Literature/1923/Ogden

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Authors
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z &

Ogden, C. K. & I. A. Richards (1923). The Meaning of Meaning: A Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

Contextual theory of reference[edit]

Contextual theory of reference
idealism
connection, construction in convention
consensus in concert in context
Ideation or conception
The triangle of reference since 1923
Narration
concept map
drama
symbolism
truism in point
textualism
Word and Object #
gap filler [1]
Situation
state of affairs
real life
realism
The quadrant brain (qb) coding cycle, or ⊂qb⊃
explicit
encoding
157px-coding-cycle.png
implicit
encoding
explicit
decoding
implicit
decoding
The four linguistic spokes:
1. The encoder is a signified.
2. The encoded is a signifier!
3. The decoder is a signified.
4. The decoded is a signified.

So multiplied is the signified.
So simplified is the signified.

The unit conversation may be specified as a quadrant brain coding cycle, comparable to the four-stroke internal combustion engine cycle including:

  • suction,
  • compression,
  • explosion, and
  • exhaustion.

The notion of signified, maybe regardless of the decoder and the decoded, appears too simple and ambiguous to serve as a scientific term.

The orthogonal relations are indirect. Horizontally matters the gap between the encoded and the decoded, or truism between symbolism and realism, while vertically matters intersubjectivity or conventionality between the encoder and the decoder. Language problems and studies begin with these gaps.

The metaphor may best explain the two aspects of the meaning in encoding and decoding, such as:

  • explicit vs. implicit
  • denoting vs. connoting
  • literal vs. figurative.
The quadrant brain coding cycle (qb)

The upper hemisphere of the qb belongs to
the encoder or informer, and the lower to 
the decoder or informed.

The left hemisphere stands for explicit
information, and the right for implicit
knowledge. Hence the 2x2 contingency table

	explicit	implicit 
	informer	informer 
 
	explicit	implicit 
	informed	informed.

The message or explicit information in the medium only has an energy or potential of either upgrading or degrading the state of implicit knowledge in the user proper.

Knowledge is nowhere but in everybody's mind. Then, Popper's "objective knowledge without a knowing subject" he claims to reside in his "World 3" is a textualist fallacy or at least a misnomer. Such may be DIKW. Either may be a silly category mistake.

The qb model may well be expanded to the global scale, namely, World qb Model (WqbM).

Realism[edit]

  • "The other side of the moon, which we never see, is as real as the side which the vision perceives." --- #Excerpts (1923)
  • "The world began without the human race and will certainly end without it." --- Claude Lévi-Strauss (1955) Tristes Tropiques
  • "The trees in the garden must be there dropping leaves, even while we stop thinking of them." --- Park (1975)
  • "Einstein liked to say that the Moon is 'out there' even when no one is observing it." --- w: Principle of locality
  • "Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that our reality is completely ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. Philosophers who profess realism also typically believe that truth consists in a belief's correspondence to reality." --- w: Realism (philosophy)


Idealism[edit]

  • "cogito ergo sum" (I think so I am.) --- Descartes
  • "esse est percipi" (To be is to be perceived.) --- Berkeley
  • "... if I remove the thinking subject, the whole material world must at once vanish because it is nothing but a phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of ourselves as a subject, and a manner or species of representation." --- w: Critique of Pure Reason A383 [c 1] [c 2] [c 3]
  • "The world is my representation." --- Schopenhauer [c 4]
  • "Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know its object (the world) at all, there must be in some sense an identity of thought and being." -- w: Absolute idealism
  • "Objective idealism is the view asserting that the act of experiencing has a reality combining and transcending the natures of the object experienced and of the mind of the observer." -- w: Idealism
  • "This position argues that the nature of reality is based only in our minds or ideas. The external world is inseparable from the mind, consciousness or perceptions. Universals are real and exist independently of that on which they might be predicated." --- w: Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism#Idealism


Symbolism[edit]

