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  1. #181
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Isn't that what the last bastion is all about, the place where philosophical problems can be explicitly addressed.
    Otherwise, you are going to get all kinds of argument such as The Life of Pi has all kinds of implications about what it means to be human. That's philosophical, right? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has philosophical implications about the nature of free will. Hell, even The Da Vinci Code has implications about the nature of religion, and religion is always philosophical, right? Try to imagine a modern fiction story that has no philosophical implications and tell us what that story is. I suspect the line to contradict you - with explicit citations - will exceed the capacity of the sffworld server.
    If you want to make the case for this last bastion business, then the novels must explicitly take on a central issue of phoilosophy. None of those stories I cited above does. This doesn't debunk the thesis. It merely refutes the quoted statement.
    OTOH, I think the list of sff novels that directly address a central issue of philosophy will not exceed a similar list taken from modern general fiction. Because of this suspicion, I am unwilling to jump on the last bastion bandwagon.

  2. #182
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    First off, Gary, please stop claiming that when I say the experience of art and the ranking of art is subjective that I mean everything in the universe is subjective. That is not a position I've ever taken, nor mean to take, and indeed have spent several days arguing with Foo that it is not the case from my perspective. Likewise, that some other areas of life may be subjective or partially subjective does not mean that the experience of art is not subjective.

    If you want to have being right a reasoned certainty through objective-enough ranking from a central authority of majority consensus of learned elites, you can certainly have that as your viewpoint. (You don't specify who your learned elites are, but presumably for fiction, literature professors, professional critics and award-winning writers perhaps.) I'm not sure that you then understand that this means that what you and Scott write is therefore not art, nor will ever be art, and that essentially it is still regarded by the majority consensus of learned elites as trash romances for hormonal teenagers only a few steps above porn.

    Shakespeare may indeed have elements of action and fantasy in some plays. But Shakespeare, being ancient, is exempted on the grounds that -- well on no grounds really, people just exempt him, except for the groups that think he isn't really of much merit. Likewise other, more contemporary works are sometimes exempted on the grounds that they are not really SFF, not-SF as Ursula LeGuin calls it.

    Some exempt The Road by Cormac McCarthy on those grounds. It won the Pulitzer. But large groups of other learned elites believe The Road is McCarthy's weakest novel, because it is SF or for other factors, even before it was chosen by Oprah. Being chosen by Oprah lessened its literary value considerably for many, as you feared. Other large groups of elites feel The Road simply confirms their view that McCarthy is not a literary writer of any real artistic merit. And many feel that the Pulitzer Award was a political move to satisfy pop culture popularity and that it had nothing to do with artistic merit. Kate Atkinson, a writer who has sometimes moved into the surreal, was nominated for the Booker with a mystery novel. She lost and was told it was because her novel was considered too genre and therefore not of sufficient artistic merit.

    But McCarthy won the Pulitzer and Atkinson was nominated, so surely some sort of standards are at work, referenced from the past or in terms of structure, metaphor, etc. And there are standards at work -- they just aren't objective standards. They are frequently based partly on knowledge and study, not just random taste or prejudice, but are still subjective opinions. People's subjective standards often have much in common and just as often violently disagree. And these standards change over time, even for the same person. So the concept of what is good, better and best changes all the time and is different for everybody. Now, maybe that makes you queasy, and I'm sorry, but it's how humans do art and it's been fully functional if not always fair for thousands of years.

    This does not somehow invalidate the work of scholars and critics, that they have their own perspectives. It just means that they are not objectively right in their viewpoints, nor that we necessarily accept their designations. You live in a world where what is art and what is good art is not certain, but fluid and debated.

    Foo -- I got your concept of frameworks and yes, alterations of reality are what creates unrealistic SFF fiction. However, I'm not following the argument that these alterations of reality are more philosophical than purely realistic fiction, so I will leave that line of discussion to HE.

    But the point of the article was not purely that SFF can or is inherently philosophical in nature, but that unrealistic fiction has become more philosophical than realistic fiction overall. And like HE, I don't see any real evidence of this.

  3. #183
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    Isn't that what the last bastion is all about, the place where philosophical problems can be explicitly addressed.
    That wasn't really my understanding of the original point. I took it more as a generalist guide -- "big ideas are most likely located here."

