# Is a Logically Perfect Language Possible?

Philocrat said:
Some philosophers may not accept the statement 'close that door' as amounting to or constituting a true argument simply because it is a command.

All statements could be considered to be part of an argument, such as "shut the door", if the context of a situation is considered. Whether it's a good argument to shut the door or not is up to the unsaid statements that would make up the context of the argument.

An enthymeme is a good example. It is missing one premise. But it's still an argument. The context could imply others statements:

The wind is blowing. It's below zero. I have the flu. The door has been open for an hour. The heat is on full blast in the house, but it's going out the door. Shutting the door will stop the wind and cause the temperature to increase in the house.

The statement in this case, "shut the door", would make a great conclusion. Although is may be a command, a command implies a theory. The theory to shut the door. It based upon strong evidence. And therefore a good argument, although the contextual premises are unstated.

Mr. Therefore said:
All statements could be considered to be part of an argument, such as "shut the door", if the context of a situation is considered. Whether it's a good argument to shut the door or not is up to the unsaid statements that would make up the context of the argument.

An enthymeme is a good example. It is missing one premise. But it's still an argument. The context could imply others statements:

The wind is blowing. It's below zero. I have the flu. The door has been open for an hour. The heat is on full blast in the house, but it's going out the door. Shutting the door will stop the wind and cause the temperature to increase in the house.

The statement in this case, "shut the door", would make a great conclusion. Although is may be a command, a command implies a theory. The theory to shut the door. It based upon strong evidence. And therefore a good argument, although the contextual premises are unstated.

Then you and I are in agreement. If you have a little bit of time, try and go through some of my recent responses to other people's postings elsewhere on this very issue. I was only drawing Looseyourname's attention to the fact that some philosophers, especially the so-called 'Analytical Philosophers', have controversially maintained that certain classes of statements such as commands, questions, exclamations, metaphors are not propositions because they are incapable of being true or false. I think my wider definition of 'Proposition' gracely accommodates all these classess of extrocised types of statements.
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marley.wannabee said:
i can personally think of no flaws with binary code as an already existing perfect language... sure humans will muff up the code but the code itself?!?! imo perfection

Now, you see my point. If Binary code is logically perfect, why do we have to fold it into several layers up to the level of the so-called 'HIGH-LEVEL LANGUAGES' so that the native speakers of NL could understand it?; from the Binary machine codes, to hexadecimal codes(PSEUDO-CODES at the BIOS and OPERATING SYSTEMS levels) to the High-Level Programming Langauges (such as BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, PROLOG, C++, JAVA and now verious versions Scripting Languages for Web design). Go out there and ask the 'First Generation Programmers' this:

WHY WERE MACHINE CODES LEVEL PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES REJECTED AND THE INTERMEDIATE AND HIGHER LEVEL PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES THAT I LISTED ABOVE DEVELOPED TO REPLACE THEM?

Well, one obvious answer that they will give you is that Binary or Machine Level Languges were very difficult to understand. It was an absolute nightmare deciphering them. Writing a simple program module used to take months to do and consequenntly this pushed project times to several years instead of months. The worst problem was when a computer programmer was comissioned to improve an existing program that was written by someone else, and when there is no instruction manuals left behind by the original programmer, then the nightmares began. You either wrote a new program or you wasted years reverse-engineering.

So, the question still remains: if Binary Language or Machine Code is an LPL and only machines can understand it, of what value or relevance is it to the native speakers of NL at the outward perceptual level?. The standard argument is that an LPL, if it is possible at all in the first place, should be unversal in scope such that it should be accessible both to machines and humans in the same format without multi-layer foldings and translations as we have done with the Binary Language.

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Save our Planet......Stay green! May the 'Book of Nature' serve you well and bring you all that is good!

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scarecrow said:
I was wondering about this question too. I know that the Arabic alphabet follows group theory for awhile, then breaks down. So I suppose one can conceivably construct a logical system of letters. But I'm not sure if this is what you're talking about.

