Pages

Friday, July 17, 2009

meaning theories

What is the meaning of meaning? We can view meaning at two levels. First, it is a cognitive process whereby we make sense of the stream of information that assails us in each moment. At a higher level, deep meaning is what we seek in life and looks for answers to such spiritual questions such as 'Why are we here?'

Here are some of the existing academic theories about how we make sense of the world, understanding meaning. Please feel free to contribute with whatever you like to this list of theories. I will appreciate it if you bring new and strange thoughts.


1. Constructivism: We try to make sense of the world by making use of constructs, which are perceptual categories that we use when evaluating things.

2. Framing: A frame is the combination of beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models, and so on which we use to perceive a situation. We effectively look through this frame in the way we would look through tinted spectacles. The frame significantly effects how we infer meaning and hence understand the situation.

3. Focussing effect: When we are making judgments, we tend to weigh attributes and factors unevenly, putting more importance on some aspects and less on others.This is typically due to factors such as stereotyping and schemas that we use that bring certain factors to mind and downplay others.

4. Schema: A schema is a mental structure we use to organize and simplify our knowledge of the world around us. We have schemas about ourselves, other people, mechanical devices, food, and in fact almost everything.

5. Personal constructs: People develop internal models of reality, called constructs in order to understand and explain the world around them in the same way that scientists develop theories. They are developed based on observation and experimentation. Constructs thus start as unstable conjecture, changing and stabilizing as more experience and proof is gained. Constructs are often defined by words, but can also be non-verbal and hard to explain.

6. Symbolic interaction: People act based on symbolic meanings they find within any given situation. We thus interact with the symbols, forming relationships around them. The goals of our interactions with one another are to create shared meaning.

7. Objectification: Complex ideas are, almost by definition, difficult to understand. To help us make sense of them, we turn them into concrete images. There are three processes by which objectification is done, giving them physical properties, turn the ideas into pictures and turn the idea into a person.

8. Speach act: Getting a glass of water is an action. Asking someone else to get you one is also an act.When we speak, our words do not have meaning in and of themselves. They are very much affected by the situation, the speaker and the listener.

9. Social interaction: In order for people in groups to talk with one another, they need a system of common understanding, in particular of concepts and ideas that are outside of 'common' understanding or which have particular meaning for that group. Words thus become imbued with special meaning within particular social groups.

10. Story models: One way in wich we explain the world around us is to create stories about it. In particular when we are face with complex situations, we will pick out what seems to be key elements and then turn these into a story.

132 comments:

Lash said...

weren't i mentioning my "thoery of communication" during MBA days? We had session on meaning of meanings. We taked about various levels of communication then -

1 - "conceptual concrete" where one finds utmost clarity ( Norman Mailer's Fight that describes the 1974 fight between Ali & Foreman is closes to that)

2 - Conceptual abstract, which is in many ways the language of the world where one is able to construct a concept but yet finds it difficult to communicate with utmost clarity

3 - Pure abstract ( Paulo Coelho for example)

This session later led to the one on "Meaning of meaning" which talked about notions/labels/constructs etc.. nice to see it here. Now i know what you are talking! :D

Paul said...

Here is my strange theory - All meaning is context dependent. Nothing has inherent meaning. Which leads me to think that meaning is in the relationship and interaction between things. It is dynamic and fluid rather than being concrete and decided.

Mariana Soffer said...

Lash:
thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, I had no clue you studied that kind of things at an MBA.
I read about the 3 levels and I think you give great examples about them for people to understand, well indeed the Cohelo one is not that clear for me, maybe cause I never read anything about him.
I always like self refelential stuff that is why I like things such as meaning of meaning, it makes my mind twist due to the different levels to refer to the same word or condept, and how they interact.
I am glad you liked this theories, and ideas about mean and the things surrounding that.
Take care
M

Mariana Soffer said...

Paul:
It is not strange to me at all. I am always reminded that everything is about context, context is what is all about. Remember I do linguistic processing with computers, well there you have no information at all that you can extract without takin in account the inormation surrounding, main theme, writer profile, degree of sarcasm, and you can go on for ever with that.

And regarding the lack of inherent meaning, is completely like that, I always think about the definitions in a diccionary, they all say things but those things are also other words defined there, so you might end up explaining one concept with the concept that is explained by it.

I like also what you say in the end about being fluid and the fact that the interact. That I never thought but It seems a pretty interesting idea (which I think makes complete sense) I need to let it settle in a deeper place of my mind and then start working with that.
Paul your fantastic
M

the walking man said...

*shrug* It sounds sort of Pavlovian in all the examples given, We see or seek meaning according to conditioned response to the stimuli presented.

Personally I don't look for meaning behind meaning but look at the face of something, accept it as I perceive it and until it (the word, the intent, the condition) changes it is what it appears to be. and when it changes my perception will adapt to the new circumstance or context.

Dave King said...

This post is a little too brief and maybe a tad too academic for me, but the rest of the blog I found absorbing. I shall be back.

/t. said...

realization
is the meaning

this is true especially
for poetry and all modern art

¤ ¤ ¤

/t.

Lucy in the Sky said...

Meaning is such a delicate subject. My own example is commenting on blogs. Many times comments are misunderstood. I guess tone has a lot to do with it. Sometimes you cannot convey irony, for example, in a comment, unless readers know you well and know you are being ironic. Otherwise, you should probably make it clear through an explanation. It happened in my blog.

Ribbon said...

meaning of meaning?
imagination!

x Ribbon :)

Rayuela said...

EStoy de acuerdo con Paul.Todo significado depende de su contexto.
Significado? Significante? (yo y mis preguntas retóricas...)

Besos!


(respuesta en español, porfa!)

Mariana Soffer said...

the walking man:
Yes it might be look as pavlovian, never thought of it that way, somehow I think it as something with a higher degree of complexity and uncertainty in it.

I like a lot how you face it, it sounds wise an the best think to do with the informatio you have at each moment in your head. Wish I could work that way
Bye my friend

Mariana Soffer said...

Dave King:
Exactely, this is too brief, but I do not like to make long post in general, because I found them overwellming to read too much text from the screen.
But I thought I needed some more things to say.

Mariana Soffer said...

t:
you are in the line of doing is what it is. I like that, it sounds poetic, and it cuts the crap from the nonsense blabla

Take care my friend.

Mariana Soffer said...

Lucy in the sky:
Everythig can be and probably is missinterepreted at some degree, when trying to be communiated from one human being to another. But media with less information transmited such as text in comments, and even worst for me in text messages havs much more chances of missinterpretation in it.
Bye lucy

Mariana Soffer said...

Ribbon:
I really like that!!! it remindes me of the unknown unkown, it is something that is unknown that is not known, what is that? I do not know, the idea is that nobody does indeed.

Ariel_from _Plainsboro said...

Mariana: to me, the first 7 theories might be represented as spheres that intersect in some point in space with each other. The three last, speech, social interaction and story models, are perhaps the media elements that translate and communicate among them their bits of knowledge and information. In few words: meaning is a point in which infinite words, thoughts and actions combine as one (I just stole this idea from J.L Borges' "El Aleph" ;-). It also comes to mind Julio Cortazar's masterful novel "62, a model kit" in which he let us think that the true meaning of a collection of completely non-sense situations and dialogues in the two-dimensional world of a dining hall can only be seen from above.
Enjoy your trip, every place has a some beauty when appreciated with eyes wide open.
so long and be well,

Mariana Soffer said...

Rayuela: says she agrees with paul.
All meaning depends on its contexts, which Is what I told paul a little after he wrote.
she says: meaning?, it is kind of a paradox a question isn't it, somehow it can not be.
She also says something I do not know how to translate, I guess is: the thing that signifies?
If that is the question I do not know if it exists such a thing, cause I doubt about the separation between the thing and the meaning of it.
Quite messy my text, sorry.
Take care

Chris said...

