Betsy Speicher

Concepts and language

42 posts in this topic

'Non-verbal' is not Ayn Rand's concept of a 'first-level concept'. Look it up in IOE.

ITOE 2.: A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition

The process of concept-formation -- for ALL concepts including a child's first concepts -- requires designating a word that allows a person to retain the concept as a single mental entity.

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

[...]

Words transform concepts into (mental) entities; definitions provide them with identity.

. . . . The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

This leaves something important out. The full quote is:

In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

So Ayn Rand is not saying that a child does not need words to form concepts. What she is really saying is that a child does not describe his own thought processes to himself in words ("such words").

You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

Do you disagree with Ayn Rand that a word is necessary to retain concepts? How else could a toddler hold onto and mentally retain the first concepts he forms?

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nasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, ...

This idea is very much at odds with Ayn Rand's presentation in ItOE.

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man's mind and enable him to think.

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

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nasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, ...

This idea is very much at odds with Ayn Rand's presentation in ItOE.

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man's mind and enable him to think.

Yes, it is summed up by "cognition precedes communication" as the fundamental purpose of language. You cannot communicate what you cannot think.

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

concept-formation requires a word designating every concept

For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language? What did Rand mean when she wrote:

<< In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<< The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Rand does not say anything about "perceptual" literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. She says "in order to form the concept 'length' the child . . . " The child cannot identify the process in words. That is what I say a philosopher would do, not as what happens to concept-formation as a generality. Otherwise, one degenerates into logical positivism or linguistic analysis[*]. On that, see in the Appendix ITOE Abstraction from Abstractions between Rand and Prof C.

[*] And why do you think such "linguists" like Noam Chomsky could not be more anti-Objectivist in their thinking?

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Inasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, ...

This idea is very much at odds with Ayn Rand's presentation in ItOE.

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man's mind and enable him to think.

Yes, it is summed up by "cognition precedes communication" as the fundamental purpose of language. You cannot communicate what you cannot think.

In that language precedes communication, it is true that is what Rand posits, and is not at odds with what I said. In that the "English language" (as a means of communication between two people) can only come after "language" as an internal tool of cognition is also not at odds with what I have said. One may have "language" as an internal tool of cognition [though this is conjectural from cognitive science] while also not knowing a single word of "English language" and that is also not at odds with what I have said, for otherwise one is saying that "English language" is necessary for concept-formation which is what is inferred from what you said and is certainly at odds with what Rand said in that a pre-verbal child can form concepts without a communicative (e.g., English) language --"wordlessly" as Rand said -- that is necessary for communication. There are two different meanings for "language" here: one, certain, as in a language of communication and certainly unnecesary for concept-formation and the other, conjectural or perhaps only metaphorical, as from cognitive science which is not verbal.

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

Rand does not say anything about "perceptual" literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. . . .

I meant to say "percepts" ["A percept is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism."] which is different than "concepts of perceptual entities"

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

concept-formation requires a word designating every concept

For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language? What did Rand mean when she wrote:

<< In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<< The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Rand does not say anything about "perceptual" literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. She says "in order to form the concept 'length' the child . . . " The child cannot identify the process in words. That is what I say a philosopher would do, not as what happens to concept-formation as a generality. Otherwise, one degenerates into logical positivism or linguistic analysis[*]. On that, see in the Appendix ITOE Abstraction from Abstractions between Rand and Prof C.

[*] And why do you think such "linguists" like Noam Chomsky could not be more anti-Objectivist in their thinking?

That (now repeatedly) confuses what Ayn Rand said about the process of forming the concept, which may be non-verbal and often is in that it is not explicitly identified or described, with the single word that designates the concept. Nearly any kind of sound or symbol will serve to designate the concept in the early stages, as long as it serves the purpose of being a mental entity symbolizing the concept.

But the misunderstanding has not been restricted to children. You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone. It is not true. This distinction between the word designating the concept and the description of the process (and, at an early stage, not using the word in sentences) has been pointed out to you previously.

The process of forming first-level concepts does not require verbalization because they are based directly on percepts, which are automatic integrations of sensations. Ayn Rand does discuss the relation between the perceptual level of thought and concepts. It is why first-level concepts are not formed employing the aid of other concepts. Perceptual knowledge is the basis of conceptual knowledge.

Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

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[The words "light" as a concept; "switch" as a concept; "turning off" as a concept are malformed in your language because light to the toddler is not like a physicist understands it, the switch is not like an electrician understands it, and the physiometrics of the toddler's hand is not like a physician understands it.]

Whose "language" are you talking about?

Okay, inasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, the pre-verbal child has no language to concretize his concepts in language to an adult. This is baseless nit-picking over what I was saying in my use of the word "language". The concept formed in the mind of the toddler will not be as an electrician, a physicist or a physician would do in each of their minds, but it is wrong to consider that because so, the toddler will not be able to form a good working first generalization. This is contrary to your assertion that it is not possible to form a valid generalization without good (i.e., not "malformed") concepts. Furthermore, one must also be sure to note that the first-order concept is not the same as a percept (of light, of the switch, of the movement of one's arms and hands) which would be the same for a child as it would be for an adult.

You wrote "malformed in your language". Please answer the question of whose language you are talking about. Who are you addressing?

Sidestepping that with a discourse on "language" and more gratuitous accusations of "nitpicking" is not a response.

Inasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, ...

This idea is very much at odds with Ayn Rand's presentation in ItOE.

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man's mind and enable him to think.

Yes, it is summed up by "cognition precedes communication" as the fundamental purpose of language. You cannot communicate what you cannot think.

In that language precedes communication, it is true that is what Rand posits, and is not at odds with what I said. In that the "English language" (as a means of communication between two people) can only come after "language" as an internal tool of cognition is also not at odds with what I have said. One may have "language" as an internal tool of cognition [though this is conjectural from cognitive science] while also not knowing a single word of "English language" and that is also not at odds with what I have said, for otherwise one is saying that "English language" is necessary for concept-formation which is what is inferred from what you said and is certainly at odds with what Rand said in that a pre-verbal child can form concepts without a communicative (e.g., English) language --"wordlessly" as Rand said -- that is necessary for communication. There are two different meanings for "language" here: one, certain, as in a language of communication and certainly unnecesary for concept-formation and the other, conjectural or perhaps only metaphorical, as from cognitive science which is not verbal.

CBell certainly is "at odds" with Objective epistemology on the role of language in what he writes here. There are not two different kinds of language, one cognitive (which he deems "conjectured" or "metaphorical") and the other communicative (which he deems to be "unnecessary" for concept formation). In Objectivist epistemology words are required to be able to hold concepts in the form of mental entitites that are perceptual concretes, and there are not two different kinds of language, only one, which you use both to think and to communicate those thoughts (and both of which normally require more complexity of language than just a vocabulary of words).

It's not hard to imagine, and sometimes observe, what happens when someone tries to think, in whole or in part, without words in what is only "metaphorically" a language and the kind of disconnected gibberish that results when he "communicates" in another "language". There are many possibilities, each of which could have more than one cause -- one is that it comes out as disconnected generalizations in the form of recited slogans with little relation to thoughts communicated by others and understood.

CBell began by making the assertion, "The words 'light' as a concept; 'switch' as a concept; 'turning off' as a concept are malformed in your language", then instead of answering when asked whose language here he was talking about, i.e., whom he was addressing, he wrote that "a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people" and repeated an assertion that a child does not have the same kind of understanding as an adult -- as if anyone had said otherwise insofar as there are different degrees of knowledge and scope and depth of understanding between children and adults (but only that).

This was in the context of his asserting that first-level concepts are "non-verbal" and do not each have a word associated with them, apparently also intended to mean that the concepts themselves are different between a child and an adult. He was arguing that first-level concepts do not require language (for anyone, not just children), and mis-defined language as essentially for communication. (He may also have meant to insinuate by this that he thinks concepts like 'switch' and 'turn off' are first-level.)

Now in response to the Objectivist principle that "cognition precedes communication" and that language is required for thought before one can communicate it, he says that Ayn Rand merely "posits" that language precedes communication, and goes on to tell us that "One may have 'language' as an internal tool of cognition [though this is conjectural from cognitive science] while also not knowing a single word of 'English language' and that is also not at odds with what I have said." [His brackets and emphasis.]

