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

Alfred Korzybski
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Inst of General Semantics; 5 Sub edition (Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937298018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937298015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 640,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

annotated and nice and clean

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-aristotelian Systems and General Semantics, first published in October, 1933, was intended to be a textbook showing how in modern scientific methods we can find factors of sanity, to be tested empirically. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I really cannot use enough superlatives to describe the effect this book has had on my life. I have seen it described as difficult to read, and I admit that at first glance it can seem daunting. But investing some time and effort in trying to internalise what Korzybski says can have dramatic effects on your quality of life. I would advise that you read it once, and don't worry too much if you don't understand long passages. On the second time of reading, some of those passages begin to make sense, and you get an inkling of the importance of what he says. I read it twice, starting again as soon as I had finished. I intend to read it again soon, once I have given my brain a chance to mull over the new information I have presented for it's delectation.
As a general formula, the more you read this book, the greater benefit you derive from it.
With Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski presents a system of thought that he claims can make humanity 'sane'. To evaluate such a claim, which has profound implications for humanity, you must read the book and decide for yourself. Don't listen to the propaganda. By examining our language, and it's underlying Aristotelian metaphysics, he illustrates that the structure of our nervous systems does not correspond to the structure of our language, leading to a serious discrepancy that causes 'un-sanity'. Put simply, our language cannot cope with 'reality'. Since we rely on language to think and evaluate, WE cannot cope with reality. The solution? Change our language.
Rather than base our language on Aristotelian 'metaphysics', which means only that we base our language on the physics of Ancient Greece, let us base our language on modern physics, which denies the existence of an objective reality.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The start of something new 21 Aug 2008
By Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This is an important, yet often overlooked book. It deserves more attention than it has so far had, and it deserves to be in a wider readership than as a source book for neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

The message of this book is important and can be summarised to the classic quote, "The map is not the territory, it is a representation of the territory and useful in so far as it corresponds to the territory" The book is the great statement of non-identity- the description of a thing or process is not the thing or process itself.

The book makes the argument fully, but sadly like Merleau-Ponty's "The Phenomenology of Perception" it's message is often lost amidst linguistic complexity.

This book is important, it does make a worthwhile argument, and it is a basic resource for those interested in NLP, general semantics and neuro-semantics.

The message from this book deserves to reach a bigger audience.

The book is worth reading, but you will need persistence and concentration to get the message out of it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semantics from the world of 1933 5 May 2006
By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
An interesting view that is not to be overlooked. As in physics we changed or concepts from Newtonian (space and time) to Einstein or non-Newtonian (space/time). We see this in any fields and some of us embrace the change and see how infinite our views can still work; others of us resist knowing that there is something fundamentally wrong if you can not put your finger on it.

Korzybski opens up our mind and world to the possibilities of Non-Aristotellian systems and general semantics.

"If one wishes to obtain a definite answer to Nature one must attack the question from a more general and less selfish point of view"

M. PLANCK
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3.0 out of 5 stars The book was delivered on time and as new. ... 1 Aug 2014
The book was delivered on time and as new. I honestly do not know when I will finish reading such a thick book. Perhaps I should have bought the shorter paperback version.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars korzybski's Hyper Organon. 6 Jun 2003
"Science And Sanity" remains the most important book written in the last century, unread by the majority of people, while not understood by some who have.
Alfred Korzybski as a result of his experiences came to formulate a system capable of explaining anomalies which Aristotles's 'logic-methodology'(organon c.350 B.C.), further Francis Bacon's revision(Novum organon,1620) continue to ignor. For example rediscoveries of non-identity: Heraclitus(c.500 B.C.)- one cannot step into the 'same' river twice; infinite-values: Georg Cantor(1874)- finite variables generated between others; non-elementalism: Lao-Tse(c.600 B.C.)- the whole is not the sum of the parts; non-allness: Bertrand Russell(1910)- a proposition about 'all' propositions cannot include itself; etc.
Morpheus when asked 'what is the Matrix'? Replied: "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth". Similarly 'aristotelian-conditionality' codifies 'reality' such that facts become ignored. The 'realities' include the generation of abstractions upon abstractions(for example, use language to speak about language, Josiah Royce 1855-1916; but including the non-verbal perceptions, visualizations , etc), the phenomena causal by noumena(thing(s)-in themselves) the external event(s) of which we confuse assuming as the 'same'. This appears something that Siddhartha Gautama(Buddha) in part realized, for when asked 'what reality was' he simply raised a rose over his head then while smiling said that the rose is forever beyond words.
This book therefore not only becomes fundamental for the philosophic-scientific-enterprise-as-a-whole, it becomes essential even for the 'ordinary person' as an orientation to 'reality'.
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