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The only piece of information I found on this forum on Korzybski is the following:

On 9/23/2006 at 6:17 PM, W.J. Wilczek said:

The principal difference between man and the rest of the animal kingdom is the capability of abstract reasoning through the process of "time-binding." See Alfred Korzybski, Time-Binding: The General Theory First Paper (1924).

There is no discussion of him or his system, but I think the discussion is long overdue.

First, why Korzybski, and who the hell is it? Does anyone know or has ever heard of him?

Alfred Korzybski, as I found only by accident, was a 20th century thinker, who, like Rand, created his own system of thought and an institute (including an international one) with its own journals and researchers who wrote within the framework he set up. In stark contrast to Rand, however, he created, what he called, a 'non-aristotelian system of general semantics', the first of a kind and one that he thought was necessary for the world to overcome all the insanity of totalitarianisms and mental health problems in general. I am currently reading his major work Science and Sanity (Korzybski, 2000), and here are some excerpts from prefaces there:

Quote

'[F]orm' (structure) ... is the only 'content' of knowledge [- this] may qualify as Korzybski's deepest expression of anti-essentialism. (p. xvi)

The above is a mixture of form and content impossible in Aristotelian system and in David Kelley's interpretation of Aristotle in particular. Going on:

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[People] are somehow not able to take the natural science point of view that all science, mathematics, 'logic', 'philosophy', etc., are the product of the functioning of the human nervous system ... These 'philosophers', etc., seem unaware, to give a single 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. (p. xli, italics there)

Here he is going against identity. About identification he also says the following:

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Identification appears also as something 'infectious', for it is transmitted directly or indirectly from parents and teachers to the child by the mechanism and structure of language, by established and inherited 'habits of thought', by rules for life-orientation. (p. xci)

He generalizes the influence of Aristotle's thought on even ordinary individuals, a major contrast to what Rand thought:

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The man on the street, our education, medicine and even sciences, are still in the clutches of the system of Aristotle. (p. l)

His comment is also coming from a war-like stance directed against Aristotle and all those in his tradition:

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[T]he aristotelian type of intensional, subject-predicate orientations ... ultimately may become harmful. (p. xlviii)

And there is more, even though I still haven't finished reading all the prefaces yet (there is one for each edition). I wonder why Rand fought so fearlessly against Kant when she had a contemporary so much worse right at her nose. They wrote at about the same time and both lived in America. So what do you think about this guy? I know he appears to be a crackpot, but his use of contrariness against everything Aristotle and building an elaborate system around it, connecting most of modern scientific data (from einsteinian and quantum physics, psychiatry, and nascent neurology), makes him a peculiar and very nice contrast to Rand, a nice clean divide from her framework of knowledge. On every one of her yesses he says noes and vice versa. This is a more evident contrast than Kant had even been, since for Rand he mixed good and evil, or reason with unreason, while Korzybski includes Kant in the aristotelian tradition, and strangely discusses neither him, nor Rand, as far as I can see.

Korzybski, A. (2000). Science and Sanity: An introduction to non-aristotelian systems and general semantics. (5th ed.). Brooklyn, NY: Institute of General Semantics.

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And here Korzybski seems correct:

Quote

The system by which the white race lives, suffers, 'prospers', starves, and dies today is not in a strict sense an aristotelian system. Aristotle had far too much of the sense of actualities for that. It represents, however, a system formulated by those who, for nearly two thousand years since Aristotle, have controlled our knowledge and methods of orientations, and who, for purposes of their own, selected what today appears as the worst from Aristotle and the worse from Plato and, with their own additions, imposed this composite system upon us. In this they were greatly aided by the structure of language and psycho-logical habits, which from the primitive down to this very day have affected all of us consciously or unconsciously, and have introduced serious difficulties even in science and in mathematics. (p. xcii)

 

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Korzybski is old news to people of a certain age.  Basically, the guy is an Idealist, who supposed on the one hand that we can have no real knowledge of reality and that we actually have the knowledge to prove it.  Not worth any further analysis, as far as I'm concerned.

For fun, you might want to read some A. E. Van Vogt, who incorporated some of Korzybski's ideas into his science fiction.

 

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20 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I wonder why Rand fought so fearlessly against Kant when she had a contemporary so much worse right at her nose. They wrote at about the same time and both lived in America.

Kant was a world historical genius of nearly unparalleled influence in the history of philosophy, so he is objectively more dangerous than Korzybski, who I only just heard about now from your post. That is the reason to focus on Kant instead of Korzybski.

