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Alfred Korzybski Science And Sanity Pdf

alfred korzybski science and sanity pdf

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Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics

General semantics is concerned with how events translate to perceptions, how they are further modified by the names and labels we apply to them, and how we might gain a measure of control over our own responses, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral.

It can serve as an antidote to certain kinds of delusional thought patterns in which necessarily incomplete and possibly warped mental constructs are projected onto the world and treated as reality itself.

After partial launches under the names human engineering and humanology , [1] Polish-American originator Alfred Korzybski [2] — fully launched the program as general semantics in with the publication of Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.

In Science and Sanity , general semantics is presented as both a theoretical and a practical system whose adoption can reliably alter human behavior in the direction of greater sanity. In the preface to the third edition of Science and Sanity , Korzybski wrote: "We need not blind ourselves with the old dogma that 'human nature cannot be changed', for we find that it can be changed. Starting around , university English professor S. Hayakawa — , speech professor Wendell Johnson , speech professor Irving J.

Lee, and others assembled elements of general semantics into a package suitable for incorporation into mainstream communications curricula. The Institute of General Semantics , which Korzybski and co-workers founded in , [5] continues today.

General semantics as a movement has waned considerably since the s, although many of its ideas live on in other movements, such as neuro-linguistic programming [6] [7] and rational emotive behavior therapy. In the "Silent and Verbal Levels" diagram, [9] the arrows and boxes denote ordered stages in human neuro-evaluative processing that happens in an instant.

Although newer knowledge in biology has more sharply defined what the text in these boxes labels "electro-colloidal", [10] the diagram remains, as Korzybski wrote in his last published paper in , "satisfactory for our purpose of explaining briefly the most general and important points". By making it a 'mental' habit to find and keep one's bearings among the ordered stages, general semantics training seeks to sharpen internal orientation much as a GPS device may sharpen external orientation.

Once trained, general semanticists affirm, a person will act, respond, and make decisions more appropriate to any given set of happenings. Although producing saliva constitutes an appropriate response when lemon juice drips onto the tongue, a person has inappropriately identified when an imagined lemon or the word "l—e—m—o—n" triggers a salivation response. In the 21st century, the physiology underlying identification and the neurological delay is thought to involve autoassociative memory , a neural mechanism crucial to intelligence.

According to the memory-prediction model for intelligence, if the stored representations resolve the arriving patterns, this constitutes "understanding", and brain activity shifts from evaluation to triggering motor responses.

When the retrieved representations do not sufficiently resolve newly arrived patterns, evaluating persists, engaging higher layers of the cortex in an ongoing pursuit of resolution. The additional time required for signals to travel up and down the cortical hierarchy [15] constitutes what general semantics calls a "beneficial neurological delay". Identification prevents what general semantics seeks to promote: the additional cortical processing experienced as a delay.

Korzybski called his remedy for identification "consciousness of abstracting. Korzybski's use of the term is somewhat unusual and requires study to understand his meaning. The techniques Korzybski prescribed to help a person develop consciousness of abstracting he called "extensional devices". Satisfactory accounts of general semantics extensional devices can be found easily.

Suppose you teach in a school or university. Students enter your classroom on the first day of a new term, and, if you identify these new students to a memory association retrieved by your brain, you under-engage your powers of observation and your cortex. Indexing makes explicit a differentiating of students this term from students prior terms. You survey the new students, and indexing explicitly differentiates student 1 from student 2 from student 3 , etc.

Suppose you recognize one student—call her Anna—from a prior course in which Anna either excelled or did poorly. Again, you escape identification by your indexed awareness that Anna this term, this course is different from Anna that term, that course.

Not identifying, you both expand and sharpen your apprehension of "students" with an awareness rooted in fresh silent-level observations.

Autoassociative memory in the memory-prediction model describes neural operations in mammalian brains generally. Language considerations figure prominently in general semantics, and three language and communications specialists who embraced general semantics, university professors and authors Hayakawa , Wendell Johnson and Neil Postman , played major roles in framing general semantics, especially for non-readers of Science and Sanity.

