SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON ORDER
171
Section D. Order and the problems of extension and intension.
The problems of extension and intension are not new, but have been treated as yet only casually by 'philosophers', 'logicians', and mathematicians, and it has not been suspected what profound, far-reaching, and important structural psycho-logical, semantic components they represent.
At this point, to avoid confusion, a warning is necessary. The problems with which we are dealing have never been analysed from the point of view of this work; namely, from that of structure. So, naturally, all that has been accomplished in these fields is over-simplified, and leaves out vital characteristics. Discrepancies have arisen between the structure of the old verbiage and that of the new. Before it is possible to formulate the general theory of this work, it will be necessary to go ahead in spite of discrepancies, and then to formulate the general theory and show how these discrepancies had a perfectly general origin in the stratified - and, therefore, ordered - structure of human knowledge. The discrepancies were inherent and unavoidable in the old way, but are avoidable in the new. It is the main aim of the present theory to elucidate structural issues in connection with s.r and many problems of human and scientific conduct, mathematics and insanity included, and, in general, with all known problems of scientific method and theory of knowledge. But we ought not to be surprised if such a pioneering enquiry proves to need many corrections and elaborations in the future. Psychiatrists are the least likely to disregard the problems of structure and s.r, since their science is young and still flexible. Besides, the psychiatrists know a great deal about 'human nature' and behaviour, though they are handicapped by insufficient knowledge of the exact sciences and the absence of A, non-el semantics. The opposite, perhaps, would be true about mathematicians. They know a great deal about how to play with symbols. Their work is engrossing and exacting. But very few are capable of separating themselves enough from this play to contemplate the broader, more 'human', aspects of their own science, the interplay of symbols in language, their structure, and the bearing of structure on s.r and adaptation.
Some of these specialists might say that the author uses their terms in a sense different from that in which they use them, and that, consequently, from their point of view, this work is not strictly legitimate. However, when a mathematician lays down a definition, such as 1 + 1=2, this has nothing to do with the application we make of it when we say that one penny and one penny make two pennies. Neither can he object when we add one gallon (of water) to one gallon (of alcohol) and do