The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

KORZYBSKI                                    107
tricate one aspect of a broader situation-as-a-whole and set it apart as an elementisolated, and separated from that broader situation of which it is a related part. Korzybski suggests that wre use hyphens habitually to connect separators. Psychologists tell us that hyphenated terms such as body-mind, intellect-emotion, thought-feeling, etc., more correctly designate the relatedness of the various aspects of human behavior.
Not so long ago, I went to a public lecture to hear a well-known psychologist speak. I was rather surprised to hear him use the word "mind"; but, because I respect him so highly, I felt that he must have some justification for the use of this separator. So, during the question period, I rose to ask: "Would you define the wTord 'mind/ as you use it, please?" He seemed disturbed by the question and said that the word "mind" refers, really, to the nervous system. I was told later by the chairman that the speaker considered this a "hostile question." The term "mind" is, obviously, passing out of usage in psychological circles.
Some years ago, it was fashionable to debate whether heredity or environment was more important in the personality development of an individual. It did not seem to occur to the debaters that these two phases of human existence are inseparable. Today, it is common knowledge that there is a kind of transaction (trans-action) between the two. Heredity and environment are inseparable processes.
The assumption of relatedness stems from the physical sciences and makes its way to the sciences that deal with life. General Semantics takes the further step as a social science that is concerned with constructive relatedness as accomplished by change in the structure of language to conform with the structure of all of nature.