Author Archives: signature103

About signature103

Language teacher and researcher. Object Philosopher. Buddhist.

Existence and observation

The observation of an object does not change anything of its existence. Observation neither makes something more nor less existent. Quantum mechanics may say something different but in pragmatic terms it does not change or affect how we face life and death. It is about experience and not about existence.

No essence

The more I dig the less evidence I find for essence of any sort. In short, all things have no essences. I am content with this.

Objective reality

An abandoned house has a fridge with food in it. It has been there for at least six months. And it has spoilt. Flies are having a good time feasting upon the rotting organic matter. What or who observes it? The flies? The fungi? God? Are we arguing that a perception-less universe cannot exist?

The subject is never necessary in my opinion. There are only objects. The subject is accidental.

Truths are a process of a subject (a thing), and not a thing-in-itself.

A clear understanding of what exists and what are processes of existent things is necessary. From observation we can judge this. While this judgement is not perfect or complete it is the only method with which we have to judge. To chase any other method would be to deny the fact of this impossibly and be inauthentic to the reality.

The (social) medium is the message

The medium is the message. It always has been. It always will be. There is no escape from the medium.

Do we have free will?

Someone pointed out that we must ask the question “are we free?” first before we can even ask “do we have free will?” I agree. To be truly free would be to be able to flit in and out of material existence. We do not and can not. Secondly, the will is not independent of the body. It is always a decision of or motivation from the body. That is to say, we are not free to will, but we are only free to imagine being free to will.

Love is a verb … and a noun

Love. Love is a verb. Love is a doing word. […]

Teardrop by Massive Attack

The opening lyrics of Teardrop by Massive Attack points to the verbal quality of ‘love’. What we call lemma or headwords in linguistics brings together meaning under one heading.

(1) He loves her.

make ‘love’ a verb. And the sentence

(2) ‘His love for her.’

turns ‘love’ into a noun.

Let me point out here that love “begins life” as a noun and, in fact, is turned into a verb in an act I call shall verbalisation. Pat Benatar famously sang

(3) Love is a Battlefield.

Clearly is talk of love as a thing in this usage.

But we can talk of love as an action as in

We love you. We love you. We love you. We’re going to do whatever it take to make you love me.

We Love You! by Regurgitator

I am not saying anything unusual. We do this so often that we almost do not notice it … almost. But let us take ‘run’. Run, like love, is both a verb and noun. But run is used more as a verb than love is (even though the strong collocation for love is as a verb ‘I love you’). Easiest is to look at example usages.

(4) He runs six miles everyday.
(5) The dog ran away again.

For (4) is a clearly a verb. In (5) run is part of the phrasal verb run away. But in

(6) The run is tomorrow.

it is a noun. And unlike love as a noun it can be specified by a determiner. When we try with

(7) The love of a mother for her child is unparalleled in the universe.

we must specify much more clearly. That is, love is a universal and a thing. So when Massive Attack sings love is a verb they want to highlight the fact that we sometimes forget that it has a verbal form, just as I am highlighting the fact run also has a nominal form, and that these forms tell us something about conceptualisation, and language.

Love and run are nouns (and they are verbs). But they are not things. My point is, conceptualisation is a tricky business that requires serious and careful study. As a child I was taught a noun is a person, place or thing. Later I was retaught to add ‘idea’ to the list definition. Much time was spent believing love and run were things. Often I must remind myself that ideas are not things even though they can both be nouns. Just because ‘run’ in

(8) The run was fun.

is given the determiner ‘the’ it does not make it a thing as ‘the’ in

(9) The car is in the driveway.

specifies a thing. That is the difference.