SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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As words are not the things we are talking about, the only possible link between the objective world and the verbal world is structural. If the two structures are similar, then the empirical world becomes intelligible to us - we 'understand', we can adjust ourselves,. If we carry out verbal experiments and predict, these predictions are verified empirically. I f the two structures are not similar, then our predictions are not verified - we do not 'know', we do not 'understand', the given problems are 'unintelligible' to us., we do not know what to do to adjust ourselves,.
Psycho-logically, in the first case we feel security, we are satisfied, hopeful.; in the second case, we feel insecure, a floating anxiety, fear, worry, disappointment, depression, hopelessness, and other harmful s.r appear. The considerations of structure thus disclose an unexpected and powerful semantic mechanism of individual and collective happiness, adjustment., but also of tragedies, supplying us with physiological means for a certain amount of desirable control, because relations and structure represent fundamental factors of all meanings and evaluations, and, therefore, of all s.r.
The present increasing world unrest is an excellent example of this. The structure of our old languages has shaped our s.r and suggested our doctrines, creeds., which build our institutions, customs, habits, and, finally, lead fatalistically to' catastrophes like the World War. We have learned long ago, by repeated sad experience, that predictions concerning human affairs are not verified empirically. Our doctrines, institutions, and other disciplines are unable somehow to deal with this semantic situation, and hence the prevailing depression and pessimism.
We hear everywhere complaints of the stupidity or dishonesty of our rulers, as already defined, without realizing that although our rulers are admittedly very ignorant, and often dishonest, yet the most informed, gifted, and honest among them cannot predict or foresee happenings, if their arguments are performed in a language of a structure dissimilar to the world and to our nervous system. Under such conditions, calling names, even under provocations, is not constructive or helpful enough. Arguments in the languages of the old structure have led fatalistically to systems which are structurally 'un-natural' and so must collapse and impose unnecessary and artificial stress on our nervous system. The self-imposed conditions of life become more and more unbearable, resulting in the increase of 'mental' illness, prostitution, criminality, brutality, violence, suicides, and similar signs of maladjustment. It should never be forgotten that human endurance has limits. Human 'knowledge' shapes the human world, alters conditions, and other features of the