His now introducing and stressing "the English language" is his own addition, and so is his claiming that language as an "internal tool of cognition" is only "conjectural". Ayn Rand did not say that language must be English or that the beginnings of language in children have such an implied grammar. It is only the beginning of a vocabulary. But it is language (not "conjectured") and is first used to cognitively identify objects, not "a means of communication between at least two people". CBell insisted once again that concepts are "non-verbal", denigrating language used in cognition as "conjectural or perhaps only metaphorical", and claimed that "language of communication", which he apparently believes is the only 'real' kind of language, is "certainly unnecesary for concept-formation" [his emphasis].

The reasons given by Ayn Rand for why words are required to have concepts have been discussed previously. A good deal of our thought processes are automatic on the sub-conscious level, depending on what we have learned and how our minds are 'programmed' by our efforts to know and think properly, but any explicit identification or formulation of knowledge is in terms of language (i.e., some particular language, whatever language we understand, such as English, and which could be in more than one for those who are multi-lingual and have internalized additional languages to the extent of "thinking in another language"). The cognitive ability to do that precedes any attempt to communicate ideas to others, and it relies on language of which there is only kind, not a separate "communication" language and a "conjectured" "cognitive" language.

Such conceptual thinking in terms of language starts with first-level concepts, and necessarily continues with higher level abstractions where thinking in terms of percepts is no longer feasible at all for higher level concepts properly formed and retained, and requires much more complexity of language than vocabulary.

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

concept-formation requires a word designating every concept

For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language? What did Rand mean when she wrote:

<< In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<< The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Rand does not say anything about [percepts] literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. She says "in order to form the concept 'length' the child . . . " The child cannot identify the process in words. That is what I say a philosopher would do, not as what happens to concept-formation as a generality. Otherwise, one degenerates into logical positivism or linguistic analysis[*]. On that, see in the Appendix ITOE Abstraction from Abstractions between Rand and Prof C.

[*] And why do you think such "linguists" like Noam Chomsky could not be more anti-Objectivist in their thinking?

That (now repeatedly) confuses what Ayn Rand said about the process of forming the concept, which may be non-verbal and often is in that it is not explicitly identified or described, with the single word that designates the concept. Nearly any kind of sound or symbol will serve to designate the concept in the early stages, as long as it serves the purpose of being a mental entity symbolizing the concept.

But the misunderstanding has not been restricted to children. You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone. It is not true. This distinction between the word designating the concept and the description of the process (and, at an early stage, not using the word in sentences) has been pointed out to you previously.

The process of forming first-level concepts does not require verbalization because they are based directly on percepts, which are automatic integrations of sensations. Ayn Rand does discuss the relation between the perceptual level of thought and concepts. It is why first-level concepts are not formed employing the aid of other concepts. Perceptual knowledge is the basis of conceptual knowledge.

Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

ITOE 2. paragraph 8 Rand wrote: <<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.>>

What did Rand mean by "does not think" ; "the process" ; "performs" and, most important, "worldlessly"?

You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone

What may be properly inferred from what I said, in the example given in David Harriman's book, Logical Leap, of a toddler flipping on and off a light switch, is that a toddler can make a good first-level generalization without having developed a speaking language. How is this done? By percepts alone? Have you read David Harriman's book? He explains the example in more detail than I have done.

paragraph 7 <<And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept 'length' . . ." >>

What did Rand mean when she said the (language-less) child "having grasped the concept "length" . . .

and then[i/] states in the next pargraph, as I have quoted, the child performs this wordlessly ?

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[The words "light" as a concept; "switch" as a concept; "turning off" as a concept are malformed in your language because light to the toddler is not like a physicist understands it, the switch is not like an electrician understands it, and the physiometrics of the toddler's hand is not like a physician understands it.]

Whose "language" are you talking about?

Okay, inasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, the pre-verbal child has no language to concretize his concepts in language to an adult. This is baseless nit-picking over what I was saying in my use of the word "language". The concept formed in the mind of the toddler will not be as an electrician, a physicist or a physician would do in each of their minds, but it is wrong to consider that because so, the toddler will not be able to form a good working first generalization. This is contrary to your assertion that it is not possible to form a valid generalization without good (i.e., not "malformed") concepts. Furthermore, one must also be sure to note that the first-order concept is not the same as a percept (of light, of the switch, of the movement of one's arms and hands) which would be the same for a child as it would be for an adult.

