Without being entirely sure what all this talk of language specifically has to do with the OP (if it has, maybe someone will tell me), I would in any case, whether it's partly a related detour or on point, say that imo language probably greatly enhances self-awareness, but is neither necessary or sufficient to cause it in the first place. Language may enable and help us to maintain a robust sense of self (wherever 'robust' lies on the spectrum, again it's probably blurry, and varies from moment to moment). It may to a large extent create social identity, but not necessarily basic or private identity, albeit those are arguably vague, overlapping categories.subsymbolic;673842 wrote:Holist is more of an expert on 'wolf children' and hugely sceptical, but Helen Keller explicitly talks of knowing her teacher was coming from the signs of her mother. That seems to cover all the bases!
As for people in this situations, they already have all the mechanism in place and so are really no helpful. That's more about how poorly a ranging communal animal deals with no supportive community and no range.
Self consciousness (sapience) is dependent on language use which is a public tool that has been developed bit by bit over millennia - if you see so far...
Sentience is just a matter of small subsets of neural function feeling like something.
I don't think any of this can yet be proven or conclusively shown, and there are probably so many developmental and ongoing interactions involved that it may make little sense to isolate one thing and say it causes the other. In that sense it may be a form of process symbiosis. At one level, we can see this as informational processing, but where it ends up 'feeling like something' too (on those occasions where it does end up like that, which may involve some sort of activity or informational threshold being reached).
For clues regarding the limits of the role of language, we can try to look to where language isn't, or at least isn't well-formed, that would be in the first instance other animals, but also the behaviour/neurology of infants, or so-called 'feral children' (to the extent that they exist), or those who lose language skills after brain trauma (eg stroke aphasia), or where it is at least altered by medical procedure (such as severing the cortical connections between the hemispheres) or lost/partially lost through the ageing process (which may be associated with diseases and/or declining or degenerative cognitive conditions) or where it is never attained or fully attained in the first instance because of brain impairment or disability.
Or, alternatively/additionally, we may consider our own (variously) 'altered' or non-reasoning states, or dream states (which are as often as not experienced/remembered without explicit language, ie are visual/emotional). Also, most or all of us can, I think, sometimes daily, experience ineffability and limerence. Some things, it seems, cannot be properly expressed in language (and putting them into words may even be imposing limitations, so we could see language as both a facilitator and an obstructor, a double-edged sword), but this doesn't seem to stop us experiencing them, and experiencing them as 'us experiencing them'.
It may also be worth noting that, almost by definition, modern analytic philosophy, with its attendant emphasis on rationality and reasoning, was arguably almost bound to give priority to language (and arguably did so, in the 20th century). This in itself may have been (and still be) an approach which from the outset almost inevitably resulted in language being given primacy of consideration. At a stretch, we might even call it a bias of emphasis, perhaps.[/QUOTE]
I don't know about the OP, as this is really one discussion that has spread over three threads.
I wasn't aware I was giving priority to language. In fact, I've just spent some time talking about brains in a way that it is impossible to insert language into and my last post very clearly talked about sentience and sapience, not merely sapience.
I'm not prioritising language, merely identifying where it fits.