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E-prime

It aims to be a semantically accurate form of the English, and goes by the name of "E-Prime". In essence, the idea is to avoid any sort of use of the verb "to be". The underlying reason seems to be to avoid assigning any sort of nature to the "things" of the world around us. That is to say, radical supporters of e-prime argue that one should never say something "is". Something "might be", it "could be", it maybe "should be", but it shouldn't be said that it "is".


The motivation for this argument would seem to stem from a simplified view of physics, stemming from an overemphasis on the phenomena of quantum physics (QP). In QP, for instance, it is an observed phenomenon that it is not possible to know both the position and the velocity of a quantum particle (such as an electron) with perfect precision - the two qualities are inversely related. As a result, one can only make a trade-off calculation, by sacrificing quality of information regarding, say, velocity, in order to get better information on position. Physicists working in QP thus often work, and express their results, in terms of probabilities rather than certainties.*


Radical e-prime supporters take this observation as an indication that all facts are thus subjective. And, given the decision that all facts are subjective, it follows that one cannot speak truly of an objective fact, for such a thing does not exist in nature.


Setting aside any observation of the mental leap required to assume that the qualities of QP phenomena apply to all other things in the universe, it it more fundamental to observe that e-prime thinking is itself logically, and semantically self-nullifying. One cannot say in e-prime - for instance - that "All things are relative", one might only say "All things might be relative", which in itself leaves room for the possibility that some things might be non-relative (possibly even objective). The e-prime argument cannot, to my knowledge, be successfully used to justify itself without making use of the standard English semantics of the verb "to be". To make the radical argument that it should be used exclusively in lieu of standard semantics thus seems rather silly.


That said, judicious (rather than ideological) use of the language of probabilities does tend to make a person a better writer. :-)


* Speaking in terms of probabilities isn't peculiar to quantum-physicists. Most credible scientists have ever had the sense to qualify their arguments somewhat, simply because such folk usually realize that mistakes happen, measurements are hard to make accurately, and rounding-the-math is standard practice.





Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
marcnicholas
Dec. 13th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Heaven's, me boy!

Get thy logical positivism away from my precious eprimery.

In essence, the idea is to avoid any sort of use of the verb "to be". The underlying reason seems to be to avoid assigning any sort of nature to the "things" of the world around us.

Wrong! Colin, you find yourself standing 180 degrees away from the truth. Eprimers do not "avoid" assigning nature to things. Instead, when it comes time to assign a meaning to something, they assume responsibility for it.

E-primers clearly delineate the relationship between the assignor and the object assigned. Non eprime language ignores this relationship, running the risk of getting entangled in dangerous semantic webs that manipulative bastards like myself can take advantage of.

Radical e-prime supporters take this observation as an indication that all facts are thus subjective. And, given the decision that all facts are subjective, it follows that one cannot speak truly of an objective fact, for such a thing does not exist in nature.

Once again, no.

No, no, no.

You need to acquaint yourself with non-aristotelian logic.

Let us destroy your argument, please.

Radical e-prime supporters
Radical as defined by who? You?
Now, your definition of radical in this case - you mean to say eprimers who consider all facts subjective, yes?
How many eprimers make this argument?
Second, can you share your sources?
Third, do you know that an eprimer can not make your above argument?

An e-primer won't say "All facts are subjective", they'll say "I consider all facts subjective". . . Though, actually, they'll probably say something more like "I have trouble escaping the subjective light with which I view reality, and I have yet to meet someone who did not suffer from a god complex who claimed to know the difference between objective reality and subjective truth".

Non eprimers fall into the arrogant trap of considering themselves intelligent enough to impose their personal understanding of reality on the entire universe, known and unknown, regardless of their personal limitations.

Eprimers do not deny the existence of objective facts, they only admit to their inability to determine objectivity in any meaningful way.

Colin, you have never proven, nor will you ever prove the existence of an objective fact. Your entire argument, in the end, will always come down to this : "It is objective because I say so".

You can write tomes about the objectivity of mathematics, but ultimately, it comes down to this : Math is objective because you say it's objective. Euclide's geometry was THE geometry of the universe up until recently. Do you honestly think you have the authory to rule out the possibility that a higher reality exists in which mathematics make absolutely NO sense whatsoever?

