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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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Here we are face to face for the first 'time' with a wider, more general, and impersonal 'unconscious', which underlies the structure of any language, and so is operative in every one who uses a language. We may call this general form the scientific, or public, or linguistic, or semantic, or by preference, as a term, the structural unconscious. It embodies the underlying structural assumptions and implications which are silently hidden behind our languages and their structures. These assumptions., may be called 'unconscious', because they are totally unknown and unsuspected, unless uncovered after painful research.
Any form of representation has its own structural assumptions at its basis, and when we accept a language we unconsciously accept sets of silent structural assumptions of which we become semantic victims. For a long while, the white race has been the victim of the unconscious assumptions and metaphysics which underlie the A, E, and N systems. It has needed a structural revision of these systems, culminating in E, R, and, finally, A systems. These non-systems are characterized not by the introduction of new assumptions, but by making the older unjustified, primitive, unconscious structural assumptions conscious, and so helping us in eliminating the semantically undesirable reactions. We have already seen how fallacies and taboos (1933) can be and were manufactured unconsciously by semantic processes; these start with more general, more natural, and more fundamental structural errors, such as the primitive 'identification', for instance, which are due to pre-human ways of 'thinking' and which result in semantic difficulties and regression even today.
Let us assume, as an illustration, that the fifth postulate of Euclid is a false assumption, seriously detrimental to human life and comparable to some of the false doctrines that underlie the morbid symptoms with which psychiatrists deal every day. Let us assume, further, that a doctor, ignorant of the structure of 'human knowledge', s.r, and the equivalence of assumptions, succeeds, after painful and laborious efforts, in eliminating from a patient this special vicious assumption. Yet, because of his oversight, he pays no attention to another assumption equivalent to the first, and does not eliminate it. In such a case, rationalization about the first false doctrine would probably make the treatment a failure, as the other unconscious and equivalent doctrine would, in virtue of the extremely formal, one-, and two-valued character of the unconscious, perform its task and make the treatment ineffective. The tangle of equivalent structural assumptions in daily life is still unanalysed. For instance, it is extremely difficult to attempt to impart 'proper evaluation' without eliminating identification,.