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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 22, 2003, 3:07
> Andrew Nowicki wrote: > > > Any tool can be compared to other tools > > You're about 2 centuries out of date for > comparing languages in this way > > > I would > > like to know what features of a general > > purpose spoken language are desirable > > They all are. Go find a book that explains them > to you > > > Some spoken languages are > > better than other spoken languages > > Your attitudes are way out of date, pal. You read > like some 19th century British review of world > cultures > > > Some systems > > of measures are better than other systems of > > measures > > Not at all. You're trying to make judgements > about things that really can't be judged that > way. We just had a long harangue about "better" > measurement systems. All the energy expended > served to prove only that neither system is > inherently better, easier or any other > superlative you'd care to attribute. Same goes > for languages. No language is in any way "better" > than another. We may have preferences, but that > is a matter NDG
This chap is a bit naive and seems not to realize that he is operating under a set of implicit assumptions that are axioms rather than truths or universal views. Given the view of language as a tool, which is not illegitimate (and not even impoverished, if we hold that it is a poetical tool and a tool for embodying culture), then as with any tool it is possible to articulate a set of criteria to gauge how well a given design succeeds in performing the functions the tool is to serve. He is not so naive as to suppose his ideas are appropriate to a discussion of natural languages, and he is right to suppose that discussion of conlangs is the appropriate forum. But he doesn't realize that he is tacitly working under a set of engelangy assumptions and that he is addressing a body of artlangers who are contentedly blind to those assumptions. --And.


Patrick Dunn <pdunn@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>Four things: Was: Comparison of philosophical languages