There is a tremendous difference between ‘thinking’ in verbal terms and ‘contemplating,’ inwardly silent, on nonverbal levels and then searching for the proper structure of language to fit the supposedly discovered structure of the silent processes that modern science tries to find. If we ‘think’ verbally, we act as biased observers and project onto the silent levels the structure of the language we use and so remain in our rut of old orientations, making keen, unbiased observations and creative work well-nigh impossible. In contrast, when we ‘think’ without words, or in pictures (which involve structure and therefore relations), we may discover new aspects and relations on silent levels and so may produce important theoretical results in the general search for a similarity of structure between the two levels, silent and verbal. Practically all important advances are made that way.
Alfred Korzybski, Polish-American philosopher, scientist and engineer. Korzybski is remembered for developing the theoretical and practical model of General Semantics. His work argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and by the structure of language (1879-1950)
This is honestly one of my favourite ways of all time of representing different approaches to knowledge. Plato is pointing to heaven, saying that we should get our knowledge of the world from forms; Aristotle is reaching out towards the earth, saying that we should get our knowledge from empirical observation. (I personally agree with painting!Aristotle on this one.)
Just finished watching Franklin J. Schaffner’s Patton from 1970. The in-film Nazi criticism of the general proved to be my favorite, pitting him as a Byron-like Romantic general from another time caught in the 20th Century. His knowledge of military and general history astounded me, although his devil-may-care ideology of war as the ultimate manifestation of man do oppose my generally pacifist personal beliefs. The other aspect I found fascinating was his fervent faith of reincarnation, wherein upon surveying ancient battlefields, he often recounted the story of the conflict and stated that he was there. A reincarnationist historian brings a new level to phenomenology, where the participant in an historical location brings an empirical palimpsest of experience converging in his or her mind, breaking the boundaries of time and space.