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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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446          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
or 'Begging the Question' fallacy, we, by self-deceptive semantic evaluation, assume the conclusion to be proved. In other words, we confuse the orders of abstractions. Beside the wilful use of this fallacy by lawyers in courts to influence juries of low intelligence., a similar fallacy is widely committed in the reasonings of daily life and leads to many unnecessary semantic difficulties. Particularly vicious is the use of the so-called 'question-begging epithets'. We postulate the fact which we wish to prove, label it by another name, and then use the new higher order name in our premise. It represents clearly a confusion of orders of abstractions.
All such terms as 'un-patriotic', 'un-christian', 'un-american', 'pro-german' (during the World War), 'wet', 'dry'., fall into this group. It is probably no secret that a large part of the population of this world was swayed by such methods during the war. In times of peace, large countries are continually swayed by such use of terms which play upon the pathological s.r of the population, thereby facilitating the 'putting over' of different propagandas. Similar procedures lead to many semantic difficulties in daily life. It is easy to see that the difficulty is general; namely, 'the confusion of orders of abstractions'. The antidote is equally general, and is found in the elimination of the 'is' of identity, resulting in the 'consciousness of abstracting'. It should be noticed that these pathological reactions have long been known, and that they are extremely general. We are told about them in schools under the name of 'logical fallacies', disregarding their semantic character, and so it is practically impossible to eliminate them or to apply the wisdom we are taught. It is not difficult to see why this should occur. In the older days, all the 'wisdom' was taught to us by purely 'intellectual', 'verbal', classical A and el methods. We had no simple psychophysiological method of complete generality, which could be taught in a non-el way affecting all nerve centres. It is known how difficult it is to 'change human nature', which simply means that the older verbal educational methods could not properly affect the lower centres. It seems that the first step in developing a method to accomplish these ends is to use the Structural Differential, without which it is practically impossible to teach 'silence on the objective level' and 'delayed action' and to train through all centres in non-identity, 'stratification', natural order, and so in appropriate s.r. It appears that now, to begin with, we have acquired a workable and simple psychophysiological method for changing identification into visualization, and, in general, for the prevention or elimination of identification or confusion of orders of abstractions. We have now discovered a mechanism which involves and deals directly with the reactions of the