Philosophical snapshot: Words… Words… Words…

Philosophers wonder about what existence is.

Philosophers try to find out the meaning of being.

Different words.

Entangled in huge conversations.

The theme of endless research.

But what if our thoughts are trapped inside a cave (cafe) we created?

What if we created these notions as we created these words?

Existence…

Being…

Are they different?

Who said these words mean anything in the first place?

The one who uttered them first wanted to say something he or she felt at that moment.

Said something.

Tried to communicate that to someone else.

And from that moment we have been wandering ever since.

(What do you mean?)

Oh, had she not say anything.

And just hold his hand…

What is Being? A child’s answer…

“What is Being?” – “It is a word” (!) [A child’s answer to the greatest philosophical question]

Once I asked a child what Being is…

(Once I asked my self what Being is…)

And the child answered…

“It is just a word dad”

(And I laughed…)

And my dad was impressed…

And the whole world of philosophy kept on going…

Trying to figure out what Being is.

“What exists?” – “That which we have named…”

Brain. Seeing. Not speaking.

Photo by Cameron Casey from Pexels

Brain region discovered that only processes spoken, not written words. Patients in a new study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them. For instance, if a patient in the study saw the word ‘hippopotamus’ written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say ‘hippopotamus,’ they could not point to the picture of the animal.

“They had trouble naming it aloud but did not have trouble with visual cues,” said senior author Sandra Weintraub, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We always think of these degenerative diseases as causing widespread impairment, but in early stages, we’re learning that neurodegenerative disease can be selective with which areas of the brain it attacks.” (1)

Spoken words.

Written words.

Mute.

Words expressed can never convey any message.

It is this silence which holds the dearest secrets.

Within its mist you rediscover yourself.

Staying silent.

Holding still.

Outside the realm of words.

Staying speechless.

And yet feeling full.

For this is the only place where things which cannot be expressed…

Can ever be expressed…

Listening to words…

Photo by Dave Meckler from Pexels

For humans to achieve accurate speech recognition and communicate with one another, the auditory system must recognize distinct categories of sounds – such as words – from a continuous incoming stream of sounds. This task becomes complicated when considering the variability in sounds produced by individuals with different accents, pitches, or intonations. In a new paper, researchers detail a computational model that explores how the auditory system tackles this complex task. (1)

In the beginning there was silence.

And then… noise.

Noise cancelling everything out.

With time, we managed to get used to it.

In time, we managed to recognize words.

And we thought we discovered Logos.

Meaning out of nothingness.

Order out of chaos.

But there can be no such thing.

For chaos is chaos.

And noise is noise.

Listen carefully.

Beyond the words.

And you will see the void.

Don’t be afraid of that void.

For it is you.

Unique.

Alone.

Complete.

Staying silent.

Listening to everything…

Before it was ever spoken…

Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;

Photo by Daniel Maforte from Pexels

As two people speak, their brains begin to work simultaneously, synchronizing and establishing a unique bond. This is what in neuroscience is called brain synchronization.

New research by the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastián and published in Cortex magazine confirms that this phenomenon depends on the language we use to communicate.

“When a conversation takes place in one’s native language, both interlocutors pay attention to it in a more global way, focusing on the sentences and the global content of the message,” stresses Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, co-author of the study. However, when done in a foreign language, attention resources focus primarily on other, more complex linguistic levels for non-native speakers, such as sounds and words.

“In the latter communicative context we need to reconfigure our attention strategies so that we can understand each other, and this may be directly related to the difference in the areas synchronised during the conversation,” suggests Duñabeitia. (1)

Language.

Portrayed as a facilitator of communication.

But it is actually a barrier we must overcome.

Only when this barrier is lifted can we actually speak to each other.

Because communication and understanding never stem from logos.

But Logos is the result of the understanding we already have.

Speak to me.

And I will understand you…

Only if I already do…

Note: “Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;” = “Can you understand me?” in Greek…

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