Korzybski and

By Rudig, Jacqueline | ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Korzybski and


Rudig, Jacqueline, ETC.: A Review of General Semantics


Corey Anton and Lance Strate (Eds.). Korzybski And ... Forest Hills, NY: Institute of General Semantics, 2012.

Korzybski And ... is a unique collection of 16 essays written by an assortment of scholars from diverse academic disciplines. As the title suggests, this book explores the connections, intersections, and divergences between Korzybskian general semantics (GS) and a wide variety of subjects. Topics in it range from Heinlein to Hayakawa to Heidegger; from phenomenology to psychotherapy to philosophy; from matters of time and temporality to the nature of human happiness. Overall, this book clearly demonstrates the continuing influence and relevance of Korzybski and his work.

Chapter one, "Situating Korzybski," is co-written by Corey Anton and Lance Strate (both communication professors and GS intellectuals). This chapter serves as a quasi-introduction to the book, enhancing the reader's appreciation and understanding of subsequent chapters. By means of a three-part overview of Korzybski's life and work, then a synopsis and preview of the 15 essays that follow, readers are left "well-situated" to savor the rest of the manuscript.

Part I of "Situating Korzybski" brings to light the life and times of Count Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950), the founder of GS. We learn about his early aspirations, how his theories and methods developed, and of the many contemporary thinkers who influenced his work. An explanation of basic GS formulations comes next, followed by a discussion of the loyal followers who continued the Institute of General Semantics upon their leader's untimely death.

Part II explores Korzybski in relation to other theorists--those who preceded him, his contemporaries, and those who came after. …

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