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Life Arts

Alfred Korzybski Quotes

By Alfred Korzybski  Posted by Jimmy Walter (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
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Alfred Korzybski by Wikipedia Commons

This is a collection of Alfred Korzybski, (July 3, 1879 to March 1, 1950) quotes from his book Science and Sanity, which can be downloaded for free at http://esgs.free.fr/uk/art/

He was a Polish-American philosopher and scientists who invented General Semantics. His work was part of the basis of Dr Alber Ellis' Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) theory.

Quotes:

If a psychiatric and scientific enquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.

When we say "our rulers', we mean those who are engaged in the manipulation of symbols. We must consider ourselves a symbolic, semantic class of life, and cannot cease from being so" those who control the symbols rule us"

Bankers, priests, lawyers," politicians, [and news media] constitute one class [of our rulers] and work together. They do not produce any values but manipulate the values produced by others, and often pass signs for no value at all. Scientists and teachers also comprise a ruling class. They produce the main values mankind has, but, at present, they do not realize this. They are, in the main, ruled by the cunning methods of the first class.

Our rulers: politicians, "diplomats', bankers, priests of every description, economists, lawyers, etc. and the majority of teachers " are ignorant of modern science, scientific methods, structural linguistic and semantic issues of [today] and " historical and anthropological background, without which a sane orientation is impossible. " as long as such ignorance of our rulers prevails, no solution of our human problems is possible.

There seems only one thing certain, at present; namely, that the old theories and methods tended strongly to produce morons and "insane' persons, while "geniuses' were born only in spite of those handicaps. Perhaps in the future we shall be able to produce "geniuses' while morons and "insane' persons will be born only in spite of our precautions.

Whatever you say it is, it isn't.

The map is not the territory. " The only usefulness of a map depends on similarity of structure between the empirical world and the map"

So we must see that money is a symbol for human agreement

"There are two was to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything.   Both ways save us from thinking."

 

In the rough, a symbol is a sign that stands for something" Before a noise, etc., may become a symbol, something must exist for the symbol to symbolize.

Incorrect symbolism" is bound to undermine any possibility of our building a structurally human civilization.

"the analogy between the noises we make when these noises do not symbolize anything which exists, and the worthless checks we write when our bank balance is zero"

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but not so vague as to lose utility. Philosophy ha... by martin weiss on Sunday, Aug 28, 2011 at 5:11:56 PM
Mr Korzybski acknowledges the trust of what you sa... by Jimmy Walter on Monday, Aug 29, 2011 at 9:24:04 AM

 

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