264 V. MATHEMATICS A
A LANGUAGEand which I disclose as a semantic disturbance of
evaluation by showing the physiological mechanism in terms of order.If we abolish the 'is' of identity, then we are left only with a functional, actional., language elaborated in the mathematical language of function. Under such conditions, a
descriptive language of ordered happenings on the objective level takes the form of 'if so and so happens, then so and so happens', or, briefly, 'if so, then so'; which is the prototype of 'logical' and mathematical processes and languages. We see that such a language is again similar in structure to the external world descriptively; yet it is similar to the 'logical' nervous processes, and so allows us, because of this similarity of structure, predictability and so rationality.In the traditional systems, we did not recognize the complete semantic interdependence of differences and similarities, the empirical world exhibiting differences, the nervous system manufacturing primarily similarities, and our 'knowledge', if worth anything at all, being the
joint product of both. Was it not Sylvester who said that 'in mathematics we look for similarities in differences and differences in similarities' ? This statement applies to Our whole abstracting process.The empirical world is such in structure (by inspection) that in it we can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. In mathematics, we find a language of similar structure. Obviously, in the physical world these actions or operations alter the relations, which are expressed as altered unique and specific relations, by the language of mathematics. Further, as the world is full of different shapes, forms, curves., we do not only find in mathematics special languages dealing with these subjects, but we find in analytical geometry unifying linguistic means for translation of one language into another. Thus any 'quality' can be formulated in terms of relations which may take the 'quantitative' character which, at present, in all cases, can be also translated into geometrical terms and methods, giving structures to be
visualized.It is interesting, yet not entirely unexpected, that the activities of the higher nervous centres, the conditional reflexes of higher order, the semantic reactions, time-binding included, should follow the exponential rules, as shown in my
Manhood of Humanity.In our experience, we find that some issues are additive - as, for instance, if one guest is added to a dinner party, we will have to add plates and a chair. Such facts are covered by additive methods and the language called 'linear' (see Part VIII). In many instances - and these are, perhaps, the most important and are strictly connected with sub-microscopic processes - the issues are not additive, one atom of oxygen |
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