Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Biophysics, Linguistics and the Unity of Science

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Biophysics, Linguistics and the Unity of Science

Article excerpt

FIFTY YEARS AGO IN ETC

Our body of scientific knowledge is not spread evenly over all possible subject matter. People have been led to examine this or that facet of the universe for this or that reason; at any one moment there exists a variety of scientific statements, classed roughly under such rubrics as archeology, psychology, botany, linguistics, embryology, and so forth. It is never completely clear, at a given moment, just what relations hold between the statements of these different fields, for the operational definitions of one differ more or less from the operational definitions of another.

If the expression "unity of science" is taken to imply something more than merely a methodological agreement between scientists in different fields, that "something more" is in the nature of a constant compulsion on scientists to understand the interrelationships between fields. We reverse the Biblical injunction "Let not thy left hand know what thy Right hand doeth"; we require, ideally, that the entire body of scientific statement be consistent. The statements of the chemist, for example, based on one approach, and those of the cytologist, based on another, should not contradict each other. …

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