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12 hours ago, William O said:

Kant was a world historical genius of nearly unparalleled influence in the history of philosophy, so he is objectively more dangerous than Korzybski, who I only just heard about now from your post. That is the reason to focus on Kant instead of Korzybski.

It's a surely better way to PR your philosophy by attacking a more popular opponent than the one who is a better contrast to help clarify your philosophy.

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16 hours ago, Invictus2017 said:

Korzybski is old news to people of a certain age.  Basically, the guy is an Idealist, who supposed on the one hand that we can have no real knowledge of reality and that we actually have the knowledge to prove it.  Not worth any further analysis, as far as I'm concerned....

An Idealist, you say? And Rand isn't an Idealist? Here is a quote from Korzybski that focuses on matter rather than ideas:

Quote

Modern scientific developments show that what we label 'objects' or 'objective' [demonstratively pointing outside] are mere nervous constructs inside of our skulls which our nervous systems have abstracted electro-colloidally from the actual world of electronic processes on the sub-microscopic level. (p.lii)

 

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I understand that we're dealing here with the past, which we cannot change, but I'd like you to understand where I'm coming from. Kant is a major figure in academic circles, just like Aristotle, and Korzybski isn't. Korzybski conflicts with much work from academia and attacks academicians along the same lines Rand does: that they are too verbose and abstract with their ideas removed from reality and facts. I can understand that Rand wanted to become famous, and the best way to do that and become a part of history is to attack a famous person (like Booth did with Lincoln and Chapman with Lennon). But the issue is that Rand composed her line of attack ineffectively from the academic point of view. She didn't read enough of Kant and merely said that we shouldn't read him much at all. All that we need to understand about Kant, according to Rand, is that his texts are basically meaningless because they are too complex. Now, this position would have never persuaded academicians a priori. So Rand merely showed that she couldn't think like academicians do and created the division between her philosophy and academia, thus hindering a deeper discussion of her philosophy in which all intellectuals could be involved. This I pity much because I cannot write about Rand in the philosophical departments around the world. She is a persona non grata there. This is also so in Russia where I studied philosophy but abandoned it because Rand is as irrelevant as Lenin here today (the two figures I studied most extensively, and now cannot share my knowledge in academic circles).

On the other hand, if we could go back in time, we should have told her to attack Korzybski along the same lines she attacked Kant. Korzybski created a similarly artificial barrier between his system and the academic world. Now, the potential downside to such an option is that Rand would have never become so popular if she had never attacked Kant, but I think she is popular among ordinary, commonsensical people not because she attacked Kant (they don't know much about him), but because of her fictional works (The Fountainhead and, especially, Atlas Shrugged). In academic circles both Rand and Korzybski are non-existent because they both attacked major philosophers in a very inadequate, ad-hominem manner (Rand called Kant a 'witch-doctor', and Korzybski associated all followers of Aristotle with the mentally ill). If they would have bound up together in a polemic, their polemic could have become interesting from the academic point of view, and maybe one of them would have been better understood then and even studied and accepted in academia due to such polemics. Without conflict with major philosophers like Aristotle and Kant but only through second-hand debates, they had a chance to be heard up there and become not major but at least minor figures in academic philosophy, but now it's all too late and useless to do anything about them there, unfortunately. People would simply look at you like you are wasting your time.

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7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

An Idealist, you say? And Rand isn't an Idealist? Here is a quote from Korzybski that focuses on matter rather than ideas:

Kant and Korzybski are Idealists; Rand is a Realist.  You might want to check the meanings of those terms.

7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:
  Quote

Modern scientific developments show that what we label 'objects' or 'objective' [demonstratively pointing outside] are mere nervous constructs inside of our skulls which our nervous systems have abstracted electro-colloidally from the actual world of electronic processes on the sub-microscopic level. (p.lii)

Idealism is not inconsistent with Materialism; the quoted passage illustrates that Korzybski held both ideas.

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Just now, Invictus2017 said:

Kant and Korzybski are Idealists; Rand is a Realist.  You might want to check the meanings of those terms.

Actually I have a problem with traditional definitions of those terms, as the definitions are confusing and contradictory. In this instance, Korzybski's idea of the multiordinality of terms (pp. 14-5 in the book) is quite useful. Regardless of how a term is used, we must look for its definition in the context where it's used. Reality for Rand is metaphysical, hence ideational, not physical, as the general concept of reality implies.