Analogies[edit]

intention
active trial
act
externalization
System
 encoding

Subject
deducing
Project Simple crossed circle.svg Objects

 decoding
Subject

inducing

User

analysis
conception
plan #
socialization #
retrieval request
combination
observe
experience #
  attention
internalization
reflect
reflection
synthesis
#1975 Kolb
c. conception
d. act. trial
a. experience
b. reflection
#1986 Carr
1. plan      
2. action    
3. observe   
4. reflect   
#1995 Nonaka
1. socializ. 
2. external.  
3. combinat.  
4. internal. 
Coding cycle.png
Notes
1. implicit (encoding) - draw
2. explicit (encoding) - try 
3. explicit (decoding) - see 
4. implicit (decoding) - know

So what?[edit]

No objective self-evident text or word magic
So cognitive self-help context or mind's eye

1. To break with Berkeley's idealism
2. To agree with philosophical realism
3. To break with objective textualism
4. To agree with cognitive contextualism

The UC Berkeley's invisible college looks like breaking with Berkeley's idealism to be exceptionally successful.

See also

Excerpts[edit]

Sign-Situations
  • Throughout almost all our life we are treating things as signs. All experience, using the word in the widest possible sense, is either enjoyed or interpreted (i.e., treated as a sign) or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation. An account of the process of Interpretation is thus the key to the understanding of the Sign-situation, and therefore the beginning of the wisdom. It is astonishing that although the need for such an account has long been a commonplace in psychology, those concerned with the criticism and organization of our knowledge have with few exceptions entirely ignored the consequences of its neglect. (pp. 50-51)
Signs in Perception
  • Through this Theory of Signs then we can not only remove the standard pre-scientific paradoxes, but provide a new basis for Physics. It is commonly assumed that contrasted with what we see are the things we imagine, which are in some sense unreal. This distinction between Vision and Imagination is misleading, and of those things which we rightly claim to see the parts we do not see are as real as those we do. The other side of the moon, which we never see, is as real as the side which the vision perceives. The atoms, whose paths are photographed, the electrons which we do not 'see', are, if this interpretative effort of the physicist be sustained, as real as the signs given to perception from which he starts. When we look at our chairs and tables we 'see' a datum datissimum, then cones, then surfaces, chair, leg-seat-back, wood, bamboo, fibres, cells, molecules, atoms, electrons ... the many senses of 'see' proceeding in an ordered hierarchy as the sign-situations change. And as the point of view, interest, scientific techniques or purpose of investigation alters, so will the levels represented by these references change in their turn. (pp. 85-86)
    • cf. Philip N. Johnson-Laird (1983). Mental Models: Toward a Cognitive Science of Language, Inference and Consciousness. Harvard University Press. [^]
    • cf. Neisser, Ulric (1967). Cognitive Psychology. Prentice Hall. [^]
      • "Dynamic psychology, which begins with motives rather than with sensory input, is a case in point. Instead of asking how a man's actions and experiences result from what he saw, remembered, or believed, the dynamic psychologist asks how they follow from the subject's goals, needs, or instincts."
    • cf. Craik, Kenneth (1943). The Nature of Explanation. Cambridge University Press. [^]
More...

Subpages[edit]

Reviews[edit]

