Non-linguistic arguments

I feel more of an affinity with the linguistic tradition of philosophy. And, I think that is mainly because they write better. Philosophical arguments need to be as clear as possible, because that is when rebuttal becomes the easiest; and the thing we want the most is for a result to stand tall even against good attacks.

Maybe this is why linguistic philosophy has had such success. It wraps philosophical arguments into language, where an internal consistency in the language provides the force or arguments - the bare bones mapping neatly onto propositional logic.

But, when one takes this approach, language also becomes the limiting factor in your philosophy. You can't break out of it to really bring the whole world into your philosophical reasoning. And that, is a problem.

We don't think in language; though, I'll admit, language plays a huge role in thinking. What do you think goes on in your thinking when you reflect on it? It is hard to do, but for myself I see a combination of swift images passing before my inner eye, I hear a little of words, and there are som abstract shapes involved. Always when I'm writing, the audio of what I'm writing is playing inside of me at the same time, and I can feel the tactility of pushing the keyboard telling me whether I'm spelling things correctly. In addition, when I'm doing other kinds of thinking, whole scenarios are opened up in my mind, and things happen, as on a stage.

And, importantly, philosophical reasoning is like this for me too. A room opens up in my mind where I do my thinking, and I'm trying to do it as accurately as possible. When I'm thinking philosophically on a thing, I'm trying to imagine the scenario as accurately as possible. I'm taking into account all the information I have learned until then, and I'm following the physical material doing the action around as best as I can. I call this technique "thinking in reals." And, I think it helps.

But what happens, then, when I want to translate this philosophical thinking into writing? First of all, it really is a translation; or more of a description of what is going on in my mind. Secondly, the force of the argument can be obscure; because rarely do I have the luxury of presenting all the detail that went into the argument - especially all of the background assumption.

And this is important; the simulations I run in my head, thought experiments in philosophical jargon; obey all the laws of physics I know, take into account all the biology and psychology I know, and also is constrained and enabled by the laws of literature and rhetoric that I possess. But doing a simulation of reality is what the brain was made for; and so it is an intuitive and good method of doing thinking.

Some times soon, I ought to do preparatory essays for any longer philosophical work that really deals with some of these issues. So far, I can only try to adapt to the styles of doing philosophy that are currently relevant.