Thursday, June 29, 2006

Writing -- good news

In an attempt to balance my bitching about Moon with some positive stuff...

I spent most of today working on the Metaphysics and Epistemology paper... I've made some progress. I have written down my intuitions and sketched out the possible tests I can use to tell the difference between two people speaking different dialects and two people speaking different languages. I even have a way to map the results for any given language onto a chart --- (which seems WAY too social-science-like for philosophy, but this is a phil language paper so they have a bit of psych and physics envy, so it should fly..).

I'd like to see some stuff about identity conditions and languages -- but most of it doesn't seem to fit what I'm doing. i'm waiting for the ILL stuff to come, but that is only one article -- so I'll have to do the "hmmm, this author says a litte about this that kind of applies, so I'll add a quick quote to plump up the bibliography and make it look like I've done the research I needed to do...". Much of this paper is actually me constructing arguments, which is pretty fun.... but it feels like cheating.

In the end I should have a theory that correctly sorts out the following:
1) two people speaking the same dialect (of a larger language).
2) two people speakng the same language, different dialects,
3) two people speaking different languages

and then I'll use American Sign Language as a hard test -- my intuitions tell me that ASL will be a distinct language from American English, not simply a dialect of it... although, it is close.

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