You can obfuscate the issue with clever sophisms, and I'll gladly tackle each one of them. If you want to get down and dirty about it, we can have a philosophical wrestling match ;)

The post-modernist vs. the logical positivist! This christmas on Pay Per View!

One cannot say in e-prime - for instance - that "All things are relative", one might only say "All things might be relative", which in itself leaves room for the possibility that some things might be non-relative (possibly even objective).

Colin, that paragraph betrays your lack of research on the matter ;) A good eprimer will NEVER under ANY circumstances use "might be". No is, no be, no are. Never. Ever. At all.

You stop using eprime the moment you use "to be".

Eprimers would not say "all things might be relative" but something along the lines of "I consider all things relative, though I haven't ruled out the possibility of objective facts".

Most e-primers leave room for the possibility of a non-relative reality. As I said earlier in my reply, the big deal with eprimers comes down to how they mark out the relationship between the assignor and the assigned. They do this to better understand the world around them, and to avoid the mental traps of thinking that their interpretations of reality coincide with reality itself.

marcnicholas
Dec. 13th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
The map IS not the territory. A saying made famous by the dude who came up with e-prime, who had no problem using the verb "to be", but cautioned against the mental sludge that often came with it.

To make the radical argument that it should be used exclusively in lieu of standard semantics thus seems rather silly.

I agree. However, the intelligent use of e-prime will make a person far less susceptible to psychological manipulation. Ultimately, e-prime asks people to take responsibility for their own minds, and to clearly determine the meaning of the world around them by taking a careful look at the meanings they invest in the world, and how they go about attributing those meanings.

The reason I don't use eprime comes down to this:

"to be" acts like a hypnotic gun - A gun most people point at their own heads. Once you know how to use it though, you can start pointing it at other people.
ccord
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:42 am (UTC)
(continued...)

I agree. However, the intelligent use of e-prime will make a person far less susceptible to psychological manipulation.


"Intelligent" application of the semantics of e-prime requires two things:

i) coexistance with a second language or dialect that possesses the "to be" verb.
ii) the formation of an arbitrary decision as to when to stop using e-prime semantics, and switch to saying "to be".

Whatever the intention of author of e-prime, the result is a language that, if learnt or applied in isolation, removes the ability to think of things in terms of an objective reality. Someone who thinks in e-prime would not have the basis for thinking of anything in terms of an objective reality - all things would be seen as relative or subjective, wether they are or not.

And that's why e-prime is pretty silly.
ccord
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
(I insert this at the beginning to emphasize that the original post was regarding e-prime as an idea, not e-prime as used in a particular form. That should clarify some of my follow-up.)

Wrong! Colin, you find yourself standing 180 degrees away from the truth. Eprimers do not "avoid" assigning nature to things. Instead, when it comes time to assign a meaning to something, they assume responsibility for it...

The question that's begged is not how any particular sub-set of e-primers use the idea, but what the underlying logic or motive behind e-prime's creation. When reading between the lines, particularly with regards to the emphasis on quantum physics (QP), it seems that the original intent was to semantically influence users to view reality in terms of a relativist paradigm.

But nonetheless, it could be that even the original intent is of no particular significance. It is more interesting (to me, at any rate), that the ideal of e-prime is to remove the use of the verb "to be" from common language. (One can say that this is the ideal, because e-prime, as defined as a language, would not contain any verbs that would seek to assign a particular reality to a given fact or event.)

The effect of speaking & thinking in terms of the semantics of e-prime, then, would seemingly necessarily be that one would grow-up with a very relativist sense of the world. Is that particularly good or bad?


Radical as defined by who? You?
Now, your definition of radical in this case - you mean to say eprimers who consider all facts subjective, yes?
How many eprimers make this argument?
Second, can you share your sources?


Hmmmm. The percentile sub-set of "eprimers" that would classify as "radical", as opposed to "moderate" wouldn't seem to matter. Is it of any importance?


Third, do you know that an eprimer can not make your above argument?


(You'll have to let me know which argument you mean, unfortunatly.)


