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Thursday, September 18, 2003

From "Science and Sanity" (1933) by Korzybski :

The higher and lower order abstractions seem structurally and neurologically, as well as functionally, interconnected in a cyclic chain, and so can never be entirely divided. A language-any language-involves undefined terms which, with the structure of the given language, express the silent and unconscious metaphysics underlying it. A language, for its maximum serviceability, must, at least, have the structure of the events it attempts to describe ; and so science must first discover the structure of events, for only then can we shape our languages and given them the necessary structure. Any advance in our knowledge of nature is strictly connected with new languages of similar structure which reflect the structure of the world. This last 'knowledge' at each date represents again 'modern metaphysics'. In all such enquiries we have to struggle with the older, mostly primitive structural metaphysics and unconscious linguistic semantic consequences. Enquiry into these subjects must throw new light on the unconscious processes, and so diminish the vast field of the unconscious. (p. 507)

http://www.korzybski.org/def/metaphysics.html

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