Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do we think in words?

... and if not, how exactly do our thoughts become words as we begin speaking?

This question has surfaced several times in recent conversations. So I decided to bring it up again while in the van to Pittsburgh the other weekend and just as before, no one could really give me a definitive answer.

I think asking these questions without knowing or having the answers in front of you is interesting in its own right. As one attempts to begin to think about thinking, it tends to not be such an easy thing to do.

Thinking about thinking, in this case, is not quite metacognition, which is our own thought processes we become aware of through our experiences. However, metacognition might be the first step in answering 'how our thoughts become words'. If we were to only think in words, we would first have a hard time learning words to begin with (without having any associations). Furthermore, humans speak many different languages and even as language differs across cultures, out thoughts parallel.

We can debate whether we think visually or verbally but it all stems back to the fact that language is something we created, it was not given to us. ...or was it? As our societies develop, children are now born and almost immediately begin to learn how to communicate. Before too long they learn to speak a language. A language that you might say, was given to them.

so how do our thoughts become words?

http://www.iep.utm.edu/lot-hypo/#SH1a - check out this link if you would like to read more in depth.

Most of the time, it is auditory and verbal communication that we typically use when we critique and examine others artworks, as well as our own. It is language that we use to write, which becomes a necessity in many aspects. Yet, as artists, for the most part, we are attempting to speak visually.

I think it is important to understand where our thoughts originate, and how they are translated into language. It is also important to remember that we all share the need for language, whether it be verbal (or in words), tactile, algorithmic, or visual.


I also came across a brief article that lead me to notamachine.org - i thought the section 'I thought you'd never ask' was also interesting considering some of the things we have been discussing this semester.

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