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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON ABSTRACTING
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the older, more travelled, nervous paths. Education should counteract this tendency which, from a human point of view, represents regression or under-development.
By now we know how important it is for a-system to abandon the older implications and adopt an actional, behaviouristic, operational, or functional language. On the neurological level, what the nervous system does is abstracting, of which the summarization, integration., are only special aspects. Hence, I select the term abstracting as fundamental.
The standard meaning of 'abstract', 'abstracting' implies 'selecting', 'picking out', 'separating', 'summarizing', 'deducting', 'removing', 'omitting', 'disengaging', 'taking away', 'stripping', and, as an adjective, not 'concrete'. We see that the term 'abstracting' implies structurally and semantically the activities characteristic of the nervous system, and so serves as an excellent functional physiological term.
There are other reasons for making the term 'abstracting' fundamental, which, from a practical point of view, are important. A bad habit cannot be easily eliminated except by forming a new semantic counter-reaction. All of us have some undesirable but thoroughly established linguistic habits and s.r which have become almost automatic, overloaded with unconscious 'emotional' evaluation. This is the reason why new 'non-systems' are, in the beginning, so extremely difficult to acquire. We have to break down the old structural habits before we can acquire the new s.r. The E geometries or the systems are not any more difficult than the older systems were. Perhaps they are even simpler. The main semantic difficulty, for those accustomed to the old, consists in breaking the old structural linguistic habits, in becoming once more flexible and receptive in feelings, and in acquiring new s.r. Similar remarks apply in a more marked degree to a-system. The majority of us have very little to do directly with or systems (although indirectly we all have a good deal to do with them). But all of us live our immediate lives in a human world still desperately A. Hence a-system, no matter what benefits it may give, is much handicapped by the old semantic blockages.
In building such a system, this natural resistance or persistence of the old s.r must be taken into consideration and, if possible, counteracted. One of the most pernicious bad habits which we have acquired 'emotionally' from the old language is the feeling of 'allness', of 'con-creteness', in connection with the 'is' of identity and elementalism. One of the main points in the present -system is first to remove entirely from our s.r this 'allness' and 'concreteness', both of which are structurally unjustified and lead to identification, absolutism, dogmatism, and