SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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GENERAL EP1STEMOLOGICAL                      109
away from primitive structural notions and metaphysics, with their vicious semantic disturbances. In creative work, semantic limitations hamper a clear understanding, and prevent scientists from inventing or formulating better, simpler, and more effective theories of different structure.
As soon as we possess 'knowledge', then we shall 'know' all that there is to be known. By definition, there cannot be any unknowable. There is a place for the unknown structure. The unknown is rather extensive, partly because science has been, and still is, persecuted, as has already been pointed out.
The so-called 'unknowable' was the semantic result of identification, of a semantic unbalance, which posits for knowledge something 'beyond' knowledge. But has such a postulation any meanings outside of psychopathology ? Of course not, as it starts with a self-contradictory assumption, which, being senseless, must lead to senseless results.
We have dwelt on the problems of the structure of terms at such length, because they are generally disregarded, but they are, for semantic purposes, fundamental. The reader will get the main benefit of this book and will receive help in understanding modern scientific issues if he becomes entirely convinced of the seriousness of structural and semantic problems.
Terms are artifices of humans which are necessary to economize effort in the field of 'experience' and experimentation. They are useful in reducing the actual amount of experience necessary, by allowing verbal experimentation. The human rate of progress is swifter than that of the animals, and this is due mainly to the fact that we can summarize and transmit past experiences to the young generation in a degree far more effective than that of the animals. We have also extra-neural means for recording experiences, which the animals lack entirely.
That such verbal experimentation is possible at all is conditioned by the fact that languages have structure, and that our knowledge of the world is structural knowledge. Let us repeat once more that if two relations have similar structure, all of their 'logical' characteristics are similar; therefore, once structure is discovered, such a process of verbal experimentation becomes extremely effective, and an accelerating cultural device. The use of an antiquated language in our human affairs, in addition to other drawbacks, prevents our being more intelligent in those affairs.
The natural order of investigation is indicated thus: (1) Empirical search for structure in the sciences; (2) Once this structure is discovered, at each date, the structure of our language is adjusted to it and