Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Black Friday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on Tikes

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $10.32
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics Hardcover – April 1, 1995

47 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$81.77 $44.87

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 927 pages
  • Publisher: Institute of General Semantics; 5th edition (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937298018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937298015
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Eaton on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In his book, Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski succeeds in presenting to his readers a distillation of many seemingly diverse branches of knowledge, including: Anthropology, Biology, Education, Logic, Mathematics, Neurology, Physics, Physiology, Psychiatry, Semantics, etc.
Specialists in the above mentioned disciplines may be disappointed or even insulted at Korzybski's general, integrative style. However, Korzybski was mainly concerned about extracting the aspects of the above mentioned disciplines that have the most human value.
Korzybski's attitude was definitely NOT "science for science's sake." Instead, he sought to integrate diverse branches of knowledge into a system that would be simple enough to teach to young children, so that each young child would begin life with the knowledge and wisdom that took the human race centuries of labor to achieve. Of course, if this goal could actually be achieved, the progression and survival of the human race would be greatly enhanced!
Although Science and Sanity is certainly a difficult book to read and understand, Korzybski's system can be easily taught to young children. The reason for this is that Korzybski summarized his system as a non-verbal diagram. Probably, the wisdom of thousands of books are represented non-verbally on that diagram!
It's true that one must know what the different parts of the diagram represent in order to appreciate or understand it; however, Korzybski's system is certainly unique in that one can explain the system to another while referring (pointing) to a diagram. This visual aid, called the Structural Differential, could be used in the education of young children as a way of simply and easily imparting "the wisdom of the ages."
Note: Science and Sanity uses some abbreviations throughout the book. There are charts on pages 15 and 16 that explain these. Don't miss those charts, or you'll miss the whole book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By James O'Reilly on June 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book over 25 years ago, and it stunned me. Only a fool or the bitterest cynic could come away from this book unchanged. Whether or not you agree with all or even some of its premises and conclusions, Science and Sanity will make you keenly aware of language, psychology, and communication in all aspects of your life. You will realize how little most people know or understand about the deep and complex role language plays at home and on the world stage. This book will give you a different platform to stand on. Yes, it is a difficult book to read, but like another difficult book, Samuel Hahnemann's timeless Organon of the Medical Art, it rewards the patient and thoughtful reader in countless subtle ways over the course of time. I'd rate this book in my top ten books of a lifetime spent reading everything under the sun.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Doug Vaughn HALL OF FAME on December 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book should probably be on any short list of the century's most influential books but would, ironically, never make a list of most read books. A significant number of people did read and internalize the book's message and Korzibsky's thought thus found its way into a number of diverse fields. But despite the wide dissimination of the book's message, the book itself, because it is so dense and difficult, has never had a wide reading audience. In fact, early critics made the point that a book about language and meaning should not have such difficult language that its meaning is difficult to understand. Yet this is the problem that Korzibski faced - having to use language to demonstrate the inherent limitations and dangers of language.
I have read the book, having come to it from a number of popular treatments of Korzybski's work. These at least provided a framework for understanding what otherwise might have been lost to me in the author's stiff prose. The book's most basic message, that 'the map is not the territory' (the Word is not the Thing it represents), can seem trivial when stated simply. However, only a little analysis will suffice to show how easily even very bright people fall into the trap of the 'Is of identity' - the semantic error that is inherent in the syllogistic form of reasoning that makes use of statements of the form 'All A are B, C is A, therefore C is B'. Note that 'is' suggests, and indeed often is taken to be, a statement of identity - that category A is identical in some ways, to category B. This is false. As words, these simply stand for, or 'point to' certain things, which themselves are identical only on the verbal level - the level of conceptual thought - not on the non-verbal level of external reality.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I would first like to say that I read this book at the age of 17 and understood it rather easily; so for me, it was not a difficult book. I would describe it as densely packed, but not particularly difficult. The author has specific instructions on how to read the book -- and even what to do if you don't understand something -- and so if you follow these instructions, you should do fine.
One of the fundamental notions presented in Science and Sanity is that we always see the world through the altering prism of our nervous system; that is, we never experience the world directly, but only through the lense of our 'abstractions' (our individual nervous system's responses to the world). When we talk or think, the world is further altered (abstracted) by the language or words we use in dealing with our nervous system's responses. And because in words we can talk or think about the words and thoughts we have used previously, our abstractions can build on previous abstractions, and extend into many orders or iterations. Therefore, because our thoughts and our words are abstractions from what we are thinking or talking about, and because we don't experience the world directly (but only through the prism of our individual nervous systems), there exists an unavoidable element of uncertainty in even our best statements. They are "from our point of view" so to speak, not "the way it is."
I think you can see from this discussion that Korzybski was trying to generalize Einstein's and Heisenberg's notions of relativity and uncertainty (in science) to the whole of life in its myriad aspects (and create a system to train us in that attitude). Not only is "beauty in the eye of the beholder," everything is in the eye of the beholder.
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: introduction to curvature, thinking: an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking