PROBLEMS WITH LANGUAGE AND MEANING

Yesterday I was talking with one of the other grad students in my department. She was asking why I chose not to comment during the critique of her work. I was reluctant to speak because the discussion was on the question of if her works were sentimental / nostalgic or not. I found it hard to understand what was meant by the use of those words and felt that if I were to participate in the conversation my only contribution would be in trying to clarify what is meant by those terms. It’s depressing to think about when you get started, that so many of the terms commonly used to talk about a work of art fall into this grey area of contextually specific meaning. Words like beauty, poetry, nostalgia really mean nothing absolutely, they only mean something to a specific person at a specific time. How can one person relate to another person anything congruent when each person understands the meaning of a word differently? Even words that seem to have an absolute non subjective meaning such as Blue. My Blue is not your Blue unless your eyes are mine. How is it that in communication we believe that we are actually connected in any way instead of just agitating / stimulating a simultaneous orgy of conversations with ourselves. I talk to you to hear myself talk and to think about what I just said. You say things to me and I hear them from within myself and through my own subjective set of infidelity filters. We talk to our selves in the proximity of each other, the noise we make excites each other’s solitary conversations. Today I was listening to the track Unity Concepts by Mouse on Mars and found it to be strangely inspirational:

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It reminds me a little of Ram Dass and that whole tradition of making a context specific brand of spirituality, or maybe the borderline between cult, religion and psychosis. Maybe Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:

  1. The world is everything that is the case.
  2. What is the case (a fact) is the existence of states of affairs.
  3. A logical picture of facts is a thought.
  4. A thought is a proposition with sense.
  5. A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions.
  6. The general form of a proposition is the general form of a truth function, which is: [\bar p,\bar\xi, N(\bar\xi)].
  7. Where (or of what) one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence.