The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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Neither the communicator nor the recipient should neglect himself as an object. The silent self communicates.
(2) The human being as a unified self inside the skin
This second level of complexity concerns the self as an organized whole. The personal biography of the individual is involved here. This is not the place to attempt to explore the psychology that deals with the integration and the conflicts within the self. Nor is it necessary to dwell at this point on the stuff of organization. Is it needs? Is it interests? Is it knowledge? Is it values? Is it all of these? Whatever it is, the system is hierarchicalthere is an organization in which the dominant forces take precedence over the less dominant forces.
The eminent biologist Edmund W. Sinnott, Dean of the Graduate School of Yale University, says that "organized development is concerned not so much with substances as with specific relations.9' With this in mind, Sinnott says, "biologists have postulated the existences and effectiveness of 'fields' of various sorts, particularly bioelectric ones."3® Sinnott concludes by pointing out that every organism is purposive, and that at its highest level this "regulatory protoplasmic control" is called "conscious desire or purpose." (page 462)
This is a new look at the inner self and one that the biologist Sinnott shares with the psychologist Gordon W. Allport of Harvard. Allport speaks of the self as a structural systemself-regulating and self-maintaining. "Intentional characteristics," Allport states, "represent above all else the individual's primary modes of addressing himself
s® Edmund W. Sinnott, **The Biology of Purpose" in Selected Papers on Psychotherapy, Purpose and Communication; reprinted from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, XXII, Nos. 3 and 4 (July and October 1952), 460.