    Otherwise, you are going to get all kinds of argument such as The Life of Pi has all kinds of implications about what it means to be human. That's philosophical, right? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has philosophical implications about the nature of free will. Hell, even The Da Vinci Code has implications about the nature of religion, and religion is always philosophical, right?
    Yes, yes, and yes. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is also about identity, maturity, culture...

    Philosophy, like SFF, exists in grades. The further removed the subject of discussion from objective reality, the "deeper" the philosophy. Every single subject imaginable, I'd say, informs philosophy and is informed by philosophy. To that extent, no text is exempt from philosophical implication.

    However!!! General fiction's philosophical attributes are often "shallow" -- which is NOT a statement about the quality of the novel based on its philosophical merits. One can certainly make an existentialist argument out of The Sisterhood With The Pants. But the subject matter and its treatment isn't designed to shake up the fundamentals of existence.

    Try to imagine a modern fiction story that has no philosophical implications and tell us what that story is. I suspect the line to contradict you - with explicit citations - will exceed the capacity of the sffworld server.
    I highly doubt that there is anything in any human creation anywhere that doesn't have symbolic and philosophical implications. But there are many books that simply reflect cultures and philosophies, and there are those that alter and examine it.

    Has everyone here seen "Juno"? Has everyone here seen "27 Dresses"? To me, the difference -- philosophically -- between those two movies is obvious. 27 Dresses takes a familiar plot structure, gives it characters with identifiable psychology, and tells a fairly predictable tale with a fairly predictable outcome. It was entertaining, I thought it was well done, but I wouldn't say it caused me to think about any of my fundamental values with a great degree of seriousness or depth. There are philosophical issues I could discuss based on that film, but generally speaking I wouldn't say the movie is all that philosophical.

    Juno, on the other hand, starts with several traditional western values and tries to retell the after-school special. It was like Degrassi, but without the melodrama and cheese. It tells a story with frequent specific references to underlying cultural values about maturity, responsibility, relationships, class, honesty... It references the "norm" and makes its own value system for the audience's assessment.

    The philosophy doesn't come just from each story itself, but from the fundamental assumptions each makes in order to even tell its story at all. Juno was more philosophically attuned than 27 Dresses, IMHO.

    If you want to make the case for this last bastion business, then the novels must explicitly take on a central issue of philosophy. None of those stories I cited above does. This doesn't debunk the thesis. It merely refutes the quoted statement.
    I'm saying that the starting position matters. To tell an SFF story, you have to begin with philosophy. It may not be the single largest constituent of the story's framework, but it is always present and in a fairly high dose. There's an intellectual leap required to design an individual and/or a society with non-existing/existing technology, scientific theories, and cultures that function the same way as it does in philosophy. Juno starts from that position, albeit in a marginally different way, but 27 Dresses does not. But I can't think of a single SF story that doesn't possess philosophical attenuation from the get go.

    OTOH, I think the list of sff novels that directly address a central issue of philosophy will not exceed a similar list taken from modern general fiction. Because of this suspicion, I am unwilling to jump on the last bastion bandwagon.
    I think that's probably close to accurate. Per capita, the number of "let's talk philosophy" books is probably close to even in any genre. But like I said, the starting position matters. Suspension of disbelief, is (to my mind) an inherently philosophical position, and is required in greater supply for SFF than general fiction at large.

  4. #184
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat.....

    If all they have is opinions and we have no way of ever determining which one to agree with aside from our moods or our taste at that moment, then why bother even reading opinions? What are we hoping to gain, if not some shred of objectivity that we can relate to?

  5. #185
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Bear with me on these posts, guys. This a search for that objectivity that you keep insisting must be out there. These are extracts from stuff in my library and they are not stricitly speaking sequential. I took from here and there in the books to build these structures:

    The most obvious element shared by all good fiction is intellectual honesty.
    All fiction is informed with emotion…The emotional qualities which inform the writer’s approach to his material must also be valid and honest.
    Good fiction is esthetically honest. First, it has form; it is “beautiful” in the sense that it achieves a functional and proportionate inter-relationship of its elements – plot, character, stetting, theme, style, POV. Second, it has interest.
    The Form of Fiction, John Gardner and Lennis Dunlap, Random House, 1962

    But, when we begin the study of literature. We must focus on the elements shared by all these various works – and especially the elements that make them literature, that distinguish them from other writing that are not literature, such as street signs, advertisements, and chemistry textbooks.
    The Situtation
    The Speaker
    Attitude
    Theme and Thesis
    Theme andForm, Third Edition, An Introduction to Literature, Beardsley, Damniel, Leggett, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969

