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   19 Alfred Korzybski

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   19 Alfred Korzybski

1:Definitions create conditions. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
2:There is every reason why the standards in our civilization are so low, because we have "poisoned," in a literal sense of the word, our minds with the physico-chemical effects of wrong ideas. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
3:Law was and is to protect the past and present status of society and, by its very essence, must be very conservative, if not reactionary. Theology and law are both of them static by their nature. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
4:to treat a human being as an animal - as a mere space-binder - because humans have certain animal propensities, is an error of the same type and grossness as to treat a cube as a surface because it has surface properties. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
5:In science, "opinions" are tolerated when and only when facts are lacking. In this case, we have all the facts necessary. We have only to collect them and analyse them, rejecting mere "opinions" as cheap and unworthy. Such as understand this lesson will know how to act for the benefit of all. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
6:The progress of modem science, including the flew science of man as a lime-binder, has been due uniquely to the freedom of scientists to revise their fundamemal assumptions, terminologies, undefined terms, which involve hidden assumptions, etc., underlying our reflections, a freedom prohibited in 'primitive sciences' and also in dictatorships, past and present. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
7:What is history? What is its significance for humanity? Dr. J. H. Robinson gives us a precise answer: "Man's abject dependence on the past gives rise to the continuity of history. Our convictions, opinions, prejudices, intellectual tastes; our knowledge, our methods of learning and of applying for information we owe, with slight exceptions, to the past-often to the remote past. History is an expansion of memory, and like memory it alone can explain the present and in this lies its most unmistakable value. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
8:"The essential difference between living and non-living matter consists then in this: the living cell synthesizes its own complicated specific material from indifferent or nonspecific simple compounds of the surrounding medium, while the crystal simply adds the molecules found in its supersaturated solution. This synthetic power of transforming small building stones, into the complicated compounds specific for each organism is the 'secret of life, or rather one of the secrets of life." (The Organism as a Whole, by Jacques Loeb.) ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity Questions And Answers 1957-1958,
9:Systematic study of chemical and physical phenomena has been carried on for many generations and these two sciences now include: (1) knowledge of an enormous number of facts; (2) a large body of natural laws; (3) many fertile working hypotheses respecting the causes and regularities of natural phenomena; and finally (4) many helpful theories held subject to correction by further testing of the hypotheses giving rise to them. When a subject is spoken of as a science, it is understood to include all of the above mentioned parts. Facts alone do not constitute a science any more than a pile of stones constitutes a house, not even do facts and laws alone; there must be facts, hypotheses, theories and laws before the subject is entitled to the rank of a science. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
10:Every human acheivement, be it a scientific discovery, a picture, a statue, a temple, a home or a bridge, has to be conceived in the mind first-the plan thought out-before it can be made a reality, and when anything is to be attempted that involves any number of individuals-methods of coordination have to be considered-the methods have to be the best suited for such undertakings are engineering methods-the engineering of an idea towards a complete realization. Every engineer has to know the materials with which he has to work and the natural laws of these materials, as discovered by observation and experiment and formulated by mathematics and mechanics else he can not calculate the forces at his disposal; he can not compute the resistance of his materials; he can not determine the capacity and requirements of his power plant; in short, he can not make the most profitable use of his resources. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
11:The matter of definition, I have said, is very important. I am not now speaking of nominal definitions, which for convenience merely give names to known objects. I am speaking of such definitions of phenomena as result from correct analysis of the phenomena. Nominal definitions are mere conveniences and are neither true nor false; but analytic definitions are definitive propositions and are true or else false. Let us dwell upon the matter a little more. In the illustration of the definitions of lightning, there were three; the first was the most mistaken and its application brought the most harm; the second was less incorrect and the practical results less bad; the third under the present conditions of our knowledge, was the "true one" and it brought the maximum benefit. This lightning illustration suggests the important idea of relative truth and relative falsehood-the idea, that is, of degrees of truth and degrees of falsehood. A definition may be neither absolutely true nor absolutely false; but of two definitions of the same thing' one of them may be truer or falser than the other. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity 49,