Supposedly, Montague's favorite joke:

What's the meaning of life? life'(x).

girlontape said...

what's the meaning of meaning? you're killing me softly w. yr premises marian :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Chris;
I like the joke a lot , but I think it is a little oriented towards scientific people.
And I can t help think about the marvelous monthy python movie, which is called like that, and provides amazing insights about the answer to that question.
Thanks a lot chris for contributing with your knowledge.And feel free to come as often as you can or want
take care
M

Mariana Soffer said...

Girlontape;
It is a self referential question stef, to watch out with thouse kind of questions cause they tend to be tricky and lead to false conclusions. Always refer about what you are talkintg at the same level that you are leading the discourse, otherwise it won t lead you to the truth, just to a nice paradox.
I do not want to kill you steff, just want to exchange ideas with you, I want you to teach me things I do not know, and I want to teach you what you don t get
Kiss babe

Jenny said...

Hi Mariana,

Thanks for visting my spot. Your blog is impressive, very informative and thought provoking. Great things you have written here.

Mariana Soffer said...

Ariel:
I like a lot what you said about the 7 theories, it is a really nice whay to put it. The last 3 also make sense bbut somehow dn't convince me completely, but it is just a hunch, I need to do more thinking about it.

I am a huge fan of borges, and I have been doing some research about what he things about meaning, and I found and interview where he is asked that and he replies
" I think that the meanings are more or less irrelevant. What is important, or the two important facts I should say, are emotion, and then words arising from emotion. I don't think you can write in an emotionless way. If you attempt it, the result is artificial. I don't like that kind of writing. I think that if a poem is really great, you should think of it as having written itself despite the author. It should flow."
Cortazar idea of meaning in the situation you are describing seems to be a very nice way of describing it. Makes me think as beings that are two dimensionals, and can not even imagine the 3d one, until one day a 3d being aproaches them and starts interacting with them.
Thank you very much for the marvelous wish you had for me, it is really moving for me what you say.

Send you a big hug
M

Mariana Soffer said...

Jenny:Thank you very much for your engcourgaging words about my post, those kinds of comments always makes me wanna go on sharing and exchanging knowledge. I have to tell you that I found your blog very interesting, I want to pay a little more attentiont to some parts, which I will probably will do in the next hours, but It looks really promissing.
Take care and a pleasure to have you hear

ines@hotmail.com said...

Do you know any other interesting reflection borges said about the meaning of meaning?

Mariana Soffer said...

ines:
Here is one thing I like when talking about the meaning of the poems:
I think that the meanings are more or less irrelevant. What is important, or the two important facts I should say, are emotion, and then words arising from emotion. I don't think you can write in an emotionless way. If you attempt it, the result is artificial. I don't like that kind of writing.

~pi said...

everything depends on the representation you´ve got of

"things" from the early childhood till... till... :)

i think we can undress a great amount of these representations if we wish to do it

it´s a work to life,

to feel instead of think, feeeling first and creat some kind of... faith in the inner nature of land and water and life ...!?

you´re welcome to passages, a real pleasure to come here,





~

Mariana Soffer said...

Pi:
It is true that everything depends on the representation we have of it. but who says that representation does not depend on the real thing we are observing right now.

I do belive we can change all the interpretations of things we had made on our mind, neuroplasticity theory in part can reasure this.

I understand you are trying to eliminate the representation and see the bear thing, I am not sure if this is possible, I do not know if we can separate the thing from the interpretation indeed. Even feeling is preceded by interpretation, the perception of the thing, which once recognized triggers the emotion.
A big hugh my friend pi

Jason Gusmann said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mariana Soffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mariana Soffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason gusmann said...

milady -

all my work is really based on a combination platter of 6, 7 and 10 - i like very much the idea of the menu, picking and choosing constructs as we see fit on a day-to-day basis.

i would love to be able to walk around in an objectified version of yr mind. yr mansion has so many rooms!

Mariana Soffer said...

Jason, my friend:
I think I can understand why you choose 6 7 and specially 10 to represent you.
I like the idea about choosing constructs it is fun an creative, that made me think that we can also make a kind of equializer for the theories, so you higher the plug that correspond to the most important theory, in the middle the medium importance one and so on.

Thank you very much for the lovely poetic compliment, I just blushed.
You are more than welcome to share the rooms with me, and to take
a walk on the path to learn.

pot said...

It seems to be an interesting title but I can t understand the meaning of it.

Mariana Soffer said...

POT:
What do you mean with "the meaning"? do you really mean what you say?
Just in case you really mean it, it consist mainly in a list of theories that attempt to explain how humans and meanings relate.

Jessie Carty said...

another fantastic topic! i'd have to say, as a writer, that i definitely construct meaning stories and the act of writing things done. even in school, while studying, i always "learned" more by writing something down versus hearing it.

but i would love to study more about this whole idea of constructs. any books you could suggest?

Mariana Soffer said...

Jessie: thank you very much for your gentle words.
It is scientifically proven that a person remembers certain percentages of what is thought according to the learning modality, for example the one in which you remember the less is just by sitting and hearing, and the ones in which you remember the most are the ones that have active participation from the learner, like in your case which is writting.

Regarding constructs:"meaning does not reside in linguistic units but is constructed in the minds of the language users. Meaning construction is an on-line mental activity whereby speech participants create meanings on the basis of underspecified linguistic units"
The book: Aspects of Meaning Construction, Edited by Günter Radden, Klaus-Michael Köpcke, Thomas Berg and Peter Siemund
I highly recomend it, I did not read all the book, but many parts of it, besides it is very usefull to have it as a resource in your llbrary,

Anyotherthing I can help you with please feel free to ask jessie, take care

Jessie Carty said...

Thanks for the book suggestion :) I will have to add that one to my list!

Jm Benavidez Estoque said...

reply from "Killing myself" at http://www.filipinoliterature.blogspot.com"~

~Thank you very much, dear friend. I would make that as a compliment!
But one thing I may not be approve to you of, you are saying of ignorance. I do not believe in ignorance for it is just a matter of different perceptions caused by different beliefs, different surroundings and different experiences... but that would not make anyone an ignorant. I do not believe everyone to be ignorant. It does only matter that they did not have the opportunity to learn like what the others had learned themselves

However, you are partially right because I also believe that it is a very act of a truly wise and mature people who do not manage to brag in with the topics that they are not really well good at.

Thank you for the reply my friend! Have a nice day to you and God bless :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Jm Benavidez Estoque :
I am glad you liked my comment at list partially.
I think you are right about what you say of ignorance, you made me think a lot with that, and review my predjudices that may do harm. I apreciate it a lot that you made me learn this valuable lesson.
And I also think I gain an interesting person with whom to have new conversations.
Take care Jm

Mariana Soffer said...

Jm Benavidez Estoque :
I am glad you liked my comment at list partially.
I think you are right about what you say of ignorance, you made me think a lot with that, and review my predjudices that may do harm. I apreciate it a lot that you made me learn this valuable lesson.
And I also think I gain an interesting person with whom to have new conversations.
Take care Jm

david mcmahon said...

You have given us many points to ponder here.

Mariana Soffer said...

Hi david: its true that is complicated, but I did never thought that this kind of questions ideas or theories could have a straightforward answer that leaves all of us happy
Thanks for visiting

TC said...

Mariana,

Heady stuff as always, you are the brain of the blogosphere.

Being a poet I really don't have a theory of meaning and so am forced to work with picture models like this one I put up today, a collaboration with the wonderful artist Lucy in the Sky of Locos por naufragar:

Does the meaning materialize once you're gone?

Jm Benavidez Estoque said...

reply from http://www.filipinoliterature.blogspot.com

from post "Killing myself":

Is that so? hehehe! :D
I am so much honour my friend.... but to be honest, I only just borrowed those ideas from Dr. Jose Rizal's Novel, Noli Me Tangere. However, I already put some of my opinion there about ignorance.

Thank you so much! To be honest, I also like your site because it also shares the same deep and philosopical things. You must be also a Philosopher ( Philos = Love, Sophia = wisdom; "Wisdom Lover")!

