SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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had no better understanding of this most important question of order, a great deal of confusion has occurred in human 'thought' and many of our disciplines have become twisted in undesirable directions. This, to a large degree, accounts for the obscurity which characterizes the problems we are dealing with in this book. But it should be emphasized that even in this very unsatisfactory form, 'intension' and 'extension', as they were felt and applied (s.r, largely disregarding the verbal formulations), have played an enormous role in the development of our forms of representation, and our 'civilization'. Unfortunately, without an ordinal analysis, it was impossible to evaluate properly the relative importance of these semantic attitudes, and to realize the serious importance of these problems for a theory of sanity and resulting consequences.
Here, again, the knowledge which psychiatry gives will help a great deal. We know, in the rough, quite a little about two semantic mechanisms which are called extroversion and introversion. In the rough, again, the extrovert projects all that is going on within himself upon the outside world, and believes that his personal projections have some kind of non-personal objective existence, and so have 'the same' validity and value for other observers. As a result, quite naturally, the extrovert is due to receive a great many unpleasant shocks, for the other observer does not necessarily observe or 'perceive' in the external events the characteristics which the first observer 'finds'. He has often projected them from his 'inside', but they were entirely personal. The first observer, in his semantic conviction that his observations are the only, uniquely correct, observations, feels that the second observer is either blind in some way, or unfair to him. In acute cases, he develops a mania of persecution. He feels that everybody misunderstands him; nobody is fair to him; everybody is hostile to him; he will get even with them; in the name of 'justice', he will punish them,. A dangerous and quite often incalculable bitterness and hostility follow. Such types are usually troublesome, and, if the affective components are strong, then such types are dangerously ill and liable to produce bloodshed or make other attacks. The most pronounced types in this extreme direction are called paranoids and paranoiacs.
The introvert type is different. He is mostly concentrated on what is going on inside of his own skin. Almost all of what is going on outside of his skin, he interprets in personal terms and feelings. Whatever unpleasant happens, he is always guilty; always willing to take the blame, which is quite often just, for many psycho-logical reasons upon which we cannot dwell here. This type, in its extreme development, quite often