Edward Sapir (1923)
"An Approach to Symbolism." The Freeman 7 (22 August 1923) 572-73. Reprinted in Pierre Swiggers (2008) pp. 163-165. http://books.google.com/books?id=jMtRIJoOlOUC
John Dewey
Bertrand Russell (1926)
"The Meaning of Meaning." Dial Vol. 81 (August 1926) pp. 114-121. Reprinted in Gordon (1994) pp. 1-12. http://books.google.com/books?id=fE8JYH1eBoEC
John Paul Russo
"Semantics," in: W. Terrence Gordon, ed., C. K. Ogden and Linguistics (Vol. 2. From Russell to Russo: Reviews and Commentaries) London: Routledge / Thoemmes Press, 1994. p. 373.
  • Words are like 'landmarks in a vast but finite and well nigh inflexible world of symbols', wrote Edward Sapir in his review of the book, 'enlarging or contracting their hospitality, yet always mysteriously themselves. Their hypnotized creators have no recourse but to pronounce them sanctuaries and to look anxiously for the divinity that must dwell in each of them.'[2]
From the Back Cover
of 1989 impression http://www.amazon.com/Meaning-C-K-Ogden/dp/0156584468
"Language is the most important of all the instruments of civilization." The authors state this premise boldly in their preface to "The Meaning of Meaning," a classic work whose significance--and challenge--to the study of language, literature, and philosophy has remained undiminished since its original publication.
Much about language continues to be only hazily understood, distorted by our habitual attitude--often one of indifference--toward words, or by lingering assumptions based on discredited theories. What IS the relationship between words and what the words refer to? Between words and the way we think? Can understanding such matters lead to greater precision in communication? Readers considering these questions find themselves at the crossroads of linguistics and communications theory, of literary criticism and philosophy--an interdisciplinary nexus claimed by the increasingly influential field of semiotics--and "The Meaning of Meaning" will prove, as it has over the last six decades, an essential resource.
In his introduction Umberto Eco, eminent novelist and, not coincidentally, semiotician, provides a fascinating perspective on this pioneering work that continues to disturb intellectual complacency and provoke thought and discussion.
See also

Chronology[edit]

Comments[edit]

  1. "Epistemological idealists (such as Kant) claim that the only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas (abstraction). In literature, idealism refers to the thoughts or the ideas of the writer." ---w: Idealism
  2. For Schopenhauer, "Kant’s chief merit lies in his distinction between the thing in itself and the phenomenal world in which it appears, i.e., the world as we represent it to ourselves." --- w: On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason#Philosophical
  3. Kant held that the mind shapes the world as we perceive it to take the form of space-and-time. It is said that Kant focused on the idea drawn from British empiricism (and its philosophers such as Locke, Berkeley, and Hume) that all we can know is the mental impressions, or phenomena, that an outside world, which may or may not exist independently, creates in our minds; our minds can never perceive that outside world directly. Kant made the distinction between things as they appear to an observer and things in themselves, "... that is, things considered without regard to whether and how they may be given to us ... ." --- w: Idealism#Kant
  4. "The world is our representation" may be more plausible so as not to fall into the pit of solipsism. "The world is what we commonly indicate or suggest as such" may be still more so so as to escape from radical idealism. The flat earth was once their world! They did mean it as well as God that might be wholly denied someday. The idea of God is needed even then to declare God is dead indeed. As such it evolves while the symbol remains the same.

Notes[edit]

  1. The gap filler is needed, as "the map is not the territory," as noted by Korzybski (1933).
  2. Edward Sapir, 'An Approach to Symbolism', review of The Meaning of Meaning, by Ogden and Richards," in The Freeman 7 (22 August 1923) 572-73. 'It is doubtful if the essential limitations of speech have ever been more vividly, yet sympathetically, realized than in their radical study of symbolism', Sapir wrote. 'New sciences are adumbrated in this book...a general theory of signs...a theory of symbolism...a broader theory of language than philologists have yet attempted.' [Footnote 6, p. 376]
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Gradient-optical-illusion.svg
The shade of the bar looks invariant in isolation but variant in context, in (favor of) sharp contrast with the color gradient background, hence an innate illusion we have to reasonably interpret and overcome as well as the mirage. Such variance appearing seasonably from context to context may not only be the case with our vision but worldview in general in practice indeed, whether a priori or a posteriori. Perhaps no worldview from nowhere, without any point of view or prejudice at all!

Ogden & Richards (1923) said, "All experience ... is either enjoyed or interpreted ... or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation."

H. G. Wells (1938) said, "The human individual is born now to live in a society for which his fundamental instincts are altogether inadequate."