SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




ON ORDER
165
cycles actually never exist, and that our diagrams have value only as picturing the cyclic order, without complications. Let us repeat that the introduction of an analysis in terms of order or reversal of order in the manifestation involves, under educational influence, various other and different actual nervous activities, a class of activities which hitherto have always evaded our educational influences. For structural purpose, it is sufficient to make use of the distinction between lower and higher centres (a rough and ready distinction) and to consider the lower centres generally in connection with the thalamus and brain-stem (perhaps also other sub-cortical layers), and the higher centres generally in connection with the cortex. This lack of precision is intentional, for we need only sufficient structural stratification to illustrate order, and it seems advisable to assume only the well-established minimum of structure.
We have already mentioned the absolute individuality of the organism and, as a matter of fact, of everything else on objective levels. The reader need have no metaphysical shivers about such extreme individuality on the un-speakable levels. In our human economy, we need both similarities and differences, but we have as yet, in our-system, chiefly concentrated our attention and training on similarities, disregarding differences. In this work, we start structurally closer to nature with un-speakable levels, and make differences fundamental, similarities appearing only at a later stage (order) as a result of higher abstractions. In simple words, we obtain similarities by disregarding differences, by a process of abstracting. In a world of only absolute differences, without similarities, recognition, and, therefore, 'intelligence', would be impossible.
It is possible to demonstrate how 'intelligence' and abstracting both started together and are due to the physico-chemical structure of protoplasm. All living material, usually called protoplasm, has, in some degree, the nervous functions of irritability, conductivity, integration,. It is obvious that a stimulus S does not affect the little piece of primitive protoplasm A 'all over and at once' (infinite velocity), but that it affects it first in a definite spot B, that the wave of excitation spreads, with finite velocity and usually in a diminishing gradient, to the more remote portions of A. We notice also that the effect of the stimulus 5" on A is not identical with the stimulus itself. A falling stone is not identical with the pain we feel when the stone falls on our foot. Neither do our feelings furnish a full report as to the characteristics of the stone, its internal structure, chemistry,. So we see that the bit of protoplasm is affected only partially, and in a specific way, by the stimulus. Under physico-chemical conditions, as they exist in life, there is no place for any