SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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INTRODUCTION
43
a general innocence on the part of nearly all specialists, a very few mathematicians excepted, of the structural and semantic role of the simplest - although still inadequate - A language called mathematics; (4) all these issues involve most powerful unconscious factors which work automatically against any revision, and (5) the building of a /^-system in 1933 is an extremely laborious enterprise, to say the least, and, in all probability, really beyond the power of any single man to complete.
The last point is quite important; and, although I have no intention to apologize or present any alibis, because any thoughtful reader will understand it, I must explain, nevertheless, briefly why the present work has probably fallen far short of what it eventually could be.
In the days of Aristotle, we knew extremely little of science in the 1933 sense. Aristotle, in his writings, formulated for us a whole scientific program, which we followed until very lately. Whoever, in 1933, attempts to build a ^-system, must, by internal necessity, connected with the problems of the structure of language, do something similar. Obviously, in 1933, with the overwhelming number of most diversified facts known to science, the question is no more to sketch a scientific program for the future, but to build a system which, at least in structure, is similar to the structure of the known facts from all branches of knowledge.
Let me repeat: the necessity is internal, and connected with the structure of language as such, involving new s.r, and so no one can avoid it, as this whole work shows in detail.
Now such structural adjustment requires an immense amount of study of diverse empirical facts, and then it must depend on new generalizations, concerned in the main with structure. Many statements of scientists, when even accepted as reliable, still have to be translated into a special language in which structural issues are made quite obvious, divulging factors in s.r. This is a very serious difficulty, particularly when many branches of knowledge are drawn upon, as each uses its own special language; so that such a unitary translation in terms of structure imposes a serious burden on the memory of the translator, and often little details escape attention in the implications of the translation, although they may be well known to the translator. As this is probably the chief difficulty, it is in this field that the main corrections will have to be made.
I admit that I started this enquiry without fully realizing its inherent difficulties, or whither it would eventually lead. The more I advanced, the more special knowledge was required. I had to go to sources, and,