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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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a human fancy, but, in zoology, it becomes a noise and not a symbol, since it does not stand for any actual animal whatsoever.
A very curious semantic characteristic is shared in common by a prepositional function and a statement containing meaningless noises; namely, that neither of them can be true or false. In the old A way all sounds man made, which could be written down and looked like words, were considered words; and so every 'question' was expected to have an answer. When spell-marks (noises which can be spelled) were put together in a specified way, each combination was supposed to say something, and this statement was supposed to be true or false. We see clearly that this view is not correct, that, in addition to words, we make noises (spell-marks) which may have the appearance of being words, but should not be considered as words, as they say nothing in a given context. Propositional functions, also, cannot be classified under the simple two opposites of true and false.
The above facts have immense semantic importance, as they are directly connected with the possibility of human agreement and adjustment. For upon statements which are neither true nor false we can always disagree, if we insist in applying criteria which have no application in such cases.
In human life the semantic problems of 'meaninglessness' are fundamental for sanity, because the evaluation of noises, which do not constitute symbols in a given context as symbols in that context, must, of necessity, involve delusions or other morbid manifestations.
The solution of this problem is simple. Any noises or signs, when used semantically as symbols, always represent some symbolism, but we must find out to what field the given symbolism applies. We find only three possible fields. If we apply a symbol belonging to one field to another field, it has very often no meaning in this latter. In the following considerations, the theory of errors is disregarded.
A symbol may stand for: (1) Events outside our skin, or inside our skin in the fields belonging to physics, chemistry, physiology,. (2) Psycho-logical events inside our skin, or, in other words, for s.r which may be considered 'sane', covering a field belonging to psycho-logics. (3) Semantic disturbances covering a pathological field belonging to psychiatry.
As the above divisions, together with their interconnections, cover the field of human symbolism, which, in 1933, have become, or are rapidly becoming, experimental sciences, it appears obvious that older 'metaphysics' of every description become illegitimate, affording only a very fertile field for study in psychiatry.