• Aleph Numbers
    49
    Are words identical to concepts? I'm inclined to think not, but I don't have any evidence. And if they aren't identical what makes them different?
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    Surely some words are concepts, but it's not clear that all of them are. Interrogatives, exclamatives, proper nouns, and imperatives come to mind as examples of classes of words that are not concepts. Moreover, even if one could show that all these kinds of word could be said to have some degree of conceptual content, that content may not exhaust what the word 'is'. I have in mind the idea that all words have a performative dimension (as distinct from their constantive dimension) which would be, by definition, aconceptual.
  • bongo fury
    287
    Or did you mean the other way round: what, if anything, distinguishes concepts from mere words?

    Depends who you ask, of course. Word du jour is "illusion". As in no, nothing. (My vote, indeed. Casting of which I hereby perform. )
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Words, sentences, grammar, spelling etc. These are all concepts that are conceptually related to the concept, language.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Interrogatives, exclamatives, proper nouns, and imperatives come to mindStreetlightX
    If they "come to mind", how are they not concepts?
  • Frank Apisa
    1.5k
    Descriptor words, for the most part, suck.

    Words like liberal, conservative, nice, high, atheist and such are virtually useless.

    Words certainly are attempts at "transmitting concepts"...but some are just not up to the job. Concepts are better transmitted using sentences...often LOTS of sentences.
  • Aleph Numbers
    49

    What would you say if I attributed supreme prudence to my grandmother's nature, which is an ontological statement, and then claimed in the same breath that she doesn't embody the word itself, as that would be mere semantics. Could it be argued that she is still defined to be the concept of prudence?

    And I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I need to read it a few more times.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    What would you say if I attributed supreme prudence to my grandmother's nature, which is an ontological statement, and then claimed in the same breath that she doesn't embody the word itself, as that would be mere semantics. Could it be argued that she is still defined to be the concept of prudence?Aleph Numbers

    This is somewhat confusing - what does it mean to say that someone is defined to be a concept? I know what 'definition' means for words: a way of fixing or relaying meaning, roughly. But what does it mean to say this of a person? Are you trying to relay or fix the meaning of your grandmother? But what does that mean? I don't really understand how to parse this question.

    @fdrake: incidentally, this is the kind of situation where what we were discussing is useful!
  • xyzmix
    40
    The word 'apple' is not a concept, but the concept of the apple is contained by words.

    What's conceptual about words is the alphabet(word genesis), lexis(word forms) and semantics(word meanings).

    Otherwise, what is the word apple? It's not a real apple - it's a string of symbols.

    Words are a very stupid concept; communication with such a human brain, should be wordless to account for mind function. Saying a word in mind equates to having another person's thoughts unless generated by heart.

    You might reduce this to "barks and grunts" but I've more confidence in our human voices (that doesn't need to be entangled by words to function). In effect we can make the sound of any word we've created so barks and grunts is incorrect.

    Words damage a sense of adventure; everyone on the planet is obsessed with 'knowing', when 'not knowing', is as important. If I try to tell you this, you'll call me insane. Social groups are odd for the human's mind. I'm sure OP thinks he's quasi intelligent, but has achieved nothing. No offense, but who cares what he knows?

    Words are volatile; overflowing the world with words created a detramental alternative to world life, I call it "word life."
  • schopenhauer1
    3.9k
    Are words identical to concepts? I'm inclined to think not, but I don't have any evidence. And if they aren't identical what makes them different?Aleph Numbers

    Perhaps words need help from other words along with pictures in the mind. If a word is thought about, you probably get a quick picture in your mind.. Prudence might instantly bring up images of someone you know or associate with having prudence, but asked to describe it, you get other words either synonyms or strung together to convey same meaning. So depending on context a concept is a picture in the mind (all at once), or a word that is interrelated with other words.
  • Aleph Numbers
    49

    Perhaps this will be better.

    I'm ascribing supreme prudence to my grandmother who, being supremely prudent in nature, issues supremely prudent commands (wash one's hands, look both ways before crossing the street, etc.) The question here is: if my grandmother's full nature is that of supreme prudence, as a property, and the property is a presupposition of her commands too, then it seems that her nature is the same thing as the source of her commands. This seems to eliminate any agency on the part of my grandmother; she is just a tool for relaying her own nature.

    Yeah this is a thinly veiled criticism of DCT. I'm trying to expunge it from my mind still with reason.

    And I say full nature because people assume god is only good.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Right, so you use the concept if words to refer to other concepts for the purpose of communicating concepts. If "prudence" exhausts what it is to be your grandmother then both "grandmother" and "prudence" refer to the same concept. Words without concepts are simply ink on thin sheets of carbon or vibrating air molecules.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    I'm ascribing supreme prudence to my grandmother who, being supremely prudent in nature, issues supremely prudent commands (wash one's hands, look both ways before crossing the street, etc.) The question here is: if my grandmother's full nature is that of supreme prudence, as a property, and the property is a presupposition of her commands too, then it seems that her nature is the same thing as the source of her commands. This seems to eliminate any agency on the part of my grandmother; she is just a tool for relaying her own nature.Aleph Numbers

    Ah I see. Interesting - this is actually a very Stoic conception of 'nature'. And the Stoics, believe it or not, connected freedom (or what you call agency) precisely with necessity: only when we act according to our nature are we free, and it is precisely our separation from nature that makes us unfree. In this manner, this is precisely the opposite doctrine from DCT: the problem with DCT is it's arbitrarness. DCT breaks the connection between necessity and action: one acts because the Gods will it; on the Stoic model of agency, one's acts follow necessarily from one's nature, and in that coincidence, which is precisely not arbitrary, one is free.

    I may be twisting what you're saying to fit the Stoic model - let me know if I am - but if I'm right, your grandmother is not to be assimilated with the model of DCT. There's no separation of commanding principal and obeying agent, the cleavage between which defines the problem of DCT (recalling, btw, the original understanding of the term 'agent' as one who acts on behalf of another - the principal).
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