SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

be analysed. They have a separable unit 'quantum' structure, which can be treated individually. It should be carefully noticed that the static character of these higher order abstractions is the origin of their separable quantum character, conditioned by the human nervous structure. They are, if properly treated, reliable and are uniquely responsible for our being time-binders.
Again, by the structural necessity of our nervous system, we deal first with lower order abstractions, and next with higher order abstractions. It must be noticed that no one, unless he is (pathologically) entirely deprived of the higher nerve centres, is, or can be, an exception. We all deal with lower abstractions first, and with the higher next, no matter how perfect or imperfect these abstractions may be.
The general confusion of orders of abstractions, the lack of theories, and therefore of structural understanding of the entirely different characters of these distinct orders of abstractions, leads to, and must result in, identification or confusion of orders of abstractions. As the different processes are going on, whether we will it or not, in every single one of us, they may result in the delusional ascribing of the characteristics of the higher order abstractions to the lower order abstractions, as for instance, permanence, immutability., somewhere involving 'infinities'. When objectified, we have such semantic disturbances as fanaticism, absolutism, dogmatism, finalism . , which often become morbid semantic states.
A similar confusion may lead to the delusional ascribing of the characteristics of the lower order abstractions to the higher ones. Under such delusions we ascribe to the higher abstractions fluidity, shiftiness, non-permanence, 'non-knowability'. , which results in pessimism, cynicism, disregard for science, bitterness, fright, hopelessness and other equally vicious semantic disturbances. These in turn affect by structural necessity the proper working of the entire organism, which always works as-a-whole.
The A -system and other older systems were not only built before these facts became structurally known but were actually based on such confusion. Hence their viciousness. By building a language and a method of this nature they perpetuated and made effective mechanically through the structure of language, a harmful confusion. This language being not in accordance with the structure and functioning of the nervous system and the world, must produce pathological results somewhere.
We have already seen that the use of the 'is' of identity is unconditionally delusional. Naturally, attitudes (affective, lower order abstractions) which can assert, (higher order abstractions) that so and so on objective levels 'is' so and so, must lead to pathological results. In science this is a profoundly unsatisfactory state of affairs and needs structural revision.
Mathematicians, though in the main unconscious or innocent of the structural, semantic, and neurological issues involved, nevertheless have solved this problem by producing methods of passing from one order of abstractions to another, from dynamic to static, and vice versa. The influence of these discoveries has also affected the other sciences unconsciously. Without consciously