SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON FUNCTION
143
possible to keep sufficiently well informed on the points which are covered. Also, the further scientific theories advance, the simpler they become. For instance, books on physics are simpler and less voluminous now than twenty years ago. Something similar could be said about mathematics. The general outlook is simpler.
The main interest of the author at this stage of his work is structural and semantic, rather than technical, and so he has only had to know enough of the technique of different sciences to be able to understand sufficiently their structure and method. Revolutionary structural and methodological advances are few in the history of mankind; and so it is possible, though not easy, to follow them up in 1933.
But the main point is that the affixing of the date has very far-reaching structural methodological and, therefore, psycho-logical semantic consequences. For instance, it changes propositional function into propositions, converts semantically one-valued intensional methods into oo-valued extensional methods, introduces four-dimensional methods., and so the 'date' method is to be recommended on these structural and semantic grounds alone. As it is beneficial to affix the date in 1933, we affix the date 1933, not to give the impression that from a technical point of view I am familiar with the results of all branches of science at that date, but to indicate that no advance in structure and method of 1933 has been disregarded. It will become obvious later in this book, when additional data have been taken into consideration, and a new summary and new abstractions made, that the result is a surprising simplification, which can be clearly understood by laymen as well as by scientists. With the help of the generalizations of new structure and oo-valued semantics, it will be easier to follow the advance of science, because we shall then have a better outlook on the psycho-logics of science as-a-whole.
It will become clear, too, that to provide for a further elaboration of this work in the future, the establishment of a special branch of research in-systems must become a group activity; for, as I have been painfully aware, the production of even this outline of that branch of research has overstrained the powers of one man.
The most cheering part of this work is, perhaps, the practical results which this investigation has accomplished, combined with the simplicity of means employed. One of the dangers into which the reader is liable to fall is to ascribe too much generality to the work, to forget the limitations and, perhaps, one-sidedness which underlie it. The limitation and the generality of this theory lie in the fact that if we symbolize our human problemsas a function of
an enormous number of variables, the present theory deals only with a