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a discussion on the importance of dicussions
i'm continually surprised by the amount of people who are authorities on what words and expressions are (and are not), since consensus in the fields of semantics and pragmatics is far from complete on these definitions. please, oh duke-of-darkenss, try to actually read the argument before you respond in the future. ideally, you would even refer to the specific arguments which were used and attempt to strategically (according to the inference strucutres of the argument) undermine them --- but a man can't be too picky. i will spare you a re-cap, i imagine a reread will suffice. i will simply respond to the little argumentation that you did attempt and simultaneously try to extend on the discussion of the significance of a "dynamic view of meaning" --- which is, in my opinion, essential to the effective implementation of nl-computational devices of use in artificial intelligence applications (and neural nets are interesting here, but it is likely that advances in the one domain will positively influence the progress of the other).
line-by-line, the speakers should be clear:
DA: Don't you think they [truth, morality and appropriateness] are closer to PERCEPTIONS than PROCESSES?
LOKI: nee, meneer. if you want an computational analogue to "perceptions" it is "states". these are not so much "things" as epiphenomena on the activity of whatever hardware (eniac or your wrinkled wet-processor) those states are encoded on. an "utterance" is "interpreted" as a proposed change of state. the relative effectiveness of the various forms of such proposals is poorly understood --- and empirically part of my interest in the present forum --- but the presence of anaphora (e.g. pronouns) requires that (nearly?) all utterances be treated as a change of state. so "utterances" can (and, in my opinion, should) be seen as "processes" and not "things". if the dynamic model-theory is not convincing, consider the PROCESS of telling a story. it has a non-trivial temporal scope; it requires the type of audience feedback which indicates that they UNDERSTAND the portions of the story already conveyed --- even if only through emotive guestures (in the eyes and face) which may or may not be intentional; it requires an attention to procedure --- the sentences cannot be arranged in just any order; and so on. however, while this will be useful below, it is not the question that you are asking here.
truth (and morality and appropriateness) are clearly not "objects" which can be viewed. the applicabilty of truth to statements about past events is indicative of the validity of this observation. this is especially true when none of the conversational participants were actually present to witness the "event" corresponding to the (non-stative) proposition whose "truth" is in question. then, there is no presumed access to the objective-event (which is actually inaccessible to EVERYONE, including direct witnesses and participants, in any serious sense). so we have a multiplicity of different subjective perspectives with a variety of different "attitudes" about the event possible encoded into the states of each of these perpectives, respectively: not knowing of the event; only knowing THAT the event is at issue in some larger context but not the validity of the assertion (i know tyson bit SOMEBODY'S ear off); taking a stand with respect to the relevant assertion; and taking a stand with respect to the relevant assertion and being willing and able to support the validity of that assertion through verificational dialogue. the truth is only the truth until somebody changes my mind --- and then only until ... and there is no conclusive endpoint to this drive for verification. it seems that no "truths" are sacred and they can only be understood in the context of an inter-subjective verification procedure which is itself the very source from which the assertions at issue arise and subside. whenever a new child is born (baby x), the language changes --- as does the truth of the assertion "baby x has been born" (which is conventionally seen as a shift from "non-sensical" to "true"). truth (morality ...) never ends. and truth (morality ...) will not make itself. if you would rather let corporate pr departments engage in the process of truth, then be my guest. as for me, i intend to be there when most of mine is made.
DA: Anyway you missed the point. How does this address the point I asked to be adressed? Fine meet in the coffee shop for conversations sake but, you cannot REALLY believe it will make a REAL difference? Do you? (Watch now this little gathering will become the turning point for whatever cause you decide to discuss, right?)
LOKI: one thing is clear, diabilitito, you excel at making accusation that more appropriately undermine your own attempts at persuasive speech. my dear minion, it is you that is missing the point. the verificational procedure is the very fabric of societal organization. the latter cannot exist outside the influence of the former. a habermas points out, the problem in our case is that the "system" is responsible for the production of culture and lacks the flexibility of dialogue which ensures adherence to "reality" in the (mass) minds of (wo)men. the codification and centralized distriubution of expressive "truth" ("morality") undermines the effectiveness of society, as it functions IN ITSELF --- in the form of expressive and (anti-)cooperative relations between the individuals constituting that society. when our discussion has been undertaken and posted for communal extension, we will have created a starting-point for the very form of behavior which lies at the heart of respective missions (generally put, a hyper-organized (yet dynamically-organized) society in which democratic consensus is the driving force. who fired the first shot at lexington again?
