Alfred Korzybski Biography
(Scholar who developed the field of General Semantics)
Birthday: July 3, 1879 (Cancer)
Born In: Warsaw
Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski was a Polish American scholar credited to have developed the field of general semantics. General Semantics, which is distinct from the field of semantics, is a program that seeks to regulate the evaluative operations performed in the human brain. Korzybski, who had always been interested in studying the complexities of the human brain, was of the view that human knowledge is not only limited by the human nervous system, but also by the languages developed by the humans, and thus no human being can have access to the absolute reality. An engineer by profession, he was a keen observer of human behavior. What he found the most intriguing about human nature was the fact that in spite of the advancements man has made in the fields of mathematics, science and technology, human beings still are unable to comprehend how their own brains functioned. Thus he took to studying human behavior in detail and his works culminated in the development of what came to be known as general semantics. This field soon gained recognition as a science and was taught in colleges and universities as a part of their courses. He is best known for the dictum, "the map is not the territory", indicating that an actual object is different from its representation.