SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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Similar analysis could be made of all human interests, with the result that the forcing of adult standards on infantile types would remain unkind; but the sad part of it is that, in spite of repressions, impositions., these imposed standards remain largely ineffective and are uhandoned as soon as compulsion ends. Not so, if, by proper semantic education, we allow the infant to develop normally into adulthood. The new standards are not imposed, but become his own. We do not then need compulsion from without, because the new standards act from within and become pleasurable and lasting.
A similar process is very obvious in the practice of psychotherapy. The standards of evaluation of the patients are usually inappropriate to the conditions of modern life and often clash sharply with the accepted standards. Moralizing without changing by other means his standards of evaluation never accomplishes any satisfactory therapeutic results; quite the contrary, it often does a great deal of harm. A physician would be very unwise to censure or condemn a symptom, as this would preclude any beneficial results. What physicians usually do is to treat any symptom, no matter how repulsive, with great sympathy and understanding. They do not attempt to change the symptom directly, but, by the understanding of its main mechanism, they try to change the patient's standards of evaluation, of which the symptom is only a consequence. If at all successful and the physician succeeds in changing the inappropriate standards of evaluation, the symptom then automatically disappears. In daily life, we usually attack only the symptoms, disre-garding mostly the underlying structural foundations; this method accounts for the doubtful results.
Under infantile standards we apply similar methods to society. M any may want to abolish wars, revolutions, 'depressions'., but they do not investigate structurally deep enough. They attack the symptoms, instead of analysing the structural issues which produce these symptoms.
In conclusion, let us notice that the analysis of a semantic mechanism on a printed page requires new terms and the co-ordination of many details., which, at first, do not always appear so simple, although, once the theoretical side is mastered, the educational application is genuinely simple. Thus, the analysis of the one-, two-, three-., and oo-valued semantics may appear difficult, yet, in practice, it only amounts to imparting through our educational systems a semantic flexibility, instead of fixity; to acquiring the inclination of starting with observations, followed by descriptions, from which we pass to inferences, in connection with awareness of these ordered processes,. In training, it is enough to abolish identification, and this is easily achieved once we have produced