SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




176 IV. STRUCTURAL FACTORS IN A LANGUAGES
included, than is the nervous system of an animal. The make-up of the individual is thus some function of different variables, among which the hereditary inclinations and the environmental conditions appear in a relation, at present, not fully known. The individual feels and acts according to his complex make-up, including acquired s.r, no matter what factors have played a role in its moulding, and, as a rule, he is little influenced by the way he rationalizes his activities. From this point of view, we may consider that the extensional make-ups and intensional characters are bound to show themselves later on in life, no matter how the subject may have rationalized them, if his s.r have not been modified.
It seems evident that the extroverted and introverted tendencies have some connection with extensional and ihtensional types of reaction ; but, of course, they are not identical. They influence the individual in the selection of a profession, and in the preference for some special trend of activity. Thus, mathematicians, generally, have an inclination toward extension, 'philosophers' toward intension. Now, it is interesting to note that mathematicians have a record of continuous constructive progress, and at each epoch have produced the highest kind of language known. Also, the most important achievements in the fields which traditionally belonged to 'philosophers' have actually been produced by mathematicians. The 'philosophers', in the main, have a record of failure.
The reason for this difference, which is too remarkable to be a mere coincidence, may be found by application of the term 'order' in our analysis. The extensional method is the only method which is in accordance with the structure of our nervous system as established by survival. Reversed intensional methods disorganize this normal mode of activity of the nervous system, and so lead toward nervous and 'mental' illnesses.
As explained before, the structure of our nervous system was established with 'senses' first, and 'mind' next. In neurological terms, the nervous impulses should be received first in the lower centres and pass on through the sub-cortical layers to the cortex, be influenced there and be transformed in the cortex by the effect of past experiences. In this transformed state they should then proceed to different destinations, as predetermined by the structure established by survival values. We know, and let us remember this, that the reversed order in semantic manifestation - namely, the projection into 'senses' of memory traces or doctrinal impulses - is against the survival structure, and hallucinations, delusions, illusions, and confusion of orders of abstractions are to be considered pathological. In a 'normal' human nervous system with survival value, the nervous impulses should not be lost in the sub-cortical