Many recognized specialists in the knowledge areas where Korzybski claimed to have anchored general semantics—biology, epistemology , mathematics, neurology, physics, psychiatry, etc. Keyser , C. Bridges , W. Ritter , P. Bridgman , G. But the type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of serious debate within metaphysical philosophy. So Black summed up general semantics as "some hypothetical neurology fortified with dogmatic metaphysics". The benefits come from maintaining an awareness of the principles and attitudes that are derived from GS and applying them as they are needed.

You can sort of compare general semantics to yoga in that respect In introductory remarks to the participants, Korzybski said:. General semantics formulates a new experimental branch of natural science, underlying an empirical theory of human evaluations and orientations and involving a definite neurological mechanism, present in all humans. It discovers direct neurological methods for the stimulation of the activities of the human cerebral cortex and the direct introduction of beneficial neurological 'inhibition' He added that general semantics "will be judged by experimentation".

General semantics accumulated only a few early experimental validations. Chase called Korzybski "a pioneer" and described Science and Sanity as "formulating a genuine science of communication. The term which is coming into use to cover such studies is 'semantics,' matters having to do with signification or meaning. Hayakawa read The Tyranny of Words, then Science and Sanity , and in he attended a Korzybski-led workshop conducted at the newly organized Institute of General Semantics in Chicago.

In the introduction to his own Language in Action , a Book of the Month Club selection, Hayakawa wrote, "[Korzybski's] principles have in one way or another influenced almost every page of this book So after a while, you don't talk about Newton anymore; you talk about gravitation. You talk about semantics and not Korzybskian semantics. The regimen in the Institute's seminars, greatly expanded as team-taught seminar-workshops starting in , continued to develop following the prescriptions laid down in Chapter XXIX of Science and Sanity.

The structural differential , patented by Korzybski in the s, remained among the chief training aids to help students reach "the silent level," a prerequisite for achieving "neurological delay". Innovations in the seminar-workshops included a new "neuro-relaxation" component, led by dancer and Institute editorial secretary Charlotte Schuchardt — But although many people were introduced to general semantics—perhaps the majority through Hayakawa's more limited 'semantics'—superficial lip service seemed more common than the deep internalization that Korzybski and his co-workers at the Institute aimed for.

Marjorie Kendig — , probably Korzybski's closest co-worker, director of the Institute after his death, and editor of his posthumously published Collected Writings: — , wrote in I would guess that I have known about 30 individuals who have in some degree adequately, by my standards, mastered this highly general, very simple, very difficult system of orientation and method of evaluating—reversing as it must all our cultural conditioning, neurological canalization, etc To me the great error Korzybski made—and I carried on, financial necessity—and for which we pay the price today in many criticisms, consisted in not restricting ourselves to training very thoroughly a very few people who would be competent to utilize the discipline in various fields and to train others.

We should have done this before encouraging anyone to popularize or spread the word horrid phrase in societies for general semantics, by talking about general semantics instead of learning, using, etc. Yes, large numbers of people do enjoy making a philosophy of general semantics. This saves them the pain of rigorous training so simple and general and limited that it seems obvious when said , yet so difficult.

Successors at the Institute of General Semantics continued for many years along the founders' path. Stuart Mayper — , who studied under Karl Popper , introduced Popper's principle of falsifiability into the seminar-workshops he led at the Institute starting in More modest pronouncements gradually replaced Korzybski's claims that general semantics can change human nature and introduce an era of universal human agreement.

In , Robert Pula — , whose roles at the Institute over three decades included Institute director, editor-in-chief of the Institute's General Semantics Bulletin , and leader of the seminar-workshops, characterized Korzybski's legacy as a "contribution toward the improvement of human evaluating, to the amelioration of human woe Hayakawa died in Johnston, executive director of the Society at the date of the merger, to teach general semantics with a light-hearted Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living.

The influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle , and of early operationalists and pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce , is particularly clear in the foundational ideas of general semantics. Korzybski himself acknowledged many of these influences. The concept of "silence on the objective level"—attributed to Korzybski and his insistence on consciousness of abstracting—are parallel to some of the central ideas in Zen Buddhism.

Although Korzybski never acknowledged any influence from this quarter, he formulated general semantics during the same years that the first popularizations of Zen were becoming part of the intellectual currency of educated speakers of English. On the other hand, later Zen-popularizer Alan Watts was influenced by ideas from general semantics.

General semantics has survived most profoundly in the cognitive therapies that emerged in the s and s. Albert Ellis — , who developed rational emotive behavior therapy , acknowledged influence from general semantics and delivered the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture in Ray Solomonoff — was influenced [50] by Korzybski. Solomonoff was the inventor of algorithmic probability , and founder of algorithmic information theory a.

Kolmogorov complexity. Another scientist influenced by Korzybski verbal testimony is Paul Vitanyi born , a scientist in the theory of computation. During the s, s, and s, general semantics entered the idiom of science fiction. Notable examples include the works of A.

Heinlein's work, especially Gulf. The ideas of general semantics became a sufficiently important part of the shared intellectual toolkit of genre science fiction to merit parody by Damon Knight and others; they have since shown a tendency to reappear in the work of more recent writers such as Samuel R. William Burroughs references Korzybski's time binding principle in his essay The Electronic Revolution , and elsewhere.

Henry Beam Piper explicitly mentioned general semantics in Murder in the Gunroom , and its principles, such as awareness of the limitations of knowledge, are apparent in his later work. Postman's student Lance Strate , a co-founder of the Media Ecology Association, [57] served as executive director of the Institute of General Semantics from to From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Self-help psychotherapy system created by Alfred Korzybski in the s. For semantics in general, see Semantics. Not to be confused with Generative semantics. Time-Binding: The General Theory. Two Papers — Korzybski: A Biography. Pasadena, CA: Extensional Publishing. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.

New York: Dover Publications. Korzybski: A Biography , p. The theoretical roots of NLP-based coaching.

Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski

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alfred korzybski science and sanity pdf

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 Это тебе велел Фонтейн? - спросила. Бринкерхофф отвернулся. - Чед, уверяю тебя, в шифровалке творится что-то непонятное. Не знаю, почему Фонтейн прикидывается идиотом, но ТРАНСТЕКСТ в опасности.

 Может быть, Стратмор решил посмотреть на звезды. - Джабба, мне не до шуток. - Ну хорошо, - сказал он, приподнимаясь на локтях.  - Может быть, у них закоротило генератор. Как только освобожусь, загляну в шифровалку и… - А что с аварийным питанием.

И все переформатирую. - Нет! - жестко парировал Стратмор.  - Не делай. Скорее всего Хейл держит там копию ключа.

General semantics

 - Нашу старую комнату в Стоун-Мэнор. - Я понимаю, но… - Сегодня у нас особый день - мы собирались отметить шесть месяцев.

 - Я думал, что… - Ладно, не в этом. В главном банке данных происходит нечто странное. Джабба взглянул на часы. - Странное? - Он начал беспокоиться.

 У меня затекли плечи. Мидж не поддалась. - Прими аспирин.

Он подумал о Сьюзан. Но тут же в голову пришли слова Стратмора: Найдите кольцо. Беккер в отчаянии плюхнулся на скамейку и задумался о том, что делать .

Сьюзан поняла, в чем дело: все это время Хейл вел себя тихо, подозрительно тихо, поскольку отлично знал, что нет такой диагностики, в которой использовалась бы цепная мутация, тем более такая, которая занимала ТРАНСТЕКСТ уже восемнадцать часов. Хейл не проронил ни слова. Казалось, вспыхнувшая на его глазах перепалка абсолютно его не касается.

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    General semantics is concerned with how events translate to perceptions, how they are further modified by the names and labels we apply to them, and how we might gain a measure of control over our own responses, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral.

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