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Posted by Harvey on November 18, 2003 21:55:00 UTC

But I can! I can argue that you need language to do and experience science, but you don't need language for most of our interaction with the world.

Firstly, there is no agreement among philosophers on whether certain kind of cognitive thoughts are only possible in the context of language. Physical anthropologists suspect that language played a key role in the development of our brains. Even if you reject that argument, there is reasons to suspect that sophisticated thought requires language of some type in order to properly frame your thoughts into logical sequence. If you cannot frame your thoughts into logical sequence, the experience of an event might be drastically altered - hence the whole caveman thing running from an eclipse.

Also, science at its basis is just common interaction with the world. Chimps are engaging in science when they pick up sticks and thrust them into an ant hill to get ants. The basis of science is experimenting with nature and finding certain experiments to be successful and practiced again. Crows were found to bend a wire to get certain results.

I think thought is interdependent with language, the function of thought without language is vastly limited, I think. Science is human thought applied in experimental ways with nature. As part of sophisticated human thought it tries to explain in language what is the causes for certain events. In that primitive sense, astrology is like science, but since the advent of modern science we have learned ways to avoid the pitfalls of pseudoscience. But, the basic motivations of pseudoscience and science are the same.

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