You wrote "malformed in your language". Please answer the question of whose language you are talking about. Who are you addressing?

Sidestepping that with a discourse on "language" and more gratuitous accusations of "nitpicking" is not a response.

Inasmuch as a language is properly defined as a means of communication between at least two people, ...

This idea is very much at odds with Ayn Rand's presentation in ItOE.

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication; the necessary precondition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man's mind and enable him to think.

Yes, it is summed up by "cognition precedes communication" as the fundamental purpose of language. You cannot communicate what you cannot think.

In that language precedes communication, it is true that is what Rand posits, and is not at odds with what I said. In that the "English language" (as a means of communication between two people) can only come after "language" as an internal tool of cognition is also not at odds with what I have said. One may have "language" as an internal tool of cognition [though this is conjectural from cognitive science] while also not knowing a single word of "English language" and that is also not at odds with what I have said, for otherwise one is saying that "English language" is necessary for concept-formation which is what is inferred from what you said and is certainly at odds with what Rand said in that a pre-verbal child can form concepts without a communicative (e.g., English) language --"wordlessly" as Rand said -- that is necessary for communication. There are two different meanings for "language" here: one, certain, as in a language of communication and certainly unnecesary for concept-formation and the other, conjectural or perhaps only metaphorical, as from cognitive science which is not verbal.

CBell certainly is "at odds" with Objective epistemology on the role of language in what he writes here.

ITOE 2. pargraphs 7 and 8: <<Let us now examine the process of forming the simplest concept, the concept of a single attribute (chronologically, this is not the first concept that a child would grasp; but it is the simplest one epistemologically)—for instance, the concept "length." If a child considers a match, a pencil and a stick, he observes that length is the attribute they have in common, but their specific lengths differ. The difference is one of measurement. In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

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'Non-verbal' is not Ayn Rand's concept of a 'first-level concept'. Look it up in IOE.

ITOE 2.: A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition

The process of concept-formation -- for ALL concepts including a child's first concepts -- requires designating a word that allows a person to retain the concept as a single mental entity.

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

[...]

Words transform concepts into (mental) entities; definitions provide them with identity.

. . . . The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

This leaves something important out. The full quote is:

In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

So Ayn Rand is not saying that a child does not need words to form concepts. What she is really saying is that a child does not describe his own thought processes to himself in words ("such words").

You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

Do you disagree with Ayn Rand that a word is necessary to retain concepts? How else could a toddler hold onto and mentally retain the first concepts he forms?

I disagree that a word [*] is necessary to grasp a concept at the first-level of undertanding (i.e., at the lowest level of complexity, though still valid) . This notion is contrary to what Rand says 8 paragraphs into her essay on concept-formaion as I have cited and quoted.

[*] "word" = A unit of language that native speakers can identify.

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'Non-verbal' is not Ayn Rand's concept of a 'first-level concept'. Look it up in IOE.

ITOE 2.: A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition

The process of concept-formation -- for ALL concepts including a child's first concepts -- requires designating a word that allows a person to retain the concept as a single mental entity.

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

[...]

Words transform concepts into (mental) entities; definitions provide them with identity.

. . . . The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

This leaves something important out. The full quote is:

In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.

So Ayn Rand is not saying that a child does not need words to form concepts. What she is really saying is that a child does not describe his own thought processes to himself in words ("such words").

You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

Do you disagree with Ayn Rand that a word is necessary to retain concepts? How else could a toddler hold onto and mentally retain the first concepts he forms?

Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

The child does not think in such words .

So Ayn Rand is saying that a child does not need such words to form concepts. At no time does Rand say in effect: "that a child does not describe his own thought processes to himself in words." She says: "the child does not think in such words" whereby "a symbol denotes a concepts" as he would have no knowledge of such symbols.

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

Concepts are "non-verbal"

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

concept-formation requires a word designating every concept

For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language? What did Rand mean when she wrote:

<< In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<< The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Rand does not say anything about "perceptual" literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. She says "in order to form the concept 'length' the child . . . " The child cannot identify the process in words. That is what I say a philosopher would do, not as what happens to concept-formation as a generality. Otherwise, one degenerates into logical positivism or linguistic analysis[*]. On that, see in the Appendix ITOE Abstraction from Abstractions between Rand and Prof C.