12:Here I want to make it very clear that mathematics is not what many people think it is; it is not a system of mere formulas and theorems; but as beautifully defined by Professor Cassius J. Keyser, in his book The Human Worth of Rigorous Thinking (Columbia University Press, 1916), mathematics is the science of "Exact thought or rigorous thinking," and one of its distinctive characteristics is "precision, sharpness, completeness of definitions." This quality alone is sufficient to explain why people generally do not like mathematics and why even some scientists bluntly refuse to have anything to do with problems wherein mathematical reasoning is involved. In the meantime, mathematical philosophy has very little, if anything, to do with mere calculations or with numbers as such or with formulas; it is a philosophy wherein precise, sharp and rigorous thinking is essential. Those who deliberately refuse to think "rigorously"-that is mathematically-in connections where such thinking is possible, commit the sin of preferring the worse to the better; they deliberately violate the supreme law of intellectual rectitude. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
13:Philosophy, as defined by Fichte, is the "science of sciences." Its aim was to solve the problems of the world. In the past, when all exact sciences were in their infancy, philosophy had to be purely speculative, with little or no regard to realities. But if we regard philosophy as a Mother science, divided into many branches, we find that those branches have grown so large and various, that the Mother science looks like a hen with her little ducklings paddling in a pond, far beyond her reach; she is unable to follow her growing hatchlings. In the meantime, the progress of life and science goes on, irrespective of the cackling of metaphysics. Philosophy does not fulfill her initial aim to bring the results of experimental and exact sciences together and to solve world problems. Through endless, scientific specialization scientific branches multiply, and for want of coordination the great world-problems suffer. This failure of philosophy to fulfill her boasted mission of scientific coordination is responsible for the chaos in the world of general thought. The world has no collective or organized higher ideals and aims, nor even fixed general purposes. Life is an accidental game of private or collective ambitions and greeds. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
14:The scientists, all of them, have their duties no doubt, but they do not fully use their education if they do not try to broaden their sense of responsibility toward all mankind instead of closing themselves up in a narrow specialization where they find their pleasure. Neither engineers nor other scientific men have any right to prefer their own personal peace to the happiness of mankind; their place and their duty are in the front line of struggling humanity, not in the unperturbed ranks of those who keep themselves aloof from life. If they are indifferent, or discouraged because they feel or think that they know that the situation is hopeless, it may be proved that undue pessimism is as dangerous a "religion" as any other blind creed. Indeed there is very little difference in kind between the medieval fanaticism of the "holy inquisition," and modern intolerance toward new ideas. All kinds of intellect must get together, for as long as we presuppose the situation to be hopeless, the situation will indeed be hopeless. The spirit of Human Engineering does not know the word "hopeless"; for engineers know that wrong methods are alone responsible for disastrous results, and that every situation can be successfully handled by the use of proper means. The task of engineering science is not only to know but to know how. Most of the scientists and engineers do not yet realize that their united judgment would be invincible; no system or class would care to disregard it. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
15:The whole history of mankind and especially the present condition of the world unite in showing that far from being merely hypothetical, the case supposed has always been actual and is actual to-day on a vaster scale than ever before. My contention is that while progress in some of the great matters of human concern has been long proceeding in accordance with the law of a rapidly increasing geometric progression, progress in the other matters of no less importance has advanced only at the rate of an arithmetical progression or at best at the rate of some geometric progression of relatively slow growth. To see it and to understand it we have to pay the small price of a little observation and a little meditation. Some technological invention is made, like that of a steam engine or a printing press, for example; or some discovery of scientific method, like that of analytical geometry or the infinitesimal calculus; or some discovery of natural law, like that of falling bodies or the Newtonian law of gravitation. What happens? What is the effect upon the progress of knowledge and invention? The effect is stimulation. Each invention leads to new inventions and each discovery to new discoveries; invention breeds invention, science begets science, the children of knowledge produce their kind in larger and larger families; the process goes on from decade to decade, from generation to generation, and the spectacle we behold is that of advancement in scientific knowledge and technological power according to the law and rate of a rapidly increasing geometric progression or logarithmic function. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
16:Humanity is a peculiar class of life which, in some degree, determines its own destinies; therefore in practical life words and ideas become facts-facts, moreover, which bring about important practical consequences. For instance, many millions of human beings have defined a stroke of lightning as being the "punishment of God" of evil men; other millions have defined it as a "natural, casual, periodical phenomenon"; yet other millions have defined it as an "electric spark." What has been the result of these "non-important" definitions in practical life? In the case of the first definition, when lightning struck a house, the population naturally made no attempt to save the house or anything in it, because to do so would be against the "definition" which proclaims the phenomenon to be a "punishment for evil," any attempt to prevent or check the destruction would be an impious act; the sinner would be guilty of "resisting the supreme law" and would deserve to be punished by death. Now in the second instance, a stricken building is treated just as any tree overturned by storm; the people save what they can and try to extinguish the fire. In both instances, the behavior of the populace is the same in one respect; if caught in the open by a storm they take refuge under a tree-a means of safety involving maximum danger but the people do not know it. Now in the third instance, in which the population have a scientifically correct definition of lightning, they provide their houses with lightning rods; and if they are caught by a storm in the open they neither run nor hide under a tree; but when the storm is directly over their heads, they put themselves in a position of minimum exposure by lying flat on the ground until the storm has passed. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
