SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.76 número4(Non)denumerability"In order to breathe": Transformative mimesis as a condition for commitment in the poetry of Antjie Krog índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados

Articulo

Indicadores

Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google

Compartir


Koers

versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.4 Pretoria  2011

 

Understanding beyond language: perceiving meaning in reality

 

Begrip verby taal: gewaarwording van betekenis in die werklikheid

 

 

C.D. Scott

Department of Philosophy & Systematic Theology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria. E-mail: scottcd@unisa.ac.za

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article is an attempt to develop a counter-argument to the contention that meaning is bound by language. Locating itself within the realist ontology of language developed by Saint Anselm of Canterbury, it will be argued that language comprises representations of entities perceived both extra to the perceiver and through introspection. Thus, a language game cannot be a closed system in the sense that by its very existence representations of extralinguistic being are contained therein. If truth is defined as that which is the case, the task of the perceiver becomes apprehension of being beheld without the cloud imposed by symbols: representations are not what they represent, instead they serve as windows onto a view of what is. Following exploration of psychological studies on contemplation, it is argued that it is in desymbolised moments of attentive awareness of being that meaning, unfiltered by the representativeness of language (and indeed, other symbolic systems), can arise. It will be proposed that in contemplative traditions, being is not reduced in perception, and the moment of meaning comes to the fore in the engagement and encounter with being.

Key concepts: epistemology, language, mysticism, philosophy, religion


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel is 'n poging om 'n teenargument te ontwikkel vir die standpunt dat betekenis ingeperk word deur taal. Deur die argument binne die werklikheidsontologie van Sint Anselmus van Canterbury te plaas, sal geargumenteer word dat taal representasies bevat van entiteite wat buite die waarnemer en ook deur introspeksie waargeneem word. 'n Taalspeletjie kan dus nie 'n geslote sisteem wees sodat deur sy blote bestaan representasies van buite-linguistiese syn daarin vervat is nie. Indien waarheid gedefinieer word as dit wat is, word die taak van die waarnemer bewuswording van syn sonder die wolk wat deur representasie opgelê word. Representasies of simbole is nie dit wat hulle voorstel nie; hulle dien eerder as vensters op dit wat is. In die lig van psigologiese studie oor nadenke word geargumenteer dat ongesimboliseerde oomblikke van aandagtige bewustheid van syn, betekenis na vore laat kom wat nie deur die representatiewe aard van taal (en inderdaad ook ander simboliese stelsels) gefiltreer is nie. Die stelling word gemaak dat in kontemplatiewe (nadenkende) tradisies die syn nie gereduseer word tot gewaarwording nie, en dat die oomblik van betekenis na vore kom in die betrokkenheid by en die ont-moeting met die syn.

Kernbegrippe: epistemologie, godsdiens, mistisisme, taal, wysbegeerte


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

List of references

ANSELM OF CANTERBURY. 2000. On truth (De Veritate) (In Hopkins, J. & Richardson, H., eds. Complete philosophical and theological treatises of Anselm of Canterbury. Minneapolis: Banning. p. 164-190.         [ Links ])

AQUINAS, SAINT THOMAS. 1920. Whether syndreses is a special power of the soul distinct from the others? Ia q. 79 a. 12. http://www.op.org/summa/letter/summa-Iq79a12.pdf Date of access: 1 Aug. 2011.         [ Links ]

BARSALOU, L.W. 1999. Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioural and brain sciences, 22:577-660.         [ Links ]

BOTHA, R.P. 2003. Unravelling the evolution of language. Amsterdam: Elsevier.         [ Links ]

CHOMSKY, N. 1982. The generative enterprise: a discussion with R. Huybregts and H. Van Riemsdijk. Dordrecht: Foris.         [ Links ]

DE MELLO, A. 1990. Wellsprings: a book of spiritual exercises. Anand: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash.         [ Links ]

DE WIT, H.F. 1991. Contemplative psychology. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.         [ Links ]