The whole purpose of LPL is that it should be universal and simplified to a point where you do not need a Phd to understand it. We should be able to use it to think, speak, write, act and interact clearly with any thing that is langauge driven, be it human or machine. If LPL is possible, we have not even got the specification for such a lagauge yet, let alone the time table for constructing and testing it. These days, nealy every discipline has one thing or the other that it claims to be LPL, yet such LPL tends to always stays in the heavily fortified closet of that discipline. It seems that these days any thing goes. If any dsicipline claims to have such a langauge that can be construed as genuinely universal, let them bring it of the closet and table it it for public scrutiny. At least let philosophers look it at.

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""The whole purpose of LPL is that it should be universal and simplified to a point where you do not need a Phd to understand it. We should be able to use it to think, speak, write, act and interact clearly with any thing that is language driven, be it human or machine.""

I'm curious to know how much easier you think a LPL would make the study of medicine, physics, law, etc. When it comes to philosophy and other less physically orientated subjects, I usually find they are not using all the precision that is already available in our common language. In other words, it is not the language that is deficient. It is the user's brain, or at least his/her language skill and ideation ability. No simple language is going to be able to avoid an immense vocabulary and number of verbal tenses if it is going to be able to work in all the areas of our experience. To get even nearly perfectly skilled in any kind of completely comprehensive language you might want to postulate I think would require at least a Phd.

Fairfield said:
""The whole purpose of LPL is that it should be universal and simplified to a point where you do not need a Phd to understand it. We should be able to use it to think, speak, write, act and interact clearly with any thing that is language driven, be it human or machine.""

I'm curious to know how much easier you think a LPL would make the study of medicine, physics, law, etc. When it comes to philosophy and other less physically orientated subjects, I usually find they are not using all the precision that is already available in our common language. In other words, it is not the language that is deficient. It is the user's brain, or at least his/her language skill and ideation ability. No simple language is going to be able to avoid an immense vocabulary and number of verbal tenses if it is going to be able to work in all the areas of our experience. To get even nearly perfectly skilled in any kind of completely comprehensive language you might want to postulate I think would require at least a Phd.

As I have made it clear in one of my responses to someone on this PF, there are no such things as PARADOXES, but only PARAFUSES and PARACEPTS. The former (parafuses) are nothing more than vaguenesses, misunderstandings and confusions in our thoughts and actions, and they are quantitatively and logically resolvable via the process of simplifying NL (Natural Language) or Logic itself, if any. Whereas, the latter (Paracepts) are natural limitations in the overall configuration or composition of the 'HUMAN VISUAL FACULTY' and I still insist (call it a gut feeling, if you like) that this will be resolved scientifically, if any.

The only irritation that I always feel is when people claim to have taken Logic out of NL to purify and construct LPL without submitting the blue print of such purified LPL for public scrutiny. Now, let's look at your complaints each one in turn:

1) HOW EASIER WOULD LPL MAKE THE STUDY OF MEDICINE?

It would relieve you of labourous quantitative and deductive statements or explanations. Infact, the BIGGEST benefit would be the ABILITY OF EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND MEDICAL SCIENCE AND ITS HUGE CATALOGUE OF ALIEN TECHNICAL TERMS. It will bring an end to the general and long-existing charge against the scientific communities that scientists are not doing enough to explain science to the wider members of the public who buy deeply into scientific inventions and discoveries. So, the standard argument is that if LPL is possible at all, and as universal as it should be, then both the medical doctors and the general public who consume medical care should speak and understand the same language. One of the things it would do is minimise medical misdiagnoses and abuses as most patients would come to their GPs and Doctors intellecutally well equipped. Whether this is true or not, is still very debatable, but that is the standard assumption, anyway. Overall, the general idea is that people would understand and appreciate science more, and would not be afraid of using science, financing science and sending their children to study science, and taking more interest in science.

2) HOW EASIER WOULD LPL MAKE THE STUDY OF PHYSICS?

Similar reasons as given in (1) above, except that here LPL is predicted to assist both the Physicists and non-physicists alike to have a penetrating and deeper insight into the underlying structure of our natural world up to the level of physics. Observing and talking about our natural world up to the microscale level should not be a reductionist feat limited to the expert physicists alone. Or even if this were really so, the standard argument is that when physicists explain things at different reductionist scale (from Macroscale to Microscale), ordinary members of the public should be able to have penetrating insight of equivalent measure into what they are explaining or talking about. When it comes to simplfying physics or explaining complex mathematical physics in a layman's language, one physicist that I still admire and respect is Stephen Hawkings after reading some of his best seller books in physics. Well, this is just a tiny bite of what is expected of an LPL. It is not perfect, but he did try his best in his 'A Brief History of Time' and 'Stephen Hawking's Universe' to reach a wider audience. Hence, the moral here is that it is not what you say that matters but how you say it that makes a huge lot of difference.

NOTE: I am not in anyway here implying that Stephen used LPL to reach a bigger audience in his two books that I mentioned and have read. All that I am saying here is that, if we could construct such an LPL, then it would make this process of simplifying physics and science in general even more so.

3) HOW EASIER WOULD LPL MAKE THE STUDY OF LAW?

This is by far the most difficult and metaphysically problematic. The langauge of Law is the language of nature. But how many people would know, let alone appreciate this? Why is this so? Because of our failure to distinguished between NATURAL LAWS and MAN-MADE LAWS, let alone make an intellectual effort to deduce how both are interfaced with each other. One of the questions now being ask in philosophy at the level of metaphysics is:

How do Natural Laws translate into Man-made Laws?

Is there a link between the two? Do they conflict? If so, are they REDUCTIVELY (or simply, quantitatively and logically) reconcilable? Well, one of the standard arguments is that LPL of a universal kind should contain all the logical and quantificational devices for resolving such configurational conflicts up to the level of metaphysics. That is, when people talk about laws at the human level LPL should contain devices for penetrating nature and validating things. One thing it would do is reduce prison populations and minimise (if not eradicate) wrongful convictions and 'DESIGNER CRIMES'. Infact, this question that you are asking is the main reason why I started a separate thread which questions whether 'All Moral Statements are reducible to Scientific Statements? (page through the 'VALUE' subsection in the main philosophy section for details).

I asked that question because I very much suspected (and still do) that all moral questions that are answerable at the Human level (man-made law) are best left to lawyers and Judges and all those at the level Nature (i.e. at natural law level) are best left to scientists, but that there should be some language of an LPL calibre for both the Law makers (judges, lawyers and Parliamentarians) and the Natural Law Guadians (scientists) to converse with each other comprehensively. There must be a common langauge (with penetrating clarity) for connecting the two or for conncecting NATURE to MAN. And if I am not mistaken, one thing that this would do is show us how to consistentlly reconcile natural Laws with man-made laws.

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THINK NATURE!.......STAY GREEN! MAY THE 'BOOK OF NATURE' SERVE YOU WELL AND BRING YOU ALL THAT IS GOOD!

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well i dont usualy not read half a topic, but it was very long, so excuse me if i repeat anyone

but in my opinion a logically perfect language, would be a language that got your point across exactly as you mean it, in the least amount of time and energy required, also phonetic spelling(like many asian languages) would be a prerequisite

TsunamiJoe said:
well i dont usualy not read half a topic, but it was very long, so excuse me if i repeat anyone

but in my opinion a logically perfect language, would be a language that got your point across exactly as you mean it, in the least amount of time and energy required, also phonetic spelling(like many asian languages) would be a prerequisite

Well, are you suggesting that those Asian Languges that you have marked out could pass as blueprints of Logically precise models of LPL? If so, give some translated exmaples. Could you? Besides, I can't speak any Asian Language, so it would be very helpful if you could give us a few tranlsated examples.

Many thanks!

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oh ok, well i can speak japanese ave good and in japanese the sentance structure i believe is very efficient and though it isnt flexible, it need not be - subject > adjective > verb is the general casing of it...for instance - boku wa nihongo benkyou shimasu - I japanese study do, and the wa just shows, what i call a connection, it means, relating to me, japanese is studied|Also as for phonetic spelling, the entire japanese language is phonetic, heres a sound referance:
A - fAther
E - prEy
I - machIne
O - gO
U - trUth
so now attempt for yourself to say boku wa nihongo hanashimasu

the phonetics of it are using other words (bow cou(similiar to cou de ta)) (wah) (knee h-on go) (ha na she mas) just as another lesson, the u on the end of nearly all verbs is a silent one, one of the only silent letters in the japanese alphabet

I hope that helped to explain it, if not ask me a more directed question related to this and I'll try to answer it also.

TsunamiJoe said:
oh ok, well i can speak japanese ave good and in japanese the sentance structure i believe is very efficient and though it isnt flexible, it need not be - subject > adjective > verb is the general casing of it...for instance - boku wa nihongo benkyou shimasu - I japanese study do, and the wa just shows, what i call a connection, it means, relating to me, japanese is studied|Also as for phonetic spelling, the entire japanese language is phonetic, heres a sound referance:
A - fAther
E - prEy
I - machIne
O - gO
U - trUth
so now attempt for yourself to say boku wa nihongo hanashimasu

the phonetics of it are using other words (bow cou(similiar to cou de ta)) (wah) (knee h-on go) (ha na she mas) just as another lesson, the u on the end of nearly all verbs is a silent one, one of the only silent letters in the japanese alphabet

TsunamiJoe, do you think this can be taught to every soul on this planet? ....... that is, made Universal? Does this contain all the qunatificational and logical devices that can penetrate the innermost core of nature to explain it in the clearest and precise way? If your answers to these questions are yes, then we have an LPL and presumably a dictionary with logicaly precise symbols, each to every meaning and nothing more.

And one other thing, if this language were fully logically precise, why is everyone not speaking it the world over? What mechanism do you have in place to convince people of this, let alone to propagate and get people to accpet it. Even if this glimpse you purport to give of this logically precise language were arguably accurate, there are still several parameters other than phonetical precision that will have to be taken into account, the full blueprint formulated, tried and tested over time. As I have pointed it out ealier, this would be a linguistic project of a marathon scale. I think it is perhaps only useful for us to start discussing this now as a means of getting the language philosophers, logicians and scientists to start thinking about its possibility and which I personally hope may be fully realised in the nearest future.

I hope that helped to explain it, if not ask me a more directed question related to this and I'll try to answer it also

Not much help, but thanks for trying, anyway.

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Think Nature......Stay Green! And above all, think of how your action may affect the rest of nature! May the 'Book of Nature' serve you well and bring you all that is Good!

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i didnt say japanese was a perfect language, when setting my parameters for a perfect language i included asian languages as a good example of using primarily phonetic words, and a logical sentance structure

TsunamiJoe said:
i didnt say japanese was a perfect language, when setting my parameters for a perfect language i included asian languages as a good example of using primarily phonetic words, and a logical sentance structure

Ok, correction taken. Come to think of it, I have never really thought of what Parameters are actually relevant in the construction of an LPL apart from those set forth in Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'. As Russell made it very clear in his introduction of Tractatus, the parameters needed for the construction of an LPL were those relevant to Logic alone, hence several parameters, including psychological elements, were for obvious reasons excluded. The issue that you raise here about parameters for LPL now poses a new fundamental question: What Parameters, other than those proposed and defined by Analytical Philosophers like Wittgenstein, Russell, Frege and others, are necessary in the construction of an LPL that may genuinely pass as a Universal Language?

Now, you have suggested 'Phonetic Precision', but then what can be added to the following list:

PARAMETERS FOR CONSTRUCTING A LOGICALLY PRECISE LANGUAGE

PARAMETER 1: Phonetic Precision

PARAMETER 2: Logically Precise Symbols or Forms

PARAMETER 3: Speed/Rate of Assimilation or communication

PARAMETER 4: Ease of Leaning and Understanding

PARAMETER 5:

PARAMETER 6

PARAMETER 7

PARAMETER n

Can you think of anything else that can be added to this list as a potential parameter? Don't worry about being wrong because we are going to examine in detail the merit or warrant for each parameter on the course of this debate. Whatever you or anyone else suggests we are going to look at what exactly it can contribute to our target LPL. So, how many more viable parameters are out there?

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what about flexibility in personal word formation?

what i mean is that things like gooder and such are for some reason not wanted in english, but theres not much proof against the fact, other than the scholars dislike it.

