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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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672 IX. ON EMPIRICAL AND VERBAL STRUCTURES
we simply had to discover a structurally new method of dealing with the old problems without changing them.
The new method is given by Einstein and Minkowski. Instead of making the static world of higher order abstractions dynamic, which cannot be done at all without producing semantic disturbances, they invented structural methods for dealing with the dynamic world by static means. The key was found in the handling of the troublesome factor, 'time'. Minkowski decided to put 'time' in its proper place by introducing the structurally new four-dimensional world.
In the case of particle P, we habitually used to say that the point P at an instant t was at a 'space' point (x, y, z). At the instant t' it was at the point ,. We always needed four numbers, which gave us the where and when in respect to some frame of reference.
As we have seen, Minkowski decided to look structurally at this tetrad of four numbers'as-a-whole'. In other words, he placed himself on
a higher level of abstraction. He took under consideration the older results, combined them, and called the combination by one single name, the 'world point'. Such a world point has also four numbers (not 3 plus 1, but just 4). A world made up of such points is a four-dimensional world in which all the points co-exist. The flux of the lower order abstractions and 'time' is abolished. There is no more 'motion' in a 'flow of time'. In such a world the term 'where' has completer structural meanings, it has absorbed the when. If we ask, where in such a world the particle P is, we answer, at the point (x, y, z, t). Where it the particle At the point
We see that the particles of such a world are never 'the same'; they do not 'change' or 'pass'; they co-exist, and all is static. In this way the three-dimensional dynamics become four-dimensional statics.
It should be noticed that we are now dealing with a language of new structure, uniquely befitting the structure and function of our nervous system. Of course we have altered nothing in the world around us. The example of the moving picture and the static film as given before is an excellent example of this structural innovation.
The fact that in this new world nothing repeats itself because it has a different date, unless the time-lines are closed, has very far-reaching consequences, of which we have already spoken and which we will analyse in more detail later on.