Home Non-categorized On Correcting

On Correcting

62

The Philosopher-Language Massage Argument

1. Introduction

All clichés are messy language, whereas the opposite is obviously false. So we philosophers never say stuff like:

“We’re too different. We can’t be friends.”

“I feel I don’t know you when you act like that!”

Why? Because of our philosophical vigilance. This is something valuable. On the other hand it can seem arrogant that we’re simply not able to engage in dicussions where the person we talk to uses messy language.

As every human knows our language is crammed with clichés and messy language. Please notice here that we can’t simply jump up on the meta-level when faced with accusations like the one above. We can’t simply say:

“That’s not even your own words saying we’re different and saying you don’t know me. That’s messy language!”

We can’t simply say:

“What do you mean?”

That would certainly be very rude and arrogant.

Philosophers have a tendency to ask:

“How did you arrive at this conclusion?”

Which roughly means:

“What is your argument for saying this?”

But this is bad thinking. Why?

Obviously because the words “argument”, “premise”, “conclusion”, “induction” and “deduction” etc. all belong to language games.

2. Mini-solutions

We know from the latest developments in neuropsychology that we humans are experts in mini-solutions. Every time we encounter something new, or, for that matter, something old, i.e. something we are already familiar with, we come up with mini-solutions which we can express with ordinary language to explain what’s going on to ourselves and others.

In Bruno Shulz’ book “The Cinnamon Shops” we are presented with a sweet father-figure. The basic assumption of this surrealistic book is that our mini-solutions-based incoherence is something sweet. I personally like this book more than I like Hamlet (tragedy) and Erasmus Montanus (comedy). In Shakespeares most widely known tragedy we see a mad prince who is an expert in what we could call mini-solutions. We see the same thing in my countryman Ludvig Holbergs comedy Erasmus Montanus. These playwrights warn of us mini-solutions, despite the fact that they are very common to all of us.

Our brain is not logical but it’s good at mini-solutions.

I’m tired of the words “I’ve evolved very much as a person” and self-help books. Therefore I challenge my reader to try to understand how we correct ourselves and others.

3. Corrections

Look at this li’l’ table:

Correction: “You have no sense of humour.”

Said by ourself to ourself results in this language: Bad feelings.

Said by someone else to us results in this language: Almost unforgiveable.

Correction: “You have not suffered the way Allan did in his life.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: Thoughtful silence + painful doubt + Weltschmerz.

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Meaningless.”

Correction: “You are so dumb in saying or doing what you just said or did.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Bad.”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Bad.”

Correction: “You are so naive saying or doing that.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Bad.”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Bad.”

Correction: “You sound wimpish/bizarre.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Laughter.”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Offended.”

Correction: “You sound full of yourself.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Ooops. (Laughter.)”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Bad. Offended.”

Correction: “What you just said is surrealistic.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Laughter.”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Misplaced? Silly?”

Correction: “What you just said is boring.”

Said by ourself to ourself activates this language in our brains: “Laughter.”

Said by someone else to us activates this language in our brains: “Bad. Rude.”

What does that li’l’ table learn us? Obviously that we, as humans, welcome certain types of corrections whole-heartedly and unconditionally.

Whether or not we aim at being better persons or delve deeply into philosophical thoughts about Martin Heideggers concept (German: Existentiale) of thrownness (German: Geworfenheit) the landscape of mini-solutions will remain. Whether or not we speak of belief systems and consciousness the mini-solutions will be there as a challenge.

Neuropsychology is here to stay. We know more about the brain than ever before.

4. Discussion

This means that we have to massage the public with these language types: boring, wimpish/bizarre, full of himself and surrealistic. We philosophers are qualified in doing so. In so doing we’re obliged to do something about the BIG world problems: 1. Political correctness (Wikipedia: “Political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated PC) is a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. In public discourse and the media, the term is generally used as a pejorative with an implication that these policies are excessive or unwarranted.”) and 2. echo chambers (Wikipedia:” In news media, an echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system and insulates them from rebuttal. By visiting an “echo chamber”, people are able to seek out information that reinforces their existing views, potentially as an unconscious exercise of confirmation bias. This may increase social and political polarization and extremism.”)

5. Conclusion

We have to keep to these four language types if we want to speak with non-philosophers. Boring language. Wimpish bizarre language. Full of himself language. Surrealistic language. In this way we can do our philosopher-language massage without hurting the patient.

Previous articleFour types of language
Morten Hjerl-Hansen (born 15. June 1973) is a danish blogger born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe. I lived for the first 19 years of my life in a liberal-minded, literary and academic home in North Zealand. My mother is a psychiatrist and my father is a chemical engineer. I have two siblings. Throughout childhood, "I invented near-useless things almost every day" and told my siblings "fairy tales" where they themselves were the protagonists. In 1986, I visited Houston in the United States with my family on a stay that spanned three and a half months. I started programming in 1986 and made approx. 20 major projects until I "lost the ability" in 2018. Student from N. Zahles High School 1992. Ry College 1993. Read theology 1993-1994 in Aarhus. Read philosophy 1995-2000 in Linköping, Lund and Copenhagen. Worked as Java programmer 2000 and 2001. Participated in numerous poetry readings in Copenhagen 2002-2007. Got a psychosis in 2007 "which took about 10 years to recover". Married to Else Andersen in 2010 and resides in Asnaes, Denmark. Father in 2014. Has written The Other Newspaper daily in Danish and English daily since 2013.