32 Total Quotes

Alfred Korzybski Quotes

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
Alfred Korzybski
#Doubt

There are two ways to slice easily thorugh life; to believe everythingor to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
Alfred Korzybski
#Doubt

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
#Polish Scientist

The map is not the territory.
Alfred Korzybski
#Travel And Tourism #Map

God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't
Alfred Korzybski
#God

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
#Words #Polish Scientist

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
#Mathematics #Lovers

…the analogy between the noises we make when these noises do not symbolize anything which exists, and the worthless checks we write when our bank balance is zero…
Alfred Korzybski
#Analogy

It is now no mystery that some quite influential ‘philosophers’ were ‘mentally’ ill.
Alfred Korzybski
#Mystery

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
#Experience

Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.
Alfred Korzybski
#Polish Scientist #Lies And Lying

Whatever you say it is, it isn't.
Alfred Korzybski
#Polish Scientist

If a psychiatric and scientific inquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.
Alfred Korzybski
#Polish Scientist #Mankind

The affairs of man are conducted by our own, man-made rules and according to man-made theories. 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
#Man

the analogy between the noises we make when these noises do not symbolize anything which exists, and the worthless checks we write when our bank balance is zero
Alfred Korzybski
#Logic

It is now no mystery that some quite influential philosophers were mentally ill.
Alfred Korzybski
#Politics

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.
Alfred Korzybski
#Logic

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.
Alfred Korzybski
#Politics

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.
Alfred Korzybski
#Politics

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 [todays understanding of the universe] a principle invariably false to facts.
Alfred Korzybski
#Politics

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.
Alfred Korzybski
#Mankind #Signs #Politicians #Lawyer #Scientists