[*] And why do you think such "linguists" like Noam Chomsky could not be more anti-Objectivist in their thinking?

That (now repeatedly) confuses what Ayn Rand said about the process of forming the concept, which may be non-verbal and often is in that it is not explicitly identified or described, with the single word that designates the concept. Nearly any kind of sound or symbol will serve to designate the concept in the early stages, as long as it serves the purpose of being a mental entity symbolizing the concept.

But the misunderstanding has not been restricted to children. You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone. It is not true. This distinction between the word designating the concept and the description of the process (and, at an early stage, not using the word in sentences) has been pointed out to you previously.

The process of forming first-level concepts does not require verbalization because they are based directly on percepts, which are automatic integrations of sensations. Ayn Rand does discuss the relation between the perceptual level of thought and concepts. It is why first-level concepts are not formed employing the aid of other concepts. Perceptual knowledge is the basis of conceptual knowledge.

Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

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ITOE 2. pargraphs 7 and 8: <<Let us now examine the process of forming the simplest concept, the concept of a single attribute (chronologically, this is not the first concept that a child would grasp; but it is the simplest one epistemologically)—for instance, the concept "length." If a child considers a match, a pencil and a stick, he observes that length is the attribute they have in common, but their specific lengths differ. The difference is one of measurement. In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Note the words I have bolded.

the process of forming the simplest concept - She is examining the process by which a child forms a concept and not what a concept is.

concept "length." - The concept itself is denoted and retained by a word: "length."

if the process were identified in words - She is here discussing if the process of concept-formation is identified in words. Elsewhere, she explains why every concept is and always has to be identified by denoting it with a word.

The child does not think in such words - "Such words" are the words she has just stated which refer to the process of concept formation, namely: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity." She does not say "The child never uses any words in concept-formation."

he has, as yet, no knowledge of words - She says he has no knowledge of words and not that he has no words. That means that, although we observe that a very young child uses many words and concepts (including words denoting length), he doesn't understand what the concept "word" means until much later and he is unaware that he is using words.

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I disagree that a word [*] is necessary to grasp a concept at the first-level of understanding (i.e., at the lowest level of complexity, though still valid) . This notion is contrary to what Rand says 8 paragraphs into her essay on concept-formation as I have cited and quoted.

That's because you have misquoted -- omitting what "such" refers to -- and not addressed the already cited

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

[...]

Words transform concepts into (mental) entities; definitions provide them with identity.

[*] "word" = A unit of language that native speakers can identify.

That is different from Ayn Rand's view of a word which is "a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts" that "serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes."

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Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

What does this cite have to do with Ayn Rand's view of the function of words?

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You had misused the term "first-level concept" to by implication refer to a percept by your omitting the necessity for a word designating the concept. Concepts are not "non-verbal".

According to Ayn Rand, concept-formation requires a word designating every concept. This is true for a child's first concepts too.

The process of forming a concept is not complete until its constituent units have been integrated into a single mental unit by means of a specific word. The first concepts a child forms are concepts of perceptual entities; the first words he learns are words designating them.

... But the misunderstanding has not been restricted to children. You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone. It is not true. This distinction between the word designating the concept and the description of the process (and, at an early stage, not using the word in sentences) has been pointed out to you previously...

You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone

What may be properly inferred from what I said, in the example given in David Harriman's book, Logical Leap, of a toddler flipping on and off a light switch, is that a toddler can make a good first-level generalization without having developed a speaking language. How is this done? By percepts alone? Have you read David Harriman's book? He explains the example in more detail than I have done.

This is not responsive to what I wrote. CBell's claim for what he says can be "inferred" from his denial that concepts require words does not address the objection that he not only denies that children need words for first-level concepts, but also adults.

A child thinking entirely with no words is still at the pre-conceptual level. That includes pre-first-level concepts. Without words he has no concepts, including first level concepts, and no generalizations at all, which cannot be expressed without words and concepts. The expression of a generalization as a statement is distinct from grasping why a first level generalization is true, without conceptual explanation.

He wrote directly that first-level concepts are "non-verbal". Changing the subject to LL, toddlers, and light switches is not responsive. This is a matter of basic concept formation in IOE.

