PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION
underpin or constitute their functioning. Korzybski took pains to explain that mechanism should not be confused with 'machine-ism'. His concern for investigations at this level was bracing and central to his approach.
30. 'Infinite'-valued evaluating and semantic methods of science (not 'content' of science or non-professional behavior of scientists at a given date) as methods for sanity. Thus the title of his book. General semanticists are obliged to evaluate, to analyze, criticize and sometimes reject the products of 'science' at a given date. The approach is scientific, not scientistic.
31. Predictability as the primary measure of the value of an epistemologicalformulation. Korzybski was by no means an 'anti-aesthete'. He was deeply sensitive to (and knowledgeable about) music, married a portrait painter, read literature (Conrad was a favorite) including poetry, and even liked to relax with a good detective story. But he insisted that, for life issues, beauty or cleverness or mere consistency (logical coherence, etc.) were not enough.
Korzybski offered his non-aristotelian system with general semantics as its modus operandi as an on-going human acquisition, negentropic, ordering and self-correcting through and through, since it provides, self-reflexively, for its own reformulation, and assigns its users responsibility to do so should the need arise.
The above considerations have led me to the conclusion that Korzybski was not only a bold innovator, but also a brilliant synthesizer of available data into a coherent system. This system, when internalized and applied, can create a saner and more peaceful world, justifying the title of this book, Science and Sanity.
Robert P. Pula September 1993
1. Karol, Janicki, Toward Non-Essentialist Sociolinguistics. Berlin and New
York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1990.
2. Bibliographic Note: sample of books since 1970.
J. Samuel Bois, Breeds of Men: Toward the Adulthood of Humankind,
Harper and Row, 1970 Lee Thayer, ed., Communication: General Semantics Perspectives,
Spartan/Macmillan, 1970 (critique) William Youngren, Semantics, Linguistics, and Criticism, Random
House, 1972 (critique) Kenneth G. Johnson, ed., Research Designs in General Semantics,
Gordon and Breach, 1974