SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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12
I. PRELIMINARIES
until they will become entirely his own. Superficial reading of the book is to be positively discouraged, as it will prove to be so much time wasted. Experience teaches me that the number of semantic maladjustments, particularly among the white-collar class, is very large. At present, I do not know any case where a thorough training in such a non-aristo-telian semantic discipline would not give very serious means for better adjustment. It will quiet down affective, semantic disturbances, sharpen orientation, judgement, the power of observation, and so forth; it will eliminate different psycho-logical blockages, help to overcome the very annoying and common 'inferiority' feelings; it will assist the outgrowing of the adult infantile state, which is a nervous deficiency practically always connected with some pathological sex-reactions or lack of normal and healthy impulses.
After all, we should not be surprised at this. Language, as such, represents the highest and latest physiological and neurological function of an organism. It is unique with Smith and of uniquely human circular structure, to use a logical term - or of spiral structure, to use a four-dimensional or a physico-chemical-aspect term. Before we can use the semantic nervous apparatus properly, we must first know how to use it, and so formulate this use.
In these processes an 'effect' becomes a causative factor for future effects, influencing them in a manner particularly subtle, variable, flexible, and of an endless number of possibilities. 'Knowing', if taken as an end-product, must be considered also as a causative psychophysiological factor of the next stage of the semantic response. The disregard of this mechanism is potentially of serious danger, particularly in the rearing of children, as it trains them in unanalysed linguistic habits, the more so since the human nervous system is not complete at birth. This structural and functional circularity introduces real difficulties in our analysis, disregarded or neglected in the aristotelian system. Human life, in its difference from animal life, involves many more factors and is inherently of different and more complex structure. Before we can be fully human and, therefore, 'sane', as a 'normal' human being should be, we must first know how to handle our nervous responses - a circular affair.
A non-aristotelian system must not disregard this human-natural -history structural fact of the. inherent circularity of all physiological functions which in any form involve human 'knowing'. A non-aristotelian system differs essentially in structure from its predecessor, which, by necessity, through the lack of knowledge characteristic of its epoch,