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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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534          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
originator. In such cases, the given originator has many followers, and there is a possibility of many doctrines or systems which have one doctrinal function or system-function. The content of the doctrines may be changed, but they all have one structure. The importance of the new doctrine or system was not in its particular interpretation, or in the assigning of a particular value to the variables, but in the underlying doctrinal function or system-function, which alone has explicit structure, and is given by the postulates which establish the function.
2) Some individuals do not produce explicitly or implicitly new doctrinal function or system-functions, with new structure, but simply assign a new and individual value to the variables in the one doctrinal function or system-function produced by others. These workers very often bitterly defend the private individual value they have assigned to a variable, and are often entirely innocent of the serious debt they owe to the originator of the new function which they utilize. But these works never mark a milestone in the progress of mankind and are usually soon forgotten.
Because of the disregard of the considerations explained here, the proper evaluation of different doctrines and systems is very difficult, and even in scientific circles the lack of orientation in this field is astonishing. It seems that it is not enough to produce a 'new theory' to have made an important contribution to knowledge; but it is essential to produce a new doctrinal function or system-function, because this only has a structural significance. This point of view, perhaps, solves the tremendous and, as yet, unsolved difficulties we have in reducing doctrines to sets of postulates, which is admittedly desirable, and yet so hard to produce. Thus, to find the doctrinal function or system-function which underlies a theory, we must strip it of all accidental values privately ascribed to. the variables, and formulate only the invariant relations which are posited between the variables. The finding of this function is also equivalent to finding the structure of a given theory.
We may consider that the psychoanalytical and psychotherapeutic movement originated with the work of Freud. The epoch-making value of his work consists in the fact that, underlying his special theory, there can be discovered a new system-function. All other schools simply ascribe a different value to the variables, but do not produce, structurally, new system-functions; they represent different systems which have one freudian system-function.
It is here impossible to analyse this problem systematically or in detail, but a few structural hints may be useful.