    The anatomy of a short story:
    Setting
    Characters
    Structure
    Introduction
    Crisis and Climax
    The anatomy of a novel:
    Structure
    Science fiction novels:
    There are two basic types: science fiction proper based on scientific possibilities and science fantasy in which the writer may deal as he pleases with scientific impossibilities or improbabilities. The only requirement is dramatic credibility.
    Structurally, these novels follow the plan that has engaged readers for thousands of years. The hero is offered an opportunity for the Great Adventure. He accepts the challenge and crosses the barrier between the ordinary world and the world of adventure. He slays the preliminary dragons and goes his way, overcoming the obstacles that come between him and what he is searching for. This general structure is as old as Mose’s search for the Promised Land, and there is noevidence that the reading public will ever lose interest in it.
    The Creative Writer’s Handbook, What to Write, How to Write It, Where to Sell It, Isabelle Ziegler, Barnes & Noble Reference Book, 1975

    She had just talked about C.S.Lewis sf and J.R.R. Tolien's LotR. That's how she could generalize so poorly.

    Considerations for writing short stories:
    How to Get Story Ideas
    Characterization
    Dialogue
    Description
    The Scene
    Plotting
    Conflict
    Viewpoint
    Flashback
    Transition
    The Story’s Opening
    The Sstory’s Middle
    The Story’s Ending
    The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing, Writer’s Digest Books, 1981

    To Be Continued

  6. #186
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Literature: Writings in prose or verse, especially writings having erxcellence of form or expression and presenting ideas of permanent or universal interest.
    Fiction: Literature created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation.
    Novel: A fictional prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting.
    Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature, Merriam Webster, Inc., 1995

    Elements of Literature
    Plot
    Setting
    Character
    Theme
    Irony and Satire
    POV
    Symbols
    Autobiography
    Essays and History
    Persuasion
    Figurative Language
    Imagery
    The Sounds of Poetry
    Sound Effects
    Elements of Literature, Fourth Course, Probst, Anderson, Brinnin, Leggett, Vacca, Holt, Rhinhart and Winston, 2000

    So, there you go. Over four decades and no obvious agreement on what it is we're talking about. Before I ask my summary question, consider these extract from Reginal Gretnor: "We can take science fiction too seriously. This is not Tolstoy. Science fiction is written by people who want to entertain and make money. It’s pulp writers, balding guys with bad teeth and three children, lost among the pod creatures of the planet Xenon. Science fiction is forgettable, like toothpaste, like Johnny Nash. Quality seems to be random, nurtured solely by novelty. One good twist is all you need. Eternity is gravy.
    Still, longevity inspires high seriousness. Is there an auteur theory of nickelodeons? Did George M. Cohan have a soft spot for Keynesian economics? Do you care? They will assemble in the plaza below, waving copies of 1984 and Brave New World. Wonderful, wonderful, but hardly…prescient. Can anybody read Olaf Stapleton without laughing? Doesn’t Heinlein strike you (seriously now) as a writer for boys? Frank W. Dixon lives again. This ain’t exactly the Renaissance, space freaks.

    There is nothing intrinsic to sf that limits it either in its scope or potential literary quality. There's no theme – Homeric, Sophoclean, Shakespearian, or Tolstoian – that sf cannot make its own and treat with originality and power."
    The Craft of Science Fiction, editor Rginald Bretnor, Barnes & Noble Books, 1977

    So, my question is: Given that these experts disagree in how they are teaching or talking about literature, though there are touches of agreement here and there, enough to give a consistant picture of the field, is that sufficient objectivity for you to carry on your arguments?

  7. #187
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    First: Yes.

    Second: Your examples come from a variety of types of sources. Different frameworks, if you will. Some represent the creative part of the process, others reflect the cultural definitions, and others still are opinions. But all of them start above where I'm talking about.

    How one approaches writing a book is part of the situation. How one reads a book is another part. How two or more people talk about one book is another part.

    So, first, we're generally talking about the full system of narrative fiction. Narrative fiction is basically defined as connected events in series. "(There is) A soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm" is not narrative. "A soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm spots a girl and watches her pass" is the beginning of narrative.

