SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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educational, and semantic point of view, it seems very vital. Order seems neurologically simpler and more fundamental than relation. It is a characteristic of the empirical world which we recognize directly by our lower nervous centres ('senses'), and with which we can deal with great accuracy by our higher nervous centres ('thinking'). This term seems most distinctly of the organism-as-a-whole character, applicable both to the activities of the higher, as well as lower, nervous centres, and so structurally it must be fundamental.
The rest of this volume is devoted to showing that the common, ^-system and language which we inherited from our primitive ancestors differ entirely in structure from the well-known and established 1933 structure of the world, ourselves and our nervous systems included. Such antiquated map-language, by necessity, must lead us to semantic disasters, as it imposes and reflects its unnatural structure on the structure of our doctrines and institutions. Obviously, under such linguistic conditions, a science of man was impossible; differing in structure from our nervous system, such language must also disorganize the functioning of the latter and lead us away from sanity.
This once understood, we shall see clearly that researches into the structure of language and the adjustment of this structure to the structure of the world and ourselves, as given by science at each date, must lead to new languages, new doctrines, institutions., and, in fine, may result in a new and saner civilization, involving new s.r which may be called the scientific era.
The introduction of a few new, and the rejection of some old, terms suggests desirable structural changes, and adjusts the structure of the language-map to the known structure of the world, ourselves, and the nervous system, and so leads us to new s.r and a theory of sanity.
As words are not the objects which they represent, structure, and structure alone, becomes the only link which connects our verbal processes with the empirical data. To achieve adjustment and sanity and the conditions which follow from them, we must study structural characteristics of this world first, and, then only, build languages of similar structure, instead of habitually ascribing to the world the primitive structure of our language. All our doctrines, institutions., depend on verbal arguments. If these arguments are conducted in a language of wrong and unnatural structure, our doctrines and institutions must reflect that linguistic structure and so become unnatural, and inevitably lead to disasters.
That languages, as such, all have some structure or other is a new and, perhaps, unexpected notion. Moreover, every language having a