SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

Becoming thoroughly familiar with these few simple examples takes away a great deal of mystery from the Minkowski-Einstein and the new quantum world. We see that after all there is nothing extraordinary in the fact that in languages of different structures we get different forms of representations and pictures, and that in a world where accelerations abound we may very profitably use the term 'curved'.
When we come to speak about the Einstein theory, the four-dimensional space-time world of Minkowski, and the new quantum mechanics, we shall have considerable use for these few notions and illustrations.
Section D. The application of geometrical notions to cerebral localization.
In the present work we are dealing in the main with structure and the adjustment of the structure of our languages to empirical structures, and at this point it will be of use to suggest some of the consequences which follow from what has been said.
The question of cerebral localization is a difficult and vital problem. In former days it was supposed that the brain had individualized centres with strictly defined functions. Attempts were made to ascribe to definite cerebral parts definite functions such as 'memory', 'intelligence', 'morality', 'talents', . In the meantime, experimental facts disproved such structural views, and as a reaction another tendency appeared; namely, to deny any localization.
Modern researches show unmistakably that both of these extreme tendencies are at variance with experimental structural facts. It appears that the lower centres play a more important role according as the terminal, or higher centres, are less developed and that there is considerable variability, at least in man, not only from the morphological and histological aspects but also from the functional aspect. It was found impossible to generalize from the particular development of centralization and functional distribution in one species to the distribution in another species. Localization may vary even in one individual under different circumstances.10 Metabolism, and slight disturbances in the functioning of a neuron, were also found to have a most far-reaching influence, shown in its relations to other groups of neurons. The problems of localization are far too complex to attempt even an account of them, the more so since the reader will find excellent accounts of them in the large literature on the subject. The general conclusion reached by practically all investigators is that some localization of nervous function does exist, yet it has a certain variability which depends on an enormous number of factors.
The methods explained in this chapter will enable us to suggest a method by which we can orient ourselves in the bewildering complexity of the functioning of the nervous system.