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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON STRUCTURE
61
we are speaking about; and (2) There is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation.
These two most important negative statements cannot be denied If any one chooses to deny them, the burden of the proof falls on him. He has to establish what he affirms, which is obviously impossible. We see that it is safe to start with such solid negative premises, translate them into positive language, and build a-system.
If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone. The only usefulness of a map or a language depends on the similarity of structure between the empirical world and the map-languages. If the structure is not similar, then the traveller or speaker is led astray, which, in serious human life-problems, must become always eminently harmful,. If the structures are similar, then the empirical world becomes 'rational' to a potentially rational being, which means no more than that verbal, or map-predicted characteristics, which follow up the linguistic or map-structure, are applicable to the empirical world.
In fact, in structure we find the mystery of rationality, adjustment ., and we find that the whole content of knowledge is exclusively structural. If we want to be rational and to understand anything at all, we must look for structure, relations, and, ultimately, multi-dimensional order, all of which was impossible in a broader sense in the-system, as will be explained later on.
Having come to such important positive results, starting with undeniable negative premises, it is interesting to investigate whether these results are always possible, or if there are limitations. The second negative premise; namely, that there is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation, gives us the answer. If there is no such thing as an absolutely isolated object, then, at least, we have two objects, and we shall always discover some relation between them, depending on our interest, ingenuity, and what not. Obviously, for a man to speak about anything at all, always presupposes two objects at least; namely, the object spoken about and the speaker, and so a relation between the two is always present. Even in delusions, illusions, and hallucinations, the situation is not changed; because our immediate feelings are also un-speakable and not words.
The semantic importance of the above should not be minimized. If we deal with organisms which possess an inherent activity, such as eating, breathing., and if we should attempt to build for them conditions