TsunamiJoe said:
what about flexibility in personal word formation?

what i mean is that things like gooder and such are for some reason not wanted in english, but theres not much proof against the fact, other than the scholars dislike it.

Yes, Flexibility should be included at least for now.

PARAMETERS FOR CONSTRUCTING A LOGICALLY PRECISE LANGUAGE

PARAMETER 1: Phonetic Precision

PARAMETER 2: Logically Precise Symbols or Forms

PARAMETER 3: Speed/Rate of Assimilation or communication

PARAMETER 4: Ease of Leaning and Understanding

PARAMETER 5: Flexibility

PARAMETER 6

PARAMETER 7

PARAMETER n

We will look at it properly later, but for now the only drawback that I can immediately see with flexibility is that it affects the notion of 'Standardisation' as already set out by the linguists. It will also affect the notion of constructing a Logically Perfect Dictionaly (LPD) of symbols with regards to containing logically precise symbols with each having one meaning and one meaning only. Well, one of my friends had vehemently argued against this 2 years ago in that such a Dictionary would just be too restrictive, apart from the fact that it would bankrupt thesaurus from the very day of its existence.

Lastly and most importantly, flexibility may be useful in the construction, to develop symbols that can be adjusted at will to suit people of wide range of natural perceptual and learning abilities. That is, it will permit the construction of 'Flexible Extensional Symbols' (FES) that cater for people of a wide range of learning and perceptual abilities. This, theoretically, may be Ok if it was aimed at improving and consolidating the communication process between people of such wide ranging abilities. But then again, as you know, the devil is usually in the detail and practicality. Anyway, We shall see.

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Interconnected root meanings would allow words to be easily learned and applied... The root word should be simple like starting (here for example) out with sky, not atmosphere.

porf means "sky", porf-e-le means "cloud" and porf-e-em means "atmosphere".

Let me explain: porf means "sky". -e- means "in (or an addition of the original, the original being sky in this case)". And le means "white".

The word would come out to be porf-e-le (pernounce it just like it sounds) or "the white in sky" which are clouds. In that way the word can be easily described. The actual word "cloud" would be porfle (that is without the -i-).

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Moses said:
Let me be asking a stupid question sound-like, at least one in my life [honestly, i did it loads in childhood ] :

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"

there is a simple answer and that is that because the babel fish exists (and ironically the babel fish has to do with language so your comment is in the right thread), God doesn't...

Anyway a logically perfect language, under the circumstances you've stated- avoiding nonsence, would be any programming language or possibly even electrical engineering to a degree. Math too would fit though all of these fail to be able to encumpass (sp?) every aspect of relevent subject matters.

The reason for language is to think. You use concepts to understand and expand what you know about the world. I'm not sure that its necessarily language that can/cant be perfectly logical but the people who use it...

well atmosphere i believe is latin...as are nearly all scientific words, and if not latin, usualy they are greek, which tend to have long words because they combine words together

and who cares if thesaurus goes bankrupt? i mean if we are including the futures of companies in on something then it is already flawed because they are influenced by it, similiar to the belief that military companies should not have ties in government, in order to prevent the will to war just to manufacture

all i was saying is to not disallow certain prefixes or suffixes on any words, and have the base word and then add things onto it - also if we ought to determine what our charactor set will be standardised upon, whether its the alphabet, where each letter is seperated, or the Eastern Asian charactor sets, where more often one symbol is one word

personaly i would go for EA sets, because then we can have a base word be a simple symbol, then add onto the exterior all of its adjectives, such as blue sky and red sky would be differint sets, but sky would be in both, but a modifying line would distinguish between red and blue

Though i personaly dont believe the written part of a language should be dumbed down for a generaly ignorant society, because, obviously, everyone has differint handwriting, all varying from good to sloppy - whereas the disbenifit to sloppy EA writing, is that often if you misinterpret merely one or a few lines, you can end up with a differint word, or no word at all

Forgive me, I was leading my self into a rut with the examples. However, a verb rich and root rich language would be very useful. And I am not talking specifically about latin or greek roots, they can be new roots used only in the new language.