    The text of "A soldier stands at attention with a gun resting on his arm" makes reference to the objects: Soldier, Gun, Arm. It makes reference to the following concepts: Soldier, Gun, Arm, Him/Her, Standing, Attention, Standing at Attention, Resting, Resting. Those concepts are all linked conceptually to objects or states of objects. "(A soldier) spots a girl and watches her pass" is not narrative when considered independently of the preceding state of the soldier as standing at attention. In "spots a girl and watches her pass" we have the object: Girl. We have the concepts/states: Girl, Spotting, Watching, and Passing.

    So to understand the sentence, we cross compare objects to action states, and create a "first this, then this" structure of meaning -- narrative. The same narrative sentence, rearranged, has the same basic objective features: "A girl passes a soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm and watching her pass."

    Or: "A gun rests on a soldier's arm who spots a girl and watches her pass."

    The first sentence provides a narrative with the subject: soldier. The second has the subject: girl. The third: gun? With no other sentences to go on, with all three narratives being composed of equal objects and states, which object is the subject -- protagonist/agent -- of the narrative?

    Now I tell you the next sentence is: "The soldier readies his weapon."

    The complete narrative is now:
    1. "A soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm spots a girl and watches her pass. The soldier readies his weapon."
    2. "A girl passes a soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm and watches her pass. The soldier readies his weapon."
    3. "A gun rests on a soldier's arm who spots a girl and watches her pass. The soldier readies his weapon."

    All three are objectively different. Your mind fills in the blanks to inform your understanding of the situation, and that understanding is slightly different for each narrative. Objectively again, precedence generally informs importance. When it does not, it produces an effect by changing the focus. This is usually deliberate, either for meaning, or for stylistic purposes. Consistent use of this effect denotes skill by the author. Noticing it denotes skill of the reader.

    All narrative fiction does this. From this we tease out the concepts: Plot, Character, Subject, Action, Structure, Symbols, Imagery, Theme, Point of View/Voice/Perspective, etc...

    A novel, in any genre, is basically this example repeated a bazillion times.

  8. #188
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FungKoo
    How one approaches writing a book is part of the situation. How one reads a book is another part. How two or more people talk about one book is another part.
    Quote Originally Posted by FungKoo
    All narrative fiction does this. From this we tease out the concepts: Plot, Character, Subject, Action, Structure, Symbols, Imagery, Theme, Point of View/Voice/Perspective, etc...
    Which, as it should, centers the bastion argument on theme. So, how one approaches the writing of the theme, how one interprets what has been written; and how we talk about it are three different subjective states that need conversion to objectivity. Got any objective frameworks to make that happen?

  9. #189
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat.....

    If all they have is opinions and we have no way of ever determining which one to agree with aside from our moods or our taste at that moment, then why bother even reading opinions? What are we hoping to gain, if not some shred of objectivity that we can relate to?
    I'm going to take this backwards. Why do you think that you cannot relate to something unless it is objective? Unless it is devoid of subjective assessment and emotion? How are you determining what's objective? You already tried majority consensus of learned elites and that didn't work.

    Why do you think that you cannot determine which opinion you agree with unless someone tells you objectively what is the right opinion to chose? Why do you feel the need to have the right opinion? If you must have the right, objective opinion, what is the criteria that you use to do it and how do you know that it is objective? Why do you feel that you are not able to form your own assessment of a work of art, to engage in critical thinking?

    You have, say, as we do, a professor of literature whose opinion is that certain SFF works are valuable art and studies these works and teaches them. You have another professor of literature whose opinion is that these SFF works are not art, certainly not valuable and thinks it is a grievous error to study or teach them. Which one are you going to pick and why? Wouldn't you want to read their opinions to see what they said, even if you don't agree with one or both of them? Do you see learning as only the search for right answers? Are you open only to viewpoints you know you'll agree with? That doesn't seem like the Gary I've met.

    Foo -- you were doing so well until you got to this part:

    Objectively again, precedence generally informs importance. When it does not, it produces an effect by changing the focus. This is usually deliberate, either for meaning, or for stylistic purposes. Consistent use of this effect denotes skill by the author. Noticing it denotes skill of the reader.
    This is all subjective. It is the claiming of a narrative/sentence structure technique as the properly artistic technique, even if you only mean it as one writerly skill, not the writerly skill. I understand what you are saying about frameworks, but as soon as you start saying that this technique or that shows artistic skill, you are stating a subjective assessment that may be disagreed with by others who don't feel the technique shows particular skill. I think it's interesting what you're talking about in language -- sentence patterns which are part of how we can look at literature -- but you're going to have a harder time convincing me of what are the correct, skillful sentence patterns and what are not as an objective assessment.