Kant and Korzybski, on the other hand, are indeed similar in regard to their philosophies, but even though they were idealistic, they surely weren't idealists. Here is just an example of how a person could call himself an idealist based on sociocultural and/or historical circumstances, which are not objective references for the meaning of a term:

Quote

Kant initially was not an Idealist; his first Critique prohibits just the kind of philosophy that his followers went on to develop. Kant was playing in a different intellectual arena. His ideas were picked up and transformed into a billowing philosophical movement precisely when an organized group appeared. Kant’s late work was turned Idealist by the presence of this movement. Here again the link is Fichte: he was the one member of the Idealists to make personal contact with Kant, and launched his own career on Kant’s sponsorship. /Fichte, one may say, made Kant what he turned out to be for the history of philosophy. ~ Collins, R. (2002). The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard UP. p. 4

And Fichte, of course, misunderstood Kant, as Kant later rejected him.

Just now, Invictus2017 said:

Idealism is not inconsistent with Materialism; the quoted passage illustrates that Korzybski held both ideas.

They are not inconsistent, especially if materialism is subjective, and it's also always idealistic, as are we all, to a certain extent. However, what do you mean that the passage illustrates that Korzybski was also an idealist? Being the brain has nothing to do with idealism, since idealism is only concerned with the metaphysical in the metacosmic sense (Platonism, Christianism, Descarteanism, & Hegelianism).

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For example, here Ellis speaks on behalf of Korzybski:

Quote

If Randians cannot see that altruism, although questionable when it is taken to extremes, is still a distinct kind of loving and that i[t] has some positive relationship values, they reduce life to blacks and whites, with no grays whatever--the essence of their outlook on human existence. If they would only read Alfred Korzybski, they might modify this all-or-nothing outlook. Perhaps!

First of all, Kozybski is also concealing an all-or-nothing outlook called Aristotelian vs. Non-aristotelian. You are either in the first or in the second system; there is nothing else, according to Korzybski. Such form of concealment is similar to the kind of pathological egoism that all collectivist/altruist tyrants deny and want us to believe they don't have.

And second, considering especially that Ellis has written a book denying self-esteem, called The Myth of Self-esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever, then he is on the side of quite a pathological 'altruism' of these collectivist folks we all know from the 20th century, although he would of course deny this, just as would Korzybski, by making us believe that their systems would lead us away from such atrocities, even by making them approach so much closer. That's the essence of the non-identity mentality.

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.

Early Responses to Korzybski

Sidney Hook is in that survey of responders - The Nature of DiscourseHook was Leonard Peikoff’s dissertation advisor. Peikoff has been asked about General Semantics, and he flatly rejected it. Peikoff has mentioned a conversation between Rand and someone who subscribed to GS (whomever it was, it was not Hook, who was a champion of John Dewey). My only exposure to GS was through a man who subscribed to it and who was a big poster on the site Objectivist Living.*

Nathaniel Branden 

Quote

 

In the January issue of “Liberty,” Dr. Michael R. Edelstein published an article entitled “The Trouble with Self-Esteem,” in which he mischaracterizes and then attacks my theory of self-esteem.

To anyone familiar with the writings of Dr. Albert Ellis, the intellectual influence on Dr. Edelstein is obvious. Dr. Ellis has been misrepresenting my views for over three decades (ever since our debate in New York City in the 1960s) and the Liberty article seems to follow in that tradition, although I must acknowledge that Dr. Edelstein and I are now pursuing a rather benevolent e-mail “conversation” aimed at seeing if greater mutual understanding is possible.

In his article, Dr. Edelstein writes: “Branden maintains that we’re worthwhile human beings if we make good choices, act honestly and act with integrity. We can then esteem ourselves highly because we can tell ourselves, in Branden’s words, ‘I coped well with the basic challenges of life.’”

Elsewhere in the article he implies that my approach is expressed in this view: “a person judges his performance to be good, then he forms a higher opinion of HIMSELF, not just his performance. Then he basks in the glow of contemplating what a terrific person he is. Then, he feels happier, and performs even better.” 

1. Nowhere do I ever state that we are “worthwhile human beings if we make good choices, act honestly and act with integrity.” That way of thinking about self-esteem is totally foreign to my approach. I never write or talk about who is or is not “a worthwhile human being.” That is the way Drs. Ellis and Edelstein think about self-esteem, not the way I do. Read “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” and judge for yourself.