An e-primer won't say "All facts are subjective", they'll say "I consider all facts subjective". . . Though, actually, they'll probably say something more like "I have trouble escaping the subjective light with which I view reality...


Well, the thing of it is, devoting oneself to speaking in e-prime does involve making a fundamental judgment on the nature of reality. By its structure, it forces one to abandon the notion of knowing anything, because all knowledge is assumed to be an ephemeral thing, as are all "things". One who thinks in e-prime can have suspicions, but not certainties, for even the fundamental statement of being, "I am", is not possible. A dogmatic use of e-prime tends to degenerate into solipsism, unless an arbitrary decision is made as to what point to stop applying the logic.


Non eprimers fall into the arrogant trap of considering themselves intelligent enough to impose their personal understanding of reality on the entire universe, known and unknown, regardless of their personal limitations.


Some do indeed.
marcnicholas
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well, the thing of it is, devoting oneself to speaking in e-prime does involve making a fundamental judgment on the nature of reality. By its structure, it forces one to abandon the notion of knowing anything, because all knowledge is assumed to be an ephemeral thing, as are all "things". One who thinks in e-prime can have suspicions, but not certainties, for even the fundamental statement of being, "I am", is not possible. A dogmatic use of e-prime tends to degenerate into solipsism, unless an arbitrary decision is made as to what point to stop applying the logic.

You consider this a bad thing? E-prime prevents people from making the mistake of assuming their view of reality correlates %100 with reality itself. It forces people to differentiate THEIR view of the universe with the actual universe, a universe they have no way of understanding save through their limited senses. Instead of assuming that something "is" they claim to only know what they perceive and nothing else.

You want to think, that by abstracting nature using the limited faculties of your mind, you can somehow determine what "is" and what "isn't". E-primers only know what "is" to them, and don't claim to know what is to anyone else. Solipsistic? Certainly, but also an undeniably correct view of the world.

To argue otherwise, you need to have the godlike ability to view the world from all possible lights, failing that, your holy grail of objectivity proves itself nothing more than an act of solipsism in denial, one plagued with an inflated sense of self-importance.

Colin, you claim to know anything for certain? I consider that highly improbable; unless you know everything, you can not know anything, for the simple fact that there exist the possibility that one of the things you don't know refutes what you do know. Suspicions give a person much more mental flexibility than certainties, and certainties inevitably crumble in the face of persistant questioning.

Why did socrates claim he knew but one thing, and that was that he knew nothing? Because he knew that if he asked enough questions, he could prove everyone wrong. And if someone pulled the same game on Socrates, the same thing would of happened to him.

Third, do you know that an eprimer can not make your above argument?

"All facts might be subjective". An e-primer wouldn't say that. They would take responsibility for the sentence, and put themselves in it. "I've never met a fact I didn't consider subjective."

Hmmmm. The percentile sub-set of "eprimers" that would classify as "radical", as opposed to "moderate" wouldn't seem to matter. Is it of any importance?

It does, because I've never ONCE met an e-primer who made the argument you've made. In fact, when I read your piece on e-prime, my first reaction was "where the hell did he get that idea?". YSo I'd very much like to know which eprimers have argued what you've argued, since at the moment, they remind me something like Yetti or Sasquatch. Nothing but your testimony claims their existence.

The effect of speaking & thinking in terms of the semantics of e-prime, then, would seemingly necessarily be that one would grow-up with a very relativist sense of the world. Is that particularly good or bad?

Amazing. Great. Fantastic. Using e-prime, you can't say things like "niggers are stupid. That bitch is a pain in the ass. He is really annoying", instead you have to take the time to attribute meaning to the things you can perceive, things you can touch and taste. E-prime avoids abstractions and forces people to live in the here and now, reduces the chances that they'll claim to know more than they know, and encourages them to take responsibility for their own reality.
ccord
Dec. 15th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)
...A dogmatic use of e-prime tends to degenerate into solipsism, unless an arbitrary decision is made as to what point to stop applying the logic.

You consider this a bad thing?


Yes. (I expound on that in the next entry.) :-)


"All facts might be subjective". An e-primer wouldn't say that. They would take responsibility for the sentence, and put themselves in it. "I've never met a fact I didn't consider subjective."

