SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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acter. Among the few serious attempts to waken full self consciousness of what the situation is, and, having awaked consciousness, to provide a technique by which the vicious consequences of verbal habits may be avoided, I believe that of Count Korzybski must be rated as of the very first importance. I have been acquainted with his work for a number of years; not only do I believe it to be fundamentally sound, but I have always found his points of view most suggestive and stimulating, both in general and technical matters, and I have been amazed at the breadth of his interests and reading, and the diversity of the fields to which applications are made."
ROY J. KENNEDY, Professor of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
"Many of the impasses in which we of this lunatic world are involved are the result of verbal difficulties, and it is precisely these difficulties at which Count Kor-zybski's technique for the elimination of identity is chiefly aimed. He has shown a striking versatility in developing this technique which he has originated; he discusses the shortcomings of the sciences as facilely as those of religion. Whether or not the reader's sanity is improved by a careful study of the book, he cannot fail to enlarge his capacity for clear thinking. Paradoxically, athough Science and Sanity deals largely with the unspeakable it is suitable for discussion in the most decorous circles."
See also B. F. DOSTAL.
14. PHYSIOLOGY. RALPH S. LILLIE, Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago.
"Count Korzybski's criticism of the present structure and usages of human society - as failing to keep pace with the advance of knowledge in the physical and biological sciences - is timely and well-founded, and is expressed with clearness, vigor and insight in this interesting book. It is certain that this knowledge, if widely diffused and acted upon, would greatly alleviate and perhaps remove many of the ills which afflict the modern world. The chief obstacle to such progress is not the lack of available knowledge, but the anachronistic survival of many mental habits and conceptions which are inconsistent with the facts of natural reality as revealed by science. These conceptions are firmly rooted in the general mind by language and custom. What is needed is a far-reaching revision of concepts, and this book points the way to such a revision. Since we are compelled by the conditions of existence to think and act in terms of symbols - concepts, words, images, formulae - it is all-important that these should conform as closely as possible to the permanent realities of life and nature. How to secure an adequate degree of such conformity and establish it by training and education is one of the most pressing problems of the time. Count Korzybski describes in detail the nature of verbal, mathematical and scientific symbolisms, and discusses clearly the biological, neurological, and other conditions which give them their representative value. He shows that misconceptions regarding the nature of language underlie many prevalent confusions and fallacies, especially the various fallacies of identification (arising mainly from verbalisms), - as when it is assumed that the application of the same label to different facts somehow renders them all alike and justifies the same action toward all. Serious consequences inevitably arise from the failures of discrimination and valuation thus resulting; and the author makes a special plea for discernment and individual treatment in the problems of human personality. It is only on this basis that many types of maladjustment can be prevented or corrected. These are only a few features in a book remarkable for its comprehensiveness, scholarship and independence."
HORATIO B. WILLIAMS, Dalton Professor of Physiology, Columbia University, and a Mathematician.
"In his Science and Sanity Count Korzybski undertakes to bring to the attention of his readers the importance of 'consciousness of abstracting,' or the permanent and full awareness that: (1) the object is not the event or the physico-chemical sub-microscopic process; (2) that the symbol or label is not the object; and, (3) that an inference is not a description. Thus he is led to the formulation of a non-aris-totelian system based on the complete rejection of 'identity.' To facilitate training