SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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we please; yet somewhere we would have to stop; but with 'man' we could continue indefinitely.
This sharp difference between 'man' and 'animal' may be called the 'horizontal difference1. The habitual use of our hands in showing these different horizontal levels is extremely useful in studying this work, and it facilitates greatly the acquiring of the structurally new language and corresponding s.r. The solution of the majority of human semantic difficulties (evaluation), and the elimination of pathological identification, lie precisely in the maintenance, without confusion, of the 6harp differentiation between these horizontal levels of orders of abstractions.
Let us now investigate the possibility of a sharp 'vertical difference". We have already come to the conclusion that Fido abstracts objects from events, and that, if his nervous system is similar to ours, his lower order abstractions are similar to ours. Here we may ask the question: Does Fido 'know', or can he 'know', that he abstracts? It seems undeniable that Fido does not 'know' and cannot 'know that he abstracts, because it takes science to 'know1 that we abstract, and Fido has no science. It is semantically important that we should be entirely convinced on this point. We do not argue about the kind of 'knowledge' animals may have or about the relative value of this 'knowledge' as compared with ours. Science was made possible by the human nervous system and the invention of extra-neural means for investigation and recording, which animals lack entirely. Whoever claims that animals have science should, to say the least, show libraries and scientific laboratories and instruments produced by animals.
We see that, although Fido has abstracted, he not only does not 'know' but cannot 'know' that he abstracts, as this last 'knowledge' is given exclusively by science, which animals do not have. In this consciousness of abstracting, we find a most important 'vertical difference' between Smith and Fido. The difference is sharp again.
If, in our diagram, Fig. 4, we ascribe to Fido more horizontal orders of abstractions, let us say two, (Hi) and (H2), nevertheless, the 'unimal' stops somewhere. This extended diagram illustrates that 'man' is capable of abstracting in higher and higher orders indefinitely. In this diagram, we symbolize the fact that Fido does not and cannot 'know' that he abstracts, by not connecting the characteristics of his object (Oa) by lines (A) with the event (E). Without science, we have no event; Fido's gross macroscopic object (00) represents 'all' that he 'knows' or cares about. We see that the vertical difference (Vi) formulated as consciousness of abstracting for Smith appears sharp, and completely differentiates Fido from Smith. In it, we find the semantic