SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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semantic solution. In it we find not only a complete foundation for a theory of sanity, but also the semantic, psychophysiological mechanism for the passing from the infantile, or primitive-man, level to the higher level of complete adulthood and civilized social man.
The following drawing is taken from Bleuler's Textbook of Psychiatry (p. 402) and was made by a very ill patient (chronic catatonic) who could formerly draw well; yet this drawing is obviously childish. The literature of psy
chiatry abounds in such productions, and they confirm fully the processes as described in psychiatry.
Adult infantilism becomes usually a potent wrecker of individual lives, and, when viewed from a social, national, or international point of view, accounts, also, for the majority of our semantic difficulties in the social, economic, and political fields.
Although we treat infantile, arrested, and regressive symptoms together, it is important to realize that most of these characteristics are normal with the primitive man, and the infant, provided the child out
grows them. The differ-
Fig. 4
ence between arrested
development and regression seems somewhat like that between a poor man and one who has lost his fortune. In the first case, the functioning of the nervous system is unsatisfactory through some deficiency; in the second, the potentialities for efficient working were there, but some semantic obstacle originated the regression, or else some degenerative neural process set in.