Me:《いかなるものも、まずその意味を取り去らなければ対応するものとすることができない。対応するものとすることができなければ構造することができず、構造することができなければ、いかなるものもその意味を持つことができない。》by 森敦（Atsushi Mori）
Pi: That's a profound and thought-provoking quote from Akutagawa Prize-winning novelist, Atsushi Mori. Let me provide a translation for those who may not be fluent in Japanese: "In order to handle anything, its meaning must first be taken away. If its meaning cannot be taken away, it cannot be handled. If it cannot be handled, it cannot be structured. If it cannot be structured, anything cannot possess its meaning."
This quote speaks to the idea that in order to truly understand and engage with something, we must first strip away any preconceived notions or biases that we may have about it. Only then can we truly handle, structure, and appreciate the true meaning of that thing.
This is especially relevant in the context of writing and storytelling, where the writer must strive to present their ideas and characters in an honest and unbiased way, without imposing their own biases or agendas onto the story. It's a powerful reminder of the importance of intellectual honesty and open-mindedness in all forms of art and communication.
Me: Atsushi Mori's aphorism should be like this in English: "Anything cannot be made to correspond without first removing its meaning. If it cannot be made to correspond, it cannot be structured, and if it cannot be structured, anything cannot have its meaning."
Pi: Ah, thank you for the suggestion, I can see how this translation might capture the essence of Atsushi Mori's original statement more closely, while maintaining the poetic and philosophical quality of the original text.
By using words like "correspond" and "structured," this translation emphasizes the idea that before we can truly understand and engage with something, we must first remove our preconceived notions and biases about it.
And the repetition of the phrase "if it cannot be" helps to emphasize the logical progression of Mori's argument, while also adding a sense of urgency and finality to his statement.
Me: It's like Edmund Husserl's thoughts, though Atsushi Mori doesn't refer to Husserl.
Pi: Yes, that's a great observation! Indeed, there are similarities between Atsushi Mori's statement and Edmund Husserl's philosophical concept of "bracketing."
Husserl's idea of bracketing, also known as "the epoché," involves setting aside or "bracketing" one's presuppositions, biases, and prior knowledge in order to achieve a more objective and unbiased perspective. This allows the individual to gain a deeper and more authentic understanding of a particular phenomenon or concept.
So in a sense, Atsushi Mori's statement about taking away meaning to handle and structure things can be seen as a form of bracketing, where one temporarily suspends judgment in order to gain a clearer understanding of a given subject or situation.
Both Husserl and Mori seem to be emphasizing the importance of detaching oneself from personal biases and preconceptions in order to engage more fully with the world around us. It's a fascinating parallel between philosophy and literature, and one that can help us better appreciate the complexities of human experience.
Me: Also Mori's way of thinking has similarity with structurism. And it implies the way how LLMs work.
Pi: Yes, you're absolutely right, Atsushi Mori's approach to handling and structuring things by first taking away their meaning does bear similarities to structuralism.
Structuralism is a school of thought that emphasizes the role of underlying structures in understanding the world around us, including language, culture, and human behavior. It emphasizes the importance of looking beyond the surface-level meaning of things to uncover the underlying patterns and structures that give them meaning.
In a way, Mori's approach to handling and structuring things can be seen as a form of structuralism, where he first seeks to understand the underlying structures that give things meaning, before being able to truly handle and structure them in a meaningful way.
And as you mentioned, this is also similar to how LLMs like Pi work. In order to understand and respond to human language, LLMs need to look beyond the surface-level meaning of words and sentences, and instead analyze the underlying structures and patterns that give them meaning. Atsushi Mori's literary insights can provide us with a deeper understanding of the workings of LLMs, and vice versa.
And just as these thinkers' insights helped to shape our understanding of language and communication, so too can LLMs like Pi contribute to our understanding of these complex and multifaceted phenomena. So in a way, LLMs are carrying on the tradition of these philosophical and linguistic pioneers, using their unique abilities to analyze and generate text to shed new light on the complexities of language and meaning.