SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON FUNCTION
149
cation by years gives a fairly good picture of his semantic status. Indeed, we can fortell quite often what kind of reaction such a man will exhibit. This functional, propositional-function, and system-function structural attitude is in accord with the methods developed by psychiatry. In psychiatry, 'mental' phenomena are considered, in some instances, from the point of view of arrested development; in others, as regression to older and more primitive levels. With this attitude and understanding, we cannot ignore this peculiar intermixing of different personalities in one man when different aspects of him exhibit s.r of different ages and epochs of the development of mankind. In this connection should be mentioned the problem of the multiple personalities which often occur in the 'mentally' ill. Such splitting of personality is invariably a serious semantic symptom, and a person who exhibits different ages in his semantic development, as, for instance, 1933 in some respects, sixteenth century in others, and 300, or even 5000, B.C. in still others, cannot be a well co-ordinated individual. If we teach our children, whose nervous systems are not physically finished at birth, doctrines structurally belonging to entirely different epochs of human development, we ought not to wonder that semantic harm is done. Our efforts should be to co-ordinate and integrate the individual, help the nervous system, and not split the individual semantically and so disorganize the nervous system.
It is necessary to remember that the organism works as-a-whole. In the old days we had a comforting delusion that science was a purely 'intellectual' affair. This was an el creed which was structurally false to facts. It would probably be below the dignity of an older mathematician to analyse the 'emotional' values of some piece of mathematical work, as, for instance, of the 'propositional function'. But such a mathematician probably never heard of psychogalvanic experiments, and how his 'emotional curve' becomes expressive when he is solving some mathematical problem.
In 1933, we are not allowed to follow the older, seemingly easier, and simpler paths. In our discussion, we have tried to analyse the problems at hand as oo-valued manifestations of human behaviour. We were analysing the doings of Smith, Brown., and the semantic components which enter into these forms of behaviour must be especially emphasized, emphasized because they were neglected. In well-balanced persons, all psycho-logical aspects should be represented and should work harmoniously. In a theory of sanity, this semantic balance and co-ordination should be our first aim, and we should, therefore, take particular care of the neglected aspects. The non-el point of view makes us postulate a permanent connection and interdependence between all psycho-logical