A concept is built of smaller concepts which you already understand. And if the main concept or the most recently understood concept is built of concepts then it would make sense that the concepts with which that main concept is build are also built of concepts and those concepts are built of concepts and so on. I wonder if at some point the concepts can be reduced down to a point where they are no longer built of concepts and if they are not built of concepts then what exactly are they made of. Memories, Emotions, gut feelings, images, places, or something else entirely?
What are those flashes that run through your mind when you think of an element like water? Water is a fundamental building block of life for which we have developed a representation made up of 5 unrelated concepts W-A-T-E-R. Yet the word also stands for more than a sum of its letters. For me this concept triggers childhood memories, images of a certain place, and variety of sounds. Are these instantaneous reactions to a basal concept, concepts in themselves or something else? Something a bit more “Real” perhaps? In my mind the reactions to this basal concept are not more concepts but in order for me to communicate what I am experiencing inside my head with you as the reader I must form them into concepts and therefore lose some of the “realness” of those concepts as I subconsciously categorize them. I want to know if these basal concepts are fundamentally important in our ability to eventually build larger and more complex ones or is it possible to bypass the “realness” and still grasp the full meaning of a concept.
My discussion is dangerously flirting with recursion but I suppose that is acceptable on this particular day of the month. Is a connection to the “real” world necessary in order to understand a basal concept? And how many basal concepts do you need to grasp before you start to combine those concepts to build larger ones? The absence of water and a feeling of discomfort may eventually combine to create what many of us call thirst. And from there perhaps we can start to understand what it means to long or desire for something that we cannot immediately have. What I am trying to get to is a few questions about potential fundamental differences between machines and a humans. I want to know where a computer that is attempting to augment our intellect fits into the structure of concepts that we use every day. Its goal is to help us pursue more complex concepts by assisting in the categorization of smaller ones. If the computer can never internalize the flashes that make up basal memories what are those basal memories created with. Concepts? And if computer’s basal concepts are created of more complex concepts then we start a loop that indicates that the computer or device will be forever unable to internalize the true meaning of “Water” and instead be limited by the language with which the concept has been described. Having just realized the full recursive-ness of this latest paragraph I am going to stop and encourage you, the reader, to share what comes to your mind when you think of “WATER”.