[percy-l] language theory

Ken Armstrong armstron at ohiou.edu
Tue Mar 2 15:48:50 EST 2004

At 10:21 AM 2/26/2004 -0500, you wrote:

>Still struggling with the other question I had mentioned last time ("If 
>there is a physical/biological brain location for language (surely 
>dyadic), how is that this dyadic structure creates triadic thought? Aren't 
>we back to Descartes' dilemma of how a mind/body interacts?").  I didn't 
>quite understand Ken's answer:  ("More like we're already in it when we 
>assume that the dyadic and the
>triadic happen in totally different contexts. Why not one is subsumed to 
>the other?  But can that be explained dyadically? No.")

Sorry if my answer was cryptic. I think the answer to your question, in 
part, is that the dyadic brain structure does not create thought. I know 
that this answer will be unacceptable to some, but it seems to me that your 
question has brought to bear the usefulness of the Peirce/Percy terms 
dyadic and triadic. Keeping a close focus on the dyadic of the brain will 
bring all sorts of wondrous insights into the physical processes that 
accompany thinking and speech, but cannot answer what it is that creates 
thought.  Percy addressed something similar in Message in the Bottle when 
he noted that the physical explanation for triadic phenomenon regresses 
until proponents are brought to the idea of homunculi pulling the strings 
of the brain, etc. We can know more and more about the dyadic, but, to 
paraphrase, there is no progress in the triadic.

Ken A. 

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