SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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In concluding, it must be mentioned that a theory of sanity, because of the survival value of order, cannot start with the older, undifferentiated similarities, which are a product of higher abstractions, and thus of later origin, but must start with differences as fundamental, and so preserve the structure and order of the survival trend as applied in this work.
Animals do not possess such a highly differentiated nervous system as human beings. The difference between their higher and lower abstractions is thus not so fundamental, as we shall see later on. With them the question of order is less important, as they cannot alter it. Animals have the benefit of better co-ordination, since in them the above-described structural difficulties do not arise. They have normally no 'insane'. But, also, for the same reason, animals are not able to start every generation where the older left off. In other words, animals are not time-binders.
The structural complexity and differentiation of the nervous system in man is responsible, as is well known, not only for all our achievements and control over the world around us, but also for practically all our human, mostly semantic difficulties, many 'mental' ills included. The analysis in terms of order on the macroscopic level (semantic manifestations) reveals a profound connection with sub-microscopic processes of distribution., of nervous energy. When the mechanism which controls these processes is properly understood, then they can be controlled and educated by special semantic training. In other words, theoretical, doctrinal, higher abstractions may have a stabilizing and regulating physiological effect on the function of our nervous system.
The reader may be interested to know that 'order' is very important in animal life. An analysis of nest-building and the rearing of young among birds shows that each step of the cycle is necessary before the next step is taken. If the cycle is broken, they usually cannot adjust themselves to the new state of affairs, but must start from the beginning.6 This is a situation similar to our own when we cannot recall a line in a poem, but have to start from the beginning of the piece in order to recapture it. Pavlov was able, by the change of four-dimensional order of stimuli, to induce profound nervous disturbances in the nervous systems of his dogs,.
It appears, also, that in mild cases of aphasia, which is a neurological disturbance of linguistic processes, with word-blindness, word-deafness ., the notion of 'order' and 'relations' is often the first to be disturbed. In some cases, lower order abstractions are carried out successfully, but calculation, algebra, and other higher order abstractions, which require