This is what CBell wrote, in which he emphasized his sweeping claim that first-level concepts are "non-verbal", which he put in the form of an inappropriate "correction":

A first-level concept is based directly on perception without the aid of other concepts. It is not "non-verbal".

Correction: Because a first-level concept is based directly on perception without the aid of other concepts it is non-verbal. I believe an Objectivist would call that a "percept" in any case, and that is not how first-level concept is used by Harriman.

He subsequently wrote:

I disagree that a word [*] is necessary to grasp a concept at the first-level of undertanding (i.e., at the lowest level of complexity, though still valid). This notion is contrary to what Rand says 8 paragraphs into her essay on concept-formaion as I have cited and quoted.

[*] "word" = A unit of language that native speakers can identify.

And even more broadly:

Concepts are "non-verbal".

This is consistent with his non-Objectivist "two language" notion in which one language is said to be for "communication" and the other a "metaphorical" or "conjectured" language for concepts.

Cbell's denials of the necessity of words to designate concepts are explicit. They are not supported by a further erroneous inference about "first-level generalizations". They are not correct and are not what Ayn Rand wrote in IOE. They are also not what David Harriman wrote about first-level concepts, which idea he adopts directly from IOE.

All concepts require a word to designate them. There is no exception for first-level concepts. Without a word as a perceptual concrete, the process of concept formation is not complete and the unlimited number of concretes subsumed under a concept cannot be conceptually retained: There is no mental unit, a perceptual concrete, in which to integrate and retain the concept. The same reason pertains to first-level concepts as any other level of abstraction, which is why no exemption was or could be granted for first-level concepts.

Changing the use of "word" to mean only something identified by "native speakers" is a non-Objectivist description of the role of words in terms of communication and does not obliterate the necessity for words in concept formation. Cognition precedes communication. Betsy has already provided the correct Objectivist characterization of the essential meaning of "word":

That is different from Ayn Rand's view of a word which is "a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts" that "serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes."

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concept-formation requires a word designating every concept

For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language?

Yes, I am "really" saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language, as this has been described many times now. So did Ayn Rand. A child, and everyone else, must have a word, a perceptual concrete, under which the concept is integrated in order to complete the process of integration for the reasons that have been cited several times. The child's first words used in this form are the first stages of his use of language.

This is not "for the philosopher in his philosophy". Ayn Rand's epistemology refers to what human beings do in forming and retaining concepts. She is talking about what the human mind does when it forms a concept, not what "philosophers" say about it. The word is required by the person holding the concept to symbolize it as a perceptual concrete in order for him, not some philosopher talking about it, to complete the process of integration of an unlimited number of concretes into a single mental entity. Without the word symbolizing the concept, the person has not completed the process of forming the concept -- the person holding the concept, not a philosopher talking about it.

That is true for all concepts, including first-level concepts. A child who can not yet do that does not yet have concepts. He at most has an implicit concept. He has the material needed to form the concept, but has not yet completed its integration into a concept. This has been explained several times now.

This does not mean that a child verbalizes the process by which he forms a concept. Repeatedly quoting out of context fragments from Ayn Rand saying that the process is performed wordlessly for early concepts, while ignoring what she wrote about why a word is required to designate a concept, does not demonstrate the opposite of what she said about concepts requiring a word before the process of concept formation is complete. This has also been explained several times now. Repeating the same error of avoiding the distinction between verbalizing a process and the necessity of having a word for a concept -- a perceptual concrete serving as a symbol -- does not obliterate the distinction or do away with the necessity of designating a concept by a word.

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Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

What does this cite have to do with Ayn Rand's view of the function of words?

Nothing. It has nothing to do with concepts, let alone any understanding of Ayn Rand's epistemology, which is what we are talking about. When I wrote that I have never seen anyone other than CBell claim that words are not required to designate and retain first-level concepts, I had said I was talking about Ayn Rand's formulation of the nature of concepts.

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Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

What does this cite have to do with Ayn Rand's view of the function of words?

Did you read it?

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I disagree that a word [*] is necessary to grasp a concept at the first-level of understanding (i.e., at the lowest level of complexity, though still valid) . This notion is contrary to what Rand says 8 paragraphs into her essay on concept-formation as I have cited and quoted.

That's because you have misquoted -- omitting what "such" refers to -- and not addressed the already cited

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.

[...]

Words transform concepts into (mental) entities; definitions provide them with identity.