so, yes. i DO think that it will make a difference. and i think that any similar attempts that are made in paralell --- either resultant or unrelated --- will also make a difference. and when the udpated mental-states of the various paralell discussions are thrown together into a second-order discussion with a fresh (yet also updated) set of participants, THAT will also make a difference. and when people reply to the posts of those transcipts, it will have an effect. and this effect will be contagious. the less epistemically destructive the proposition, the more likely it will be assimilated. the more abstractly synthetic the content of the proposition, the more likely it will be accepted. the more simple the utterance, the more likely it will be repeated. the more globally illustrative the assertion, the more likely it will be kept in mind. hearing something alot probably plays a role (as does NOT hearing something alot). the only clear conclusion here is that "NOT TALKING about our society is exactly the wrong approach".
so what's you're problem, then. if you don't want to, don't come. and if you don't want to, don't read the transcipts. and if you don't want to, don't post replies. its up to you. as for me, i'm going to eat some meat, smoke some cigs, drink a milkshake and talk about the future of our society --- especially in the context of its current ills. you can just sit at home and watch cnn --- i'm sure they'll fill you in on what you missed.
DA: Expression is not action. Words are not action they may incite but they are not action.
LOKI: ok, professor wordsmith, tell me how you can criticize the argumentation of others when you're idea is to reassert the denial of an argumentatively well-supported assertion. i believe i SHOW how the notion of an "expression" is to be taken as a process (i.e. action) --- if not in the above submission, then certainly by now --- a simple cry of "nuh-uh" will simply not suffice. every utterance is an action: convincing; explaining; promising; persuading; ordering; and so on. there are no exceptions that i know about (the exposition of the inappropriateness of the folk-scientifically rigid and objective notion of truth given above is illustrative of this fact). we can even divide the actions into those which ARE the utterance and those which are BROUGHT ABOUT by the utterance --- the so-called "illocutionary" and "perlocutionary" effects of speech-acts. i will certainly expand upon this explanation in future postsm, but i suspect that you will probably prefer not to read/write that type of dialogue since you think it counter-productive. pity.
that "words can incite action" is precisely the reason why they exist. cooperative society (agriculture and domestication and what not) emerges from the utility of language. a persuasive theory on origins takes language to be the descendant of "song" whose genesis lies in the reappropriation of visual-cortex to the analysis of these (originally unexpressive) structured sound patterns. another interesting aspect of this theory is that it implies that the ORIGINAL motivation for vocal sound-patterning in (the selective process guiding the evolution of) humans was "cohesive" and not "expressive". the song was an indicator of lineal heritage (just as it is today) and a primitive indicator of emotion. while only slightly related inside linguistic theory, these observations are all particularly revealing in the present social-dynamics debate. i suspect their respective relevance to be clear at this point, but clarification can be made were this suspicion is erroneous.
the action IS the speech event. a promise is not a promise unless the speaker intend to undertake the relvant action. an order is only an order when the speaker stands in the appropriate social relationship to the members of the intended audience. the moment a promise is felicitously made, only extenuating external circumstances can undermine the completion of the relevant action --- the relevant action has "already taken place" in the minds of the participant. the issuance of the promise was enough to ensure this effect --- unless the audience has reason to doubt the felicity of the promise (and that stuff works alot like a credit-record --- you can only ensure the effectiveness of your promises once you've re-established your reliability in respecting their issuance --- with the anciliary and opposite effect that the promise-breaker is incapable of accepting the promises of some other (informed) participant because of an anxiety about reciprocity).
as for what "words" are, i will limit myself to the the observation that, although this issue is interesting for various external reasons, this issue is not relevant to the present discussion (as knowledge of the character of "expressions" is sufficient. words are, very roughly, parts of expressions. of course, i will expand on this, if pressed, but to do so now seems unecessary. the point is that the definition is moot, given the present support structure for my central assertions --- which does not employ the relevant term. for issues of distributed societal production, expression is ALL that is relevant when we analyze the origins of the goals of individuals engaged in productive labor.
so yes, i think "a talk" will be useful.