Last summer I attended a lecture about the language: this quote by Alan Turing impressed me very much, when I first heard it by prof. Andrea Moro.
The original response – “can machines think” – I think it’s too empty of meaning to deserve to be discussed. Notwithstanding I think that at the end of this century (ed: the 1900s) the use of words and the opinion of knowledgeable people will be so different that we will be able to talk about machines that speak without expecting to be contradicted.Alan Turing, 1950, quoted by Prof. Andrea Moro (playing time 53’00).
Andrea Moro is a Neurolinguist, writer and Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Applied Sciences, Pavia, Italy. The title of the lecture was “THE POSSIBILITY TO SAY ‘I’. THE MYSTERY OF LANGUAGE”: other 1000 people were listening in the audience around me at the Meeting Rimini, a Festival that is held yearly in late August in Rimini, Italy. The registration of the lecture got over 12.000 views on Youtube (in the original Italian version). I use to attend this Festival every year to help myself broaden the horizons and that speech was one of the greatest hints I got in 2021.
What I learned, among other things, by prof. Andrea Moro? Language is born not to communicate but to let us think. To give me the possibility to say “I”.
I strongly suggest to watch the video of the lecture I am sharing here below. You will enjoy a simultaneous translation in English.
The possibility to say ‘I’. The mystery of language.
Speaker: Andrea Moro, Neurolinguist and writer, Professor of General Linguistics, IUSS, University of Applied Sciences, Pavia. Introduced by Mauro Ceroni, Professor of Neurology, Department of Sciences of the Nervous System and Behaviour, University of Pavia. Director of the General Neurology Unit, National Neurological Institute IRCCS Mondino in Pavia.
In order to try to understand the immensity of the courage to say ‘I’, we must first understand what gives us the possibility to say ‘I’. It is therefore necessary to reflect on the uniqueness of human language and how it expresses the neurobiological architecture, which is unique to our species. We will go through the discovery of “impossible” languages in order to savour the freedom we are allowed within the borders of Babel.
Who is Andrea Moro
Andrea Moro (1962), Neurolinguist and writer, Professor of General Linguistics, IUSS, University of Applied Sciences, Pavia. Introduced by Mauro Ceroni, Professor of Neurology, Department of Sciences of the Nervous System and Behaviour, University of Pavia. Director of the General Neurology Unit, National Neurological Institute IRCCS Mondino in Pavia.
Foto: Sebastiaan Ter Burg.