DILLON, M.C. 1995. Semiological reductionism: a critique of the deconstructionist movement in postmodern thought. Albany: State University of New York.         [ Links ]

EVANS, V. & GREEN, M. 2006. Cognitive linguistics: an introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.         [ Links ]

FANN, K.T. 1971. Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy. Berkeley: University of California Press.         [ Links ]

FODOR, J.A. 1998. Concepts: where cognitive science went wrong. Oxford: Clarendon.         [ Links ]

FODOR, J.A. 2000. The language of thought: first approximations. (In Cummins, R. & Dellarosa Cummins, D., eds. Minds, brains, and computers: the foundations of cognitive science. Malden: Blackwell. p. 51-68.         [ Links ])

FORMOSA, P. 2007. Saying the unsayable: Wittgenstein's early ethical thought. Sorites: digital journal of analytical philosophy, Dec. http://www.-sorites.org/Issue_19/formosa.htm Date of access: 13 Oct. 2011.         [ Links ]

KELLY, E. 1997. Structure and diversity: studies in the phenomenological philosophy of Max Scheler. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.         [ Links ]

KIRK, R. 1999. Relativism and reality: a contemporary introduction. London: Routledge.         [ Links ]

KOHAK, E. 1984. The embers and the stars: a philosophical inquiry into the moral sense of nature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.         [ Links ]

LAKOFF, G. & JOHNSON, M. 1999. Philosophy in the flesh: the embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.         [ Links ]

LEWIS, C.I. 1929. Mind and the world order: outline of a theory of knowledge. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.         [ Links ]

LUTZ, A. & THOMPSON, E. 2003. Neurophenomenology: integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness. Journal of consciousness studies, 10(9-10):31 -52.         [ Links ]

PEETERS, L. 2004. Lecture on Saint Anselm of Canterbury's De Veritate. (Unpublished.         [ Links ])

RORTY, R. 1979. Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Oxford: Blackwell.         [ Links ]

RORTY, R. 1982. Consequences of pragmatism: essays 1972-1980. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.         [ Links ]

RORTY, R. 1989. Contingency, irony, and solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.         [ Links ]

RUBIA, K. 2009. The neurobiology of meditation and its clinical effectiveness in psychiatric disorders. Biological psychology, 82:1-11.         [ Links ]

SCHELER, M. 1973. Selected philosophical essays. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.         [ Links ]

SPADER, P. 1998. Transcending language: the rule of evocation. http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Lang/LangSpad.htm Date of access: 6 Oct. 2004.         [ Links ]

SPADER, P. 2002. Scheler's ethical personalism: its logic, development and promise. New York: Fordham University Press.         [ Links ]

TENNYSON, A. 2004. The poetic and dramatic works of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Whitefish: Kessinger.         [ Links ]

THOMPSON, E. 2006. Neurophenomenology and contemplative experience. (In Clayton, P. & Simpson, Z., eds. The Oxford handbook of religion and science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.) http://individual.utoronto.ca/evant/OxfordHanbook.pdf Date of access: 20 Jul. 2011.         [ Links ]

VISSER, S. & WILLIAMS, T. 2004. Anselm on truth. (In Davies, B. & Leftow, B., eds. The Cambridge companion to Anselm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 204-221.         [ Links ])

WALSH, R. 2011. The varieties of wisdom: contemplative, cross-cultural, and integral contributions. Research in human development, 8(2):109-127.         [ Links ]

WEST, M.A. 1987. Traditional and psychological perspectives on meditation. (In West, M.A., ed. The psychology of meditation. Oxford: Clarendon. p. 5-22.         [ Links ])

WILDER, H.T. 1971. Lewis and Quine on private meaning and subjectivism. Canadian journal of philosophy, 1(1):25-44.         [ Links ]

WITTGENSTEIN, L. 1922. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.         [ Links ]

WITTGENSTEIN, L. 1960. The blue and brown books. Oxford: Blackwell.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons