SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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be based on some observable facts, and not only on our freedom to use words in any manner whatsoever. It follows that we must give up a language that speaks in terms of the 'position' of an electron at a given 'time'. , and use instead a language that describes observable characteristics, as, for instance, energy levels which are directly measurable by electron impacts and the frequencies which are derivable from them, the intensity and polarization of the emitted waves . ; instead of electronic 'motions' inside the atom, which never are and never can be actually observed. It is structurally indispensable to look for such data which are actual or at least can be observed.
As words are not the things we speak about, and structure is the only link between them, structure becomes the only content of knowledge. If we gamble on verbal structures that have no observable empirical structures, such gambling can never give us any structural information about the world. Therefore such verbal structures are structurally obsolete, and if we believe in them, they induce delusions or other semantic disturbances.