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A Primer Of Semantics

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OGDEN AND RICHARDS                          57
of Ogden and Richards deals only with a restricted area of human experience. The thing is "observed" with cold eyeswith eyes that do not find things good or bad, beautiful or ugly, useful or not useful, important or not important, etc. The symbol refers impersonally to the thing. I grant that it is impossible to eliminate the personal bias of an observer. I grant that we look at things from where we standand for what we want. I grant that we select our "facts" to suit our purposes. But:
The scientist wants to give uncolored descriptions of what exists, in so far as he is able.
Information concerning meteors, sunspots, gaseous pulsations, northern lights, etc., will come from scientists of sixty-one nations participating in the International Geophysical Year. But there will be not one word of the excitement, the joy, the awe that the observers experienced as they recorded these spectacles of our sky.
The lawyer wants uncolored descriptions of what happened, in so far as that is possible.
I recall the story of an attorney who was retained to defend a man. The attorney questioned this man. But every answer was loaded, slanted by the attitudes and personal feelings of the man:
"He took me. I was double-crossed"
"The skunk outsmarted me."
And more of such.
The attorney told me that he worked for weeks to train this man to answer questions properly. The morning of the trial came. The first question that was put to the defendant by the opposing attorney was this:
"Were you at the plant on------?"