SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




462          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
we have what I call one-, two-, three-., and oo-valued general semantics Theoretically, and in practice, we are interested mostly in the one-, two-, three-, few-valued, and oo-valued general semantics. For my purpose, and for simplicity, I shall deal only with identification; that is, the primitive one-valued semantics, the influence of which is found in both the two- and three-valued semantics, and may only be completely eliminated in an co-valued semantics.
We live in a four-dimensional space-time manifold which, on all levels, consists of absolutely individual events, objects, situations, abstractions ., and we must conclude that structurally we live in an indefinitely many-valued or oo-valued world, the possibilities of which follow in principle the laws of combinations of higher orders. The above statement represents a description of a structural observation about the empirical world, independent of our pleasure, and can be contradicted only by exhibiting empirically, actual 'identity' or 'absolute sameness'., of different events, objects, or situations., which exhibiting becomes an impossibility if we decide to investigate facts more fully.
Under such empirical conditions, for adjustment and so for sanity, we must have on semantic levels such theories, systems, methods., which would allow us in a given case, under given conditions, at a given date., to evaluate the individual happenings uniquely; or which would allow us to establish a one-to-one correspondence between the essentially oo-valued facts of experience and our semantic states. It becomes obvious that this can be accomplished only if we have oo-valued and non-el general semantics. We see that the two-, or three-valued, el A 'logic', 'psychology'., and, in general, the A-system, being structurally different from the empirical world, will prevent, in principle, such an adjustment and, therefore, sanity.
Identification may be considered as the remains of pre-human, or primitive, or infantile, one-valued semantics, which establishes, or results from, semantic states, by which the essentially oo-valued facts of experience are not differentiated or evaluated properly, and so the indefinitely many values of these facts are identified into a single value. Such identification is always structurally unjustified and dangerous, and may be the result of a great many factors, such as low development, ignorance, insufficient observation, 'wishful thinking', fears, pathological states of our nervous system, different semantic disturbances, 'mental' ills, infantilism in the grown-ups,. But among humans we cannot avoid training, through the mechanism of language and its structure, in some, most often unconscious, general semantics, and so a great deal depends