Me too, if you asked me... I also love wisdom.

I knew a very short but really really philosophical story in which you could post it to your blog, The title must be "Allegory of the Cave" and the "Allegory of the sun".

Just google it. I'm sure it would be worth reading for.

I bet that seeing who's the author of those two stories, you will suddenly exclaim... Ah! This must be a great philosophical story!

So long for now, Paalam! and take care, Ingat! :P

Mariana Soffer said...

TOM:
Thank you very much Tom, you are really flatering to me, but don t forget that there are tons of people that have colaborated among each other before so I can be able to do this now.
I am happy for you that you are working with lucy you seem to be a goot team to me.

Regarding your poem I do think meanings can disapear right ahead, specially when it is to close to me, as most of the thing. And then when it is not so close it can appear again maybe not when you are not looking, maybe when you are stearing at it. But it is more accurate what you say things tend to show themselves when you are not looking for them.
If it was ever there, sure it was as much as any other think in this word was, which can leave
and do not leave a trace that it has been in this life with us.
Take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Tom and Lucy

Tunel

Does any of the meaning you think at times you see

Disappearing ahead of you just out of your reach at the tunnel's end

Actually materialize once you’re gone (no longer looking)

And was it ever here...? After the end of all the stories you're left with

What?


http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/tunnel.html

Mariana Soffer said...

Jm Benavidez Estoque:
Well I also think that it is imposibleto create something truly original, inventions are always based one some preexisting stuff.Even more in the current internet times and all the information we have access to now.

I liked phylosophy since I was arround 20 I read several authors, but I guess my favourite ones are the greeks, with socrates and plato among the top ones and the ones that preceded them called presocratic greek where also fantastic and crazy. This does not mean that I belive that what the greeks say it is for real.

I also like knowledge, beside wisdome.

This is a wierd coincidence because when I was talking about the greeks I was thinking mainly about the allegory of the cave, probably because it is tigthly related to the post subject. I love that theory/story, it always makes me think something new.

My frrrrrrrrrrieeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnd take a lots of care and lets enjoy the share.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, Mariana, first, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

I've opened your blog, and look what you've done -- I cannot leave now! :) You certainly ask provocative questions.

This one, the meaning of meaning, has been, curiously, on my mind for the past couple of days. Well, what if there is no meaning to meaning? No, really? What if those theories are only attempting to impose some artificial order on things that are by nature disordered and, well, meaningless?

Having said that, what I missed from the theoretical propositions you supplied in your post was the one you gave in the Borges' quote in your comments section (and one I personally agree with):
" I think that the meanings are more or less irrelevant. What is important, or the two important facts I should say, are emotion, and then words arising from emotion."

Our emotions imbue the world (and meanings, as it were) with meaning. Without them and their capacity for making things meaningful to each of us, in sometimes similar and sometimes very idiosyncratic ways, our experiences would indeed be meaningless. Methinks. (Hope this makes sense?)

Uncle Tree said...

Hello, Mariana!

This is all like asking a question.

What do I mean if I say what I mean by saying 'this means this', when really I meant to say 'this means that', and you have no idea what I mean, because you never meant to meet that mean old me that meant to meet you in that first mean looking place?

I didn't mean to be of help, I only meant to comment. Meaning is now intention. Luv you, too!

Shubhajit said...

This is a educative reading. The best thing is the "meaning of meaning." I think everything is universe is on the relative term but as we move forward and onward and ultimately hit a point where there is nothing go beyond or we can't penetrate beyond that and that's the point where the relativity ceases.

The meaning of all subjects and objects are on relative term, even good and evil also become a subjective term. All the universal and particular terms have subjective meanings.

All those theories you have mentioned here are true and also relative. To derive the origin of meaning is the combination of all those theories and yet still dwell on the relative plane of human mind. Therefore, the meaning of meaning is in our mind and to erase the subjectivity and to reach the objectivity is in our mind.

kj said...

marianna, yours is one of the few blogs where i know i will have to carve out some time to come back and read these thoughtful comments.

how we live in and see the world: how nicely you've taught this lesson here. sometimes i feel so different. i wish i were better at reframing, constructing, explaining. instead, sometimes my heart just grabs the keys and drives the car. i try to supervise, to navigate, but in the last year i've had to LEARN to pull back my emotions and THINK more.

but you know that already. thanks again, friend.

xoxo

geek said...

I don't know if this would help, but earlier today our professor talked about language determinism -- particularly the Sapir-Whorf model. My prof explained that in this theory, how we make sense of the world and how we perceive and understand things is mediated and limited by our language. Language affects our internal logic. For example, the term "Pilipino time" in the Philippine culture (I'm sorry I can't think of other examples). Our concept of time is more flexible.We don't have the concept of on the dot. But we rely on "tiempo" or "panahon" (season) or when everyone has already gathered. This is because our society is community-based and agricultural-based.

But this has been challenged by Cognitive Anthropology, which says that there are perceptions that persist through all cultures and not just in specific ones -- such as sensory phenomena and color perception.

Putting theories aside, I think there is subjectivity in understanding meanings. We are bounded by our biases in understanding the things around us. I have read something from the comments above that some of the readers of a blogger misunderstand what he/she says. It's probably, because the readers were trying to understand her statements in their own lenses. For (yet again another) example, some things that would be considered offensive for my culture wouldn't be that way in some cultures. Therefore, to prevent misunderstandings, I think we should contextualize what was being said through the lens of the writer or the speaker.

Mariana Soffer said...

Elizabeth:
My pleasure visiting your blog, I found it interesting that is why I left a comment in it.

I am very happy that you find yourself pretty interesting my blog, please feel free to ask anything, If I can I will reply cheerfully.

Good question and comment about the meaning of meaning. You are right in asking who says there has to be a meaning in meaning, nobody, it is just an arbirary imposition like so many others that hard and social science assume in order to build a coherent theory on top of it.

I am also glad you like Borges words, cause he really is a wise man, he s wisdome is hughe in my opinion.

I guess it is like you say for human beings, no emotions implies no meanings, cause just with reasoning we can get as much meaning as a robot can, and somehow it does not feel real, it just feels like a phylosophical game, Yes, it makes sense to me what you say, completely,, I would draw the conclusion from your words that "the ultimate meaning for the human being arises from feelings". I am not completely convinced of that because I think other things need to be added and looked at, but it is a very interesting and good aproach to the idea.

Take care and thanks for stepping by

Mariana Soffer said...

Uncle tree:
Hi my dear uncle, I am all ears.

Excelent uncle, I love your phylosophical poem! Is fantastic, that needs to be published somewhere else.

Uncle:
I think probably nothing means nothing for real, things just base their meaning on analogies about other things meaning that have arbitrary meanings.

You where of no help for clarifying stuff, that is true, but who says you must?

I love you too uncle, you left me smiling and happy so see you around.

Mariana Soffer said...

Shubhajit: I am glad that you liked the idea of meaning of meaning.

I am not sure about the universe having a limit, I know it is almost impossible to imagine that, at least for me, but I tend to think that is how things are. But I respect a lot what you think, it is also interesting and worth think about.

Eerything is relatie, I completelly belive that, even the things that look like the most absolute ones.

I like a lot what you say about the theories I mention being relative, but I do specially like "they dwell on the relative plane of the human mine" idea.

Regarding the last part I am still puzzled. Do you think we can reach the objectivity in our own minds? probably yes, because it is objective for ourseles therefore subjective in general.

Thaks a lot for heping me think, please keep doing it
M

Mariana Soffer said...

kj:
I think the comments people do here are really interesting too, indeed it is pretty hard for me to answer something relatiely coherent to them.

It is fantastic what you say about how we live and see the word, I always ask myself also how much should I suprvise myself, reiew what I do and also how much should I push myself.

I knew that long time ago but I forgot, so It is great for me to remember it. Thanks.

love
M

Mariana Soffer said...

To S and W nature is dissected 'along the lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organised by our minds - and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organise it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organisation and classification of data which the agreement decrees-The determinism refers to language determining what humans can think or say.

I do not understand what you mean when you say "We don't have the concept of on the dot". But I do follow why you say that we understand time all the same given that we are living in a society that relies on it for either planting or gathering a large amount of the food it is going to .
(It is perfect the example you gave don t worry about it)

It was proof that cognitive antropology was right, because there are things that are inherent to human beings, not to the language that people use (you can check chompsky, skinner or pinker).

I woudn t say we are bounded by our biases I would say that we are influenced by them, I am not sure our tendencies can be said to put us limits. I agree that we should put in context what has been said in order to understand it properly, and I think that this context is related mostly to the person who produced the language linguistic and cultural background.

Thank you very much for this cultural thoughts and teachings geek, great comment
Hugz

Mariana Soffer said...

geek, check this:
do the results of public opinion polling depend on the language of the interview? The answer, it seems, is often "yes", and the effects are sometimes very large. This immediately raises a more difficult question: why?
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=968

medicatedlady said...

mariana...each one is interesting; it's the interaction that is mindboggling.

My fave here is framing. I like looking at the frames of the past, what I knew or didn't know. Where I was and why I perceived the way I did. Framing and reframing is really useful in everyday life because by understanding the concepts, you are more likely to consider others' perceptions.

Mariana Soffer said...

medicatedlady:
You are smart medicatedlady! the interaction is a really big deal.

I like framing to, but I refer to it in another way, I think that all memories are kind of in a frame
so when you retrieve some memorie it comes along with all that is in the frame that it belongs to. For example when you remember an event like having dinner with your mother you also retrieve the feelings you felt them cause they are in that frame.
But I see what you refer as framing, is similar to the context tha allows you to provide mining to the concept. And as you say the context changes sometimes as time advances you can chage the concept meaning. And I agree that with beling more flexible with the concept you assign to things you also become more likely to consider other people s percepeptions.
I am glad you are friends with uncle
Take care

mi otro yo said...

I believe that everything is so personal, sometimes, as the meaning. The meaning is something very sensitive I believe that it happens with these virtual relations one can say something in a tone and forms and of another side it is read in another tone and forms. I believe that the meaning is very difficult.

Enfin muchas gracias por pasar y decir siempre por mi blog.

Id it is said...

I forget where I read this but making ones surrounding comprehensible is the quest of any thinking mind, and this act of making ones reality comprehensible to oneself is what i see as 'meaning of meaning'. Each person's quest is driven/limited by his level of maturity/interest. For example a mathematician would be keener to make comprehensible his reality in a mathematical way whereas a poet who too is trying to make his reality comprehensible except that he does it with a poetic inclination. As for a child, one can only imagine what a hectic time that brain is experiencing given the plethora of interest and maturity in the process of making... :)

Thought provoking post Mariana.

Mariana Soffer said...

mi otro yo:
You are right about the possible missinterpretations (Iwould call them), which I guess where not so often when you talked on the phone of face to face, I think the most often that misinterpretation happen is with cellphone text messages. My theory is tha tthe less information being transmitted to express a certain language, the more chances of missunderstanding.

Listen to what my friend paul says:All meaning is context dependent. Nothing has inherent meaning. Which leads me to think that meaning is in the relationship and interaction between things. It is dynamic and fluid rather than being concrete and decided.

I am going to put right now yout blog amount my favourites because those are the ones I end up reading always. By the way I really like what you say and how you say it.
Txs
M

Mariana Soffer said...

id it is:
I liked a lot what you said, made me think and still is about several stuff.
On whan side I like what is it that you call the "meaning of meaning", indeed that is what the theory says it is. But I am also thinking what about the ethernal conversation we have with ourselves inside our head, that also contains answers about the meaning of meaning", I am just rambing, I am not sure.
It is true that each quest is limited by the resources a person has and also his level of imagination (that is how I would call it). But I think that if one is really skilled in a certain area it can reach the same true another person skilled in a different area can arrive at.
About the kids way of being I do not have much idea regarding it. All I can say is that I think they use different inference mechanisms and different ways of bringing back their memories to create a new meaning than adult people does.
Thank you very much for your interesting words
M

Ruela said...

thanks so much Mariana...I'm very busy...just passing by to say hi !

Mariana Soffer said...

Ruela:
Yupi, my new friend step by, it makes me feel glad.
I am trying to understand the meaning of a druid so you can go beyond or back your post:A member of an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain who appear in Welsh and Irish legend as prophets and sorcerers.
hugh

human being said...

once upon a time, there lived a creature called meaning... meaning didn't know who it was and life seemed so meaningless to it... so it started a journey to find out...
wherever it saw someone on the road, it stopped and asked... but no one knew who it was... it saw lots of people and places... it had lots of sad and happy moments but still that meaninglessness bothered it...
one day when it was sitting by a pond looking at the play of light on the surface of water it noticed a face on the water... no! it was not its reflection and this is not the story of Narcissus...

the face on the water was smiling while meaning knew exactly how it felt... it was sad and tired...
the face on the water was trying to say something while meaning knew it had been silent for a long time...

meaning loved that smile... those lips that were trying to say something... meaning tried to listen but.... splash! a coconut dropped in the pond... monkeys were hungry... and were trying to eat something...

the face was gone...

meaning became a frequent visitor to the pond... day after day it came there to see the face again... that smile ... those moving lips... but the moment the face appeared and wanted to say something, something happened and the face disappeard... but meaning never gave up... it built a house there... planted lots of plants and trees... made friends with all people and creatures there... and each day came to the pond to see the face... the moment the face appeared, meaning would tremble with joy... and thought it was the happiest being in the world... now meaning felt its life is meaningful...

and
they lived happily ever after?
no... this stroy is a bit different...

on a very beautiful morning something strange happened after years of visit to the pond... when the face appeared... nothing happened to make the face disappear... they looked at each other for a long time... smiling... at last, meaning asked the face:
- who are you?
the face smiled more broadly than ever and answered:
- i'm... nothing...

meaning paused for a long time... then it entered the water very slowly... careful not to disturbe its motionless surface...
and
they became one...

no one has seen meaning since then...

TC said...

Mariana,

All through this consistently interesting and occasionally delirious and delicious discussion of meaning, in the course which many have found meaning and discovered paths to further meaning, I've been haunted by this passage which I'm sure you know and which, every time I attempt to think about meaning, puts an end stop on my thoughts and makes me understand that they are meaningless... and it's at this point that all thoughts of meaning vanish completely and bewilderment and wonder take over. Let me see if I can make my ancient motor disordered fingers hunt and peck it into your thread:

"The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science--i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy--and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in the propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person--he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy--*this* method would be the only strictly correct one.

"My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them--as steps--to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)

"He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

"What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."


Also, deep in the back of my head, all through this thread, I've been hearing a song by Magnetic Fields. It goes like this:

Meaningless?
You mean it's all been meaningless?
Every whisper and caress?
Yes yes yes it was totally meaningless
Meaningless
like when two fireflies fluoresce
Just like everything I guess
Less less yes, it was utterly meaningless
Even less
a little glimpse of nothingness
sucking meaning from the
rest of this mess
Yes yes yes it was thoroughly meaningless
and if some dim bulb should say
we were in love in some way
kick all his teeth in for me
and if you feel like keeping on kicking,
feel free
Meaningless
Who dare say it wasn't meaningless?
Shout from the rooftops
and address the press
Ha ha ha, it was totally meaningless
Meaningless
Meaning less than a game of chess
Just like your mother said
and mother knows best
I knew it all the time but now I confess
Yes yes yes how deliciously meaningless
Yes yes yes effervescently meaningless
Yes yes yes it was beautifully meaningless
Yes yes yes it was profoundly meaningless
Yes yes yes definitively meaningless
Yes yes yes comprehensively meaningless
Yes yes yes magnificently meaningless
Yes yes yes how incredibly meaningless
Yes yes yes unprecedentedly meaningless
Yes yes yes how mind-blowingly meaningless
Yes yes yes how unbelievably meaningless
Yes yes yes how infinitely meaningless

Love to all as always,

Tom

TC said...

