Confronting the Limits of Self-Expression

The inexplicable loneliness we sometimes feel might be due to the fact that verbal discourse fails to capture the complexity of our actual neurological states. Paul Churchland, for example, suggests that the two hemispheres of our brains communicate with a much more intricate and intimate “language” than we do with each other. On the other hand, some philosophers claim that language doesn’t gain its meaning from our internal experience at all, but from the public use of our words. In this scenario, the world guides invention. Either way, these two positions both lead to the same conclusion: there’s a lot of stuff that goes on inside us that we just can’t communicate to other people. It’s either beyond language altogether, or it’s beyond the language we currently have. So, these feelings of loneliness may just be our confrontation with the limits of self-expression.

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