Is a Logically Perfect Language Possible?

  1. Is it possible to construct a Logically Perfect Language? If so, of what value is such a language?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Exactly what do you mean by perfect?

    When I first read your question, I immediately thought of self organising systems and chaos. Essentially, for any given system, there will be a set of basic rules such that the consequences of the rules will eventually become chaotic. That is, random. Is that a perfect system?
    In the context of linguistics, the same holds true when various ways of expressing something will be derived from basic rules of the language. In order for a language to be perfect, does it need to have perfect ways of expressing something? Is this what you mean by perfect??
     
  4. Well, some philosophers, logicians and mathematicians think that by digging deep into the underlying structure of our natural language (NL), We would (1) discover in greater detail the True Logical Forms of NL, (2) discover the irrelevant components of NL, (3) discover its underlying mathematical structures and show how NL quantifies the states of the world, and (4)finally construct a Logically sound or consistent Language with what is found in (1), (2) and (3). That the whole exercise is to use the newly derived Logically Consistent Language (LCL) to speak about and quantifies the states of the world in a way that avoids both nonsense and vagueness. So, clarity and elimination of the irrelevant from NL are presumably the ultemate goals of such a langauge.

    My question is whether this is possble in the first place given that the fundamental structure of NL may very well reflect how the native speaker of NL is physically engineered into place or configured. For example, even if the construction of LCL were in the first place possible, could this be done without the physical intervention with the native speaker of NL? Well, these are just a few of the related questions. There are more related questions at hand, especially on the technical side of things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2004
  5. About constructed languages:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructed_language

    There have been many attempts to construct a logical language:
    http://minyeva.alkaline.org/links.htm

    The best known is Lojban:
    http://www.lojban.org/

    Claimed advantages:
    The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapir-Whorf_Hypothesis
     
  6. Well, if Lojban, for example, meets the strict criteria of LCL and a lot of effort has been put in to make it so, then you are still faced with the problem of getting the rest of the world to give up their different forms of NL and adopt your new LCL, Lojban. If you faill to convince the rest of the world to adopt it, and out of frustration engineer Lojban into computers and computers alone, you may very well end up creating computers that outfox the humans both in thoughts and creativity. Thanks for the links, anyway. I will study thier contents in more detail.
     
  7. IOW, philocrat, you wish to construct a purely mathematical language? like modern day math?
    how do you define irrelavant components of NL?
     
  8. maybe not construct but discover, as I beleive it already exists we just haven't learnt it yet...

    ...maybe the dolphins and whales have though

    the value would be never being misunderstood or misquoted out of context such that a true exchange of ideas/thoughts could take place without words getting in the way.
     
  9. Well. let's come to if from quite different angle.

    Let's assume that God exist, if God is perfect, so God speak perfectly, if any proven [and really proven, not just by faith] saying of that God happened "as book..or as speech" in any human language, that language should be "perfect" since God by definition is perfect and thus cannot happened that God could not express the idea meant by Him unperfectly..

    In other words: if a language is proven to be perfectly suitable to reach ideas [that is what language is for..in the very bottom basic] thus we could claim that this language is perfect. A good technique might be using "God speech" thus if he exist.

    Is this valid? :biggrin:
     
  10. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    It's not valid because it's a mode called ignotus per ignotem; expalining something you don't know in terms of something else you don't know. God existence is at least as controversial as the existence of the perfectly logical language.

    There was an artificial language called Loglan, constructed to embody prepositional calculus. Does anyone know anything about it?
     
  11. Lojban is an offshoot of Loglan. I think interest in Loglan is quite low these days.
     
  12. Let me be asking a stupid question sound-like, at least one in my life [honestly, i did it loads in childhood :approve: ] :

    So, if God exists as a fact...so perfect language could exists if God use it to communicate with humans? Does it?

    Yeah yeah, i am not branching to thread to "God existance issue" :biggrin:
     
  13. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Seems you would have to assume too many human characteristics of your "god". For example that he uses a spoken language, so he can teach it to humans. Why would the everlasting, unseen, omnipotent being have vocal chords? Many old religions have come to grief through attributing human characteristics to their numinous constructs.
     
  14. Mmmm....
    Well, so God wanna communicate with you [If he exists]...Should He use a way that if you, and your son, and your grandson spends all your life to understand it and will never got it a "stoke" of it?...Or should He use a tool to comminucate with "too smatry homo-sapiens" that they could got His point?

    I think the core use for language is to "transfer ideas". So both sides should "understand" it to get its results...

