SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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finally, Brown (objective). We must use a further set of terms that describes how the leg of Smith 'moves' through an 'infinity' of 'places' in an 'infinity' of 'instants' of 'time', 'continuously' until it reaches Brown.
When a donkey kicks a donkey, there may be a broken leg; but that is, practically, the only consequence. Not so when Smith kicks Brown. Should Brown happen to be a royal or a business man in Nicaragua or Mexico, this might be considered 'a mortal offense of a great sovereign nation to another great sovereign nation', a war might follow and many non-royals or non-business men might die. When a symbolic class of life enters the arena, semantic complications may arise not existing with animals.
In the relation terms, the statement, 'Smith kicks Brown', has introduced still further symbolic complications. It involves a full-fledged metaphysics, as expressed in the terms 'moves', 'infinity', 'space', 'time', 'continuity', and what not. It must be emphasized that all human statements, savage or not, involve a structural metaphysics.
These relational terms should be elucidated to the utmost. Until lately, the 'philosophers', in their 'Jehovah complex', usually said to the scientists: 'Hands off; those are superior problems with which only we chosen ones can deal'. As a matter of history, 'philosophers' have not produced achievements of any value in the structural line. But the 'mere' scientists, mainly mathematicians and mathematical physicists, have taken care of these problems with extremely important structural (1933) results. In the solutions of these semantic problems, the term 'order' became paramount.
Perhaps this example of an analysis of the statement, 'Smith kicks Brown', shows the justice of the contention of this work that no man can be 'intelligent' if he is not acquainted with these new works and their structural elucidations.
We see that no statement made by man, whether savage or civilized, is free from some kind of structural metaphysics involving s.r. We see also that when we explicitly start with undefined words, these undefined words have to be taken on faith. They represent some kind of implicit creed, or metaphysics, or structural assumptions. We meet here with a tremendously beneficial semantic effect of modern methods, in that we deliberately state our undefined terms. We thus divulge our creeds and metaphysics. In this way, we do not blind the reader or student. We invite criticism, elaboration, verification, evaluation., and so accelerate progress and make it easier for others to work out issues. Compare the statement of Newton, 'Hypotheses non lingo' (I do not make hypotheses), in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, when he pro-