HIGHER ORDER ABSTRACTIONS
The characters which science discerns in nature are subtle characters, not obvious at first sight. They are relations of relations and characters of characters. (573) A. n. whitehead
In this connection one should particularly remember that the human language permits the construction of sentences which do not involve any consequences and which therefore have no content at all - in spite of the fact that these sentences produce some kind of picture in our imagination; e. g., the statement that besides our world there exists another world, with which any connection is impossible in principle, does not lead to any experimental consequence, but does produce a kind of picture in the mind. Obviously such a statement can neither be proved nor disproved. One should be especially careful in using the words "reality," "actually," etc., since these words very often lead to statements of the type just mentioned.
(215) W. HEISENBERG
Section A. General.
In the previous chapters I demonstrated that there is a short cut which enables us to grasp, acquire, and apply what has been advanced in the present work. This semantic short cut is 'consciousness of abstracting'. It is a psycho-logical attitude toward all our abstracting on all levels, and so involves the co-ordinated working of the organism-as-a-whole.
The use of the Structural Differential is necessary, because some levels are un-speakable; We can see them, handle them, feel them., but under no circumstances can we reach those levels by speech alone. We must, therefore, have a diagram, by preference in relief form, which represents the empirical structural conditions, and which indicates the un-speakable level by some other means than speech. We must, in the simplest case, either point our finger to the object, insisting upon silence, or must perform bodily some activity and similarly insist upon silence, as the performing and feelings are also not words.
In such semantic training it is enough to insist upon the non-identity or the difference between the objective, un-speakable levels of lower order abstractions, (On), and the verbal or higher order abstractions, (L). When this habit and feeling are acquired, no one should have difficulties in extending the non-identity method to daily-life occurrences. To achieve these semantic aims, we must first emphasize the common-sense fact that an object is not the event. To do this, we start with the 1933 scientific structural 'metaphysics' about the event and