SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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or "creation", for activity determines its nature. It is "found", for we observe it when we act.'
We see that we have definite semantic guides in this enquiry. One guide to follow is these unescapable characteristics of the structure of human knowledge, which Royce called 'absolute', but which I prefer to call 'necessary'. The other guide leads us to avoid 'impossible' or absurd statements, or statements which have no 'logical existence'; which, in the rough, means statements which abuse symbolism and produce noises., instead of symbols. As we have already seen, both guides have sound neurological justification, to be expressed in terms of order and circularity, terms uniquely fit structurally to speak about processes, stages of processes, orders of abstractions,. Obviously, our task of formulating a theory of sanity can proceed along these structural and semantic lines. It should be noticed that mathematics, considered as a form of human behaviour, and 'mental' illnesses, also considered as definitely human behaviour, have yielded their share for our structural guidance.
Although many a scientist has instinctively proceeded in the way indicated, yet the instinctive successful procedure of an isolated scientist is usually not capable of being transmitted to others. It is his personal benefit. Only a methodological structural formulation of such private routes to semantic success can become a public fact, to be analysed', criticized, improved, and transmitted or rejected.
It must be noticed that terms like 'chance' or 'law' are fundamentally connected with discussions of determinism versus indeterminism, and so involve problems in connection with 'necessary' semantic processes. In the example about the probability of the M-event, it was shown how a 'chance' event on one level may become a 'law' on another. The structural possibility of such transformations is very interesting and of basic semantic importance. For scientific purposes, we must accept oo-valued determinism on the scientific level as it is the test of structure; but this has nothing to do with the apparent, mostly two-valued indeterminism in our daily lives. To solve a number of equations, we must have as many equations as we have unknowns. If we have fewer equations than unknowns, we do not get definite values; our unknowns are still undetermined. The origin of 'indeterminism' is similar; we lack knowledge; the number of equations is less than the number of unknowns. Hence, it is impossible to discover determined values in all cases. This gives an appearance of two-valued indeterminism, but with the increase of our knowledge, or with additional equations, the unknown may be determined. Determinism is a more fundamental point of view than indeterminism ; in it we find a test for structure. It is also a more general point