The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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such as to foster constructive relatedness between human beingsand this by means of words.
9. Constructive relatedness calls for supportive
We use words to inform others, to persuade others, to activate others. When we try to draw others to us in the interest of a purpose, we must affect their attitudes. Attitudes are at the deepest core of the human being. They are hard to reach and extremely difficult to change. How :an we persuade another to adopt our cause?
Again Northrop is suggestive in his Logic of the Sciences %nd the Humanities. Northrop points out that science deals with what is. But man is concerned, as well, with what ought to be. Man wants. Man desires. Man prefers some things to others. Man values some things above others. Whatever has worth for a man is a value to that man. We use words to try to get what we want. But how can we persuade another that what we want is desirable also for him?
According to Northrop, the solid ground that supports our wants, our values, our beliefs, our preferences is knowledgescientific knowledge. Our values are "verifiable . . . as true or false." (page 338) When our values conform with what is known, our values are true, Northrop says.
It is the opinion of Northrop that the value system of every human being should be informed, and forever rein-Eormed, by advancing knowledge. If it is not, he warns, the physical facts of science will outpace human behavior and man-made machines may be the monster that will destroy him.
This book will prescribe semantic devices by which to persuade others to action in the interest of our purposesin the