The subject of natural languages and their relation to formal languages, for example, logical calculi, logical graphs, mathematical formalisms, and programming languages, has come up periodically in our discussions and I’ve been struggling to arrive at something both cogent and coherent to say about it. But what the heck, here’s a few thoughts off the cuff.
We naturally use our mother tongues as metalanguages to talk among ourselves in fora like these, not only about well-formalized object languages but also about the object domains that supply them with semantic substance, in a word, “meaning”. Nothing about that makes “the natural language of the individual conducting the inquiry … the main object of study”. At least, that is not how I’d personally understand the task at hand.
I began using the run-on formula “pragmatic-semiotic point of view” during a few exchanges with Bruce Schuman and John Sowa as a way of alluding to the line of thinking about signs stretching from Aristotle to Peirce, Dewey, and pragmatists of that stripe. Here’s a link to my blog rehash of that episode:
To be continued …