SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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and international adjustments. For a detailed discussion the reader is referred to this text, see index under the terms 'identification', 'order', 'natural order', etc.
Another very serious difficulty arises due to the fact that our knowledge of the world and ourselves involves unavoidable factors of deception and self-deception. A scientific study of magic with its methods of psycho-logical deception is most revealing, as it shows the mechanisms by which we are continually and unknowingly being deceived in science and daily life.* The stock in trade of the magician to fool the public consists of methods of misdirection, of mis-evaluation, half-truths, etc., used to play on the ordinary associations and implications, habits of hasty generalizations, etc., of the audience, thus leading to misinterpretations, identifications, lack of predictability, etc. These general, and so common, psycho-logical mechanisms are very deep, and to a large extent are connected with the aristotelian type of intensional, subject-predicate orientations, which ultimately may become harmful.
For maximum adjustment, and therefore sanity, we need neurological methods to prevent and counteract these heretofore unavoidable old deceptions and self-deceptions. In a non-aristotelian system these difficulties are recognized and empirical methods are discovered to eliminate them step by step. Such methods of prevention and counteraction culminate in training in consciousness of abstracting (see Chapters XXVI, XXVII, XXIX and p. 499 ff.).
I must stress that as far as we humans are concerned, we cannot possibly be entirely ignorant about ourselves; we may have only false knowledge or half-truths. It is psychiatrically known that in many instances false knowledge, particularly about ourselves, breeds maladjustments, often of a serious character, just because it is based fundamentally on self-deception. In the meantime we react and act 'as if our half-truths or false knowledge were 'all there is to be known'. Thus we are bound to be bewildered, confused, obsessed with fears, etc., because of mistakes due to our mis-evaluations, when we orient ourselves by verbal structures which do not fit facts.
Section C. Revolutions and evolutions.
One of the gravest difficulties facing the world today is the passing from one historical era to another. Such passings, as history shows, have
* Kelley, Douglas M. Conjuring as an Asset to Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation. Vol. 19, No. 2, April, 1940.