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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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already shown in my Manhood of Humanity, what we call 'civilization' rests upon faulty generalizations taken from the lives of cows, horses, cats, dogs, pigs., and self-imposed upon Smith and Brown.
The main thesis of this -system is that as yet we all (with extremely few exceptions) copy animals in our nervous processes, and that practically all human difficulties, 'mental' ills of all degrees included, have this characteristic as a component. I am glad to be able to report that a number of experiments undertaken with 'mentally' or nervously ill individuals have shown decided benefit in cases where it proved possible to re-educate them to appropriate human s.r.
Here, perhaps, it may be advisable to interpolate a short explanation. When we deal with human affairs and man, we sometimes use the term 'ought', which is very often used arbitrarily, dogmatically, and absolutis-tically, and so its use has become discredited. In many quarters, this term is very unpopular, and, it must be admitted, justly so. My use of it is that of the engineer, who undertakes to study a machine entirely unknown to himlet us say, a motorcycle. He would study and analyse its structure, and, finally, would give a verdict that with such a structure, under certain circumstances, this machine ought to work in a particular way.
In the present volume, this engineering attitude is preserved. We shall investigate the structure of human knowledge, and we shall conclude that with such a structure it should work in this particular way. In the motorcycle example, the proof of the correctness of the reasoning of the engineer would be to fill the tank with gasoline and make the motorcycle go. In our analogous task, we have to apply the information we get and see if it works. In the experiments mentioned above, the-system actually has worked, and so there is some hope that it is correct. Further investigations will, of course, add to, or modify, the details, but this is true of all theories.
Another reason why a non-mathematician cannot study psychological phenomena adequately is that mathematics is the only science which has no physical content and, therefore, when we study the performances of Smiths and Browns when they mathematize, we study the only available working of 'pure mind'. Moreover, mathematics is the only language which at present has a structure similar to that of the world and the nervous system. It must be obvious that from such a study we should learn more than by the study of any other 'mental' activity. In some quarters it is believed, I think erroneously, that 'psychology' and 'logic' have no 'physical content'. 'Psychology' and 'logic' have a very definite contentSmith, Brown ., and we should treat these