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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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tion and training in adjustment to 'reality* becomes comparatively simple. Thus, in practice, if we start with ordinary objects, feelings, and words, and train in the non-allness and non-identity, any child, or any grown-up, even an imbecile, can follow this easily. Once this feeling has been acquired, and in most cases it is only a matter of method and persistence to acquire it, the main semantic blockage has been eliminated, and the rest is comparatively easy. I have had no opportunity yet to verify it, but I am convinced that even a superior imbecile could be trained to differentiate between descriptions and inferences, after he has learned to differentiate between the objective levels and words. In such a training with imbeciles we can go in simplicity as far as desired; thus, if the given individual is hungry and says he wants 'bread', we hand him a label which is attached to the objective bread, and he would be quickly made to realize that the symbol is not the thing symbolized.
It should be realized that in the training we should impart the obvious fact that words or labels represent conveniences, and are not the objects or feelings themselves. We should carry the labels in our pockets, so to say, as we carry our money, or checks for hats or trunks, and not identify them 'emotionally' with what they eventually stand for, because monetary standards change, and hats and trunks get exchanged, lost or burnt. To accomplish this, we must have objective labels, which we may handle and carry in our pockets, and also an objective something to which we can attach the labels. In the present-system the rejection of the 'is' of identity is complete and applies to all levels. Thus, the event is not the object; the object is not the label; description is not inference; a proper name is not a class name.; the characteristics ascribed to events, objects, or labels are not identical, an object, a situation, or a feeling is not identical with another object, situation or feeling ., ., all of which establishes a structure of horizontal and vertical stratification. At an early stage of the training, we must begin with what appears the simplest and most obvious to the child; namely, the absence of identity between the word and the object, or that the word is not the object. We accomplish this by stressing that one cannot sit on the word 'chair', that one cannot write with the word 'pencil', or drink the word 'milk',. These simple facts should always be translated into the generalised form, indicating with the hand the two levels on the Differential, conjointly with the fundamental formula 'this is not this'. We should always tell the child that the formula is entirely general, but for the present we should not go into any further details.
At this stage we can advance one step further, still using only ordinary objects as examples, and explain the un-speakable character