BTW, Mariana. I wouldn't want to give the impression this present thread has not been at least as much fun as all your other threads.

It's just that it's been churning about in the back of my dim old cabeza, percolating and spilling over into other areas... so finally I tried to pin down what it was that was causing this curious brain itch, or hall-of-mirrors effect.

Because, you see, about 99 percent of the time I feel nothing in language (and for our present purposes, where else is there to look?) really has any firm meaning at all. (It's that other one percent of the time that keeps me from giving up on this strange game of communicating... as though that were ever possible!)

The trouble for me always begins with a curious phenomenon which may have nothing to with philosophy and everything to do with physiology (of the brain), that, is, the experience of

Things Losing Their Names

Elizabeth said...

Human Being, I love this story.

Mariana, you've opened a (delightful) Pandora box with this post. :)

You also said, re: my earlier comment:

I would draw the conclusion from your words that "the ultimate meaning for the human being arises from feelings". I am not completely convinced of that because I think other things need to be added and looked at, but it is a very interesting and good aproach to the idea.

Yes, I agree with you that "other things need to be added," yet the emotions underlie those as well, especially when it comes to speech acts, story models, social interactions, and some other theories you include in your post.

Framing, for example, relies on emotions as factors contributing to formation of our beliefs, values, attitudes, etc.

Focusing effect also utilizes emotions -- we pay more (and more intense) attention to those aspects of the world, etc. that are emotionally more important to us, whether their importance is positive or negative.

In story models, we are drawn to those that emotionally resonate with something in us, imbuing them with a greater importance (meaning) than those that are emotionally irrelevant to us.

Either way, whatever model we accept for the higher level meaning (not just the purely cognitive categorization of objects in this world), we'd have to include in it our emotions as important and universal factors orienting our responses and defining meaning (or lack of it) for each of us.

OK, for most of us, I should say, because there are certain types of people whose emotional lives are stunted or compromised enough to make their functioning nearly close to calculating machines.

BTW, do you think highly intelligent robots would have a need for (finding) meaning in their existence?

Mariana Soffer said...

human being;.
This fable is amazing, I really love it, and I am pretty sure you invented it all by yourself.

So this creature called meaning did not know his own meaning neither his meaning meaning., this made him feel sad so he went to look for how to get read of his meaningless, he asked and searched, but when he was most unaware that is when the first signal of meaning appeared. It appeared on the pond surface with a form of a face. a face that gave him the biggest joy he ever felt.So he decided to camp near there and went every night to see the surface of the water with a face that seemed to need to tell him something, but always got interrupted.
One day meaning was able to ask him who he wear and the face said nothing.
Then the face entered the water without making a single tiny wave, and it become one and the same with the universe. Then now one ever heard about meaning again.

(Thank god it was not narcisus storiy, neither himself reflected in the water what made him understand something new and that they did not live happily ever after)

Reflections:
1.The meaning can not be separated from the thing.
2. Meaning and thing can become one when they understand that it does not exist absolut meaning in reality of a certain thing.
3. What exists is the idea of what the meaning means, which is allways relative and depends on the context that the meanining is in.
4. The face become one with the water, the earth and the universe because it did accomplished its mission in this planet.
5. Meaning realized that it s original search was futile, that finding his other part did not consist in discovering an arbitrary concept but in becoming an integral part of the universe which was it s habitat.

Thank you so so much my dear friend, please let me know what things I did not get cause I am sure I missed some.

Mariana Soffer said...

TC:
Welcome my dear friend. Remember, each time you come to this blog or space feel relaxed to express however you can and to try as many times as you want to say properly what you want to say.

Let me see if I understand at least something:

I say regarding the proposition and its validity: All theories that make a proposition of logic appear to have content are false. One might think, for example, that the words 'true' and 'false' signified two properties among other properties, and then it would seem to be a remarkable fact that every proposition possessed one of these properties. On this theory it seems to be anything but obvious, just as, for instance, the proposition, 'All roses are either yellow or red', would not sound obvious even if it were true. Indeed, the logical proposition acquires all the characteristics of a proposition of natural science and this is the sure sign that it has been construed wrongly.

Phylosophical demostration of the falsehood of the proposition: The propositions of logic are tautologies.Therefore the propositions of logic say nothing. (They are the analytic propositions.

All propositions are arbitrary, therefore when you do not manage to trascend them and belive that is a real truth of life, you start seing the words in a twisted or biased way, which often leads you ashtray, therefore you need to transcend it (let go this belife as an absolute thing) to see the whole world, not just a part of it like the limited one you can observe while looking through a peep hole.

Regardiing what must be spoken in silence: Where I cannot be mistaken about something, neither can I know nor believe it.

It usually happens to me with songs that are related to something I have in my mind that they start invading my head. I really like this one, specially the lyrics they say things such as "mind-blowingly meaningless", which is a complete oxymoron. And most of the sentence fof the lyrics say interesting things.

My friend hope I said something that interested you, my brain needs a rest now, you made me work

Mariana Soffer said...

Tc:
thanks for being so considerate, I did not think that but anyway you have to consider for me, you or any other blogger that there are posts that are going to be better
than others, and there are posts that are going to be more attractive to readers than others
also, and that is just a fact.

Each person, in this case you, has its periods of times where it is more interested in certain areas or
issues than in others, maybe because it is engaged at work in a related task and when it finishes
work it does not want to get anywhere near that area, maybe is something mental the person will
never discover, who knows. I guess the important thing about blogging is having fun and do not force
yourself to do things you do not want to, cause then it turns out in a nightmare something that
should indeed be a relaxing thing.

Regarding loosing the names in the keats poem he says everything is only itself, which shows that he believes in the idea of identity
and then he states Identity which made naming possible. Meaning since this is this and only this to this thing it can be given a name (cause this is unique). So he belives in something similar to the idea of the cave, unique things in real life are given a unique name either the generic/cave one or a proper one for the thing itself.

Thanks a lot Tom and take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Elizabeth:
I agree with you Elizabeth human being comment is excelent.
It sounds fun to have opened the box, I am always curious to see what comes out of it.

Thanks for clarifying the theories and bringing back what I said to you before about feelings and meanings. It looks as if feelings where not as important in theory
as they seem to be in real life, that is something I guess we need to think more about.

I guess as you say the most complex definition is the one refering to the meaning of meaning,
I would call it the meta-meaning, the meaning that provides meaning to the meaning.
The meta-meaning can also be considered as the base on which the system lies on.

I guess you are refering to autistic people or the ones who have asperger, that
behave in a different way regarding the emotional, we can say lymbic system, functionality.

I do not belive robots will ever get close to something similar to what we call meaning,
because as we said before we need, among other things, emotions involved in their system, and
I do not think that is going to be possible.

I really do enjoy exchanging thoughts with you, please let me know if it comes to your mind
something else about meaning of meaning and fealings.
Hugz

TC said...

Mariana,

I hope your brain has got a bit of rest, it deserves it. Mine could use a bit of the same. Instead I am enjoying the lovely exhausting nocturnal pleasure of wandering around in your mind with you. There are so many corridors and rooms, sometimes it's scary, but you always manage to make it feel warm and dare I say like home?

Brain teasers are fun and if I had a better brain it would perhaps take more joy from teasing, but I'll admit to getting lost a few times in the hallways.

This of yours interested me:

"Regarding loosing the names in the keats poem he says everything is only itself, which shows that he believes in the idea of identity
and then he states Identity which made naming possible. Meaning since this is this and only this to this thing it can be given a name (cause this is unique). So he believes in something similar to the idea of the cave, unique things in real life are given a unique name either the generic/cave one or a proper one for the thing itself."

Identity is the sticking point in language (il)logic for me these days, sometimes it seems nothing equals nothing; that the identity sign is a lie; and that instead of a way of handling and organizing anything solid language is merely a drifting cloud of unrelated floating particulates, no firmer or more stable than a nameless

Something in the Air

But of course this is merely a feeling, and as such means nothing...

