SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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Any one who will work out the present analysis with the aid of the Differential will find clearly that the majority of human difficulties, the preventable or curable 'mental' or semantic disturbances included, are due to this fatal structural error, resulting in false evaluation due to identification or lack of differentiation.
The Structural Differentials are manufactured in two forms: (1) in a printed map-like scroll for hanging on the walls or black-board; (2) in relief form with detachable labels. As the main problem is to train and re-educate the semantic psychophysiplqgical reactions in non-identity, the relief form is the most effective because of the freely hanging strings, detachable labels., which give means to engage more nerve centres in the training. I shall describe the latter type in some detail.
For the event we have a parabola in relief (E), broken off to indicate its limitless extension. The disk (Oh) symbolizes the human object; the disk (0) represents the animal object. The label (L) represents the higher abstraction called a name (with its meaning given by a definition). The lines (A) in the relief diagram are hanging strings which are tied to pegs. They indicate the process of abstracting. The free hanging strings (B) indicate the most important characteristics left out, neglected, or forgotten in the abstracting. The Structural Differentials are provided with a number of separate labels attached to pegs. These are hung, one to the other, in a series, and the last one may be attached by a long peg to the event, to indicate that the characteristics of the event represent the highest abstractions we have produced at each date. The objective level is not words, and cannot be reached by words alone. We must point our finger and be silent, or we shall never reach this level. Our personal feelings, also, are not words, and belong to the objective level.
The whole of the present theory can be illustrated on the Structural Differential by the childishly simple operation of the teacher pointing a finger to the event and then to the object, saying 'This is not this' and insisting on silence on the pupil's part. One should continue by showing with the finger the object and the label, saying again 'This is not this', insisting on silence on the objective level; then, showing the first and the second label, saying again 'This is not this',.
In a more complex language, one would say that the object is not the event, that the label is not the un-speakable object, and that a statement about a statement is not the 'same' statement, nor on one level. We see and are made to visualize that the-system is based on the denial of the 'is1 of identity, which necessitates the differentiation of orders of abstractions.