The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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120                  THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
system is circular, and, to come to the crux of the matter, because we just don't know all about anything! We select our words and we select our subject matter from a particular point of view. Whatever we say about anything is hemmed in by our individual limitations and by the limitations of the species Man. This is a simple lesson in General Semantics. Perhaps it will make us less positive, less dogmatic, and more willing to admit our limitations when we describe or appraise anything or anyone.
The etc. keeps our statements open-end. The etc. says There's more to it than can be said.
We cannot define a word in its totality. We cannot describe a thing in its totality. We cannot characterize a person in his totality. Every statement we make is abridged.
29. What Korzybski's "logic" is not
Perhaps the first thing that should be said is that Korzybski was not concerned with formal logic. The quotes on the term "logic" will remind you of this fact as you read in this and the following Section.
The subtitle of Science and Sanity is An Introduction to Non-aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. It is essential to point out at once that Korzybski was not anti-Aristotelian. He proceeds from basic assumptions in deductive fashion to explicate General Semantics. He does not depreciate deductive procedures. It should also be noted, in this connection, that Korzybski's "Structural Differential" is a model of the abstracting process precisely in that he moves from one classificatory level to another. Korzybski does not, of course, deny the usefulness and the