Alfred Korzybski quotes

  • The map is not the territory.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Philosophy #Philosophical #Journey

  • There are two ways to slice easily thorugh life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Life #Education #Believe

  • Man's achievements rest upon the use of symbols.... we must consider ourselves as a symbolic, semantic class of life, and those who rule the symbols, rule us.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Men #Class #Use

  • The map is not the territory... The only usefulness of a map depends on similarity of structure between the empirical world and the map...
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #World #Maps #Territory

  • 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.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Two #Negative #Isolation

  • I am the same kind of moron as the rest of you, it's the method that does the work, for me as well as for you.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Doe #Kind #Method

  • It is now no mystery that some quite influential 'philosophers' were 'mentally' ill.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Philosopher #Influential #Mystery

  • Who rules our symbols, rules us.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Symbols

  • We see what we see because we miss all the finer details.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Missing #Details

  • To regard human beings as tools - as instruments - for the use of other human beings is not only unscientific but it is repugnant, stupid and short sighted. Tools are made by man but have not the autonomy of their maker - they have not man's time-binding capacity for initiation, for self-direction, and self-improvement.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Stupid #Men #Self

  • Different ‘philosophies’ represent nothing but methods of evaluation, which may lead to empirical mis-evaluation if science and empirical facts are disregarded.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Philosophy #Different #May

  • If we, who live outside asylums, act as if we lived in a fictitious world- that is to say, if we are consistent with our beliefs- we cannot adjust ourselves to actual conditions, and so fall into many avoidable semantic difficulties. But the so-called normal person practically never abides by his beliefs, and when his beliefs are building for him a fictitious world, he saves his neck by not abiding by them. A so-called "insane" person acts upon his beliefs, and so cannot adjust himself to a world which is quite different from his fancy.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Faith #Fall #Insane

  • As words are not the things we speak about, and structure is the only link between them, structure becomes the only content of knowledge. If we gamble on verbal structures that have no observable empirical structures, such gambling can never give us any structural information about the world. Therefore such verbal structures are structurally obsolete, and if we believe in them, they induce delusions or other semantic disturbances.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Faith #Believe #Gambling

  • Second order effects, such as belief in belief, makes fanaticism.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Faith #Order #Belief

  • A person does what he does because he sees the world as he sees it.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Self Improvement #Doe #World

  • Identification makes general sanity and complete adjustment impossible. Training in non-identity plays a therapeutic role with adults.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Self Esteem #Play #Training

  • Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Lying #Science #Use

  • 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.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Two #Important #Maps

  • 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

    #World #Maps #Links

  • God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Integrity #Forgiving #May

  • If a psychiatric and scientific inquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Science #Would Be #Enquiry

  • The objective level is not words, and cannot be reached by words alone. We must point our finger and be silent, or we will never reach this level.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Levels #Silent #Fingers

  • Whatever you might say the object "is", well it is not.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Knowledge #Might #Wells

  • One would have to say "in the end everything is a gag, etc" because everything is infinitely more than just a gag. The same applies to other "is"-statements such as "Laughter is an instant vacation"
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Laughter #Vacation #Etc

  • Riches I need not, nor man's empty praise.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Self Esteem #Men #Riches

  • These 'philosophers', etc., seem unaware, to give a specific example, that by teaching and preaching 'identity', which is empirically non-existent in this actual world, they are neurologically training future generations in the pathological identifications found in the 'mentally' ill or maladjusted.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Self Esteem #Teaching #Giving

  • Whatever you say about something, it is not.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Truth

  • The present non-aristotelian system is based on fundamental negative premises; namely, the complete denial of 'identity.'
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Identity #Negative #Fundamentals

  • It is amusing to discover, in the twentieth century, that the quarrels between two lovers, two mathematicians, two nations, two economic systems, usually assumed insoluble in a finite period should exhibit one mechanism, the semantic mechanism of identification - the discovery of which makes universal agreement possible, in mathematics and in life.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Discovery #Agreement #Two

  • Any object of thought is both 'more than what we think, and different'.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Thinking #Mind #Different

  • I want to make clear only that words are not the things spoken about, and that there is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Want #Isolation #Clear

  • Whatever you say it is, is simply what YOU SAY it is.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

  • Mathematics and logic have been proved to be one; a fact from which it seems to follow that mathematics may successfully deal with non-quantitative problems in a much broader sense than was suspected to be possible.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #May #Facts #Logic

  • Identity is invariably false to facts.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Self Esteem #Identity #Facts

  • Whatever you may say something is, it is not!
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #May

  • Psycho-galvonic experiments show clearly that every emotion or thought is always connected with some electrical current.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Psycho #Emotion #Currents

  • To use words to sense reality is like going with a lamp to search for darkness.
    -- Alfred Korzybski

    #Reality #Darkness #Lamps