Abrazos,

T

Mariana Soffer said...

TC:
thanks but actually it did not rest, but I know it can go on for a long while and still work pretty well.I am glad that the warmness outweights the scaryness, never be scared, at least with me, I am pretty cool with the teaching kind of activity.

My dear friend you have a great mind, please do not say you did not get a good one delivery for your skull,

I am glad you like that part I wrote, but I think is a little messy, I could have written it in a more clear way instead of that one.

My dear friend you hit in my nail at least, I do not know if I told you but I have been working for almost a year in a program that deals with fuzzy logic, where one thing is never equal to the other, where you never know exactely the values, and where those strange sets of numbers are representing words from the language, and also higher level language structures like a representation of a paragraph from a text.
If you think about it for a second you can realize that language is inherently ambiguous. This ambiguity can be dealt with fuzzy set representation of the text.
Let s do an example if you have the word block, you do not know if it refers to the 4 streets, to somebody blocking the street or to where you write your notes. This ambiguos meaning can be represented given a percentage value to the possible identifiers, for example notething equals 40%,, streetthing 30% and hold 30%. notice it all adds to a hundred percent.

Well I have tons of materials to lend you about this kind of stuff, let me know if you want to check it, I know it can be kind of dense.

Besos tom
By the way the poem is fantastic

ScrinS said...

Suerte en tus bellísimos malditos viajes...y abrazos de esta extranjera del Sur que no entiende nada de lo que hay aquí pues aprendió otras lenguas... :0)

Abrazos

Mariana Soffer said...

Scrins says to me:
good luck in your gorgeous and damn trips, and hugs from this foreigner from the south that does not understand anything that is here because she learned other tongues (she lives in france)
Hugz

Mariana Soffer said...

Scrins: Thanks for whishing me luck on my trips, I guess there are not going to be any more for not, thank god, but the states one went pretty well happily.

Let me ask you a couple of questions, cause curiosity is killing me.
Are you from argentina? How long have you been in france? Is it paris, cause I have a friend there? What are you doing there?
I also send you a warm and nice hugh for you, and I am happy to have met you.
Mariana

sora8021 said...

hay you dont know me but you know my dad uncle tree iv hurd of you from him and i wanted to check you out
and its true we can veiw a meaning at two levels could you stop by my blog
its www.sora8021.wordpress.com/
and commet how you liked it k? thanks

TC said...

Hi Mariana,

I come back to you today with a fresh hope for meaning(s) to be found in

A grammar of humanness

Our friend human being is a big part of this one, even though she can't see the pictures of the majestic art of her homeland--one of the reasons we need this new grammar, you see.

Come visit, thanks and embraces to you.

troylloyd said...

damn!

comments out the yin-yang!

forgive me for not reading them all, so if i am stating something already stated, please disregard my lack of temerity!
= )

but, i find myself agreeing w/ Paul:

"Here is my strange theory - All meaning is context dependent. Nothing has inherent meaning. Which leads me to think that meaning is in the relationship and interaction between things. It is dynamic and fluid rather than being concrete and decided"

it really is that simple, i think perhaps often we get lock'd into this Western version of reality when it is only in actuality one version of what humanity experiences...

...i much prefer the shaman model, say of Finnish shaman, discovering magic mushrooms & possibly triggering an evolutionary jump in humanness, as Terrence McKenna suggests, & the procedure involved as well, i will say here that ritual is just as much relevant in of discussion of interaction w/ the world as is the "hard sciences"...

...drinking the piss, as it were, passing it along, then discovering the reindeer piss can also stimulate extrasensory perceptions because the reindeer are hip to the groovy mushrooms...

...so, in my naive formulation, i think it's sometimes best to rely simply upon instinct, that is, when one begins questioning all those unquestionable things it becomes a bog og evershifting quicksand because new questions always pop up...i'm simply saying that any earthborne culture ritual as initiated by aboriginal peoples is equal to if not greater than any eloquent formulaic hard scientific reasoning -- because it exists in an altogether different realm, not of cerebral threshold, but of song within the soul...

...also, i must note, there's an awesome song by legendary krautrock band Guru Guru called "the meaning of meaning" & it's most assuredly a badass track!

salut!

= )

troylloyd said...

ah, pardon me, just going back thru the backwards slope & reading comments as i roll the mouse's nose, came across these MagFields lyrics as post'd by TC & i do say, they deserve a replay!

(really great lyrics! i'm often amazed at how musicians can boil it all down to bare essence w/ such true beauty, yet, when i read post-info poetry, i tend to be somewhat beguiled, you know, all this postmodern poetry is mostly about preventing meaning, or creating swerves, or questioning the whole process, or not even writing "poetry" just going random in the chanceness of which word falls where...i guess when poetry has got to this high level of theory, it only makes sense the audience has disappeared for the most part, popsingers are our true poets i would gather, at least that is, one can shake 'n shimmy while listenin', unlike most spoken word poetry.. & yes, i'm a poet!)

(ps: Mark E. Smith has got the good lyrics as well!)

Meaningless?
You mean it's all been meaningless?
Every whisper and caress?
Yes yes yes it was totally meaningless
Meaningless
like when two fireflies fluoresce
Just like everything I guess
Less less yes, it was utterly meaningless
Even less
a little glimpse of nothingness
sucking meaning from the
rest of this mess
Yes yes yes it was thoroughly meaningless
and if some dim bulb should say
we were in love in some way
kick all his teeth in for me
and if you feel like keeping on kicking,
feel free
Meaningless
Who dare say it wasn't meaningless?
Shout from the rooftops
and address the press
Ha ha ha, it was totally meaningless
Meaningless
Meaning less than a game of chess
Just like your mother said
and mother knows best
I knew it all the time but now I confess
Yes yes yes how deliciously meaningless
Yes yes yes effervescently meaningless
Yes yes yes it was beautifully meaningless
Yes yes yes it was profoundly meaningless
Yes yes yes definitively meaningless
Yes yes yes comprehensively meaningless
Yes yes yes magnificently meaningless
Yes yes yes how incredibly meaningless
Yes yes yes unprecedentedly meaningless
Yes yes yes how mind-blowingly meaningless
Yes yes yes how unbelievably meaningless
Yes yes yes how infinitely meaningless

Mariana Soffer said...

Sora8021:
Hi sora, nice to hear from you, it makes me smile just the fact that I know who you are, your dad told me aboutt you, and since then I have always been curious to talk to you and to know more about yout likes, dislikes, what you aspire to, what you do on your spare time, and many other stuff. You know I can not read your blog, which I would relly like, I do not know if you gave me the wrong address or if it is currently down. Do you have a clue about what could the problem be? I will keep trying anyway to see if I can get inside.
A pleasure to know you trough interneat at least
looking forward to chat more
Mariana

Mariana Soffer said...

TC;Excelent and thought provoking post, congrats it made me think a lot about evil, war,
and why people do that

How to go on now, how to unlearn the memorized phrases:
Things can not be unmemorized, at least I think, they can either be remember lest often or with less strength. or they can be halted by the brain so they can reach consciousness.

How to build sentences of such transparency:
There is no way tp build sentence that arte transaparence, because language is inherently something obscure, too ambiguous too see trough,

Peels away to reveal a grammar of humanness:
It reveels not because it peelse and purposely bares it, it reveales because it show the lack of importance of grammar, of self imposed systems that we make ourselves learn.

Take care TC, thank you very much for making me think
M
Probably grammar is related to people killing each other, it has to be, after all it is what underlies thinking. Maybe TC is right and we need to change it. Does anybody have a good compelling theory about why people kill each otherm about how to avoid this?

Mariana Soffer said...

troylloyd:
Feel free and relax to read the part you are interested in of the post, you do not need to read neither all the comments nor all the text in the post I posted,
I think that paul also says it fantastically, he says it in such a simple way because he really understands it.
We tend to get trapped on one viewpoint of things, which is not good for us neither for the rest of humanity. I guess is easier to stay at one please that allows you to think us less.

