SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




HIGHER ORDER ABSTRACTIONS
447
lower centres, 'senses', affects, 'emotions',. The older, difficult 'change in human nature' becomes an easily accomplished fact in a structural, A semantic education. 'Human nature' can best be described, perhaps, as a complex of s.r, which can be educated and 'changed' to a large extent.
It seems unnecessary to enlarge further upon this subject. Every attentive reader can supply endless examples of this kind of semantic disturbances from his own observation or experience. Naturally, the generality, simplicity, and physiological character of the method proposed in this work become powerful assets, and instruction in themethods can easily be given to, or acquired by, everybody. It can be taught in homes and schools. It gives a preventive psychophysiological method of training the s.r in the millions and millions of cases in which human life becomes wrecked through the lack of a working structural educational theory concerned with these reactions. But it is not enough to preach these 'platitudes'; they must be practised as well. If the parents and the boys mentioned above had been trained as children with the Structural Differential, it would have been an impossibility for the situation to have become so acute.
Let us follow our daily experiences by the aid of the Structural Differential. We find ourselves on at least five levels. The first represents the un-speakable event, or the scientific object, or the unseen physico-chemical processes on the sub-microscopic levels which constitute stimuli registered by our nervous system as objects. The second consists of the external, objective, also un-speakable, levels on which we see with our eyes,. On this level, we could make a moving picture, including actions., (writing a book is also behaviour). The third level represents the equally un-speakable psycho-logical 'pictures' and s.r. On the fourth level of abstractions we describe verbally our facts, that humans (a) eat, sleep.; (b) cheat, murder.; (c) moralize, philosophize, legislate.; scientize, mathematize,. Finally, in the present context,
our inferences belong to the fifth level.
Unfortunately, we usually abstract facts (a), identify the levels, and form a conclusion 'man is an animal',. From this conclusion we confuse the levels again and colour the description of the facts , (d).; jump again to higher levels and build conclusions from descriptions (a) and from distorted, coloured descriptions (b), (c), (d), and so obtain the prevailing doctrines in all fields. These again lead us, in the field of action, to the mess we all find ourselves in. In this dervish dance between the levels we entirely disregarded uncoloured facts (d).
The ideal observer would observe all forms of human behaviour at a given date, not leaving out facts (d); then, without confusing his