SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
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The distinctly novel issue in a non-aristotelian system seems to be that in a human class of life elementary methodological and structural ignorance about the world and ourselves, as revealed by science, is bound to introduce delusional factors, for no one can be free from some conscious or unconscious structural assumptions. The real and only problem therefore seems to be whether our structural assumptions in 1933 are primitive or of the 1933 issue. The older 'popularization of science' is not the solution, it often does harm. The progress of science is due in the main to scientific methods and linguistic revisions, and so the new facts discovered by such methods cannot be properly utilized by antiquated psycho-logical orientations and languages. Such utilization often results only in bewilderment and lack of balance. Before we can adjust ourselves to the new conditions of life, created in the main by science, we must first of all revise our grossly antiquated methods of orientation. Then only shall we be able to adjust ourselves properly to the new facts.
Investigations show that the essential scientific structural data of 1933 about the world and ourselves are extremely simple, simpler even than any of the structural fancies of the primitives. We usually have sense enough to fit our shoes to our feet, but not sense enough to revise our older methods of orientation to fit the facts. The elimination of primitive identifications, which is easily accomplished once we take it seriously, produces the necessary psycho-logical change toward sanity.
'Human nature' is not an elementalistic product of heredity alone, or of environment alone, but represents a very complex organism-as-a-whole end-result of the enviro-genetic manifold. It seems obvious, once stated, that in a human class of life, the linguistic, structural, and semantic issues represent powerful and ever present environmental factors, which constitute most important components of all our problems. 'Human nature' can be changed, once we know how. Experience and experiments show that this 'change of human nature', which under verbal elementalism was supposed to be impossible, can be accomplished in most cases in a few months, if we attack this problem by the non-elementalistic, neuro-psycho-logical, special non-identity technique.
If the ignorance and identifications of our rulers could be eliminated a variety of delusional factors through home and school educational and other powerful agencies would cease to be imposed and enforced upon us, and the revision of our systems would be encouraged, rather than hampered. Effective solutions of our problems would then appear spontaneously and in simple forms; our 'shoes' would fit our 'feet' and