You'll have to distinguish your arguments between people who attempt to talk responsibly, and those hypothetical people who actually think in e-prime. My main contention is that being unable to think in anything but terms of e-prime semantics would be a terribly degenerative & upsetting thing for a society. (see the next entry for expounding goodness.)

Is it of any importance?

It does, because I've never ONCE met an e-primer who made the argument you've made.


But does that really matter? We're discussing an idea - a meme if you will - and not a person. By analogy, for instance, I've never met a fundamentalist Christian who has made the argument that all science is impossible. However, if your ideology pushes you to purely view things in terms of a universe ruled by an capricious god, you shouldn't believe that the laws of nature are anything but mutable. In such a case, it would be easy to say "why bother with scientific exploration, when God decides everything anyways?".

Now, I have encountered Christian's who take the idea to a certain point. I've met any number of fundamentalists who have said, "macro-evolution doesn't exist.", but they often have a cut-off point where they stop applying they're own logic, often because it would fly in the face of their own experience with such things as heredity.

Similarly, e-prime as a meme would push its carrier to view things in terms of utter relativity. It would do so, because - failing the aquisistion of an opposing meme or mutation, or an arbitrary decision made of free will - e-prime does not allow for the formation of thoughts that are absolutist in scope.

I've never met someone who has been raised solely in e-prime, but I can imagine the limitations it would impose on such a person's outlook & understanding. The benefits are less pleasing than you might think.
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ccord
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:32 am (UTC)

Math is objective because you say it's objective.


Math is only objective if it meets the defined criteria of an objective fact. All of my experiential knowledge suggests that it is. The only requirement to refute it is to provide an experience that refutes my pre-existing tacit knowledge. It's a very simple challenge, in principle.


"I consider all things relative, though I haven't ruled out the possibility of objective facts"


But how would someone raised in e-prime, in a community of e-prime speakers, come-up with the idea of an objective fact?


Most e-primers leave room for the possibility of a non-relative reality. As I said earlier in my reply, the big deal with eprimers comes down to how they mark out the relationship between the assignor and the assigned. They do this to better understand the world around them, and to avoid the mental traps of thinking that their interpretations of reality coincide with reality itself.


Yes, some do. The trouble is that e-prime is an idea, not a sub-set of practitioners. Granted, it is a very complex idea - a language - but an idea nonetheless. The question is, if the idea were actually applied, what would be the effect over a span of generations?

If someone who thought in e-prime came into contact with an objective reality, how would they describe it?

marcnicholas
Dec. 14th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
Math is only objective if it meets the defined criteria of an objective fact.

I.E - "Something is objective if a bunch of university grads who think they're scientitists says it is."

Or "something is objective if it meets the definecd criteria of an objective fact; criteria that I agree with. Hence, it's objective if I say so."

When you get down to it, something is objective if it meets the arbitrary, culturally influenced criteria chosen by a minority of people heavily influenced by an annoying french philosopher named Comte.

All of my experiential knowledge suggests that it is.

Suggesting something is objective doesn't make it objective. It is objective in YOUR opinion, but you have no way of knowing for certain!

You consider something objective because of your personal experiental knowledge. Your knowledge. YOURS. not everyone. Not E.T. Not ALF. Not God's. Yours.

"It's objective because my experiences suggest that it's objective."

How is that different from "it's objective because I say so."?

The only requirement to refute it is to provide an experience that refutes my pre-existing tacit knowledge. It's a very simple challenge, in principle.

An even easier way of refuting it is to point out that you haven't experienced all experiences, and therefor do not have the authority to claim anything as being objective. You can only suggest it, which really, how is that any different from e-primers?

Colin, you can't say with any certainty that you know anything to be objective save through your own personal experiences, experiences which are sadly limited by your fleshy confines. You can suggest, suspect, but never know.
marcnicholas
Dec. 14th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
p.s - though we argue, there's nothing but love here baby. OI.

haha.
ccord
Dec. 15th, 2005 12:42 am (UTC)
Math is only objective if it meets the defined criteria of an objective fact.

I.E - "Something is objective if a bunch of university grads who think they're scientitists says it is."


