DrZoidberg;680210 wrote:It was the same deal with the Eskimos having 50 words for snow. They don't.
But the mystical English really do have well over a hundred distinct words for mud.
Meanwhile, back at groundhog day, the fact is that either two conceptual
schemes have bridging rules or they don't. If they don't then there is literally nothing you can say about one conceptual scheme from another. If, however, they do, then they ain't so mysterious. There is no middle ground. Se also Davidson, Donald, On the very idea of a conceptual scheme (and last month's row).
The real problem is that once you let go of meaning, purpose, morality and so on coming from the deity of your choice then you are left with no criteria against which you can judge something wrong or right. Taking female, or indeed male, circumcision as an example, it's nice to say it is always wrong, was always wrong and so on, but the fact is that it is wrong relative to some sort of criteria and if you can't agree on that criteria then I can't see how you can motivate that and you are just left stating it by fiat.
Now I might think that naturalisation or eliminating suffering is the most important thing and we might even agree, but others might not and these really are just axioms and, at some point, the spade turns. The fact is that evolution is a meaningless process that gives rise to design, meaning and so on. What it doesn't do is allow one risen clump of meaning to claim dominion over another, Of course if one clump of meaning has guns then they can enforce their view on those without guns, but that doesn't make them right.
Meanwhile, I broadly agree that human brains are probably broadly
the same wetware across the board. However, I'm less convinced that cultures and the specific radical reengineering of the brain they engender is even broadly the same. The fact that language, sitting on top of all that, allows us to pretend that it is broadly similar, doesn't mean it is. That's because how the brain processes information is, I rather suspect, a different conceptual scheme and thus something about which we can say nothing. We can, of course make judgements, in language, about the emergent processes of our brains as we become aware of them and, of course, the behaviour of others, but that doesn't look like a safe basis for making claims about what is going on underneath all of that.[/QUOTE]
I don't think it's really all that profound that it's possible to translate between paradigmatic axiomatic systems of naming. If it was easy using distinct algorithms , then it might be. But it isn't easy therefore Davidson is saying something that doesn't address much.
Eta: what's weird is that our statements are both making generally the same point. Maybe I missed Davidson 's point.