SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




ON THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIAL            401
for the developments, or the lack of developments, of the primitive peoples. All schools accept, as yet, the existing el 'psychologies' and two-valued A 'logic' as the standard, normal, and, perhaps, even as the final disciplines for an adult human civilization. No school suspects that an A stage of civilization appears to be built, to a large extent, on the slightly refined primitive identifications which produced only an infantile period of human development. They do not suspect that a future A society may differ as greatly from the present A society as the latter differs from the primitive society.
In my work, I prefer to follow the French and Polish schools of anthropology, as it seems to me that these schools are freer from semantic identification and aristotelianism than the others.
In 1933, it seems, beyond doubt, that if any single semantic characteristic could be selected to account for the primitive state of the individuals and their societies, we could say, without making too great a mistake, that it would be found in identification, understood in the more general sense as it is used in the present work. There is very little doubt, at present, that different physico-chemical factors, environment, climate, kind of food, colloidal behaviour, endocrine secretions., are fundamental factors which condition the potentialities, as well as the behaviour, of an organism. It is equally certain that, as an end-result, these physico-chemical factors are connected with definite types of s.r. It is known that the reverse is also true; namely, that s.r affect colloidal behaviour, endocrine secretions, and metabolism. The exact type of dependence is not known, because too little experimenting on humans has been made. The present analysis is conducted from the semantic point of view, and its results, no matter how far-reaching, are limited to this special aspect.
Simple analysis shows that identification is a necessary condition which underlies the reactions of animals, of infants, and of primitives. If found in 'civilized' grown-ups, it equally indicates some remains of earlier periods of development, and can always be found in the analysis of any private or public difficulties which prevent any satisfactory solution. Identification in a slightly modified form represents, also, the very foundation of the ^-system and those institutions which are founded on this system.
Mathematics gives us practically the only linguistic system free from pathological identifications, although mathematicians use this term uncritically. The more identification is eliminated from other sciences, the more the mathematical functional semantics and method are applied, and the further a given science progresses.
26