SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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'MATTER', 'SPACE', TIME'                          227
an infant would. The majority of the old 'philosophical' speculations about this subject belong to the semantic period of our infancy, when we live in phantasies and structurally gamble on words to which we affectively ascribe objective existence,. This represents full-fledged un-sanity due to identification. The answer to the question, what 'are' the terms 'matter', 'space', and 'time', is, as usual, given in the properly formulated question. They 'are' terms, - 'Modi considerandi', as Leibnitz called them without fully realizing the semantic importance of his own statement. Incidentally, it must be noticed that it was the psycho-logical characteristic of Leibnitz who was capable of such a statement, that was probably responsible for his whole work, as will become more apparent later on. When we abandon primitive standards of evaluation, geniuses will be made by a semantic education which relieves the race from the older blockages.
So we see clearly that outside of our skins there is something going on, which we coil the world, or a pencil, or anything, which is independent of our words and which is not words. Here we come across a very fundamental irreversible process. We can say that in this world a man and his words have happened. There is a 'causal' eventual complex series between the world, us, and our words, but in unaided nature this process is, in the main, irreversible, a fact unknown to primitives who believe in the magic of words. Through our ingenuity we can make this process partially reversible; namely, we can produce gramophones, telephones in all their developments, electromechanical men who obey orders,.
We know in 1933 that in the semantic world this process is dramatically effective. Words are the result of the activity of one organism, and they, in turn, activate other organisms. On the macroscopic level of ordinary behaviour, this last was known long ago, but only in the last few years has psychiatry discovered what kind of semantic and psychophysiological disasters words and their consequences may produce in the human organism. These last are already on sub-microscopic levels, not obvious and, therefore, only recently discovered.
The structure of the language of 'matter', 'space', and 'time' is ancient. The primitive saw something, ate something, was hurt by something ,. Here was an occasion for a grunt of satisfaction, or of pain. The equivalents of words like 'matter', 'substance'., originated. Neither he, nor the majority of us, realized that the small or large bits of materials we deal with appear as extremely complex processes (explained in Part X). For him, as for most of us, these bits of materials 'are' 'concrete', whatever that means, and he might know 'all about them', which