7.14.2005

mango is a character from saturday night live

All this mango talk. Here would be my point: experience is beyond a concept of true or false. True you could be the only person in the world to taste a mango, but in tasting it you would be thinking or saying or in anyway acknowledging some sort of arbitrary truth about the flavor of the mango. The mango's taste would be beyond such frivolous, it would simply taste like itself and others like it. Experience in this way is beyond "truth". Truth is perhaps something in language we use to make ourselves more comfortable.

Taken another way. You and you alone have tasted the mango. Would you be able to say that the mango tastes perfectly. That its flavor is of perfection? I don't. In the case of "true" and "perfect", in order to believe that the mango's taste is true or perfect you must believe that it could be potentially false or imperfect. This instantly sets up a system of linguistic comparison, and the "truth" of the mango can only be sought through communication. If presented with two different tasting mangos, identical in appearance, how could anyone pick the true tasting mango? They would at the very least have to enter a dialogue with themselves, and even then their selection would only be based on their opinion, and not an objective truth.

And that's just the thing: Can there even be such a thing as an objective truth? The age old question, how can we be sure the world looks the same to each of us? If we can't be certain of these things how can we assess truth independent of personal communication? Language, perhaps, sets up a field of objects -words- that we all share the same or at least very similar objective mentality over. With this common objective ground can we see or experience a concept of truth. We trouble ourselves though when we let this safe field of objects, the words themselves, elide into our concept of the real world which is always beyond or ability to categorize and label.

2 comments:

Seb (patiently) said...

I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here, but I think you may be misunderstanding me. I'm not suggesting that at the time I am eating a mango and tasting X, I somehow have a true thought about mangos.

What I'm saying is that if I eat a whole lot of mangos and they all taste like X, and even if I have no word for a mango or for X, I can form a concept of a mango and a concept of X, and have a belief (also nonverbal) that the first concept is strongly associated with the second.

As far as perfect mangos go, I don't think I could make that judgment unless I had somehow formed a concept of perfection--but I'm not sure how this would apply to mangos.

Truth of a mango? Do you mean, like, I am sitting in front of two mangos, and am supposed to taste test them and determine which one is actually a mango? Well, supposing again I'm a feral mango-eating child, I think I would eat the one with flavor X and be unsurprised, then eat the one that tastes like a squirrel and be absolutely shocked. I might doubt that all mangoes taste like X. Or I might form a new concept of a set of objects that look like mangoes but taste like squirrels! But I don't ever need to make a "linguistic comparison"--my ability to make comparisons doesn't depend on my ability to use language.

As far as objective truth goes, I don't think that making truth dependent on language saves truth's objectivity. It just makes it relative to a linguistic community. I'm saying that if you go that far, you might as well break it down to the individual, because meaning is contained in concepts, not morphemes.

(Once there, I think the feral child could learn to speak and form some concept like "objective truth" out of their own subjective truth. But it never stops being weird....)

Anonymous said...

I think you are reading too far into this, mangos are nice and thats all that needs to be said... THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails