Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Private language versus communicable knowledge

The network of concepts that are recorded as Asa H's casebases constitute Asa's knowledge and private language.  Even if we were able to assign "names" ("words") to each of these concepts (see my blog of 30 October 2015) they will not be identical going from one Asa agent to another and they will change over time.  The situation becomes even more uncertain if we try to relate Asa's thoughts to those of humans.
If an Asa agent begins life tabula rasa it is possible to read into it casebases from some other (previously trained) agent. In this case the private language developed by the trained agent also serves as a language of communication.  If all agents begin life with the same few foundational concepts (casebases) it is again possible to read some newly learned concepts from one agent to another.  But once agents have become specialists their various concepts will differ, one from another, and they no longer share a common private language. 
By naming each of (many of) an agent's concepts one forms a communicable (shared) language. But somewhat different concepts, held by different agents, will all come to share the same name.  Inter agent communication and publicly shared knowledge will be imperfect. This is important in thinking about some of Wittgenstein's work and the limitations of language.
Languages need not be composed of names/words only. Mathematics often serves as a language. Again, concepts may change over time. An example might be the concept of  "algebraic ideal." Concepts can also be forgotten while new concepts are created. An example might be "cohomology."

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