I like some of the things terence mckenna says, not all of them, but this one yes.
I also agree that is as much relevant as hard science the modelss you suggest.
And to end with I wanted to reminded you about the books from castaneda, his ideas about nature and the think that don juan lives in these books.


Very nice what you say about the soul, I also do think it is important to understand that hard science are not the only reality we can live, and hopefully that we can be thought. There are infinit more, and I think we have to keep looking forever for our own.

Never heard about the group neither the song but I am going to search for it soon, you made me curious.
Thank you so much for shearing so much knowledge and thoughts.
M

Mariana Soffer said...

troylloyd:
Your welcome back, I am blad to have you all the times you feel lik
I like a lot what you said about postmodern poetry, excelent things said about the way it is generally done now. I never thought about the actual state of that art, but I usually think about the state of other arts such as movies, photography and plastics arts. And I feel the same for them than what you say for poem write. But remember is the expression of the art the problem going on, t the art in itself, that is not to be questioned nowadays.

I liked the lyrics a lot, thank you very much for posting those here
the text is good, it have meaning (at least for me it is saying a particular think) which
is related with playing. with what a certain thing is, and what it is not.
I specially liked the sentences that start with yes,yes,yes.
It made me wander what the meaning of "meaningless?" is supposed to mean,

Thank you very much my new friend, Hope we will keep exchanging meaningless means,

geek said...

Hi,

I just got the chance to read the link you posted about non-whorfian linguistic determinism. Thank you so much for sharing. I pick up a lot of new stuff from the article.

Also, I think you're right with the fact that we're influenced rather than bounded by our personal biases. In which case, I think everyone should be aware of this in understanding meanings.

Thanks again. :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Geeek;
I am really glad you picked up a lot of stuff aboud that. I think it is great to learn, it is really amazing when you realize how things match and make sense,

Please feel free to ask me anything you want, althought let me warn you I might not know as much as you might think, I might be able to guide you where to find the knowledge you are looking for any way. I will be please to do it if I can.

You are a smart guy which makes it important for me that you agree with what I say about the bounded vs bias thing. And I agree with you, I think it is important to make people understand what it means, and to know it is like this, I think that is one of the things that makes me wanna do the blog, to have a place where I can explain such things.

TAke care, I am happy we are having such a nice comments and thoughts integrchange,

Jim Murdoch said...

I have always regarded meaning as the end result of a cerebral process, a solution if you like. As a poet I write poems that have the potential to produce meanings albeit not necessarily the meaning I necessarily intended when I wrote the piece. I have therefore come to view meaning as something akin to truth, an abstract notion rather than something finite, measurable, quantifiable. Not all of my fellow poets believe that meaning should be the end result of a poem at least not an intellectual meaning. For many they expect their poems to make people feel and so the question I have to ask since it's clear you have a deeper grasp of this subject that I is: Is there such a thing as emotional meaning?

I think there must be because people will pick up some nick-nack that they are sentimentally attached to and say that it means something to them so either this is a bad choice of words – English is such a sloppy language – or there is a broader meaning to meaning than is immediately apparent. The fact is I suspect that the end result of a poem is a composite and that you cannot separate meaning and feeling from one another; the answer is blurred, fuzzy. Now, I'm talking about poetry here but this could apply to most things. The reason there is no solution to any poem is that part of the equation is the reader and that is a variable that cannot be quantified.

human being said...

Mariana... Elizabeth...

happy you liked it... thanks for the encouragement...



and my dear Mariana...
yes... it was created right here on your blog... even as i was typing, i didn't know what would happen next...

your analysis and reflections are awesome... loved them as a reader who always reads "creatically"
:)
(this word is coined by the crow... a while ago on my blog...)


as a writer, what can i say?
when we read, the writer is DEAD...

Mariana Soffer said...

Jim Murdoch:
Thank you for stepping by my friend, I like that you do that cause you always have something interesting to say.
Very iinteresting what you sah in your first paragraph, specially when you mention that you end up with a poem that hasa meaning, maybe not exactely the one you wanted for that specific poem, but the one you could obtain for it, that is also valid, in a different way that the others are valid, but valid any way, therefore you have to options which is much better to having only one.

Regarding emotional meaniing I to not thing there is such thing like that, or that it could exists, because everything depends on the context, on the system of interpretation of the person, and on many other things, so to be able to target that particular feeling seems very hard to me. But if you want you wan t you can try and experiment with the ontologies specializzed in feeling or also with opinion mining words, that have implicit an opinion, a like or dislike in the thing you are going to state.


Eactely it is very hard for things words meanings concepts to be cuantifiedm also sentenece complete, cause they can be negated in the middle for example and then change the whole significate that you gave to it. I guess I need to give you a class about NLP, opinion mining, wordnet, suntax taggers, and many other thingselse, I can slowly send you a thing of two,, for example check sentiwordnet and check the wordnet datasetbase to start.
Hope it helps my friend
Mariana

Mariana Soffer said...

Jim Murdoch:
Thank you for stepping by my friend, I like that you do that cause you always have something interesting to say.
Very iinteresting what you sah in your first paragraph, specially when you mention that you end up with a poem that hasa meaning, maybe not exactely the one you wanted for that specific poem, but the one you could obtain for it, that is also valid, in a different way that the others are valid, but valid any way, therefore you have to options which is much better to having only one.

Regarding emotional meaniing I to not thing there is such thing like that, or that it could exists, because everything depends on the context, on the system of interpretation of the person, and on many other things, so to be able to target that particular feeling seems very hard to me. But if you want you wan t you can try and experiment with the ontologies specializzed in feeling or also with opinion mining words, that have implicit an opinion, a like or dislike in the thing you are going to state.


Eactely it is very hard for things words meanings concepts to be cuantifiedm also sentenece complete, cause they can be negated in the middle for example and then change the whole significate that you gave to it. I guess I need to give you a class about NLP, opinion mining, wordnet, suntax taggers, and many other thingselse, I can slowly send you a thing of two,, for example check sentiwordnet and check the wordnet datasetbase to start.
Hope it helps my friend
Mariana

Mariana Soffer said...

human being:
I am happy to, thanks!
]
It makes me feel proud that you created it in ny blog, and in such a free way m writting without knowing what is going to come next,

Thanks a lot about your compliment regarding my analysis and reflections, I value them cause they are yours.]

\it was coined in your blog but what, I can not figure that out, uou made me curious now aoub what you refer to.


Excelent 2 liines you left, that is poetry my friend

Andy said...

Do you have any references for these theories? I would like to follow some of them up.

Mariana Soffer said...

andy:Here you have several webpages and 2 papers, if you wan t anything else don t hesitate to ask, hope it helps
M


http://mind.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/XCI/362/183
http://www.glottopedia.de/index.php/Meaning_theories
http://www2.let.uu.nl/Uil-OTS/Lexicon/zoek.pl?lemma=Meaning+theories
http://www.poetrymagic.co.uk/literary-theory/theories-of-meaning.html
http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/a_meaning.htm
Leech, G. (1983): Principles of -Pragmatics. Harlow: Longman.
Structures. Situated Language Use and Cognitive Linguistics. -Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó.

Andy said...

Many thanks - an apologies for the delay in replying: I was out of the country.

Mariana Soffer said...

andy:
no problem my friend. One of the coolest things that posts and comment have is that they are completely asynchronic (you can write whenever you want, there is no settle time for replies, nobody is waiting for anybody to reply)
Take care my friend and your welcome

Ted Bagley said...

There is no meaning because there is and because there is not. Therefore there is meaning.
Meaning being S/s where the signified is dominant and speaks for itself as oppose to s/S where the signifier can speak for another signifier.
Meaning is mine where as a signifier belongs on the level of the other.

Mariana Soffer said...

Ted Bagle: interesting ideas.
I liked a lot when you say there is no meaning cause there is and because there isn't, I think that is a great phrase, with a great mind amplitude, it is hard to think about it deeply, I have to make an effort to do that, and even then I do not fully get it, dough I get a part of the theory that is great.

