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In defence of philosophical languages (was: RE: Comparison of philosophical

From:Bryan Maloney <> <bjm10@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 6:23
--- In, And Rosta <a.rosta@L...> wrote:
> Differences between things, such as carrots and potatoes, need to > be reflected in wordshape by phonological differences that reflect > the unconfusability of carrots and potatoes. But at the same time, > there are reasons for wanting to have words with similar or related > meaning have similar or related sound. One reason is that an iconic > map of conceptual space is a better (more faithful) map. Another
Can you demonstate that, in real-world usage by a broad population, this model is necessarily "better" than the means used by natural languages--taking into account Wittgenstein II's conclusions regarding epistemology and language, of course?
> reason is that the iconicity makes the language easier to learn.
Natural languages seem to be sufficiently easy to learn. All three of my children have learned/are learning two--English at home and Spanglish at school for the older two and English and ASL for the youngest (no, he's not hearing-impaired, he picks it up from some other kids at his daycare).
> in sets like {north, south}, {east, west}, {female, male}, {dog, > hog, frog, polliwog (tadpole)}.
And what about right/wrong, good/bad, boy/girl, pig/horse/cow/chicken? My youngest isn't even two years old and he recognizes boy/girl, pig/horse/cow/chicken. Your claim of ease may be true, but it also appears to be irrelevant.
> * Words with similar/related meanings should in shape be half > similar and half different. But the different half may be similar
> to other words related in a different way. For example, the > shape of the word for carrot might have a tubery component in > common with the word for potato, and an orangey component in
Ah, but carrots are not tubers! Carrot should have a "rooty" component. It should also have a "nightshady" component. Likewise, it should have a "grows in temperate climates component". It should also have a "requires loose soil" and "annual plant" component. Eventually, we have a word with so many necessary components that it becomes simply unwieldy. Oh, but wait, more components: It should have appropriate culinary components, too!


And Rosta <a.rosta@...>