It seems to me that the problem of "do objective facts exist?" only arises is you have a relativist or solipsistic viewpoint. In either case, one would never accept that their own feelings are real, which greatly effects one's outlook. If you cannot believe in your own feelings, you cannot really trust anything else, can you? But, in the end, the choice not to trust is no more, and no less valid than one to trust.

After all - while we avoided making utilitarian or pragmatic arguments - it came down to: it cannot be proven that we live in Solip's World, but it cannot be proven that we do not. In such a case, the choice of either assumption is equally valid. However, choosing to trust works out better for everyone in the long run, so one might take that as an indication that it's a better choice - from a utilitarian viewpoint, of course. :-)

P.S. You still haven't proven that 1+1=3. :-P
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ccord
Dec. 15th, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
CC:The effect of speaking & thinking in terms of the semantics of e-prime, then, would seemingly necessarily be that one would grow-up with a very relativist sense of the world. Is that particularly good or bad?

MS:Amazing. Great. Fantastic. Using e-prime, you can't say things like "niggers are stupid. That bitch is a pain in the ass. He is really annoying",... instead you have to take the time to attribute meaning to the things you can perceive, things you can touch and taste. E-prime avoids abstractions and forces people to live in the here and now, reduces the chances that they'll claim to know more than they know, and encourages them to take responsibility for their own reality.


Hmmm, no. E-prime, as a meme, does not avoid abstractions. Rather, it reconfigures one's logic tree so as to make *certainty* impossible. In fact, if the meme were perfectly stable, it would make the invention of the very concept of certainty impossible. In the long-run, it also creates selective pressures that create a fertile ground for solipsism, and all the personal & social ills that entails.

Think about it for a moment. With giving her the ability to be certain about anything, what kind of child would you raise? She will never be certain you love her, and you'll never be able to prove to her that you do. She will never be certain that you exist, and will never be certain that she exists. She will never be certain that she has value. If she is very well educated, she may be able to operate under the umbrella of probabilities - assuming you teach her not to question the certainty of the math behind the probabilities.

If you ever successfully raised a child in that manner, you'd have a daughter who would view everything through a lens that would cause her to question its existance. I wouldn't want to bet that she lives long enough to have kids of her own.

You understand my meaning? The only chance of solipsistic child living a healthy life is if she learns not to think about it. If she did, she would become suicidal from loneliness, psycopathic in her treatment of others, or hedonistic in her day to day existance.

MS: Amazing. Great. Fantastic. Using e-prime, you can't say things like "niggers are stupid. That bitch is a pain in the ass. He is really annoying"...

No. A definite no. The roots of all conflict don't lie in semantics, and won't be changed by raising kids who think in e-prime. Some conflict arises from selective bigotry, other conflict arises from competition... the possibilities form a long list. Removing certainty from the equation only changes what types of conflicts become dominant in the system - study international relations for a bit, and you tend to discover just how much conflict in the international arena comes about as a result of *uncertainties*. One of the main thrusts of international organizations of the UN is precisely to reduce uncertainty between players inorder to reduce conflict. (This by itself is a very long topic)

By using e-prime, you do not remove the ability to have hostile thoughts or impressions.
marcnicholas
Dec. 15th, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
Hmmm, no. E-prime, as a meme, does not avoid abstractions. Rather, it reconfigures one's logic tree so as to make *certainty* impossible. In fact, if the meme were perfectly stable, it would make the invention of the very concept of certainty impossible. In the long-run, it also creates selective pressures that create a fertile ground for solipsism, and all the personal & social ills that entails.

I've seen more ills result from objectivism than I have from solipsism. I think you overrate the benefits of certainty.

Think about it for a moment. With giving her the ability to be certain about anything, what kind of child would you raise? She will never be certain you love her, and you'll never be able to prove to her that you do. She will never be certain that you exist, and will never be certain that she exists. She will never be certain that she has value. If she is very well educated, she may be able to operate under the umbrella of probabilities - assuming you teach her not to question the certainty of the math behind the probabilities.

The fundamental nature of the universe isn't at question - only a person's ability to understand it through symbols.

