SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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A 'science of man' must follow science (1933) in its structure and method. Only by accepting the current 'scientific metaphysics' as given by science at a given date is sanity possible. The passing from an infantile 'civilization' to an adult civilization of fuller human life and happiness will come with the development of a scientific civilization which has scientific standards of evaluation. But the passing will not be so easy. As we have already seen, science contains affective factors, and many scientists still appear infantile. In order to enter upon an adult civilization, we must first have non-infantile leaders, who must be produced by appropriate training. This involves much research work along the lines sketched in the present work, and the establishment of chairs of general semantics and psychophysiology in universities. Educational methods must be radically revised, and experimentation encouraged in the widest sense.
In 1933 we know positively that in the physico-chemical and colloidal structures we find conditions of practically endless possibilities corresponding to the very large numbers of semantic states and reactions. Medical practice shows experimentally that a great many physical symptoms involving some colloidal states are produced by semantic disturbances; because, once these disturbances are eliminated, the
; physical symptoms vanish. The enormous numbers of observed and possible different s.r could not be accounted for by the older, still prevailing, el, A, and two-, or three-valued outlook, and the cumbersome, extremely limited, and necessarily slow chemical 'passing of different substances'
' through the nervous system.
It is true that every student of medical science is acquainted with
i colloidal behaviour, but this knowledge has been neither emphasized nor consistently applied, because colloidal behaviour represents physico-chemical processes involving electromagnetic, high pressure., manifestations which cannot be dealt with at all by el, A means. Thus, a physician who is not trained ingeneral semantics, cannot 'think' in colloidal and physico-chemical terms, which in 1933 are the only modern ways of dealing with the organism-as-a-whole. This is much more serious than the layman or even the physicians realize, and accounts for the fact that, in spite of different special achievements and different discoveries, the practice of medicine is becoming more and more unsatisfactory. It also explains why the average physician cannot grasp the importance of psychiatry for general medicine, and why some psychiatrists indulge in very unscientific and doubtful metaphysics. Thus, a general physician who 'thinks' uniquely in seriously antiquated chemical and physiological terms, deals with a non-existent, fictitiously isolated 'body',