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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON CONDITIONAL REFLEXES                     339
one-valued, and semi-unconditional, or of low degree of conditionality, because, when the glass partition is removed, the pike swims freely among the minnows without adjusting itself to the new conditions and capturing the minnows.
A cat separated from a mouse by a glass partition also stops dashing against the glass, but this negative reaction is more conditional. In 'psychological' terms, the cat is 'more intelligent', evaluates relations better than the fish, and when the glass partition is removed, the cat captures the mouse almost immediately.
In this connection, an interesting experiment could be made, though I am not aware that it has been performed; namely, to separate the above fishes with a wire screen, which would be visible to the fishes, and repeat the experiments to test if the removal of a visible obstacle would alter the outcome of the experiment or the 'time' of the reactions. If the 'time' for capturing the minnows were reduced, this would mean that the conditionality of the reaction was increased, and so the seeing of the obstacle, or the increased power of abstraction, would play some role in it. Even humans are deceived by Houdinis. Are we so 'superior' to the 'poor fish' ?
These problems of degrees of conditionality can also be studied in the life of insects, and the works of Professor Wm. M. Wheeler, for instance, furnish most instructive material, which we have not space to analyse here.5
In the process of human evolution from the lowest savage to the highest civilized man, it is natural that we should pass through a period in which the primitive doctrines and languages must be revised. The newest achievements in science indicate that the twentieth century may be such a period. Even in mathematics and physics, to say nothing of other disciplines, it is only the other day that the old elementalism and two-valued semantics were abandoned. Obviously, consciousness of abstracting produces complete conditionality in our conditional higher order reactions, and so must be the foundation on which a science of man, or a theory of sanity and human progress, must be built.
The suggested extension of the reaction vocabulary would allow us, at least, to apply a uniform physiological language to life, man included. We should have a general language for life and all activities, 'mind' included, of a structure similar to the known protoplasmic and nervous structure, not excepting the highest activities. 'Mental' ills would be considered as arrested development or regression to one-, or few-valued semantic levels; sanity would be in the other direction; namely, progression conditioned by larger and larger flexibility of conditional and seman-