I understand wht you say witht s/S it is an interesting thing to clasify and understand meaning, I like it.

Thanks a lot for your great thoughts
M

R101 said...

Sorry, speaking about the meaning of the meaning, only one thing is undisputable: The meaning of the meaning is a book. A real book. No so long time ago was mandatory read it, perhaps to honor that his authors, C.K. Ogden and I. A. Richads, spend a lot of time thinking seriously about...the meaningo of the meaning...

Mariana Soffer said...

R101:
Your name meaning would be R5 if we consider the 101 as a binary number. Did you thought about it?

I never heard about the book before. But I founs that the original text was published in 1923 it was used as a textbook in many fields including Linguistics, Philosophy, Language, Cognitive science and most recently Semantics. The book has been reprinted several times up through 1993.

The book's focus is on how individuals use language. The book description states that Language is the most important of all the instruments of civilization.

One of the key innovations of the book was the differentiation between three separate dimensions:

* The conceptual domain - thoughts that are in our minds
* The symbolic domain - words and symbols that we use to communicate with others
* The real world - things in the real world that we refer to in our thoughts and with symbols

This trinity is represented in the so-called semiotic triangle.

So thanks to mr R5 we have now another interestibg theort for our collection.

Stu said...

It's interesting to compare and contrast the different theories, and all the 'methods of meaning' we employ.

If my undergraduate studies could be boiled down to one question, it would probably be something like, 'What is the meaning of meaning?' That may not have been the question I started out with, but that was the recurring question once I got going. Perhaps it's still the question I come back to... (any serious writer should address it)

Mariana Soffer said...

stu:
it is a great question, do you know which one mine would be?
Are there any special patterns in the brain that make artworks, lets say paintgs, famous, known or respescted and others not, I was thinking for example, the width of the brush, how much you vary your colors, what is the shape of the main lines of the paint. I would like to do that, but also for music, literature, poetry,dance, sculpture, and then try to find a common pattern among the different arts ( this would probably be related to the emotional part of the brain)
OK the meaning of meaning, first you can not define something using that same thing, so maybe asking that question is wrong?
Here is a simple thing about language:
We use words to express concepts (atomic/spatial level), which we can combine in sentences and propositions (molecular/symbolic level), and we learn associations(subatomic /connectionist level) between words and perceptions. This picture is a bit simplistic, but I think a more refined analysis would preserve the basic claim that language needs all three levels. Also notice that language is alguage context dependent.

"I believe that most of my knowledge of the world comes from reading and talking (that is, from language), rather than from direct experience (from doing and sensing). I know that this belief is not very scientific (we need to figure out how to measure the amount of knowledge from linguistic and non-linguistic sources), but I am inclined to believe it until science says otherwise. So I am curious about language because I believe it is my main source of knowledge of the world." from turney

The meaning of meaning is to mean what "meaning" really means.

"What is the meaning of meaning? We can view meaning at two levels. First, it is a cognitive process whereby we make sense of the stream of information that assails us in each moment. At a higher level, deep meaning is what we seek in life and looks for answers to such spiritual questions such as 'Why are we here?'"
check this:http://parslow.eu/meaning.aspx

Hope at least this helps you think man. Thanks a lot for stepping by

救援部 said...

夏真っ盛り!女の子は開放的な気分で一人Hしたくてウズウズしてるっ!貴方は女の子のオ○ニーを見て気分を高めてあげてネ!もちろん、お手伝いしてもオッケーだよ!さぁ、今すぐ救援部にアクセスしよっ

Mariana Soffer said...

I need to know at least in what idiom or language the comment is can you please tell me so I can translate it?

高級チェリー said...

高級チェリーの秋は童貞卒業のシーズンです。童貞を食べたい女性達もウズウズしながら貴方との出会いを待っています。そんなセレブ達に童貞を捧げ、貴方もハッピーライフをってみませんか

出張ホスト said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tipota said...

The ten ways of understanding meaning are amazing.
Constructivism might rely a lot on the senses and the intellect. Framing is a fascinating category, it might have a lot to do with background and training. The focusing effect would seem to depend on an individuals predilections, preferences and personality.
The schema must be some kind of important organizing tool. Personal constructs give me the idea of history and education. Symbolic interaction seems linked to esoteric spiritual or religious practices. Objectification, I think art would be included in that category? Speech act, now that one is interesting. Because words do sometimes seem to exist by themselves,that is there might be some kind of transitional microsecond between the time the eye takes in a word written in a book or on a paper and the 'sound' of the word is formed in the head, but the meaning of the word seems to precede both of those. Or maybe its just me, ha ha.
Social Interaction: There is a hierarchy, a kind of status involved in sharing special knowledge or understanding. Ideas that meet in some unique way. Story models, that category is so creative and communicates experience and ideas, even while key elements in a group of people who shared the same experience, such as survivors of a crash, or graduates of the same school, or members of an extended family, would perhaps have varied stories because of different perceptions of key elements.
You certainly gave a lot to consider, amazing work.

Mariana Soffer said...

Tipota:
I am glad you liked them. I have not checked them out in a while.
Great reflections upon the first three, made me think about the first one, if it is also related somehow with creationism, which I think it is. Regarding objectification, it might also be interesting to think it from an ontological kind of philosophy. Regarding symbolic interaction I thought that at a point everything might be esoteric, or not?
Regarding speech act, you got the point, it is pretty tricky dough to get (if anybody does) but
I think that we might have to start from a hole different place, not thinking one thing comes before the other, but that they are both part of the same stuff.
Like when you think if an object can exist without its meaning, and how do you frame that kind of thing.
Social interaction extends the personal meaning, one kind of meaning interacts with the other kind. They influence each other.
Thanks a lot for writing, great reflections, hope you like my thoughts, specially the last one, where I managed to focus better, sorry for the rambling at the beginning anyway.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic web site, I hadn't noticed singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com earlier in my searches!
Carry on the fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

Hey,

This is a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com.

May I use part of the information from your blog post above if I give a link back to this website?

Thanks,
John

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Thanks,
William

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com.

Can I use part of the information from this post above if I give a backlink back to this website?

Thanks,
Peter

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am definitely happy to find this. cool job!

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: I would like to thank you for the efforts youve got produced in writing this article. I am hoping the same finest operate from you inside the potential also. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to start my personal BlogEngine weblog now.

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the write-up. It proved to become Pretty useful to me and I am positive to all the commenters here Its always great when you can not only be informed, but also entertained Im certain you had fun writing this write-up.

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so great and so important. I cant wait to read far more from you. I just feel like you know so substantially and know how to make people listen to what youve got to say. This weblog is just also cool to be missed. Excellent stuff, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Remarkably! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Took me time to read all the comments, but I genuinely enjoyed the post. It proved to be Pretty helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here It is always great when you can not only be informed, but also entertained Im certain you had fun writing this write-up.

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Bravo, your opinion is useful

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: I think you should use more images on your blog, but besides that, it is really great. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? Im trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but Im not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Awsome post, Im now one of your feed followers

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the write-up. It proved to become Pretty useful to me and I am positive to all the commenters here Its always great when you can not only be informed, but also entertained Im certain you had fun writing this write-up.
Acheter vimax en France.2011AVEF

Anonymous said...

Im speechless. This is a superb blog and very enticing too. Great work! Thats not in point of fact so much coming from an amateur publisher like me, however its all I may say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. No longer like other blogs. You really recognize what you?re speaking approximately too. So much that you just made me want to explore more. Your weblog has grow to be a stepping stone for me, my friend.
http://vimax.bligoo.fr/

Anonymous said...

Mу fаmily all the time saу that ӏ аm wаstіng mу time
here at net, except I κnoω Ι am getting know-hοω еѵerуdаy by reading thеs fastidіous
content.

Also visіt mу web-site; search reputation management

Anonymous said...

Yes! Finally someone writes about cheap glasses.

My web site :: varifocal lenses; ,