Monday, July 13, 2015

Words and Their Limitations

As if I had any other topics, being as how this blog is about the teachings of Jan Cox. He said, you may recall, that "you have to make your own maps".  But a good example occurred recently. And the point of this story is any speaker has to recall that any speech ---- is only a partial aspect of something larger. Let's go beyond, for once, counting dandelion petals, (my normal example of the edge of the unknown in discourse.) The point of my story below, is how you always, philosopher or grocery shopper -- in speech -- that you are only getting part of the story. 

The story--- I had observed this homeless person, younger than me, before, and started talking to him in the grocery parking lot which was part of our larger neighborhood. It was very interesting, -- a nearby church benignly allows their creek side camping area to continue. And I, referring to his comrades, said--- 

"are they violent people?"

He said,

oh no, but eh, sometimes it's so weird I just have to get away.

He thought I was asking why he walked around the neighborhood so much. What I meant by my question, "are they violent," was, am I in danger.

My surmise is that this situation typifies not just chatter, but, the content of most books. 
It may be that ignoring the layers in verbal situations, is the reason history seems like tumbling arguments that only look like progress. People assume they are addressing the same issues; writers only assume they are engaged in a dialogue with the past.  Actually they are missing the purpose, the point of some previous argument. Analysts rarely start by asking about a statement, what is it in response to. 

Or, at least, that is part of an answer to a question about the mysteries of human discourse..

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