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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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394          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
and 'Fido'. Fido's power of abstracting stops somewhere, although it may include a few orders. Not so with 'Smith'; his power of abstracting has no known limit (see Part VI).
Perhaps the reader is semantically perplexed by the unfamiliarity of the language of this analysis. It must be granted that the introduction of any new language is generally perplexing, and it is justified only if the new language accomplishes something structurally and semantically which the old languages did not accomplish. In this case, it has brought us to a new sharp distinction between 'man' and 'animal'. The number of orders of abstractions an 'animal' can produce is limited. The number of orders of abstractions a 'man' can produce is, in principle, unlimited.
Here is found the fundamental mechanism of the 'time-binding' power which characterizes man, and which, allows him, in principle, to gather the experiences of all past generations. A higher order abstraction, let us say, of the order, is made as a response to the stimulus of abstractions of the «th order. Among 'humans' the abstractions of high orders produced by others, as well as those produced by oneself are stimuli to abstracting in still higher orders. Thus, in principle, we start where the former generation lefr off. It should be noticed that, in the present analysis, we have abandoned the structurally el methods and language, and the whole analysis becomes simple, although non?-familiar because it involves new non-el s.r.
The preceding explanation justifies my former statement that the ascribing of absolute numbers to the orders of abstractions of 'animal' and of 'man' is unnecessary. In our diagram we could ascribe as many orders of abstractions to the animal as we please; yet we should have to admit, for the structural correctness of description of experimental facts, that the 'animal's' power of abstracting has limits, while the number of orders of abstractions a 'man' can produce has no known limits.
From an epistemological and semantic point of view, there is an important benefit in this method. In this language, we have discovered sharp verbal and analytical methods, in terms of the non-el 'orders of abstractions', by which these two 'classes of life', or these two high abstractions, can be differentiated. The terms 'animal' and 'man' each represent.a name for an abstraction of very high order, and not a name for an objective individual. To formulate the difference between these 'classes' becomes a problem of verbal structural ingenuity and methods, as in life we deal only with absolute individuals on the un-speakable, objective levels. In our diagram, we could hang on the 'animal' object as many levels of labels, which stand for higher order abstractions, as