E-prime demands that people look at the processes behind things. People are no longer "people" but "marc at this specific point in time under these exact circumstances". In otherwords, the intelligent application of e-prime makes a person far more certain of what they're dealing with than regular language.

Colin, I can destroy any relationship that operates under the regular semantic rules of english. No joke. For the last two years, I have been fighting with the urge to go out and do it. Just to prove a point.

I met pick up artists who could do it Colin. The ease with which they could destroy a relationship would shock you. Any relationship you could get into, they could get you out of. Do you know why it was so easy for them?

Because in our society, people don't relate to each other, they relate to the images they have of each other. They confuse their interpretation of reality with reality itself, and since they're not paying attention to what's going on, someone who is can screw the whole charade up.

Most people don't exactly interact with reality so much as they interact with static images that they've created in their heads and confused with reality. Instead of caring for the child in front of their eyes right this very moment, they care for a child that exists only within the confines of their own mind. Their interpretation of the child instead of the child itself. You don't like this fact? Neither do I.

I would prefer people relate to the world in front of them, not the world inside their head. For that to happen, they need to let go of the absolutes and start thinking in terms of processes.

People change Colin. Love is an act, a verb, and it must change as the environment changes, as circumstances change. Words do not correspond to reality, and a child raised in an environment that knows this will be much more certain of the love given to them because they will feel it experientally, not in the abstract.

Remember, also, that people experience reality without words. You don't have to tell a person you love them for them to feel it. Words will, more often than not, confuse a person's understanding of reality instead of bring them closer to it.

If you ever successfully raised a child in that manner, you'd have a daughter who would view everything through a lens that would cause her to question its existance. I wouldn't want to bet that she lives long enough to have kids of her own.

Nonsense. You aren't always questioning the existance of things, all the time, every single moment of every day. You're just saying "dude, in the end, I don't know. But for now, I'll go ahead and try stuff out anyways".

You do not need to be certain about things in order to live a healthy, happy life.

Let's put it this way, here are the two choices :

1. Certainty without proof
2. Uncertainty

I choose uncertainty, thanks.
marcnicholas
Dec. 15th, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)

You understand my meaning? The only chance of solipsistic child living a healthy life is if she learns not to think about it. If she did, she would become suicidal from loneliness, psycopathic in her treatment of others, or hedonistic in her day to day existance.

Yes, exactly. That's my life in a nutshell Colin ;)

Dude. Cultural prejudice. You ASSUME that's what would happen. I'm living proof that it isn't. Case closed.

No. A definite no. The roots of all conflict don't lie in semantics, and won't be changed by raising kids who think in e-prime. Some conflict arises from selective bigotry, other conflict arises from competition... the possibilities form a long list. Removing certainty from the equation only changes what types of conflicts become dominant in the system - study international relations for a bit, and you tend to discover just how much conflict in the international arena comes about as a result of *uncertainties*. One of the main thrusts of international organizations of the UN is precisely to reduce uncertainty between players inorder to reduce conflict. (This by itself is a very long topic)


...

Dude, you really need to study up on e-prime, because you do not understand it at all.

The roots of all conflict? No. The roots of most conflict?

YES.

You don't have to believe that. I'd rather prove the point; just keep an eye on me Colin. In the future, my ACTIONS will prove the point for you.

Racism? Semantics.
Sexism? Semantics.
Nationalism? Semantics.
Religious Biogtry? Semantics.
Capitalism? Semantics.

When you cure yourself of semantic madness, you realize a few things like...

Race doesn't exist save through the lenses of symbolic mediation.
Nations don't exist save through the lenses of symbolic mediation.
Capital doesn't exist save through the lenses of symbolic mediation.
Even sex only exists through the lenses of symbolic mediation.

That's the post-modernist in me speaking, and I know how logical positivists hate that shit, but you get down to it, dirty mediation is at the root of most social problems. Environmental and biological factors have a hand in it, but ultimately, the problems we experience as a society come down to the differences which exist in our symbolic MEDIATED maps of the world.

By using e-prime, you do not remove the ability to have hostile thoughts or impressions.