17:To analyse the classes of life we have to consider two very different kinds of phenomena: the one embraced under the collective name-Inorganic chemistry-the other under the collective nameOrganic chemistry, or the chemistry of hydro-carbons. These divisions are made because of the peculiar properties of the elements chiefly involved in the second class. The properties of matter are so distributed among the elements that three of them- Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Carbon-possess an ensemble of unique characteristics. The number of reactions in inorganic chemistry are relatively few, but in organic chemistry-in the chemistry of these three elements the number of different compounds is practically unlimited. Up to 1910, we knew of more than 79 elements of which the whole number of reactions amounted to only a few hundreds, but among the remaining three elements-Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen-the reactions were known to be practically unlimited in number and possibilities; this fact must have very far reaching consequences. As far as energies are concerned, we have to take them as nature reveals them to us. Here more than ever, mathematical thinking is essential and will help enormously. The reactions in inorganic chemistry always involve the phenomenon of heat, sometimes light, and in some instances an unusual energy is produced called electricity. Until now, the radioactive elements represent a group too insufficiently known for an enlargement here upon this subject. The organic compounds being unlimited in number and possibilities and with their unique characteristics, represent of course, a different class of phenomena, but being, at the same time, chemical they include the basic chemical phenomena involved in all chemical reactions, but being unique in many other respects, they also have an infinitely vast field of unique characteristics. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity Questions And Answers 1953,
18:If we analyse the classes of life, we readily find that there are three cardinal classes which are radically distinct in function. A short analysis will disclose to us that, though minerals have various activities, they are not "living." The plants have a very definite and well known function-the transformation of solar energy into organic chemical energy. They are a class of life which appropriates one kind of energy, converts it into another kind and stores it up; in that sense they are a kind of storage battery for the solar energy; and so I define THE PLANTS AS THE CHEMISTRY-BINDING class of life. The animals use the highly dynamic products of the chemistry-binding class-the plants-as food, and those products-the results of plant-transformation-undergo in animals a further transformation into yet higher forms; and the animals are correspondingly a more dynamic class of life; their energy is kinetic; they have a remarkable freedom and power which the plants do not possess-I mean the freedom and faculty to move about in space; and so I define ANIMALS AS THE SPACE-BINDING CLASS OF LIFE. And now what shall we say of human beings? What is to be our definition of Man? Like the animals, human beings do indeed possess the space-binding capacity but, over and above that, human beings possess a most remarkable capacity which is entirely peculiar to them-I mean the capacity to summarise, digest and appropriate the labors and experiences of the past; I mean the capacity to use the fruits of past labors and experiences as intellectual or spiritual capital for developments in the present; I mean the capacity to employ as instruments of increasing power the accumulated achievements of the all-precious lives of the past generations spent in trial and error, trial and success; I mean the capacity of human beings to conduct their lives in the ever increasing light of inherited wisdom; I mean the capacity in virtue of which man is at once the heritor of the by-gone ages and the trustee of posterity. And because humanity is just this magnificent natural agency by which the past lives in the present and the present for the future, I define HUMANITY, in the universal tongue of mathematics and mechanics, to be the TIME-BINDING CLASS OF LIFE. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,
19:(Novum Organum by Francis Bacon.) 34. "Four species of idols beset the human mind, to which (for distinction's sake) we have assigned names, calling the first Idols of the Tribe, the second Idols of the Den, the third Idols of the Market, the fourth Idols of the Theatre. 40. "The information of notions and axioms on the foundation of true induction is the only fitting remedy by which we can ward off and expel these idols. It is, however, of great service to point them out; for the doctrine of idols bears the same relation to the interpretation of nature as that of the confutation of sophisms does to common logic. 