Infinite Medium / Unlimited Meaning

“And the fact is that ordinary words don’t have just two or three but an unlimited number of meanings, which is quite a scary thought; however, the more positive side of this thought is that each concept has a limitless potential for variety.  This is a rather pleasing thought, at least for people who are curious and who are stimulated by novelty.”

– Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander –


6 thoughts on “Infinite Medium / Unlimited Meaning

  1. perhaps…i think it might have more to do with social construction – the woof of variety in meaning with each particular usage and context?

  2. This seems to be a hyper technical and easy way to look at it. Words are always used in some context and linguistic context always limits the possibilities. Part of the context is the cultural situation, so if all you do is throw a word into a computer, and take away cultural context, I can believe the statement to some extent.

  3. I think the cultural and social context is exactly to which they are referring. Wittgensteinian – my hunch is that the variety and novelty of each word’s usage each time is what it is filled with in actual usage, never identical, always tweaked and applied. Always erasing some nuance while aggregating others?

  4. Pingback: A (partial) answer to my Goedelian conundrum? | cartesian product

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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