And “Branden” would never write or say “I coped well with the challenges of life,” as, in effect, explaining why I (or whoever) enjoys good self-esteem.

2. Self-esteem is a particular way of experiencing the self. I define self-esteem as the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and as worthy of happiness. I will not attempt here to summarize the entire theory and the reasoning behind it. But to clarify that my concept of self-esteem has very little to do with “rating” oneself in the way Dr. Edelstein suggests, I offer the following observations.

Let us say that you are in poor physical shape and also experience yourself as being in poor physical shape – that is, tire easily, have little stamina, often get short of breath, are physically weak, etc. The problem here, obviously, is not that you “rate” yourself as being in poor physical shape, the problem is that you ARE in poor physical shape. Then, let’s say, you join a gym, hire a trainer, and begin to work on improving your condition. You lose weight, become more flexible, grow stronger, develop better stamina, etc. As a consequence, two things happen: you become in better physical shape and you experience yourself as being in better physical shape. Your experience is not the result of mere “rating.” Rather, it reflects a direct perception of reality.

You are experiencing an objective change in your physical condition. 

“Rating” is not the issue. If you are in lousy shape physically, but refuse to “rate” your condition – will you then experience yourself as physically fit as a person who eats wisely and exercises regularly? 

Now apply the same thinking to self-esteem.

Let us say that you spend too much of your life operating semi-consciously; denying and disowning your thoughts, feelings, and actions; avoiding responsibility for your choices and actions; blaming others for all your misfortunes; refusing to be accountable for anything; surrendering to your fear of self-expression or self-assertiveness so you are rarely authentic in your interactions with others; drifting through life without focus, purpose, or goals; and permitting yourself many contradictions between what you know, what you profess, and what you do. As a consequence, you do not feel very competent in the face of life’s challenges; you’re are not proud of your choices and actions; you have little confidence in your mind (since you avoid using it); and you are unable to feel respect for yourself.

Bottom line: you don’t have much self-esteem. Does this mean you are “worthless?” Of course not. This notion is the Ellis/Edelstein straw man. 

And is the problem of your low self-esteem merely a result of “self-rating?” If you could somehow avoid such “rating,” would you feel as happy with yourself as a person who lived consciously, self-acceptingly, self-responsibly, self-assertively, purposefully, and with integrity? 

Note that I am not saying that you “should” damn yourself as a worthless human being (which is what Ellis/Edelstein suggest is my position). I am saying that over time our choices and actions irresistibly affect how we think and feel about ourselves. Ellis/Edelstein seem to be saying that if only we abstain from “self-rating,” our rationality or irrationality need have no effect on our sense of self. (To say it again: Self-esteem is a particular way of experiencing the self.)

No psychotherapist in his right mind would ever suggest that one “should” feel self-damnation. If there is anything therapists agree on, it is that self-acceptance is the necessary foundation of healthy change and growth. In several of my books I have written about the importance of self-acceptance and the counter-productiveness of self-repudiation or self-damnation-see, for example, “How to Raise Your Self-Esteem” and “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.”

If someone wants to challenge my theory of self-esteem, I will welcome the opportunity to learn. But first, let’s be clear on what I’ve said and not said.

 

 

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On 9/8/2018 at 2:47 AM, Ilya Startsev said:

... All that we need to understand about Kant, according to Rand, is that his texts are basically meaningless because they are too complex. ...

If you look up Kant, Immanuel in the Ayn Rand lexicon, you will see that this is not what Rand said.  Copying from Psychological Techniques, the last section of the lexicon's entry on Kant, the closest she comes to what you said is to describe Kant's technique as

your conclusion must be brazenly clear, but your proof unintelligible. Your proof must be so tangled a mess that it will paralyze a reader’s critical faculty—a mess of evasions, equivocations, obfuscations, circumlocutions, non sequiturs, endless sentences leading nowhere, irrelevant side issues, clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses, a meticulously lengthy proving of the obvious, and big chunks of the arbitrary thrown in as self-evident, erudite references to sciences, to pseudo-sciences, to the never-to-be-sciences, to the untraceable and the unprovable—all of it resting on a zero: the absence of definitions. 

This is still different from what you said.

The lexicon also gives a number of more specific statements she made criticizing Kant's ideas.

