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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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UN 'INHIBITION'
349
be reversed when the structural relations are altered. Once more, no 'demons' and no 'inhibition'.8
In higher animals, we usually find a well-developed symmetry and muscles of which the activities oppose the results of the activity of other muscles. Such muscles are called antagonists. If two antagonists of equal strength are stimulated equally, no macroscopic effect of the stimulation of both muscles results. If one of the antagonists is stronger than the other, the macroscopic effect of the stimulation of both muscles results not in some general convulsion, but in a one-sided action of the stronger muscle. Obviously, these results are the necessary consequence of structure on different levels. We had, in the first case, a lack of obvious macroscopic reaction, although stimulation was present and did its work. This was due to structure.
It is known that some drugs, such as strychnine or the toxin produced by the tetanus bacillus, produce a state of general and high irritability of the nervous system. The slightest stimulus to the surface will produce a spasm which affects practically every muscle of the body. The pinching of the foot, instead of producing a withdrawal, results in the rigid extension of the legs, arms, and back. The extension is no longer a co-ordinated process, but is associated with strong contraction of the flexors, the final state of the limbs being determined by the surpassing strength of the stimulated extensors. The effect of the tetanus toxin is similar. In a monkey, under normal conditions, the electrical stimulus of a certain spot of the cortex will produce the opening of the mouth; similar stimulation of another spot will produce the closing of the jaws. But, under the effect of the toxin, the stimulation of any of these spots will produce the closure of the jaws, because any attempt to open the mouth will excite the stronger masseter muscles and effectively close the mouth.*
The above examples show again that no 'demon' or 'inhibition' has prohibited the withdrawal of the foot or opening of the mouth, but that the excitation of stronger antagonists is responsible for the result - or, if we wish, for the lack of results. All of which is obviously structural.
All the above discussions and examples - and they could be expanded and extended to fill volumes - show clearly: (1) That in the structurally more complex organisms the process of co-ordination and adjustment to more and more complex environmental conditions, leading to wider activities and fuller conditionality of reactions, is partially based - to the extent of one-half, or even more - on the lack of direct response to a stimulus, leading to delayed action and involving the four-dimensional order, all of this being a function of the entirely general charac-