41. "The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature and the very tribe or race of man; for man's sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things; on the contrary, all the perceptions both of the senses and the mind bear reference to man and not to the Universe, and the human mind resembles these uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted and distort and disfigure them. 42. "The idols of the den are those of each individual; for everybody (in addition to the errors common to the race of man) has his own individual den or cavern, which intercepts and corrupts the light of nature, either from his own peculiar and singular disposition, or from his education and intercourse with others, or from his reading, and the authority acquired by those whom he reverences and admires, or from the different impressions produced on the mind, as it happens to be preoccupied and predisposed, or equable and tranquil, and the like; so that the spirit of man (according to its several dispositions), is variable, confused, and, as it were, actuated by chance; and Heraclitus said well that men search for knowledge in lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world. 43. "There are also idols formed by the reciprocal intercourse and society of man with man, which we call idols of the market, from the commerce and association of men with each other; for men converse by means of language, but words are formed at the will of the generality, and there arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. Nor can the definitions and explanations with which learned men are wont to guard and protect themselves in some instances afford a complete remedy-words still manifestly force the understanding, throw everything into confusion, and lead mankind into vain and innumerable controversies and fallacies. 44. "Lastly, there are idols which have crept into men's minds from the various dogmas of peculiar systems of philosophy, and also from the perverted rules of demonstration, and these we denominate idols of the theatre: for we regard all the systems of philosophy hitherto received or imagined, as so many plays brought out and performed, creating fictitious and theatrical worlds. Nor do we speak only of the present systems, or of the philosophy and sects of the ancients, since numerous other plays of a similar nature can be still composed and made to agree with each other, the causes of the most opposite errors being generally the same. Nor, again, do we allude merely to general systems, but also to many elements and axioms of sciences which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity ,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Definitions create conditions. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
2:There is every reason why the standards in our civilization are so low, because we have "poisoned," in a literal sense of the word, our minds with the physico-chemical effects of wrong ideas. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
3:Law was and is to protect the past and present status of society and, by its very essence, must be very conservative, if not reactionary. Theology and law are both of them static by their nature. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
4:to treat a human being as an animal - as a mere space-binder - because humans have certain animal propensities, is an error of the same type and grossness as to treat a cube as a surface because it has surface properties. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
5:In science, "opinions" are tolerated when and only when facts are lacking. In this case, we have all the facts necessary. We have only to collect them and analyse them, rejecting mere "opinions" as cheap and unworthy. Such as understand this lesson will know how to act for the benefit of all. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
6:The progress of modem science, including the flew science of man as a lime-binder, has been due uniquely to the freedom of scientists to revise their fundamemal assumptions, terminologies, undefined terms, which involve hidden assumptions, etc., underlying our reflections, a freedom prohibited in 'primitive sciences' and also in dictatorships, past and present. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
7:What is history? What is its significance for humanity? Dr. J. H. Robinson gives us a precise answer: "Man's abject dependence on the past gives rise to the continuity of history. Our convictions, opinions, prejudices, intellectual tastes; our knowledge, our methods of learning and of applying for information we owe, with slight exceptions, to the past-often to the remote past. History is an expansion of memory, and like memory it alone can explain the present and in this lies its most unmistakable value. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
8:"The essential difference between living and non-living matter consists then in this: the living cell synthesizes its own complicated specific material from indifferent or nonspecific simple compounds of the surrounding medium, while the crystal simply adds the molecules found in its supersaturated solution. This synthetic power of transforming small building stones, into the complicated compounds specific for each organism is the 'secret of life, or rather one of the secrets of life." (The Organism as a Whole, by Jacques Loeb.) ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity, 58,
9:Systematic study of chemical and physical phenomena has been carried on for many generations and these two sciences now include: (1) knowledge of an enormous number of facts; (2) a large body of natural laws; (3) many fertile working hypotheses respecting the causes and regularities of natural phenomena; and finally (4) many helpful theories held subject to correction by further testing of the hypotheses giving rise to them. When a subject is spoken of as a science, it is understood to include all of the above mentioned parts. Facts alone do not constitute a science any more than a pile of stones constitutes a house, not even do facts and laws alone; there must be facts, hypotheses, theories and laws before the subject is entitled to the rank of a science. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
10:Every human acheivement, be it a scientific discovery, a picture, a statue, a temple, a home or a bridge, has to be conceived in the mind first-the plan thought out-before it can be made a reality, and when anything is to be attempted that involves any number of individuals-methods of coordination have to be considered-the methods have to be the best suited for such undertakings are engineering methods-the engineering of an idea towards a complete realization. Every engineer has to know the materials with which he has to work and the natural laws of these materials, as discovered by observation and experiment and formulated by mathematics and mechanics else he can not calculate the forces at his disposal; he can not compute the resistance of his materials; he can not determine the capacity and requirements of his power plant; in short, he can not make the most profitable use of his resources. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
