[ExI] meaning & symbols

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 23:44:33 UTC 2010

--- On Tue, 2/2/10, Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com> wrote:

> According to Eric, association is the sole factor giving
> many symbols meaning in human minds. The only prerequisite is that at
> least one symbol in the web has meaning intrinsically; that is to
> say, it is a sense symbol. Meaning can effectively be shared between
> symbols, and is not diluted in the process.

I think I misread Eric's sentence. Thanks for pointing that out.

In any case I do not believe there exists any such thing as a "sense symbol". 

Organisms with highly developed nervous systems create and ponder mental abstractions, aka symbols, about sense data and about other abstractions. 

Simple organisms on the order of, say, fleas have eyes and other sense organs, so it seems likely that they have awareness of sense data. But because they lack a well developed nervous system it seems very improbable to me that they can do much in the way of forming symbols to represent that data. 

I also do not believe any symbol of any kind can have "instrinsic meaning". Meaning always arises in the context of a conscious mind. X means Y only according to some conscious Z. 

In casual conversation we sometimes speak about words as if they mean something, but they do not actually mean anything. Conscious agents mean things and they use words to convey their meanings.



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