ISSN 2567-6458, 19.August 2022 – 19 August 2022
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
This text is part of the subject COMMON SCIENCE as Sustainable Applied Empirical Theory, besides ENGINEERING, in a SOCIETY. It is a preliminary version, which is intended to become part of a book.
The words ‘science’, ‘theory’, and ‘scientific theory’ are well known passengers travelling through the times with different meanings, depending from the circumstances, from the minds of different people.- In modern times we have learned a lot about the nature of ‘signs’ and ‘sign-based’ communication as it happens when we are using a ‘language’. And, becoming more sensitive about the dynamics of sign-based communication, we can detect that it is exactly our human use of language which provides the key to a deeper understanding of how our brains are working, located in our bodies, where the brains are playing the roles of ‘spin doctors’ of the pictures in our heads, which are ‘showing’ our mind a ‘virtual world’ of an assumed ‘real world’ somewhere ‘out there’.
Until today we have no final explanation of how exactly this ability of human actors has developed through the times stretching to millions of years ago. And until today there exists no complete description of a living language with the involved structures, meanings, and dynamics. One reason for this ‘fundamental inability’ of describing with a language exactly this language roots is the fact, that language is not a ‘single fixed object’ in front of your eyes, but a dynamic reality happening between many, many different human actors simultaneously; every brain has only some fragments of this assumed ‘whole thing’ called ‘language’, and every communicative act between humans embraces besides ‘rather stable parts’ always a lot of ‘incidental’, ‘casual’ moments of a complex dynamic situation, which constitutes — mostly unconscious — the working of language communication, possible meanings and connotations of meaning. Thus, all the known scientific endeavors until today trying to describe this phenomenon of language communication are more reminding some ‘stuttering’ than a final ‘ordered’ theory.
One lesson we can learn from this tells us, that the so-called ‘everyday language’, the ‘ordinary language’, the ‘natural language’ is the ‘basic’ pattern of language communication. But, as mentioned just before, on account of the fundamental distributed and dynamical character of everyday language, a natural language has no clear cut ‘boundaries’. Never you can tell with certainty where a language ends and where this language just in that moment ‘evolves’, ‘expands’, is ‘changing’.
For people which are looking for ‘clear statements’, for ‘finite views’, for a ‘stable truth’ this situation is terrifying. It can cause ‘anxious feelings’. People who like to ‘control’ life don’t like such a ‘living dynamics’ which can not be owned by a single person alone, not even by ‘many’…
One basic property of ordinary language is it’s ‘expandability’: at every time someone can introduce new expressions embedded within new contexts following new patterns of usage. If other human actors start to follow this usage, this ‘new’ behavior is ‘spreading’ through the ‘population of language users’ and by this new growing practice the ordinary language is expanding and thereby changing.
One ‘part’ of ordinary language is called ‘logic’ ,, with various different realizations through history. Another part of ordinary language is ‘mathematics’, especially what is today assumed as being the ‘kernel’ of mathematics, the ‘Theory of Sets’.(cf. , ) Because ordinary language can always be used to speak ‘about ordinary language’, it is possible to extend an ordinary language with arbitrary many new ‘artificial languages’ like a ‘logic language’ or a ‘mathematical language’. After introducing a special language like a mathematical language’ by using ordinary language one can apply this special language ‘as if it is the only language’, but if you start to ‘look consciously’ to your real practice of speaking, you can easily detect, that this impression ‘it is the only language’ is a fake! Cutting away the ordinary language you will be lost with your special language. The ordinary language is the ‘meta language’ to every special language. This can be used as a ‘hint’ to something really great: the mystery of the ‘self-creating’ power of the ordinary language which for most people is unknown although it happens every moment.
— draft version —