[*] "word" = A unit of language that native speakers can identify.

That is different from Ayn Rand's view of a word which is "a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts" that "serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes."

Now you are moving in the right direction, but perhaps without your knowing it. Please read the cite on "Private language".

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Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

What does this cite have to do with Ayn Rand's view of the function of words?

Nothing. It has nothing to do with concepts, let alone any understanding of Ayn Rand's epistemology, which is what we are talking about. When I wrote that I have never seen anyone other than CBell claim that words are not required to designate and retain first-level concepts, I had said I was talking about Ayn Rand's formulation of the nature of concepts.

Ayn Rand claimed that a child, who has no vocabulary, can grasp a concept wordlessly. This cite is a view on how this may be done, and how those po-mo philosophers who deny the existence of what is called "private language" are collectivists who claim (like Rand) concepts are grasped in definition but (unlike Rand) that the words in definition must be of a collective consciousness or other social means (as in social construction) from which the child's spoken language develops. Unless one grasps the difference, one is hopelessly lost and miserable at understanding epistemology and flailing about through personal attacks as pseudo-intellectuals do.

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Ayn Rand stated that all concepts must have a word to designate them, which serves as the mental concrete under which the units are integrated. There are no exceptions. She gave the reason for this in terms of mental unit economy and the cognitive purpose of concepts. If you don't have a single mental concrete designating the concept you are left with an open-ended sum, not the required integration of unlimited units into a single mental unit one employs when using a concept in one's thought. If you are thinking in terms of sums of units you using associated memory, in this case of percepts, not concepts. You cannot do it it at all for the unlimited, open-ended sums that are subsumed by concepts. There is no exception for first-level concepts.

I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them, or that Ayn Rand said or thought that, for which there is not evidence -- beyond deliberately omitting what she wrote through selective quotations, which is not evidence. Generalities appealing to vague accusations of linguistic analysis and logical positivism do not help.

Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html

What does this cite have to do with Ayn Rand's view of the function of words?

Did you read it?

I read it enough to see that the author is expressing his own view of language, but what does it have to do with Ayn Rand's view that concept formation requires the use of words?

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ITOE 2. pargraphs 7 and 8: <<Let us now examine the process of forming the simplest concept, the concept of a single attribute (chronologically, this is not the first concept that a child would grasp; but it is the simplest one epistemologically)—for instance, the concept "length." If a child considers a match, a pencil and a stick, he observes that length is the attribute they have in common, but their specific lengths differ. The difference is one of measurement. In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity."

<<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>

Note the words I have bolded.

the process of forming the simplest concept - She is examining the process by which a child forms a concept and not what a concept is.

concept "length." - The concept itself is denoted and retained by a word: "length."

if the process were identified in words - She is here discussing if the process of concept-formation is identified in words. Elsewhere, she explains why every concept is and always has to be identified by denoting it with a word.

The child does not think in such words - "Such words" are the words she has just stated which refer to the process of concept formation, namely: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity." She does not say "The child never uses any words in concept-formation."

he has, as yet, no knowledge of words - She says he has no knowledge of words and not that he has no words. That means that, although we observe that a very young child uses many words and concepts (including words denoting length), he doesn't understand what the concept "word" means until much later and he is unaware that he is using words.

She is examining the process by which a child forms a concept and not what a concept is.

- Yes, worldessly, non-verbally.

concept "length." - The concept itself is denoted and retained by a word: "length."

- The child has no knowledge of the word "length"

if the process were identified in words . . .

- but it is not to the child who has no knowledge of the word "length"

She is here discussing if the process of concept-formation is identified in words

- That is done wordlessly

And how is the process by indentification done by identification in words - wordlessly ?

That is what makes Rand a genius. And others, who may not have read David Harriman's Book, The Logical Leap or, likely, do not claim that the issue of the "private language" is relevant to this discussion or, certainly, do not know what a private language is, will claim contradiction or confusion in Rand's words leading him or her to misunderstand what a first-order concept is. Moreover, understanding what logical (or empirical) positivists from Comte to his intellectual heirs in today's post-modernists, as outlined in David Harriman's book, The Logical Leap mean when they say words are needed to designate concepts might just say: "I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them" and not know what positivists mean when they say: "words designate concepts" is not what Rand means.

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