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Letter "A" » Alfred Korzybski Quotes
«Let us repeat the two crucial negative premises as established firmly by all human experience: (1) Words are not the things we are speaking about; and (2) There is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation.»
«Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.»
«We should not be surprised that we find meaningless noises in the foundation of many old ?philosophies?, and that from them arise most of the old ?philosophical? fights and arguments.»
«Whatever you say it is, it isn't.»
«?a few philosophers really do important work. This applies to the so called ?critical philosophy? and to the theory of knowledge or epistemology. This class of workers I call epistemologists to avoid the disagreeable implications of the term ?philosopher?.»
«In the rough, a symbol is a sign that stands for something? Before a noise, etc., may become a symbol, something must exist for the symbol to symbolize.»
«If a psychiatric and scientific inquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.»
«If we consider that all we deal with represents constantly changing sub-microscopic, interrelated processes which are not, and cannot be ?identical with themselves?, the old dictum that ?everything is identical with itself? becomes in [today?s understanding of the universe] a principle invariably false to facts.»
«When we say ?our rulers?, we mean those who are engaged in the manipulation of symbols. We must consider ourselves a symbolic, semantic class of life, and cannot cease from being so? those who control the symbols rule us.Bankers, priests, lawyers,? politicians, [and news media] constitute one class [of our rulers] and work together. They do not produce any values but manipulate the values produced by others, and often pass signs for no value at all. Scientists and teachers also comprise a ruling class. They produce the main values mankind has, but, at present, they do not realize this. They are, in the main, ruled by the cunning methods of the first class.»