Alfred Korzybski citations

Alfred Korzybski foto
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Alfred Korzybski

Date de naissance: 3. juillet 1879
Date de décès: 1. mars 1950

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Alfred Abdank Skarbeck Korzybski est un philosophe et scientifique américano-polonais.

Korzybski était à l'origine ingénieur et expert des services de renseignements. Il oriente ensuite ses travaux vers le domaine des sciences humaines. Il a fondé la sémantique générale, une logique de pensée basée sur les mathématiques et la physique du tournant du siècle], une discipline pratique pour que chacun puisse prendre un recul critique sur les réactions à un « événement » au sens large . Cette approche, nouvelle pour l'époque et surtout très structurée, remet en cause les postulats de la logique d'Aristote , et les schémas de pensée aristotéliciens ancrés dans le langage occidental habituel. La logique Non-A englobant et dépassant la logique A, c'est-à-dire d'Aristote, comme la physique Non-Newtonienne, dépasse tout en englobant la physique Newtonienne.

Alfred Korzybski est auteur de l'aphorisme : « une carte n'est pas le territoire. » Il met toutefois très fortement en garde dans ses ouvrages, en particulier Science and Sanity, contre l'usage du verbe « être », qui ne possède pas de définition univoque concernant des objets déjà existants.

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Citations Alfred Korzybski

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„Humans can be literally poisoned by false ideas and false teachings.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: Humans can be literally poisoned by false ideas and false teachings. Many people have a just horror at the thought of putting poison into tea or coffee, but seem unable to realize that, when they teach false ideas and false doctrines, they are poisoning the time-binding capacity of their fellow men and women. One has to stop and think! There is nothing mystical about the fact that ideas and words are energies which powerfully affect the physico-chemical base of our time-binding activities. Humans are thus made untrue to "human nature." … The conception of man as a mixture of animal and supernatural has for ages kept human beings under the deadly spell of the suggestion that, animal selfishness and animal greediness are their essential character, and the spell has operated to suppress their REAL HUMAN NATURE and to prevent it from expressing itself naturally and freely. p. 71. Chapter: What is Man?

„From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all "knowledge" is structural. Now structure can be considered as a complex of relations, and ultimately as multi-dimensional order. From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations. In fact... we find that an object represents an abstraction of a low order produced by our nervous system as the result of a sub-microscopic events acting as stimuli upon the nervous system. p. 20.

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„Whatever you might say the object "is", well it is not.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: "Say whatever you choose about the object, and whatever you might say is not it." Or, in other wordsː "Whatever you might say the object "is", well it is not." This negative statement is final, because it is negative. p. 35.

„To regard human beings as tools — as instruments — for the use of other human beings is not only unscientific but it is repugnant, stupid and short sighted.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: To regard human beings as tools — as instruments — for the use of other human beings is not only unscientific but it is repugnant, stupid and short sighted. Tools are made by man but have not the autonomy of their maker — they have not man's time-binding capacity for initiation, for self-direction, and self-improvement. p. 133. Chapter: Capitalistic Era.

„Any organism must be treated as-a-whole; in other words, that an organism is not an algebraic sum, a linear function of its elements, but always more than that.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: Any organism must be treated as-a-whole; in other words, that an organism is not an algebraic sum, a linear function of its elements, but always more than that. It is seemingly little realized, at present, that this simple and innocent-looking statement involves a full structural revision of our language... p. 64.

„How many a genius has perished inarticulate because unable to stand the strain of social conditions where animal standards prevail and "survival of the fittest" means, not survival of the "fittest in time-binding capacity," but survival of the strongest in ruthlessness and guile — in space-binding competition!“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: Such as contribute most to human progress and human enlightenment — men like Gutenberg, Copernicus, Newton, Leibnitz, Watts, Franklin, Mendeleieff, Pasteur, Sklodowska-Curie, Edison, Steinmetz, Loeb, Dewey, Keyser, Whitehead, Russell, Poincaré, William Benjamin Smith, Gibbs, Einstein, and many others — consume no more bread than the simplest of their fellow mortals. Indeed such men are often in want. How many a genius has perished inarticulate because unable to stand the strain of social conditions where animal standards prevail and "survival of the fittest" means, not survival of the "fittest in time-binding capacity," but survival of the strongest in ruthlessness and guile — in space-binding competition! p. 136. Chapter: Capitalistic Era.

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„Man's achievements rest upon the use of symbols“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: Man's achievements rest upon the use of symbols.... we must consider ourselves as a symbolic, semantic class of life, and those who rule the symbols, rule us. p. 76.

„The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all "knowledge" is structural.“

— Alfred Korzybski
Context: The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all "knowledge" is structural. Now structure can be considered as a complex of relations, and ultimately as multi-dimensional order. From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations. In fact... we find that an object represents an abstraction of a low order produced by our nervous system as the result of a sub-microscopic events acting as stimuli upon the nervous system. p. 20.

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