The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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32                     THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
interest of our wants, our needs, our values. Such persuasion calls for supportive evidence. And this supportive evidence is to be found in what is known.
What is known1958?
i. We know that we live in a process world in which change is ever-present.
2.  We know that we live in a world in which nothing repeats itself exactly and that everything is uniqueand in a state of constant transformation.
3.  We know that nothing is isolatedthat everything is related.
In his Human Use of Human Beings, Norbert Wiener makes a statement that I shall quote exactly because it is the backbone of field theory of communication and the semantic devices that are appropriate to it:
One of the most interesting aspects of the world is that it can be considered to be made up of patterns. A pattern is essentially an arrangement. It is characterized by the order of the elements of which it is made, rather than by the intrinsic nature of the elements, (page 3)
What Wiener is saying here is that it is the relationship between things, and not the things themselves, which is of primary significance. Field theory again! Nature is made up of patterns, and of patterns within patternsuntil, ultimately, all things are related.
4.  We know that wherever there is relatedness there is order of one kind or another; sometimes favorable, sometimes not favorable.
This is what we know. But what do we believe? Every decision you and I make, small or great, sinks deeply into a system of beliefsinto a value system. The