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

By Alfred Korzybski | Go to book overview

PREFATORY REMARKS

In re mathematica ars proponendi quaestionem pluris facienda est quam solvendi.(74) GEORG CANTOR

We cannot describe substance: we can only give a name to it. Any attempt to do more than give a name leads at once to an attribution of structure. But structure can be described to some extent; and when reduced to ultimate terms it appears to resolve itself into a complex of relations . . . A law of nature resolves itself into a constant relation, . . . , of the two world-conditions to which the different classes of observed quantities forming the two sides of the equation are traceable. Such a constant relation independent of measure-code is only to be expressed by a tensor equation. (148) A. S. EDDINGTON

We have found reason to believe that this creative action of the mind follows closely the mathematical process of Hamiltonian differentiation of an invariant.(148) A. S. EDDINGTON

The only justification for our concepts and system of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences; beyond this they have no legitimacy. I am convinced that the philosophers have had a harmful effect upon the progress of scientific thinking in removing certain fundamental concepts from the domain of empiricism, where they are under our control, to the intangible heights of the a priori.(152) A. EINSTEIN

In writing the following semantic survey of a rather wide field of mathematics and physics, I was confronted with a difficult task of selecting source- books. Any mathematical treatise involves conscious and many unconscious notions concerning 'infinity', the nature of numbers, mathematics, 'proof', 'rigour'., which underlie the definitions of further fundamental terms, such as 'continuity', 'limits,. It seems that when we discover a universally constant empirical relation, such as 'non-identity', and apply it; then all other assumptions have to be revised, from this new point of view, irrespective of what startling consequences may follow.

At present, neither the laymen nor the majority of scientists realize that human mathematical behaviour has many aspects which should never be identified. Thus, (1) to be somehow aware that 'one and one combine in some way into two', is a notion which is common even among children, 'mentally' deficients, and most primitive peoples. (2) The mathematical '1 + 1 = 2' already represents a very advanced stage (in theory, and in method.,) of development, although in practice both of these s.r may lead to one result. It should be noticed that the above (1) represents an individual s.r, as it is not a general formulation; and (2) represents and involves a generalized s.r. Does that exhaust the problem of '1 + 1 = 2'? It does not seem to. Thus, (3), in the Principia Mathematica of Whitehead and Russell which deals with the meanings and foundations of mathematics, written in a special shorthand, abbreviating statements perhaps tenfold, it takes more than 350 large 'shorthand' pages to arrive at the notion of 'number one'.

-565-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 808

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.