11:The matter of definition, I have said, is very important. I am not now speaking of nominal definitions, which for convenience merely give names to known objects. I am speaking of such definitions of phenomena as result from correct analysis of the phenomena. Nominal definitions are mere conveniences and are neither true nor false; but analytic definitions are definitive propositions and are true or else false. Let us dwell upon the matter a little more.
   In the illustration of the definitions of lightning, there were three; the first was the most mistaken and its application brought the most harm; the second was less incorrect and the practical results less bad; the third under the present conditions of our knowledge, was the "true one" and it brought the maximum benefit. This lightning illustration suggests the important idea of relative truth and relative falsehood-the idea, that is, of degrees of truth and degrees of falsehood. A definition may be neither absolutely true nor absolutely false; but of two definitions of the same thing' one of them may be truer or falser than the other. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity, 49,
12:Here I want to make it very clear that mathematics is not what many people think it is; it is not a system of mere formulas and theorems; but as beautifully defined by Professor Cassius J. Keyser, in his book The Human Worth of Rigorous Thinking (Columbia University Press, 1916), mathematics is the science of "Exact thought or rigorous thinking," and one of its distinctive characteristics is "precision, sharpness, completeness of definitions." This quality alone is sufficient to explain why people generally do not like mathematics and why even some scientists bluntly refuse to have anything to do with problems wherein mathematical reasoning is involved. In the meantime, mathematical philosophy has very little, if anything, to do with mere calculations or with numbers as such or with formulas; it is a philosophy wherein precise, sharp and rigorous thinking is essential. Those who deliberately refuse to think "rigorously"-that is mathematically-in connections where such thinking is possible, commit the sin of preferring the worse to the better; they deliberately violate the supreme law of intellectual rectitude. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
13:Philosophy, as defined by Fichte, is the "science of sciences." Its aim was to solve the problems of the world. In the past, when all exact sciences were in their infancy, philosophy had to be purely speculative, with little or no regard to realities. But if we regard philosophy as a Mother science, divided into many branches, we find that those branches have grown so large and various, that the Mother science looks like a hen with her little ducklings paddling in a pond, far beyond her reach; she is unable to follow her growing hatchlings. In the meantime, the progress of life and science goes on, irrespective of the cackling of metaphysics. Philosophy does not fulfill her initial aim to bring the results of experimental and exact sciences together and to solve world problems. Through endless, scientific specialization scientific branches multiply, and for want of coordination the great world-problems suffer. This failure of philosophy to fulfill her boasted mission of scientific coordination is responsible for the chaos in the world of general thought. The world has no collective or organized higher ideals and aims, nor even fixed general purposes. Life is an accidental game of private or collective ambitions and greeds. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
14:The scientists, all of them, have their duties no doubt, but they do not fully use their education if they do not try to broaden their sense of responsibility toward all mankind instead of closing themselves up in a narrow specialization where they find their pleasure. Neither engineers nor other scientific men have any right to prefer their own personal peace to the happiness of mankind; their place and their duty are in the front line of struggling humanity, not in the unperturbed ranks of those who keep themselves aloof from life. If they are indifferent, or discouraged because they feel or think that they know that the situation is hopeless, it may be proved that undue pessimism is as dangerous a "religion" as any other blind creed. Indeed there is very little difference in kind between the medieval fanaticism of the "holy inquisition," and modern intolerance toward new ideas. All kinds of intellect must get together, for as long as we presuppose the situation to be hopeless, the situation will indeed be hopeless. The spirit of Human Engineering does not know the word "hopeless"; for engineers know that wrong methods are alone responsible for disastrous results, and that every situation can be successfully handled by the use of proper means. The task of engineering science is not only to know but to know how. Most of the scientists and engineers do not yet realize that their united judgment would be invincible; no system or class would care to disregard it. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
15:The whole history of mankind and especially the present condition of the world unite in showing that far from being merely hypothetical, the case supposed has always been actual and is actual to-day on a vaster scale than ever before. My contention is that while progress in some of the great matters of human concern has been long proceeding in accordance with the law of a rapidly increasing geometric progression, progress in the other matters of no less importance has advanced only at the rate of an arithmetical progression or at best at the rate of some geometric progression of relatively slow growth. To see it and to understand it we have to pay the small price of a little observation and a little meditation.
