Saturday, April 13, 2019

intentionality and ambiguity

Sometimes, psychology is called a soft science. Compared to "exact" sciences such as physics, phenomena addressed by psychology might indeed appear to be "soft" on the surface.

However, in actuality, there is nothing "soft" about the way our mind arises from (supposedly, and for all likelihoods) the physical processes in the brain.

If there appears to be some ambiguity about the specific arguments we make about the mind, it is not the fault of the mind itself. It is just the nature of the natural language that we employ there.

At the end of the day, the way natural languages arise and function in our daily lives is as exact as the most rigorous mathematical formula. There is nothing ambiguous under the sun. It is only in our current ignorance that we (falsely) think that some of the arguments we might make in our natural languages are ambiguous.

Having said that, there does remain the problem why the implications of a statement in terms of a natural language are allowed to be ambiguous at all. It would actually appear that the ability to allow for ambiguity is a feature of our mind, our consciousness. It would appear that there is something about intentionality at the basis of the meanings of the natural languages, that allows ambiguity to happen.