SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




ON THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIAL             405
It is impossible, short of a volume, to revise this 'logic' and to formulate a A, oo-valued, non-elemcntalistic semantics which would be structurally similar to the world and our nervous system; but it must be mentioned, even here, that the 'law of identity' is never applicable to processes. The 'law of excluded middle', or 'excluded third', as it is sometimes called, which gives the two-valued character to A 'logic', establishes, as a general principle, what represents only a limiting case and so, as a general principle, must be unsatisfactory. As on the objective, un-speakable levels, we deal exclusively with absolute individuals and individual situations, in the sense that they are not identical, all statements which, by necessity, represent higher order abstractions must only represent probable statements. Thus, we are led to oo-valued semantics of probability, which introduces an inherent and general principle of uncertainty.
It is true that the above given 'laws of thought' can and have been expressed in other terms with many scholarly interpretations, but fundamentally the semantic state of affairs has not been altered.
From a non-el point of view, it is more expedient to treat the A -system on a similar footing with the -system; namely, to consider the above 'laws of thought' as postulates which underlie that system and which express the 'laws of thought' of a given epoch and, eventually, of a race. We know other systems among the primitive peoples which follow other 'laws', in which identity plays a still more integral part of the system. Such natives reason quite well; their systems are consistent with their postulates, although these are quite incomprehensible to those who try to apply A postulates to them. From this point of view, we should not discuss how 'true' or 'false' the ^-system appears, but we should simply say that, at a different epoch, other postulates seem structurally closer to our experience and appear more expedient. Such im attitude would not retard so greatly the appearance of new systems which will supersede the present A-system.
In the present system, 'identification' represents a label for the semantic process of inappropriate evaluation on the un-speakable levels, or for such 'feelings', 'impulses', 'tendencies',. As in human life, we deal with many orders of abstractions, we could say in an ordinal language that identification originates or results in the confusion of orders of abstractions. This conclusion may assume different forms: one represented by the identification of the scientific object or the event with the ordinary object, which may be called ignorance, pathological to man; another, the identification of the objective levels with the verbal levels, which I call objectification; a third, the identification of descriptions with