SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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In the process of formulating the above system a curious observation has been forced upon me; namely, that statements which are, for instance, quite legitimate for the English language, even though they probably apply in general to all Indo-european languages, do not apply in a similar degree.
I am intimately acquainted with six languages, two Slavic, two Latin, and two Teutonic, and also with the psycho-logical trends of these groups. I have been led to suspect strongly that the finer differences in the structure of these languages and their use are connected with the semantics of these national groups. An enquiry into this problem, in my opinion, presents great semantic possibilities and might be the foundation for the understanding of international psycho-logical differences. Once formulated, this would lead us to a better mutual understanding, particularly if a semantic revision of these different languages is undertaken. To the best of my knowledge, this field of enquiry is entirely new and very promising.
It must be obvious to the reader that such a vast program is beyond the power of a single man to carry out, and the present author hopes for public interest in this enterprise.
If the -system has accomplished nothing more than to draw the attention of mankind to some disregarded problems; if it has done nothing more than point the way, not to panaceas, but to suggestions toward an expedient, constructive, and unified scientific program whereby future disasters may be avoided or lessenedthe writer will be satisfied.