The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication

All species of behavioral scientists are concerned with "learning" in one sense or another of that word. Moreover, since "learning" is a communicational phenomenon, all are affected by that cybernetic revolution in thought which has occurred in the last twenty-five years. This revolution was triggered by the engineers and communication theorists but has older roots in the physiological work of Cannon and Claude Bernard, in the physics of Clarke Maxwell, and in the mathematical philosophy of Russell and Whitehead. Insofar as behavioral scientists still ignore the problems of Principia Mathematica,101 they can claim approximately sixty years of obsolescence.

It appears, however, that the barriers of misunderstanding which divide the various species of behavioral scientists can be illuminated (but not eliminated) by an application of Russell's Theory of Logical Types to the concept of "learning" with which all are concerned. To attempt this illumination will be a purpose of the present essay.

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