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

If you look up Kant, Immanuel in the Ayn Rand lexicon, you will see that this is not what Rand said.  Copying from Psychological Techniques, the last section of the lexicon's entry on Kant, the closest she comes to what you said is to describe Kant's technique as

your conclusion must be brazenly clear, but your proof unintelligible. Your proof must be so tangled a mess that it will paralyze a reader’s critical faculty—a mess of evasions, equivocations, obfuscations, circumlocutions, non sequiturs, endless sentences leading nowhere, irrelevant side issues, clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses, a meticulously lengthy proving of the obvious, and big chunks of the arbitrary thrown in as self-evident, erudite references to sciences, to pseudo-sciences, to the never-to-be-sciences, to the untraceable and the unprovable—all of it resting on a zero: the absence of definitions. 

This is still different from what you said.

The lexicon also gives a number of more specific statements she made criticizing Kant's ideas.

As to me, that is exactly what I said, but a lot more eloquently and from a perspective that knows Kant (having read all of his works).

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Just now, Doug Morris said:

Ayn Rand is criticizing Kant not so much for complexity as for extensive, pervasive illogic, including a lack of definitions.

And that's Rand's problem. Yes, Kant avoided definitions in his pre-critical period especially because he wanted to make his philosophy end with the best possible definitions, that is to form definitions by the end of the discussion or make them clear by then at least, hoping that readers would be able to figure them out in context during the process, like in mathematics. He opposed traditional, scholastic metaphysics that started with definitions before the discussion. In his critical period, however, Kant used a lot more definitions and even started many of his works with them, as he thought it would be easier for readers, and besides by then he wanted to avoid confusion. For Rand, Kant's works are not only complex (that was an understatement earlier on my part), but incomprehensible because he deals with the mental processes required as conditions for knowledge. He explores the inner world as it has to be for us to have any knowledge at all, and be human at that. Kant's logic on the surface is Aristotelian, but really he was more concerned with mathematical thinking, as he applied all his thinking externally -- outside in with his theory of knowledge (erkenntnistheorie) with the faculty of understanding as primary; inside out with his ethics, or practical theory, with mind as the primary faculty; and outside in and inside out together with his mechanics and teleology with his aesthetics and the faculty of judgment. Kant thus answers on these questions:

  1. What can I know?
  2. What should I do?
  3. What may I hope?
  4. What is man? - in his anthropology (a primary question for Korzybski, I should note)

Korzybski makes greater focus on illogic than Kant since Kant was under the influence of the sociocultural conditions of the time which favored strict logic as applied in science before logic became mathematized and completely removed from its scholastic treatments.

I am not hereby trying to defend Kant's rationality or even his philosophy as a whole, but merely trying to make it clear that Rand really didn't have any sufficient reason to reject Kant on the basis of her arguments.

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I'm sorry, but I'm a little confused. So, the only question originally posed in this thread has been answered: no one here has heard about this Korzybski fella' before. Asked and answered.

So that should've been the end of the thread. But fine, I guess it's not. We had a change of subject. I'm flexible, I'm fine with a change of subject...as long as someone points out what the new subject is.

So what's the new subject?

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6 hours ago, Nicky said:

So what's the new subject?

I don't know, I was hoping to discuss Korzybski while I'm still reading him. Frankly, I think him the 20th century Kant but more on the commonsensical side in the context of today's sociocultural nihilistic and postmodernistic, non-identity perspectives. He was coming on that wave against which Rand battled.

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I maintain that what Ilya Startsev said about what Ayn Rand said about Kant misrepresents Ayn Rand's position.  Apparently the complexity/illogic issue is leading us into a messy argument.  But there is also the point I made that Ayn Rand made a number of more specific statements criticizing Kant's ideas, as can be seen from the Ayn Rand lexicon.

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Do "the mental processes required as conditions for knowledge" include "evasions, equivocations, obfuscations, circumlocutions, non sequiturs, endless sentences leading nowhere, irrelevant side issues, clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses, a meticulously lengthy proving of the obvious, and big chunks of the arbitrary thrown in as self-evident"?

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4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Do "the mental processes required as conditions for knowledge" include "evasions, equivocations, obfuscations, circumlocutions, non sequiturs, endless sentences leading nowhere, irrelevant side issues, clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses, a meticulously lengthy proving of the obvious, and big chunks of the arbitrary thrown in as self-evident"?

