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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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72
II. GENERAL ON STRUCTURE
it was concluded he could never pass the tortoise. Now any child knows that this conclusion is not true; yet the verbal argument for the untrue conclusion remained, in the hands of 'philosophers' and 'logicians', perfectly valid for more than two thousand years. This instance throws light on the stage of development which we have reached and of which we often boast.
Having, then, no scientific general theory of 'logic' and psycho-logics to guide us, the task of an enquiry like the present is very much handicapped. We must merely go ahead groping and pioneering; and this is always a difficult, blundering task.
It is indeed very important that not only the scientists but also the intelligent public, as a whole, should understand that at present we have no general theory which may be called 'logic' or psycho-logics. Perhaps an illustration will help to bring home this really shocking state of affairs. Imagine, for example, that we should try to study dinosaurs exhaustively. The standard methods of study would centre about the actual fossil remains when such are available; but, in the case of those extinct forms of which the fossil remains are very meagre, or entirely lacking, much information is obtained from the study of the tracks which have been left on the mud flats that have become rocks. It seems undeniable that such a study of fossil tracks would contribute a large share to the formulation of any 'general theory' of the characteristics of dinosaurs. We could go further and say that no 'general theory' could be complete if such study were entirely neglected.
Now, that is precisely the situation in which 'psychologists' and 'logicians' find themselves; they have made many studies, and gathered some facts, but they have entirely disregarded as yet these unique and peculiar black tracks which the mathematicians and others have left on white paper when they mathematized or scientized. The old 'psychological' generalizations were made from insufficient data, in spite of the fact that sufficient data; namely, these black marks on white paper, exist, and have existed for a long time. But these marks the 'psychologists' and 'logicians' were not able properly to read, analyse, and interpret.
Under such circumstances, it should not be surprising to find that, in the study of animals, we have vitiated our researches by reading into the animals our own activities, and that we have vitiated our own understanding of ourselves by faulty generalizations from a few data taken mostly from those activities which we have in common with animals. Thus we measure ourselves by animalistic standards. This error is mainly due to the ignorance of mathematical method and the disregard of structural problems by those who deal with human affairs. Indeed, as I have