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Module 1

Notable Quotes

“This question [of human evaluating] led engineer and scholar Alfred Korzybski on a lifelong quest to examine the structures behind the methods of science and then to apply these structures generally to most areas of human experience. This journey led him to study the new outlooks in physics, chemistry, etc., the foundations of mathematics, psychiatry, etc., and to formulate their most up-to-date principles into a practical, teachable system of evaluating. He called this system general semantics (“GS”) and introduced it in his major work, Science and Sanity, first printed in 1933 and now in its fifth edition.”   --

“General Semantics is the study of the relation between language, ‘thought,’ and behavior:  between how we talk, therefore how we ‘think,’ and therefore how we act.”  --George Doris

“G S as a system generalizes the principles and methods of modern science to most areas of human activity. Its principles and methods can be utilized to enhance our day to day activities and our relationships.” –

“General semantics provides a general theory of evaluation….Using general semantics, we’re concerned with understanding how we evaluate, with the inner life of each individual, with how each of us experiences and makes sense of our experiences, with how we use language and how language ‘uses’ us….General semantics involves an interrelated set of elements…”  --Susan and Bruce Kodish, Drive Yourself Sane

“General semantics provides a method of studying the part language plays in human affairs. The physical scientist is able to use words so accurately that they enable him to build bridges and erect giant superstructures. Perhaps the scientist’s use of words may provide a clue to help the teacher, the pupil, or anyone evaluate his own language habits. Can we learn to use language more efficiently and accurately to achieve understanding and agreement?” --Catherine Minteer, Words and What They Do To You

“... Korzybski had succeeded in formulating a theory and method which gave a means of proper evaluation whenever language is used. This body of data and method leading to habits of adequate language-fact relationships he called General Semantics.” Irving Lee, Language Habits in Human Affairs

So which of these is correct?

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