SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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present method of training in sanity consists in the fact that we do not dwell upon the personal affairs of the individual, but that we give, instead, a general structural semantic method, by the aid of which every one can solve his problems by himself.
We have established sharp differences between 'man' and 'animal'. These differences must be considered of higher order, as the terms 'man' and 'animal' are applied to abstractions of higher orders. We found that 'man' through ignorance and inappropriate s.r can copy tnimals in his nervous reactions. Such copying appears either as arrested development or as regression. In dealing with the terms 'con-cious' and 'unconscious', we discovered a general and human content lor human 'consciousness'; namely, the 'consciousness of abstracting'. The ascribing of a general content abolishes a vast field of 'unconscious-ness', and so tends to prevent arrested development, infantilism, regression ., whenever this is possible. The problem of making the structure of language similar at a given date to the structure of the events it symbolizes, is introduced. The conquests of science become incorporated Into daily life by the use of the new language. The structure common to both science and language appears to be the intimate bond between science and human life. The masses gain simple structural and semantic means for adjustment.
A theory of sanity must draw attention to problems involving 'truth', 'falsehood', 'repressions',. Since the main usefulness of the theory is to help in attaining the most efficient working of the nervous system by the elimination of disturbing semantic factors, 'attitudes', doctrines., we must investigate the effect false (or repressed) statements may have on the working of the nervous system.
For instance, if we see that A, B, and C are given in the order A,B,C, such lower abstractions start cycles of nervous currents, which correspond to the seen order. If we see the order A,B,C, and say untruthfully that the order appears as C,B,A, this statement results, also, from some cyclic nerve currents. Obviously, we have some conflict and disturbance in the working of the system. If we make a mistake, the situation is different. Let us say that many observers definitely establish the given order as A,B,C. A new observer sees by mistake the order as C,B,A. His nervous currents correspond to his error, and when he makes a truthful statement that he has seen C,B,A, this statement also is connected with the appropriate nerve currents and there is no conflict or disturbance between the corresponding nerve currents. The seen and reported correspond to each other.