   Some technological invention is made, like that of a steam engine or a printing press, for example; or some discovery of scientific method, like that of analytical geometry or the infinitesimal calculus; or some discovery of natural law, like that of falling bodies or the Newtonian law of gravitation. What happens? What is the effect upon the progress of knowledge and invention? The effect is stimulation. Each invention leads to new inventions and each discovery to new discoveries; invention breeds invention, science begets science, the children of knowledge produce their kind in larger and larger families; the process goes on from decade to decade, from generation to generation, and the spectacle we behold is that of advancement in scientific knowledge and technological power according to the law and rate of a rapidly increasing geometric progression or logarithmic function. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
16:Humanity is a peculiar class of life which, in some degree, determines its own destinies; therefore in practical life words and ideas become facts-facts, moreover, which bring about important practical consequences. For instance, many millions of human beings have defined a stroke of lightning as being the "punishment of God" of evil men; other millions have defined it as a "natural, casual, periodical phenomenon"; yet other millions have defined it as an "electric spark." What has been the result of these "non-important" definitions in practical life? In the case of the first definition, when lightning struck a house, the population naturally made no attempt to save the house or anything in it, because to do so would be against the "definition" which proclaims the phenomenon to be a "punishment for evil," any attempt to prevent or check the destruction would be an impious act; the sinner would be guilty of "resisting the supreme law" and would deserve to be punished by death.
   Now in the second instance, a stricken building is treated just as any tree overturned by storm; the people save what they can and try to extinguish the fire. In both instances, the behavior of the populace is the same in one respect; if caught in the open by a storm they take refuge under a tree-a means of safety involving maximum danger but the people do not know it.
   Now in the third instance, in which the population have a scientifically correct definition of lightning, they provide their houses with lightning rods; and if they are caught by a storm in the open they neither run nor hide under a tree; but when the storm is directly over their heads, they put themselves in a position of minimum exposure by lying flat on the ground until the storm has passed. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
17:To analyse the classes of life we have to consider two very different kinds of phenomena: the one embraced under the collective name-Inorganic chemistry-the other under the collective nameOrganic chemistry, or the chemistry of hydro-carbons. These divisions are made because of the peculiar properties of the elements chiefly involved in the second class. The properties of matter are so distributed among the elements that three of them- Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Carbon-possess an ensemble of unique characteristics. The number of reactions in inorganic chemistry are relatively few, but in organic chemistry-in the chemistry of these three elements the number of different compounds is practically unlimited. Up to 1910, we knew of more than 79 elements of which the whole number of reactions amounted to only a few hundreds, but among the remaining three elements-Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen-the reactions were known to be practically unlimited in number and possibilities; this fact must have very far reaching consequences. As far as energies are concerned, we have to take them as nature reveals them to us. Here more than ever, mathematical thinking is essential and will help enormously. The reactions in inorganic chemistry always involve the phenomenon of heat, sometimes light, and in some instances an unusual energy is produced called electricity. Until now, the radioactive elements represent a group too insufficiently known for an enlargement here upon this subject.
