SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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HIGHER ORDER ABSTRACTIONS
427
stress the fact that the object, being a nervous abstraction of lower order, has fewer and different ui.o characteristics than the event has. This is best accomplished by stressing the fact that in abstracting from the event to the object we left out some characteristics. We did not abstract 'all' characteristics ; this would be a self-contradiction in terms, an impossibility.
We do not even need to stress a full understanding of the event. Common-sense examples, showing that what we recognize as a 'pencil' is not 'all', often suffice. No one will have difficulties, provided he trains himself in this direction, .in remembering continually and instinctively the free hanging strings (B'), (B"), which indicate the non-abstracted or left-out characteristics and which help to train in non-identity. With the relief diagram, the s.r of the student are trained through all nervous centres. He sees, he handles., the hanging strings, and he also hears about them. This gives the maximum probability that the organism-as-a-whole will be affected. In this way an 'intellectual' theory engages the 'senses', feelings, and reflex mechanisms. To affect the organism-as-a-whole, organism-as-a-whole methods must be employed.
A similar structural situation is found when we deal with higher order abstractions. A word, or a name, or a statement is conveyed in spoken form or by writing, and affects first the lower centres and then is abstracted, and again transformed, by the higher centres. The order