  10. #190
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    Which, as it should, centers the bastion argument on theme. So, how one approaches the writing of the theme, how one interprets what has been written; and how we talk about it are three different subjective states that need conversion to objectivity. Got any objective frameworks to make that happen?
    Are we really so bold to claim that what we know about reading and meaning-making is our own spontaneous original thoughts? Do you really think that your own thought processes, the meaning you apply to the language you use to communicate with the people here, the transitive symbology you employ to link objects to referents, are yours? Language is subjective???

    Bollocks!

    You didn't make it up. I didn't make it up. Yet we both use language, symbols, structure, order, precedence, dominance... So it had to come from somewhere!

    Language is not some loosey-goosey concept up there in the heavens handed down by the Gods into each our subjective universes that just happens to work between me and another subjective like yourself. Our language doesn't exist without us, but that doesn't mean it's not our entire system of relation to the objective world. Language itself, in its entirety, is the objective framework. Yes, it's fluid. Yes, at times it's unspecific and vague. But it's the one solid thing between us.

    Art is inseparable from language. It's two types of one thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Are you open only to viewpoints you know you'll agree with? That doesn't seem like the Gary I've met.
    I might be wrong, but I think Gary is saying that amongst those learned elites, the plebes, and everyone in between, there is a system of referents we all employ that enables us to even have opinions in the first place (at least I am, anyway!). Opinions are inseparable from the objective referent, regardless of the position of the opinion.

    I have an opinion: Computers taste like cheese novel poppycock.

    This is all subjective. It is the claiming of a narrative/sentence structure technique as the properly artistic technique, even if you only mean it as one writerly skill, not the writerly skill.
    It isn't the only part of the puzzle, no. But can you supply an argument that narrative fiction is not reliant on the structure of the text to coordinate meaning?

    I think it's interesting what you're talking about in language -- sentence patterns which are part of how we can look at literature -- but you're going to have a harder time convincing me of what are the correct, skillful sentence patterns and what are not as an objective assessment.
    Why are you so bent on pegging me as saying there is some mythical "correct" way to do things!?!? I'm not trying to say that there is a correct way and an incorrect way! I'm just saying that in general, this is the process of language and meaning making.

    "A soldier standing at attention with a gun resting on his arm spots a girl and watches her pass. The soldier readies his weapon."

    "attention. soldier her at with a resting on his a girl and arm watches gun pass his A spots soldier The readies standing weapon."

    If there's no quantifiable system of crafting language and coordinating meaning making which is driven by a process of (pseudo)objective "rules" -- then you explain the difference between those two sentences.

  11. #191
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Pass the baton....

    Yes Fung. You paraphrased my thoughts quite succinctly.

    I get the sense, KatG, that you're trying to make more out of my claims than I'm making. We're able to communicate. We have referants, as Fung explains, and we have and utilize these referents in all aspects of communication. All observation is evaluation whether it's 'art' we're viewing or shooting stars. And we need common referents in order to form thoughts and communicate our thoughts. This is the objectification of experience that I'm talking about. All of our words have values attached to them as well, and though subjective in one sense, they are also communicative and therefor objective in another sense.

    We're not in a battle here for any rewards more than a better understanding, so let's not try to push the pegs in too deeply. I believe we're actually making progress, and that progress involves objectifying our terms.

  12. #192
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    Has everyone here seen "Juno"? Has everyone here seen "27 Dresses"? To me, the difference -- philosophically -- between those two movies is obvious. 27 Dresses takes a familiar plot structure, gives it characters with identifiable psychology, and tells a fairly predictable tale with a fairly predictable outcome. It was entertaining, I thought it was well done, but I wouldn't say it caused me to think about any of my fundamental values with a great degree of seriousness or depth. There are philosophical issues I could discuss based on that film, but generally speaking I wouldn't say the movie is all that philosophical.

    Juno, on the other hand, starts with several traditional western values and tries to retell the after-school special. It was like Degrassi, but without the melodrama and cheese. It tells a story with frequent specific references to underlying cultural values about maturity, responsibility, relationships, class, honesty... It references the "norm" and makes its own value system for the audience's assessment.
    I haven't seen either film but if I understand your description correctly I will disagree with the implications of your conclusion.

    Your entire argument is based on one film being "familiar", "predictable", "identifiable", referencing the "norm" ---in other words "known"---and the other film being less so.