    Well, for keeping the thread on its original track: in short; when we say "God speaks" He does not do it as the human way of doing it I agree and thus i did not put human characteristaics of my and your "God" if he exists [And for sure He is :approve: ] I just use one word in language used in DIFFERENT ways to descirbe the "action" of [God communicating with creators] by the word "Speaking" :surprised

    Simply "nothing as God in any of His attribute", thus why i am not Christian nor a Jew...
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  15. Yes it has meaning. The language actually already exists. You only have to search and you will find this language. With it you may commicate to all of existance without saying a word.
     
  16. And TENYEARS inspired me to re-say something in another way....thx :biggrin:

    We are not "perfect" but a perfect being could use langaude "perfectly", thus i guess X language could have the potential to be used "perfeclty" by "perfect" user.

    Simply just as math...if "perfect" user use it, he will always has "perfect answers"...if it used in X question perfeclty, will have "perfect" answer for that Q.
     
  17. Tenyears, you are thinking ahead of your time. What you are suggesting here has deeply disturbing elements of truth in it. In summer 1998, I was in my room in London looking at the sum totality and end-state of the human perfection with regards to co-existence and communication, the resulting conclusion from this led to what you are proposing here. It was scary because I ran out of my room and went to a nearby pup to drown myself in beer. Infact, it is not only this type of language that may subsequently manifest. Apart from this Mind-reading status of a language, there is also the question of non-communication at all between existings beings. What would be the state of such a living condition? Would there still be such things as communal life? Would co-existing beings, subsequently construed as structurally and functionally perfect, disperse to lead their own absolute and independent existence? Or would the notion of co-existence manifest into what I constantly label 'MONOZOIDAL OR MONOPOIDAL STATE OF BEING, where the structurally and functionally perfect beings coexist non-differentially?

    If your thesis of a 'WORDLESS LANGUAGE' is correct, then I suggest that this may be viable only in a MONOZOIDAL/MONOPOIDAL STATE OF BEING (or world if you like).
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2004
  18. NOTE: Logically Perfection Language (LPL) has already been rigorously devised and contemplated by the like of Wittgenstein, Russell and others. But it seems that philosophers involved had a different thing in mind with regards to the fundamental purpose of LPL, perhaps without any need of porting it across to the native speakers of NL (Natural Language). It seems that LPL was intended for no other purpose than as a subtler and better tool for philosophical analysis. Should this be the case, it seems that LPL serves no significant purpose to the native speakers of NL in the real world.

    Personally, I do not think that this is the right path to ply. I suggest that LPL, if it is analytically and functionally superior, should climb out of the closet of philosophy into the lime light, and be rendered relevant to the community of NL speakers. It should equally serve a superior purpose in the real world. One thing it should help us do is to allow us to think, speak, write and act clearly when we are interacting with each other. Who knows? .........this may very well possess the capacity to write off conflicts between people of the world and beyond.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2004
  19. loseyourname

    loseyourname 3,632
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Logic is only useful in evaluating arguments. Any language that is not used to make an argument - the statement "close that door," for instance - cannot be logically perfect. It cannot be logically anything.
     
  20. Some philosophers may not accept the statement 'close that door' as amounting to or constituting a true argument simply because it is a command. They claim that commands, metaphors, exclamations, questions and so forth are not propositions. The question now is, can logically acceptable arguments be constructed from any of these types of statement? If we can do this, we ought to able to count them as propositions with clearly accountable or derivable truth values or contents. You should also ask yourself this:

    when we issue commands, ask questions, make exclamtions, hype things up with metaphors, do any of these forms of statement convey any information at all? If they do, couldn't we equally claim that they are also capable of being true or false?

    Well, that controversy still remains, but a logically perfect language should be able to accommodate these forms of statement in a truth-valued or truth-validating manner. At the moment they are currently in what I call 'logico-linguistic limbo'. They simply hang in the logical space without identity, especially when truth validation is concerned.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  21. STANDARD DEFINITION:

    PROPOSITION: This is simply a collection of passively and explicitlty presupposed statements of facts. Better still, it is an abbreviation of a deductive argument. Or simply, a proposition is an argument. This is rooted in the standard belief that statments of facts or propositions do not just pop out of people's head without some deductive origin or implications. This is contrary to the notion of the given. The derivative principle renders the principle of the given logically and quantitatively spineless!

    Problem: this definition of proposition, however, may turn inwardly regressive, depending on which school of thought handles it. Personally, I always use the 'truth boundary' principle to escape this.
     
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