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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Eisenbud, J. (1943). Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics: By Alfred Korzybski (Second Edition). Lancaster: The Science Press, 1941. 798 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:405-408.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:405-408

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics: By Alfred Korzybski (Second Edition). Lancaster: The Science Press, 1941. 798 pp.

Review by:
Jule Eisenbud

Structure alone is the only possible content of knowledge and hence, according to Korzybski, the aim of science is to construct a language which will provide formulations invariant for any and all systems of reference, thus separating automatically the intrinsic characteristics of an event or phenomenon from those characteristics which belong only to the observer and his language system. The only language system which at present possesses the requisite flexibility is mathematics, best exemplified by the tensor calculus.

The language of the common man of any culture would be adequately suited to his needs providing he were to make legitimate use of its elements by realizing, as do (some) mathematicians in their field, that every word or symbol is an abstraction and is not the object or the event itself. Moreover a good deal of meaningless if not harmful twaddle would be more easily recognized for what it is if we could devise a means of distinguishing between orders of abstractions which words or symbols represent in differing contexts. This recognized multiordinality of words would result naturally in a multivalued (non-Aristotelian) process of thinking and would automatically release us from the confusions, 'false-to-fact identifications' and disturbing affects which are so troublesome in our interpersonal relations, our social, economic, political and scientific ways of behaving.

This in short is Korzybski's thesis. One means he has devised to facilitate the non-Aristotelian revolution, which he feels is necessary if there is to be any sanity in the world, is a device called the structural differential which is designed visually to enforce 'consciousness of abstracting'.

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