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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON 'INHIBITION'
353
extra nervous excitation in the central nervous system manifests itself at once, either in diminishing, or in completely abolishing (temporarily, at least) the conditional reflexes prevailing at the date.12 If we find that exhaustion is, in some instances, the structurally correct term, there is no reason why we should not use it, instead of using a psycho-logical term of 'inhibition', on neurological levels.
That the terminology of positive and negative excitation is structurally appropriate finds its further support in the so-called 'disinhibi-tion'. Thus, an 'inhibition' of an 'inhibition' reverses the neural process prevailing at a given 'time' and becomes a positive excitatory one. In our language, because of structural considerations, we should say that 'disinhibition' should be labelled as 'negative excitation of second degree', resulting in a positive excitation. If we were to 'inhibit' 'disinhibition', we should have, again, 'inhibition',. With the new terminology, it would be a negative excitation of the third degree, which would give negative results, and a general rule could be established, in complete accordance with the mathematical language in which the even degrees of a negative excitation would have positive characteristics and the uneven would remain negative ('inhibitory').
Such a language would not just borrow 'by analogy' some mathematical features. Once we take structure into consideration, - and linguistic issues represent an adjustment of structure - when a systematic analogy is found, it has always structural implications which should be used for testing structure. There can be no serious objection to the statement that mathematics is, at present, a limited language of which the structure in 1933 is similar, or the most similar we have, to the known structure of the world and our nervous system. The use of such language must be always desirable, as it is a test of structure and so leads to further discoveries of the unknown structure of this world. To the best of my knowledge, the above is a novel, very general, structural use of mathematics considered as a prototype of languages. Our emphasis is now on the structure of mathematics, and not on the numerical solutions of equations, the possibility and usefulness of which is precisely due to the fact that equations express relatedness, and so necessarily give us structural glimpses.
From a structural and linguistic point of view, the historical development of mathematics shows that it is a first successful attempt to develop a language with a structure similar to the empirical structures, and shows the ideal conditions of producing languages.
When we had only positive numbers, we could add two and three and make five, we could subtract two from three and have the remainder
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