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

By Alfred Korzybski | Go to book overview
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A complete bibliography for a non-aristotelian system would require many volumes and is, therefore, impossible here. The formulation of a non-aristotelian system, with the number of scientific facts known in 1933, turned out to be an extremely laborious process.A non-aristotelian language and attitude differ considerably from the older languages and attitudes, and so a first non-aristotelian system has no literature which would deal directly with the subject. The statement 'that everything has already been said' is, unfortunately, largely true. This introduces serious complexities, because extremely few men have the genius of a Poincaré, and fully realize that the language used in making a statement plays an overwhelming role as to the consequences which eventually follow. If we even grant that 'every thing was said', I must add, 'but not so', and this prevented the building of a non- aristotelian system for more than two thousand years. One of the human tragedies can be found in the fact that wise epigrams do not work. It takes a system which often expresses similar notions; but they must be expressed in a unified language of different structure to make them workable.In giving this extremely abbreviated, insufficient, and, perhaps, even poorly selected bibliography, I had, in the main, three aims: (1) to acknowledge some of my direct obligations; (2) to give to the future student an outline of the type of literature in existence which has bearing on my subject; and (3) to list such books and articles which give further literature.I was particularly careful to list as few scientific periodicals as possible, because specialists in a given field do not need them; and laymen do not want them. In a number of instances, I have listed only one or two of the latest papers of an author, which give his previous titles.Because of the lack of linguistic co-ordination, in most cases, I have had few or no opportunities to refer directly to many authors, although the titles of the books usually suggest the material needed. For further data on a given subject, the reader is referred to the respective indexes. As a rule I had to express many similar notions, but from a different angle, and in a different language.I have prefaced the books, parts, and chapters with many important quotations, only to show that all modern science requires a fundamental non-aristotelian revision. The attentive reader will discover that, although I am in general sympathy with these quotations, yet, in many instances, I would have to express them differently.In the case of the two volumes of Colloidal Chemistry edited by Alexander, which is a collection of important contributions by different authors, I would have to list about one hundred and twenty more titles, and so I mostly refer to the page without giving the name of the author or the title of his contribution; for which I apologize. In a number of instances I have utilized the material given by Science Service, as printed in Science and I indicate such references by inserting SS before giving the date of the issue of Science.
1. ACKERMANN W. Begründungdes "tertium non datur" mittels der Hilbertschen Theorie der Widerspruchsfreiheit. Math. Ann. B. 93, H. ½.
2. See Hilbert.
3. ADAMS J. T. Our Business Civilization: Some Aspects of American Culture. New York.
4. ADLER A. The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology. London, New York.
5. Organ Inferiority and its Psychical Compensation. Washington.
6. ALEXANDER J., and BRIDGES C. B. Some Physico-Chemical Aspects of Life, Mutation, and Evolution. In Colloid Chemistry, edited by J. Alexander. New York.
7. ALEXANDER J., editor. Colloid Chemistry. Vol. I, Theory and Methods. Vol. II, Biology and Medicine. New York.
8. ANREP G. V. See Pavlov.


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