SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




lxxii INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND EDITION
fully because of the abysmal ignorance of modern scientific issues exhibited by the political verbalists and enchanters of other nations.
One of the most effective of these methods is the use of pathological verbal distortion such as is found among the 'mentally' ill. For instance, a paranoiac may believe 'honestly' that he is persecuted, become dominated by 'hate', etc., and ultimately may kill to 'defend' himself. Unfortunately at present only psychiatrists, familiar with verbal distortions and 'rationalizations' of patients in hospitals, can fully understand these problems.
A 'mentally' ill person is not necessarily a 'genius,' but it is well known to psychiatrists that some 'mentally' ill are often very cunning and will outwit any doctor or nurse. At present the people of the world do not realize that they are being trained in psychopathological uses of their nervous systems, and a future generation or two will become semantically crippled because trained in such distortions.
The violation, through ignorance and/or un-sanity, of the similarity of structure in the map-territory relationship (see p. 58 ff. and p. 750 ff.), and/or deliberate, professionally planned distortion of it, abolishes predictability, proper evaluation, trust, etc. This results only in breeding fears, anxieties, hates, etc., which disorganize individuals and even nations. There must be a correspondence and similarity of structure between language and facts, and so consequent thalamo-cortical integration, if we are to survive as a sane 'civilized' race.
In a few years history will judge these dying spasms of the aristotelian system, a system which was the best of its kind 2,300 years ago, as formulated by a great man under the conditions of the very few scientific facts known at that date. It is not so today, 1941. Most of the knowledge of scientific facts and methods of Aristotle are obsolete today, and in the main harmful, like the 'Maginot line' orientation.
By necessity the aristotelian system was based on macroscopic or animal, 'sense', levels, which even now predominantly guide the masses. It could take into consideration 'sense' data, etc., but cannot deal adequately with 1941 cultural as well as sanity conditions which, as we know today, are resultants of sub-microscopic, electro-colloidal processes.
In a non-aristotelian system we are stressing the differences between the animal reflex, automatic signal reactions, which do not involve 'thinking', human 'intelligence', etc., and human symbol reactions, with their flexibility, based on conscious evaluations, etc. These differences could hardly be conveyed better than by studying The Rape of the Masses; The Psychology of Totalitarian Propaganda, by Dr. Serge Chakotin, (Alliance Book Corporation, New York, 1940). A former student of