Fact and Meaning:

Studying sound has driven me towards looking at speech, and it is painfully obvious that the human race has become complacent, or rather the way that we use words has changed so we end up not saying what we mean. But then what we mean is changed by what we perceive as individuals. I’ve been reading “the philosophy of logic” by W.V.Quine, as is explains how to determine truth by fact and meaning.

He explains that the only things that make truth are fact and meaning; whether what you say corresponds to the situation, and that the words you use mean what needs describing. “The snow is white”, is the example Quine uses, which is fact in the example situation, meaning the statement is true. Although if white meant a different thing; like floating or green, then it wouldn’t be.

It is fitting that a book like this starts with the quote from Lewis Carroll, “”Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s Logic.” Which is a good explanation of deductive logic; although not inductive logic.

The point was that I once read Phillip Pullman’s trilogy of “His Dark Materials” and in the second book they have a machine called ‘The Cave’ which is used as a means of communicating with dark matter or god particles, the main character uses the machine and receives a colorful response, as the surround only human matter, she also comments that it could be made to talk in her language: of pictures, or in english if desired.

The progression in which we learn language is curious too, after being shown the letters we are prescribed to draw them ourselves, before forming single words, then sentences, gradually learning to spew out over 2000 words per whichever topic we want to talk of. It is the same for the reading format; learn single words, pronunciation and phonetic spelling vs actual spelling, before building up stamina to read longer, more complex language.


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