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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Alfred Korzybski Quotes

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Alfred Korzybski
(3 Jul 1879 - 1 Mar 1950)

Polish-American scientist and philosopher.

Science Quotes by Alfred Korzybski (6 quotes)

'Say whatever you choose about the object, and whatever you might say is not it.' Or, in other words: 'Whatever you might say the object "is", well, it is not.
— Alfred Korzybski
Korzybski's controversial formulation of 'Non-identity' in his Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 35, and comment in Preface, xviii.
Science quotes on:  |  Object (44)  |  Semantics (3)

If a psychiatric and scientific inquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.
— Alfred Korzybski
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Disclosure (2)  |  Enquiry (71)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Psychiatry (8)  |  Ruler (5)

If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone.
— Alfred Korzybski
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (67)  |  Map (12)  |  Structure (101)  |  Territory (6)

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
— Alfred Korzybski
Manhood of Humanity (1921), 4. Sometimes seen misquoted as 'slice through life.'
Science quotes on:  |  Believe (14)  |  Doubt (66)  |  Everything (33)  |  Life (439)  |  Save (12)  |  Slide (3)  |  Thinking (163)

Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.
— Alfred Korzybski
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Disagreement (7)  |  Human (155)  |  Noise (12)  |  Word (96)

Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness. ... If we reflect upon our languages, we find at best they must be considered only as maps.
— Alfred Korzybski
Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1958), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Characteristic (35)  |  Language (67)  |  Map (12)  |  Represent (4)  |  Semantics (3)  |  Structure (101)  |  Territory (6)

Quotes by others about Alfred Korzybski (1)

God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't.
This is not a statement made by Alfred Korzybski, although he quoted it and attributed it as "an old maxim" in the Introduction to the second edition of his book, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1941, 4th ed. 1958), xxxvii. It is included here to provide a correction for readers who find it listed elsewhere as an original quote he made.
Science quotes on:  |  Forgive (4)  |  God (229)  |  Nerve (52)  |  Sin (12)

See also:
  • todayinsci icon 3 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Korzybski's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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