Physical or chemical energy cannot touch that which we call "meaning," anymore than a shadow can knock down a wall. Meaning is not tangible to matter, because matter and meaning belong to different spheres of reality. Meaning is not extended. Meaning is simply the seal of man's reason. This seal can be pt into sound, and the sound becomes a language; it can be put into arbitrary lines and curves, and they become writing; it can be put into human movements, and those movements become gestures. Language, writing and gestures are, therefore, meaning incarnate in matter. ...
We have seen that matter cannot cope with meaning, but thought can. What all the chemical and physical instruments of the world cannot do, the mind of a little child does, because it can think. . What, then, is the nature of thought; of this mysterious instrument, so simple and yet so strong that it can achieve something which all the machines of the universe, big and small, cannot realize? ....Object and instrument are intimately correlated. Whence we deduce that if the meaning is not material, the organ of meaning, its connatural instrument, cannot be material either. Thought, the human urge after the meaning of things, is, therefore, a spiritual function.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
language is meaning incarnate in matter
A Humane Psychology of Education