SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION
xix
a priori decisions as to be unable to appropriately respond to new data from the non-verbal, not-yet-anticipated world. By definition, the extensionally oriented person, while remaining as articulate as any of her/his neighbors, is habitually open to new data, is habitually able to say, "I don't know; let's see." As an aid toward this more healthy orientation, Korzybski formulated the "extensional devices" explained in his Introduction to the Second Edition herein.
23.    Neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic factors applied to psychotherapeutic procedures and to the prevention of psycho-logical problems.
24.    Mathematics. Korzybski's use of mathematical formulations and point of view qualifies as one of his most daring contributions.
25.    Science and mathematics as human behaviors. Perhaps showing some korzybskian influence (much of it has come to be 'in the air'), writers on science and mathematics are increasingly addressing the human being who does science and/or mathematics. But Korzybski seems the first, to the degree that he did, to point to understanding these human behaviors as a necessary prerequisite or accompaniment to fully understanding science and mathematics as such. As Gaston Bachelard observed,
The psychological and even physiological conditions of a non-Aristotelian logic have been resolutely faced in the great work of Count Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity?
26.    Limitations of subject-predicate languages (modes of representation) when employed without consciousness of abstracting. Korzybski addresses this central formulation fully in his book.
27.    Insistence on relative 'invariance under transformation'. Korzybski was concerned that invariance of relations not be confused with 'invariance' of processes.
28.    General uncertainty (all statements merely probable in varying degrees) as an inevitable derivative of korzybskian abstracting, non-identity, etc. Korzybski, drawing partly on his Polish milieu, anticipated and exceeded Heisenberg's mid-nineteen-twenties formulation of (restricted) uncertainty.
29.     The mechanism/machine-ism distinction. This may seem too simple to list as an 'original' or even major point. Yet it is vital, indicating as it does Korzybski's strong commitment to finding out how something works as opposed to vague, 'spiritual' explanations.
Korzybski and some of his Institute successors who have worked to present korzybskian general semantics have sometimes met this resistance: "I'm not a machine!" People trained in the myriad 'intellectual', 'mystical' in varying degrees systems/traditions they bring to seminars often react as if they four to lose their 'humanity' by being asked to consider the mechanisms which