SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




ON CONDITIONAL REFLEXES                      329
about an object, or a feeling, as whatever we may say is not 'it'. This, obviously, involves a complete checking of affective responses, 'preconceived ideas'., making him an 'impartial observer'. In fact, to do this successfully is something very difficult to achieve, requiring long semantic training with the Structural Differential, and usually involving a complete reversal of our habitual modes of affective responses.
Similarly, when we speak of 'natural order' or reversal of this order, let the reader try actually to evoke these s.r, and he will find it is not so easy, as it involves a completely new process of re-evaluation. In both cases, we can gain physiological, easily operating means to reeducate the very stubborn semantic responses, by functional and ordinal methods. The difficulties are only serious with grown-ups; they present no difficulties in the early semantic training of infants, for whom this training becomes a powerful preventive method against future nervous disturbances (limited, of course, to this aspect of un-sanity).
Directly such a semantic re-education is accomplished, the formerly impossible is also performed, and 'human nature' has been changed. Obviously, the trouble has not been with 'human nature', but with the lack of physiological and educational means to affect the psycho-logical level and to change the s.r. The above applies to the so-called 'normal' man, as well as to the 'mentally' ill. It works with both types, provided the latter is in a condition to be at all accessible to approach.
The term 'nervous reflex' was originated by the mathematician Descartes. Structurally, it was a genuinely scientific notion. It implies necessity; namely, that a stimulus results in a response. Obviously, if such were not the case, an animal would not be in sufficient correspondence with it's environment and could not survive. Thus an animal must be attracted and not repelled by food, it must avoid fire, and so forth.1 The term 'reflex' is usually used in connection with A two-valued implications; this makes reflexology el and generally inadequate to account for organic non-el responses in the colloidal sense. In a-system based on the oo-valued semantics of probability, I prefer to avoid the two-valued implication and use the term reaction instead.
The main function of the nervous system is the co-ordination of all activities of the organism for its preservation. Thus there must be no conflict between the opposing activities of different parts of the organism, and any action must ultimately benefit the whole. There may be a conflict of different excitations, but one must finally dominate the others, as otherwise co-ordination would be impossible.
If food or some noxious material is put into the mouth of a dog, a secretion of saliva is produced, either to alter the food chemically and