How We Know What We Know
Dr. Hayakawa develops the idea that what we know of the objective world is a product of our nervous system and, hence, an abstraction from sensory data. Alfred Korzynski’s “structural differential” diagram is used to trace the successive levels of abstraction from the event and the object through the first or descriptive verbal level to high level verbal abstractions such as “organism,” “matter,” etc. We become unintelligible when our verbal abstractions cannot be traced back to lower levels of abstraction. One of the great risks in high level abstraction consists in proceeding from the known to the unknown and in making unwarranted inferences and judgments. Examples from a modern philosophic work and from a racing form are used to illustrate abstractions that can and cannot be traced back to actual events.
Dr. S.I. Hayakawa; KQED, San Francisco; Richard Moore; Tom Borden; Ralph Chesse; Ruth Asawa; W.A. Palmer Films, Inc.
National Educational Television; Indiana University Audio-Visual Center
National Educational Television
IUL Moving Image Archive
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Other: GR00466847; MDPI Barcode: 40000003176833
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