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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION
these areas to make its impact apparent in their writings and in the character of their researches. The old dichotomies which have been for, lo! these many years the bed-rock terms of intellectual discourse, to which others referred and from which they derived their meanings - e.g., mental and physical, conscious and unconscious, thought and speech, structure and function, intellect and emotion, heredity and environment, organic and functional, reality and unreality, male and female, autonomic and cerebrospinal, pyramidal and extrapyramidal, motor and sensory, idiopathic and symptomatic, voluntary and involuntary, etc. - have exhibited visible signs of disintegration. New and operationally verifiable formulations are beginning to emerge in their place and field theory, commen-« surate wth that now being developed in the realm of nuclear physics, begins to accommodate data heretofore considered unconnected. Nowhere is it more apparent than in neurology, psychology and closely related disciplines that 'the word is not the thing.'
It would be a mistake, of course, for the reader to suppose that, because no major alterations in or additions to Korzybski's methodologic and applied formulations have appeared necessary up to the present, his students and others who find his views empathetic with their own embrace the inordinate faith that such will not eventually be required. Quite to the contrary. They are persuaded that modifications, major as well as minor, must come as newly acquired information necessitates; and they have deliberately provided for them. From its very inception, the discipline of general semantics has been such as to attract persons possessing high intellectual integrity, independence from orthodox commitments, and agnostic, disinterested and critical inclinations. On the whole, they have been persons little impressed with intellectual authority immanent within any individual or body of individuals. For them, authority reposes not in any omniscient or omnipresent messiah, but solely in the dependability of the predictive content of propositions made with reference to the non-verbal happenings in this universe. They apply this basic rubric as readily to korzybskian doctrine as to all other abstract formulations and theories and, like good scientists, they are prepared to cast them off precisely as soon as eventualities reveal them to be incompetent, i.e., lacking in reliable predictive content. This circumstance in itself should abrogate once and for all the feckless charges sometimes made by ill-informed critics that general semantics is but one more of a long succession of cults, having its divine master, its disciples, a bible, its own mumbo-jumbo and ceremonial .rites. For, if there is any one denominator that can be regarded as common to all such cults, it is the self-sealing character of their dogmas, which a priori must stand as