Rationalism assumes that reason gives us all knowledge. It overrides emotion and belief. It also override the senses as the path to truth. It is directly opposed to empiricism.
Reason takes on a mysticism similar to that of the soul, whereby a body is unnecessary. So it is part of the mind-body problem in Western philosophy, culture and thinking.
Sensory knowledge is not perfect. But neither is rational knowledge. Both should be considered inseparable. And both should be considered necessary to any knowledge.
Rationalism and Empiricism should not be considered opposing ideas. There should be a philosophy of Rational Empiricism or Empirical Rationalism.
(This was supposed to have been posted on another blog.)
There isn’t a day that each and everyone for us doesn’t use language in some way. We need it to communicate and interact with people. Unless you live by yourself in a remote forest or island we will use language.
Languages are not made equal. What I mean by this is that languages, like everything else, follow patterns. Some language patterns are more common than others. SOV (subject-object-verb) and SVO (subject-verb-object) are the two most common sentence patterns across languages. Together they make up about 90 percent of all language types. The remaining four possible patterns (OVS, OSV, VSO and VOS) make up the other 10 percent.
Having the subject come first makes sense since it is the most important part of the sentence – what the sentence is about. The verb – what the subject is doing – then should come next. I stress should because SOV is actually the slightly more common type. By enclosing the object maybe just as effective, then.
Within the mind we tend to think of things as universal or generic without relating it to the wider world. We say things like, “the sun rises from the east”, without seeing it in context that which it occurs. We probably even have a perfect literally unclouded image of a singular sunrise that represents all sunrises in our heads.
But the sunrises from the east with a frequency and regularity that is often not taken in account when it should be. It rises once a day. Or to be more precise the earth, covered in an protective “lubricating” atmosphere, turns once a day to give the illusion of the sun rising. We are so easily duped and we’re duped on a daily basis by all kinds of illusions.
The reliability of this event like all other events is what gives us our understanding and our rhythm. We often choose to have a rhythm in order to have a regularity to help us through the day. So in this sense frequency is something important. It may be everything.
As I get older things are no longer a singular mental object but repeated objects with a certain frequency. Understanding that frequency is what gives sense to the world. Otherwise there are only perfect mental objects, which is not true at all.
Yes, frequency is everything.
Came across a new-ish theory today – Word Grammar. Its creator and champion is Richard (Dick) Hudson at UCL.
Seems worth exploring as a theory. Considered a minor branch of cognitive linguistics.
In a novel study of baboons it has been found it is possible for the animals to recognise ‘words’ (real word letter sequences) as opposed to jumbled letter sequences. This may indicate we may need to rethink our understanding of symbols as abstractions to a simpler concrete interpretation as if they are plain objects.
I do think our belief that we, human beings, are something ‘better’ than animals is complacent. Afterall we still live in a physical world just like any other animal. The ability for abstraction has its limits still confined by the physical.
That’s one point for the theory of embodiment.