Robert Graves wrote a beautiful poem about the difference between children and adult. Fairies and Fusiliers
How does Graves show that child’s mind is different to an adult’s mind?
– ‘Spring and Fairyland are his’ – child’s imagination is different, it’s more creative and it’s full of magic
– ‘Truth and Reason show but dim’ – adults have been taught to have structured truth, children tell you how it is because they have no ‘filter’
– ‘But spring for him is no more now, Then daisies to a munching cow’ – the older you are, the more life is about survival
– ‘ He;s forgotten how he smiled’ – children are happier than adults because they have less worries
– ‘ Wisdom made him old and wary’ – as you get older you learn more by facts from others, cognitive development changes
Private Language, Wittgenstein theory
Each person has a completely different private language which is unlearnable and untranslatable.
Wittgenstein made a great example for testing out this theory, it is based that we create the private language by memories and experiences.
‘when we are talking about something is ‘red’, is the color sensed by each individual the same?’
What he is proposing is that we have been taught to call this color red but others
might see the color red as we see the color blue because everyone has a private language and senses the color in different ways.
As a textiles artist and being inspired a lot by colors I’m not sure how I feel about this theory. I have my own personal sense of colors and I know what color and tones go together but also I was taught the color theory including the color wheel, complementary colors and what each color makes us feel so it is hard for me to imagine that people see different things to me. On the other hand I do know and understand that everybody is different so if we are so different then why not see colors different.
Another example that Wittgenstein is proposing is pain scale. In each emergency room there is a pain scale which is supposed to help the doctor’s examination but every person feels different.
Wittgenstein: ‘Similarly, if we ask people to put hands into hot water, the can feel the pain. We can symbolize this pain as ‘pain H’, and say ‘the pain you feel when you put your hands into hot water in ‘pain H’. Still, different people feel different ‘pain H’. For example, is it possible to have someone who actually does not feel any pain but comfort after putting their hand into hot water, then ‘pain H’ means comfort to then in this scenario’