SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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Just as in other disciplines, the instructions are simple: 'push these', 'pull this', or 'turn that'; so, in our case, this simple descriptive rule which refers to the objective Differential is given as: 'this is not this'. ()nce the reflex-activities have been acquired, we can, for instance, enjoy the pleasure of an automobile trip, the music of a radio, or a semantic trip toward sanity in harmony with ourselves and others, very simply, in spite of the underlying theoretical complexities which are always means and not ends in themselves.
But here we must face an important difference. It is easy to demonstrate empirically to the majority of us the usefulness or pleasurable-ness of automobiles and radios, but it is very difficult to demonstrate the benefits of consciousness of abstracting to those who have not acquired it. Before the experimental data begin to accumulate and become common knowledge, the main evaluation will have to be made on theoretical grounds. Besides, before children can be trained by the simple and easy methods outlined above, adults must first re-train and re-shape their own s.r, which re-training and re-shaping are not easy, and require even more difficult theoretical considerations. Because of this, the present work had to be written in the form of a text-book for parents, teachers, physicians, and workers in 'mental' hygiene, and for future students and research workers in psychophysiology and semantic hygiene.
At the beginning, in the application of the method, a number of difficulties will be discovered which will have to be overcome. As a rule, the training in non-pathological s.r proves to be easiest and simplest with very young children. Most of it, or at least the laying down of the Ncmantic foundations for such reactions, should be accomplished at home by specially trained teachers, if the parents are unable to do that themselves. In countries or communities where the national or local governments show an interest in the health of the population by providing, for instance, specialists in preventive vaccination, specialists to train in preventive measures against semantic disturbances will probably also be provided.
In elementary schools the teachers at first will have to train them-selves as best they can with the help of specialists; but in high schools, colleges, and universities, special instructors will have to be employed.
The first concern, then, is to start the education and training of teachers. With this end in view, the present work has been written so us to form a fairly complete outline of the whole problem; reference literature has been indicated, so that any one who wants to specialize in the subject can find some suitable text-book as a primer. As to qualifications for the professional A instructors, - it is, at present, very difficult