SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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We come thus to a natural scale of a definite natural order, which also establishes the natural order of genetic importance and represents the natural base for survival semantic evaluation. For our purpose the relative order may be represented as the scientific object or the event first, ordinary object next; the ordinary object first, the label next; description first, inferences next, extended to descriptive and inferential words.
If we use the 'is' of identity and identify in value or importance the different, ultimately non-identical, levels, we nullify in principle the natural order of evaluation, which, by psychophysiological necessity, appears as a reversal of natural order in various degrees. We find many reasons for this curious fact, but, for our purpose, it will be enough to suggest that: (1) words are simpler and take less effort to handle than objects; (2) inferences being higher order abstractions than descriptions, are psycho-logically closer to our feelings and easier for any individual to manage than impersonal descriptions which require developed linguistic training, power of observation, self-mastery., and, in general, consciousness of abstracting. The reversal of the natural order must lead to non-adjustment and results in pathological symptoms in different degrees. The natural order consists of asymmetrical relations expressed by an ordered series, not only as to space-time, but as to values. All our experiences and all we know indicate definitely that ordinary materials ('objects') are extremely rare and very complex special cases of the beknottedness of the plenum; that the organic world and 'life' represent extremely rare and still more complex special cases of the material world; and, finally, so-called 'intelligent life' represents increasingly complex and still rarer special cases of 'life'. When we identify the members of these series, we disregard the asymmetrical character of this series and transform it into a fictitious, or delusional, or false to facts symmetrical relation of identity. It becomes also obvious why in the A-system, which did not allow asymmetrical relations, proper evaluation, adjustment, and sanity in general were, in principle, impossible.
Although the language used in this connection is not familiar, it is not entirely arbitrary. It appears experimentally that four-dimensional order has physiological importance on the one hand; on the other, that on the psycho-logical levels it involves the semantic factors of evaluation. In training in the physiological natural order, we train the evaluation or appropriate human and adult s.r on the psycho-logical levels.
In the difference between the un-speakable 'scientific object' and the ordinary object, the objective level and the verbal level, we find the precise spot at which we differ most radically from the animals. If we