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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON 'INHIBITION'
351
used in its various forms as a substantive, an adjective, a verb, an adverb, sometimes as a psycho-logical term, sometimes as a physiological one, yet never carrying physiological implications, but always psychological and anthropomorphic ones connected with its origin and standard use. It was introduced into science when physiology and neurology were in their infancy, and so were still under the influence of primitive animism and anthropomorphism.
The term, because of its character, is not scientifically descriptive. It does not suggest functional, actional, directional, or other structural implications, but suggests notions irrelevant to science connected with its origin and standard use, making it a far-fetched inferential term, the use of which must retard the advances of these sciences.
Once we introduce a physiological term with physiological and, therefore, structural implications, our expressions will have to be reshaped to make the use of the term possible. Such re-wording will always carry quite definite structural implications, which, in turn, suggest further experiments in the search for structure and so have a creative character, not to be disregarded. Thus, as we have already seen, the term of 'degrees of conditionally' suggested further experiments and the revision of older data.
This statement is quite general and may be summed up as follows: The introduction of a new structural term may: (1) eliminate the improper implications of the older terms; (2) introduce new and creative implications which suggest the need of verification and so lead to new experiments.
At this point, I suggest a term which may be useful and will, perhaps, be acceptable for scientific use. As the fundamental character of 'inhibition' seems to be 'differential activation', the term to be coined should possess two main structural implications: (1) it should be directional, or indicate the sense of the reaction, and (2) it should imply activation.
We find such a term in 'negative excitation', 'negative stimulation', 'negative activation', 'negative phase'., and it is possible to extend the use of this term by making as many compound terms as we need.
If possible, we should have terms which help us to keep on one level of analysis, and so automatically prevent us from confusing levels, since modern science always deals, at least in principle, with not less than three levels, the macroscopic, the microscopic, and the sub-microscopic, thus making confusion quite easy. If we call the positive effect of a stimulation on the macroscopic level 'positive', any other stimulation which might fail to produce the positive effect on this level, or which