   The organic compounds being unlimited in number and possibilities and with their unique characteristics, represent of course, a different class of phenomena, but being, at the same time, chemical they include the basic chemical phenomena involved in all chemical reactions, but being unique in many other respects, they also have an infinitely vast field of unique characteristics. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity, 53,
18:If we analyse the classes of life, we readily find that there are three cardinal classes which are radically distinct in function. A short analysis will disclose to us that, though minerals have various activities, they are not "living." The plants have a very definite and well known function-the transformation of solar energy into organic chemical energy. They are a class of life which appropriates one kind of energy, converts it into another kind and stores it up; in that sense they are a kind of storage battery for the solar energy; and so I define THE PLANTS AS THE CHEMISTRY-BINDING class of life.
   The animals use the highly dynamic products of the chemistry-binding class-the plants-as food, and those products-the results of plant-transformation-undergo in animals a further transformation into yet higher forms; and the animals are correspondingly a more dynamic class of life; their energy is kinetic; they have a remarkable freedom and power which the plants do not possess-I mean the freedom and faculty to move about in space; and so I define ANIMALS AS THE SPACE-BINDING CLASS OF LIFE.
   And now what shall we say of human beings? What is to be our definition of Man? Like the animals, human beings do indeed possess the space-binding capacity but, over and above that, human beings possess a most remarkable capacity which is entirely peculiar to them-I mean the capacity to summarise, digest and appropriate the labors and experiences of the past; I mean the capacity to use the fruits of past labors and experiences as intellectual or spiritual capital for developments in the present; I mean the capacity to employ as instruments of increasing power the accumulated achievements of the all-precious lives of the past generations spent in trial and error, trial and success; I mean the capacity of human beings to conduct their lives in the ever increasing light of inherited wisdom; I mean the capacity in virtue of which man is at once the heritor of the by-gone ages and the trustee of posterity. And because humanity is just this magnificent natural agency by which the past lives in the present and the present for the future, I define HUMANITY, in the universal tongue of mathematics and mechanics, to be the TIME-BINDING CLASS OF LIFE. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,
19:(Novum Organum by Francis Bacon.)
   34. "Four species of idols beset the human mind, to which (for distinction's sake) we have assigned names, calling the first Idols of the Tribe, the second Idols of the Den, the third Idols of the Market, the fourth Idols of the Theatre.
   40. "The information of notions and axioms on the foundation of true induction is the only fitting remedy by which we can ward off and expel these idols. It is, however, of great service to point them out; for the doctrine of idols bears the same relation to the interpretation of nature as that of the confutation of sophisms does to common logic.
   41. "The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature and the very tribe or race of man; for man's sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things; on the contrary, all the perceptions both of the senses and the mind bear reference to man and not to the Universe, and the human mind resembles these uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted and distort and disfigure them.
   42. "The idols of the den are those of each individual; for everybody (in addition to the errors common to the race of man) has his own individual den or cavern, which intercepts and corrupts the light of nature, either from his own peculiar and singular disposition, or from his education and intercourse with others, or from his reading, and the authority acquired by those whom he reverences and admires, or from the different impressions produced on the mind, as it happens to be preoccupied and predisposed, or equable and tranquil, and the like; so that the spirit of man (according to its several dispositions), is variable, confused, and, as it were, actuated by chance; and Heraclitus said well that men search for knowledge in lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
   43. "There are also idols formed by the reciprocal intercourse and society of man with man, which we call idols of the market, from the commerce and association of men with each other; for men converse by means of language, but words are formed at the will of the generality, and there arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. Nor can the definitions and explanations with which learned men are wont to guard and protect themselves in some instances afford a complete remedy-words still manifestly force the understanding, throw everything into confusion, and lead mankind into vain and innumerable controversies and fallacies.
   44. "Lastly, there are idols which have crept into men's minds from the various dogmas of peculiar systems of philosophy, and also from the perverted rules of demonstration, and these we denominate idols of the theatre: for we regard all the systems of philosophy hitherto received or imagined, as so many plays brought out and performed, creating fictitious and theatrical worlds. Nor do we speak only of the present systems, or of the philosophy and sects of the ancients, since numerous other plays of a similar nature can be still composed and made to agree with each other, the causes of the most opposite errors being generally the same. Nor, again, do we allude merely to general systems, but also to many elements and axioms of sciences which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect. ~ Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity,

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



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