    From your argument it therefore seems the philosophical aspect of the film then is contingent on how familiar you are with the ideas in it not the value of the ideas per se.

    The philosophy doesn't come just from each story itself, but from the fundamental assumptions each makes in order to even tell its story at all. Juno was more philosophically attuned than 27 Dresses, IMHO.
    But what are these assumptions that in your view make it more philosophically attuned? The obvious one to me by which your argument seems to stand or fall is the one it makes about its audience. If you have an audience that is completely ignorant of the familiar aspects you refer to then you have no basis to call one more philosophically attuned than the other. The nature of the audience in your conception of the philosophical nature of things is integral.

  13. #193
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    It isn't a battle?
    Asserting the existence of a last bastion; asserting such an assertion is unprovable and more than likely untrue. Opposition that now has occupied 190 posts. Not a battle, just a skirmish, then.
    Quote Originally Posted by FungKoo
    Language is not some loosey-goosey concept up there in the heavens handed down by the Gods into each our subjective universes that just happens to work between me and another subjective like yourself...
    Art is inseparable from language...
    I'm not trying to say that there is a correct way and an incorrect way! I'm just saying that in general, this is the process of language and meaning making.
    Language is what we have. Agreed.
    I acquired my language over 6.6 decades beginning from my mother while she carried me around in her womb, then my family, my schools, my life experiences. That acquisition differs from yours and GW's and Her Greatness.
    It has been modified by the semi-thorough acquistion of four other languages. It has been modified by 5 decades of reading. Will that language transfer precisely, accurately, intelligibly to you and GW and KatG's understanding and comprehension? The success rate may reach 95% but it will never be total.
    You propose a system of objectivity with regard to a bastion and we get mired in implicit and explicit. I ask for an objective framework for themes and you give me language. How, then, is this last bastion determined? Simply on the agreement between you and Gary and Clive?
    That works. The Bastion can agree among itself and to hell with all the outsiders. Seen it before and will see it again. Simply a matter of faith. Believe that your opinion rests on objective yet arcane data known only to the Bastion and stride forth trumpeting the good news to the true believers.
    Okay, so that's more strident than the situation demands. Chalk it up to the idea I like to exercise my language skills.

  14. #194
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Our theories on language change language in certain ways. If I attach the label "wrong" to a usage, I'll try to avoid it. If I attach the label "dialect" to a usage, I'll try to avoid it in certain situations. If I attach the label "correct" to a usage, I will continue to use it, and if I'm opinionated and eschew self-reflection, I will not rest until all the misguided will see the light and conform to my usage.

    Our theories on cancer will not change cancer in the same way, if at all.

    So: Having cancer is independent of human cognition. Speaking a language is not. Without subjectivity we have no language at all. Wish we could say the same about cancer.

  15. #195
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Didn't I say that yes, without us, language disappears?

    Didn't I say that yes, your experience of a work depends on background knowledge related to the subject matter? Or that the extent to which you can delve into implications depends on the knowledge you possess and how you connect it?

    Didn't I say that yes, how we understand language changes language? How we use language changes language? Isn't that what my whole soldier thing was about?

    I'm sure I said all of these things are in fact the case!

    But the fact is, YOU ARE MAKING REFERENCE TO SOMETHING TO MAKE YOUR POINTS! All of you just argued against me by making reference to language, it's use, and its interpretation. You've referred to my points with your opinions and your opinions are based on... WHAT!?!?!

    For the... frig, I don't know how many times... I'm not saying there is a correct or incorrect way!!! I'm just saying there is A WAY THAT WE DO IT. And the way we do it is INSEPARABLE FROM THE OBJECTIVE. The way we do it operates as a system, and that system is our stand-in for the fact that WITHOUT US, THERE IS NO US, THERE IS NO ANYTHING AS FAR WE'RE CONCERNED.

    You guys -- and gals -- NONE OF YOU -- can argue against me WITHOUT referring to something we all perceive.

    And while I'm at it, WITHOUT US CANCER DISAPPEARS! Without us, it's just random cellular generation. Heck, it's not even that since we wouldn't even know it was happening! Cancer is OUR concept! It's one word for a whole group of similar patterns in the OBJECTIVE world of the organic body! We perceived it, and we named it cancer.

    And yet... WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT #$&%ING MEANS! How!?!? BY REFERRING TO THE OBJECTIVE!!!! SO WE CAN DISCUSS IT!!!


    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAH!!!!

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