Re: Posthuman Language

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 19:05:46 MST

At 08:59 AM 11/27/01 -0800, Mark Walker wrote:

>To make the issue more tractable it is usually resolved to the
>question of whether all natural languages are intertranslatable. So if the
>posthuman's language is translatable into say English then big deal--we can
>express any of their thoughts, although perhaps not as efficiently.

Two problems: a `natural language' in this sense is one used by humans,
using our specific linguistic capacities, so the issue is being avoided.

And even if a posthuman utterance of stupefying complexity and depth were
translatable (by the posthuman, of course) portion-by-portion into English,
it seems to me perfectly possible that no human would be able to construe
the utterance. We might not be able to hold its several assertions or moves
simultaneously in our heads long enough, or at a sufficient level of
comprehension, to unpack meaning intended by the posthuman (supposing that
implies *super*human).

I have enough trouble with Proust.

Damien Broderick

Damien Broderick

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