more from Paul O'Grady

Single Idea 4734

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity]

Full Idea

It makes sense to think that one could recognise that something is a language without necessarily being able to translate it; cryptographers do this all the time.

Gist of Idea

Cryptographers can recognise that something is a language, without translating it


Paul O'Grady (Relativism [2002], Ch.5)

Book Reference

O'Grady,Paul: 'Relativism' [Acumen 2002], p.169

A Reaction

Maybe, but cryptographers usually have a lot of context to work with. If we met extraterrestrials if might not be so clear. One can only spot patterns, and crystals have those.