Language. Language about language. Language about languages. Language about the mind, created in the mind. The mind talking to itself, using symbols and signs. Which it has to interpret, even the ones it uses to talk to itself. A Mobius strip of neurons and synapses.
Data. Outside data. Collected. Fingers. Nose. Ears. Eyes. Tongue. Which the mind interprets. Builds. Say, a Tree. A lover. An Ocean. That pickup truck. A Dog. Stars.
Words not created in this mind. What are (a more loaded verb here than often understood) they? Where are they? In my mind where I’ve put the pieces together or out there, somewhere? What do they mean, those words? What did the one who wrote them mean them to mean? How can I know?
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. LW. Does this seal our lips forever?
Or, I think of David Hume, that Scottish curmudgeon, kicking a cabinet and saying, “I refute it thus.” Speaking of Lord Berkley. “To be is to be perceived.” The stubborn persistence of things. That stubborn consensus we seem to share. Yes, the tree is there. Where? Right over there.
I believe I prefer William James, “Consciousness is a blooming, buzzing confusion.” We put down this yod, that hey. A vav. One more hey. And we agree, sort of, about what they denote. Or, we don’t.
Look at the evidence. Fake news. It’s all in your mind.
No, no. It’s really there.
Oh, really? How do you know?
I see it. I can touch it. I can smell it.