SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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annoyed with the term. The more they learn to dislike this term, the better. We are already training a most important s.r.
We should not be satisfied with the best answers made by the most intelligent children. In a large class there may even be a child who tells us bluntly that it is impossible to tell 'all' about the apple. We should concentrate on the less intelligent children and deal particularly with them. There are many and important reasons for this. For one thing, the children become more eager and more interested in their own achievement. Then, too, they easily learn by example what a difference in intelligence means. This understanding of the shortcomings of others has an important semantic, broadening effect. In life, numerous serious 'hurts' occur precisely because we do not appreciate some natural shortcomings and expect too much. Expecting too much leads to very harmful semantic shocks, disappointments, suspicions, fears, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism,.
The less bright children benefit also. The experiment is conducted on their level, so that they also have the maximum chance to benefit. Soon the children begin to argue about the new method and to explain it to each other by themselves; for we have touched very vital and complex semantic processes of 'curiosity', 'achievement', 'ambitions'., characteristics strongly represented in the child's life. We evade, also, the danger of taking clever, yet shallow, replies as standard. The last error would be fatal, as the issues are fundamental, and we should not rest content with mere verbal brilliancy.
When the subject seems exhausted, and the list of characteristics of the apple 'complete' (we repeatedly make certain that the children assume they have told us 'all' about it), we cut the apple into pieces and show the children experimentally, using eventually a microscope or a magnifying glass, that they did not tell us 'all' about the apple.
It may appear to some educators that such training might involve some undesirable psycho-logical results. But later, when consciousness of abstracting is acquired as a lasting semantic state, this fear appears entirely unjustified, as explained further on. The first step in dealing with 'reality' seems to demand that we abandon entirely the older delusional methods.
When the children have become thoroughly convinced of the non-allness and the impossibility of 'allness', we are ready to explain to them what the word abstracting means, using again the terms 'all' and 'not all'. We show them a small rotating fan and explain to them about the separate blades which when rotating we see as a disk. In such demonstrations we can go as far as desired. All science supplies data