You do not remove the ability to have hostile impressions, you simply reduce them and assure that those hostile impressions have much more to do with the environment a person exists in than the environment that exists in a persons head.
ccord
Dec. 15th, 2005 04:27 am (UTC)
I've seen more ills result from objectivism than I have from solipsism. I think you overrate the benefits of certainty.

Yeah, but who's talking about objectivism? I've seen interviews with Ayn Rand; she was a nutter. :-P

E-prime demands that people look at the processes behind things. People are no longer "people" but "marc at this specific point in time under these exact circumstances". In otherwords, the intelligent application of e-prime makes a person far more certain of what they're dealing with than regular language.

E-prime is only a language with a purposefully limited set of symbols. It thus effects one's ability & manner of processing.

That said, I don't disagree with the principle of people needing to be more careful, and less strident in their language. That isn't e-prime though, that's just using english in a scientific manner.


Most people don't exactly interact with reality so much as they interact with static images that they've created in their heads and confused with reality.


No argument that some people are poor at the work of true empathy.


Remember, also, that people experience reality without words. You don't have to tell a person you love them for them to feel it. Words will, more often than not, confuse a person's understanding of reality instead of bring them closer to it.


But it has also to be remembered that not all solipsists are going to draw the line of introspection that far out. There is no reason not to question wether you exist, or to question if what you feel is real. You could just be a marionette in the sleeping king's head. People seem to have a hard time feeling good about themselves when they take the philosophy that far. For survival reasons, it becomes necessary to tune Solip's nagging voice out.

Words can confuse people. Words can enlighten people. Words can just burn up electrons for no good reason. Sifting through it is a pain in the ass that all us social apes have to deal with at some point. :-)


Nonsense. You aren't always questioning the existance of things, all the time, every single moment of every day. You're just saying "dude, in the end, I don't know. But for now, I'll go ahead and try stuff out anyways".


Not if you're sane, no - you can't live as a Solipsist every moment of the day. You'd end up in the corner, eating crayons, screaming "Redrum! Redrum!" and doing bad things to yourself with safety scissors. :-)

Socratics don't have that problem - they can be Socratic all day; they just talk too much is all. ;-)
nihilnovum
Dec. 20th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but who's talking about objectivism? I've seen interviews with Ayn Rand; she was a nutter. :-P

hahaha. You know what I mean. Logical Positivism. A world with only one perspective; the right one.

E-prime is only a language with a purposefully limited set of symbols. It thus effects one's ability & manner of processing.

That said, I don't disagree with the principle of people needing to be more careful, and less strident in their language. That isn't e-prime though, that's just using english in a scientific manner.


E-prime improves upon the manner people process information. It does not prevent them from doing anything, it only makes them more careful in doing it. They can still discuss certainties, the way they do it changes.

No argument that some people are poor at the work of true empathy.

Unless a person knows how to differentiate between their interpretations of the world and the world itself, all their relationships are excercises in emotional masterbation.

Few people have the emotional training to make those differentiations, and that is why people like pick up artists (many of whom are trained in post-modern psychology) can break up relationships.

But it has also to be remembered that not all solipsists are going to draw the line of introspection that far out. There is no reason not to question wether you exist, or to question if what you feel is real. You could just be a marionette in the sleeping king's head. People seem to have a hard time feeling good about themselves when they take the philosophy that far. For survival reasons, it becomes necessary to tune Solip's nagging voice out.

Not if you're sane, no - you can't live as a Solipsist every moment of the day. You'd end up in the corner, eating crayons, screaming "Redrum! Redrum!" and doing bad things to yourself with safety scissors. :-)

Socratics don't have that problem - they can be Socratic all day; they just talk too much is all. ;-)


You can not be socratic all day anymore than you can be solipsistic all day. You behave socratically or solipsistically at points during the day, not all day long. At some point you have to sex, eat, go to sleep, goof off, or work. Then you shut your brain off and that's the end of it.

The thing with solipsism, as opposed to socratism, is that you can do less with it than socratism. Socratic questions sometimes lead to answers, solipsistic questions only lead to one answer "I don't know."

Which, by the way, is the only thing Socrates claimed to know - that he knew nothing. He wasn't that different than Solip, in the end. Just better with rhetoric.
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