"And then there's flirting, another of life's great pleasures, in which what's exchanged might be considered information and negotiation, but of the most fizzy kind, each utterance an intoxication in itself as well as a step along the path. Which is to say that talk can be play rather than work, or it can do subtle work that is not, as Katya Lysander pointed out, about information in any practical sense." - Rebecca Solnit, "Preaching to the Choir" in Call Them By Their True Names, 79.
“A deepity isn't just any old pseudo-profound bit of drivel. It's a specific kind of statement that can be read in two different ways: one way that's true but trivial, and another that's much more intriguing but false. The example Dennett quotes is, ‘Love is just a word.’ On the level of linguistics, of course it is – but that hardly tells us much. On another level, it's pretty manifestly untrue. It sounds deep only because it teeters precariously between those two readings, exuding the whiff of paradox. Once you've encountered the concept of deepities, you can't help seeing them everywhere: ‘Que sera sera!’; ‘Beauty is only skin deep!’; ‘The power of intention can transform your life…’”
A sentence isn’t really a “symbolic representation” of an idea. It’s more like a set of instructions you give someone for how to reproduce your idea with their mind.
I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat, [but] we both recognize the object by the symptoms it provokes in us
“The view that machines cannot give rise to surprises is due, I believe, to a fallacy to which philosophers and mathematicians are particularly subject. This is the assumption that as soon as a fact is presented to a mind all consequences of that fact spring into the mind simultaneously with it. It is a very useful assumption under many circumstances, but one too easily forgets that it is false”
— Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence
“The way to discover the proper meaning is to ask not, ‘What do we mean?’ but, ‘What are we trying to mean?’ And this involves the question ‘What is preventing us from meaning what we are trying to mean?’
— Collingwood, The Principles of Art
“The proper meaning of a word (I speak not of technical terms, which kindly godparents furnish soon after birth with neat and tidy definitions, but of words in a living language) is never something upon which the word sits perched like a gull on a stone;”
Collingwood, The Principles of Art
“If people have no word for a certain kind of thing, it is because they are not aware of it as a distinct kind.”
— Collingwood, Principles of Art