzolt

I think that Wittgenstein had a conceptualization of "logic" as being fundamental to all of reality. I'm not sure that anyone would suggest that "logic", even as viewed by Wittgenstein, is the "end-all of language". However, Wittgenstein did seem devoted to the idea that there is a "logical" substratum that constrains human language, even poetry. And he seemed to see the relationship between language and logic as a also being such that if you think about language in the wrong way, then you cannot correctly understand logic. --JWSchmidt 17:40, 24 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Ambiguity Edit

I found a fascinating article in Wikipedia:

The quote I'm including stresses the ambiguous possibilities of language that poets use regularly; attempting, in that use, to "bend" or "stretch" logic...

"In remark #23 of Philosophical Investigations, he points out that the practice of human language is more complex than the simplified views of language that have been held by people who want to explain or simulate human language by means of some formal system. It would be a disastrous mistake, according to Wittgenstein, to see language as being in any way analogous to formal logic. Instead, language showed indexicality and was context-bound (cf contextualism). To show this, he constructed many sentences that can be interpreted in more than one way. One of the most famous is, "Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." Does this mean:

1. that philosophers use language to combat bewitchments, or
2. that philosophers battle bewitchments caused by language itself?"

amzolt 02:19, 25 Oct 2005 (UTC)amzolt

The relationships between formal systems (such as formal logics) and "non-formal systems" are interesting. Some formal systems arise as conceptualizations that can function as approximations of complex systems - such formal systems can cartainly act as bewitchments. It is also possible to search for formal systems that describe simple physical processes from which complex phenomena can arise by "emergence". Sometimes complex systems seem to be absolutely beyond the possibility of being described by a formal system. We might ask, how could a formal system capture the richness of poetry? Well, some people take seriously the idea that human language behavior (even poetry) might some day be produced by mechanical algorithms instantiated in man-made computing devices. If so, we have to find a way to make such devices before we can fully break the intuition that poetry is beyond the power of any formal system. --JWSchmidt 03:50, 25 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I'm cetainly not a scholar nor a logician, yet your mention of complex systems made me check an article in Wikipedia on Chaos Theory and I re-found this: "...the observed behavior of physical systems that exhibit chaos appears to be random, even though the model of the system is 'deterministic' in the sense that it is well defined and contains no random parameters." Then, I thought about devices that could mimic human use of language in poetry and realized that, by the time the device was made, the language could have changed enough that there would be realms the machine wouldn't go. Yet, my imagination says, the machine could be "creative" faster than humans--but, no, it would still be MachinePoetry... So, anyway, maybe poetry isn't beyond explication by a formal system, as long as that system includes the "rules" of chaos... BTW, I still think the quote on the main page shouldn't be the only motto of this wiki... amzolt 15:36, 25 Oct 2005 (UTC)amzolt

I'm a biologist with an interest in human language and the idea that it might be possible to make a robotic device that could learn to use language in the same way that a human child does. Personally, I'm not sure that a wiki needs a motto, but I guess mottos can serve as conversation pieces. --JWSchmidt 20:10, 25 Oct 2005 (UTC)
Biologist... Maybe... electronics/biomolecules... Hmmm... Still, even if it "approached human language use, I feel the subtleties of actual human language would escape such a device. Just think of the impact of human experience on language. How does one let a fabricated device have sex (with all the bells and whistles of human sex), for instance?

amzolt 10:02, 26 Oct 2005 (UTC)amzolt

Autonomous robots will evolve under constraints such as finding ways to be useful to people. It will be important to provide these devices with a rich set of sensory systems. A serious challenge will be to figure out how to couple such sensory systems to the types of learning and memory systems that allow human children to make use of a social learning environment. I doubt if artificial intelligence researchers can guess the algorithms for such learning. Rather, we should figure out how biological brains do it and apply our knowledge of that to the task of making artificial learning devices that are useful "cognitive prosthetics" for people. What is needed is a serious interdisciplinary effort of biologically inspired artificial intelligence research. It might be a few centuries before there are robots with all the bells and whistles. --JWSchmidt 13:14, 26 Oct 2005 (UTC)

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