That's the complexity issue that Rand didn't understand, thus she called it a bunch of names. It was Kant's style that was cumbersome, but, just so you know, so was the style of Copernicus, yet Rand had no issue with him. The part about 'self-evident' is also arguable. I agree that some of Kant's arguments come from common sense, especially his arguments for ethics in the Metaphysic of morals, and P. F. Strawson would agree concerning circularity in Kant's logic. I would also argue that Kant didn't come up with many original ideas but merely mutated old ones (like Aristotle's categories, to which he added other ones but placed them in a vacuum, removing the subject-predicate context), yet all of these Kant's faults are contained in the writing of a very complex and comprehensive manner on all topics, but once grasped he becomes boring (at least for me).

4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

To what extent is the failure of most current academic philosophers to take Ayn Rand seriously a reaction to what she said about Kant, and to what extent is it a reaction to other things she said?

From personal experience, there was a critic on this and other forums named Bill Harris, and his vendetta against Objectivism started when he was 15 years old (supposedly) when he first read Rand calling Kant a 'witch-doctor'. He is an academician and from an academic family. He claimed that Rand isn't interesting to academia because she doesn't follow academic rules, such as referring to first and second sources exhaustively and not using logical errors like ad-hominem attacks. That's from philosophical departments' view. From a literary point of view, again anecdotal, I had spoken to a professor of literature at NIU, and in his class on American literature of the 20th century he rejected my proposal of studying Atlas Shrugged because he attributed to it an utter lack of literary value. And some other professors agree that AS is too cold (concerning style) and uninteresting (concerning content). I, of course, disagree with them all, but maybe that's idiosyncratic, as I'm interested in female Russian philosophers, as I'm Russian myself, and, contrary to what Rand says about Russian culture, I feel a sort of cultural bond with her nonetheless.

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On 9/9/2018 at 2:37 PM, Boydstun said:

.

Early Responses to Korzybski

Sidney Hook is in that survey of responders - The Nature of DiscourseHook was Leonard Peikoff’s dissertation advisor. Peikoff has been asked about General Semantics, and he flatly rejected it. Peikoff has mentioned a conversation between Rand and someone who subscribed to GS (whomever it was, it was not Hook, who was a champion of John Dewey). My only exposure to GS was through a man who subscribed to it and who was a big poster on the site Objectivist Living.*

The link of the 'early responses' leads to a pro-GS blog post, which makes an impression that Science and Sanity received mostly positive reviews and the few negative reviews it had, including the one by Hook, were misrepresentations of Korzybski's work and misunderstandings of his system for a philosophical one, as if it isn't. In this respect I would go with Albert Ellis and say that all such cognitive creations, like the system of Korzybski, are inherently philosophical (even on the unconscious level).

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On 9/9/2018 at 2:37 PM, Boydstun said:

My only exposure to GS was through a man who subscribed to it and who was a big poster on the site Objectivist Living.*

Therein, tjohnson wrote:

Quote

I prefer Korzybski's definition of knowledge which is that the only thing we can know is structure, verbal and non-verbal. We perceive structure and we describe and infer structure verbally.

I think that's harmless. Here is some context by Korzybski:

Quote

 

Perhaps an illustration will make it clearer, the more that the old subject-predicate language rather conceals structure. If we take a statement, 'This blade of grass is green', and analyse it only as a statement, superficially, we can hardly see how any structure could be implied by it. This statement may be analysed into substantives, adjectives, verb.; yet this would not say much about its structure. But if we notice that these words can also make a question, 'Is this blade of grass green?', we begin to realize that the order of the words plays an important role in some languages connected with the meanings, and so we can immediately speak of the structure of the sentence. Further analysis would disclose that the sentence under consideration has the subject-predicate form or structure.

If we went to the objective, silent, un-speakable level, and analysed this objective blade of grass, we should discover various structural characteristics in the blade; but these are not involved in the statement under consideration, and it would be illegitimate to speak about them. However, we can carry our analysis in another direction. If we carry it far enough, we shall discover a very intricate, yet definite, relation or complex of relations between the objective blade of grass and the observer. Rays of light impinge upon the blade, are reflected from it, fall on the retina of our eye, and produce within our skins the feeling of 'green'., an extremely complex process which has some definite structure. (p. 62)

 

I mean, Aristotle's subject-predicate logic is also all structure and forms. Besides it's ontological. How is it that he thinks it doesn't correspond to facts? In the second paragraph it seems he reduces reality to a sort of kantian inversion: noumenon is the unspeakable and phenomenon is the sensation (like light rays). And in the first he reduces aristotelianism to linguistics a la language games and empty scholasticism. Does then Korzybski misrepresent Aristotle?

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