A Lethal Fundamental Error: How to Recognize, Reject & Replace It

C. A. Hilgartner


A Lethal Fundamental Error: How To Recognize, Reject & Replace It

C. Andrew Hilgartner, MD

Director, Hilgartner & Associates, 2413 North East Street, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA: cah5@hilgart.org

Experts within various specialties warn of crises in their individual areas of expertise—usually in myopic, single-issue terms. In this paper I present a more holistic view, an alternative frame of reference that offers a novel perspective on our difficulties.

I diagnose our culture as experiencing an acute suicidal emergency—we may soon render ourselves extinct (along with most of the rest of the biosphere).

I have found a previously unnoticed fundamental theoretical error encoded in the generalized grammar of the western Indo-European (WIE) family of languages. This error I find embedded––hidden––in notational (written) as well as discursive (spoken) locutions, and it appears to afflict all of our ‘disciplines’ (sub-languages) including the WIE logics, mathematics, sciences, philosophies, jurisprudences, religions, etc.

We humans use our languaging as a sort of ‘map’, by which to represent and transact with the ‘territory’ of our experiencing (the world). However, no ‘map’ can satisfy the criteria as identical with the ‘territory’ that it purports to represent. But, by assuming tacitly that it does, we continue to generate lethal errors and misunderstandings.

This error leads us to misunderstand our relationship with ourselves-and-our-environments, and has led our culture unawarely to commit a cascade of survival errors, the accumulated weight of which now would allow us to exterminate living organisms (that includes us!) from this planet with only a moment’s notice.

The fundamental error I have disclosed appears to me of magnitude and scope sufficient to account for the human-species-suicidal emergency in which we have placed ourselves.

In this paper I elaborate on these issues and discuss alternative ways of viewing ourselves-in-the-world that offer the possibility of averting catastrophe.

Here, I suggest, you may come to see your disciplines, your languages, your culture, your place in the biosphere (the terrestrial…sidereal universe), etc., as not fragmented, but as a whole.


Human species-suicide; underlying fundamental error; hidden untenable assumptions; sustainable culture

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