SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

agencies which affect the colloids of the nervous system, by environmental changes ., and by changing the standards of evaluation which, at present, is usually called 'psychotherapy'. The analysis of the mechanism of evaluation leads, naturally, to a generalized and simplified method, which may have not only a therapeutic but also an important new preventive value.
Literal identification is found in all primitive peoples and accounts for their semantic states, reactions, their metaphysics, low development., but it is impossible, for lack of space, to go into details here.
The A standard of evaluation departed from literal identification to some extent. We still preserve in our school books as the most fundamental 'law of thought' - the 'law of identity' - often expressed in the form 'everything is identical with itself, which, as we have seen, is invariably false to facts. We do not realize that, in a human world, we are dealing at most only with 'equality', 'equivalence'., at a given place and date, or by definition, but never with 'identity', or 'absolute sameness', disregarding entirely space-time relations, involving 'all' the indefinitely many aspects which, through human ingenuity, we often manufacture at will. In an actual world of four-dimensional processes and the indefinitely many 'aspects'manufactured by ourselves, adjustment in principle is impossible, or, at best, only accidental, if we retain 'identity'. The A evaluation was based on symmetrical relations of 'identity' and also partial 'identity', expressed even in our political, economic, doctrines and corresponding behaviour, the analysis of which would require a special volume to be written, I hope soon, by some one.
Under the pre-human and primitive standards of evaluation, science was not possible. Under the A standards the beginnings of science became possible, but if science had not departed from those standards, we would have had no modern science. Lately, when the persecution of science has increasingly relaxed (not in all countries in a similar degree) and scientists were allowed to develop their disciplines with much less fear of persecution, sometimes even encouraged and helped by public interest, scientists found that they invariably had to build their own vocabularies of a distinctly, although unrealized, A character. The chasm between human affairs and science became wider and wider. The reason for it was that, in life, even at present, we preserve A standards of evaluation, and science mainly depends on subtler A means involving asymmetrical relations which alone can give us structure. I will return repeatedly, later on, to the A re-evaluation of the A standards of values.
The A evaluation is based on asymmetrical and other relations. I shall not attempt to summarize it here because the problems are very