Historical Reprints Philosophical Manhood of Humanity : Science and Art of Human Engineering

Manhood of Humanity : Science and Art of Human Engineering

Manhood of Humanity : Science and Art of Human Engineering
Catalog # SKU1887
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Alfred Korzybski


Manhood of Humanity

The Science and Art of
Human Engineering

Alfred Korzybski

This book is primarily a study of Man and ultimately embraces all the great qualities and problems of Man. As a study of Man it takes into consideration all the characteristics which make Man what he is.

The question we have, therefore, to consider first of all is fundamentally: What is Man? What is a man? What is a human being? What is the defining or characteristic mark of humanity? To this question two answers and only two have been given in the course of the ages, and they are both of them current to-day.


Chapter I. Introduction. Method and Processes of Approach to a New Concept of Life
Chapter II. Childhood of Humanity
Chapter III. Classes of Life
Chapter IV. What Is Man?
Chapter V. Wealth
Chapter VI. Capitalistic Era
Chapter VII. Survival of the Fittest
Chapter VIII. Elements Of Power
Chapter IX. Manhood Of Humanity
Chapter X. Conclusion
Appendix I. Mathematics And Time-Binding
Appendix II. Biology And Time-Binding
Appendix III. Engineering And Time-Binding

Excerpt from Preface

If some readers do note the absence of certain expressions familiar to them, it does not mean that the author does not feel or think as many other people-he does-and very much so; but in this book an effort has been made to approach the problem of Man from a scientific-mathematical point of view, and therefore great pains have been taken not to use words insufficiently defined, or words with many meanings.

The author has done his utmost to use such words as convey only the meaning intended, and in the case of some words, such as "spiritual," there has been superadded the word "so-called," not because the author has any belief or disbelief in such phenomena; there is no need for beliefs because some such phenomena exist, no matter what we may think of them or by what name we call them; but because the word "spiritual" is not scientifically defined, and every individual understands and uses this word in a personal and private way.

To be impersonal the author has had to indicate this element by adding "so-called." I repeat once again that this book is not a "materialistic" or a "spiritualistic" book-it is a study of "Man" and therefore does and should include materialistic as well as spiritual phenomena because only the complex of these phenomena constitutes the complex of Man.

Though this book has been written with scrupulous care to avoid words or terms of vague meaning-and though it often may seem coldly critical of things metaphysical, it has not been written with indifference to that great, perhaps the greatest, urge of the human heart-the craving for spiritual truth-our yearning for the higher potentialities of that which we call "mind," "soul" and "spirit"-but it has been written with the deep desire to find the source of these qualities, their scientific significance and a scientific proof of them, so that they may be approached and studied by the best minds of the world without the digressions, and misinterpretations that are caused by the color and the confusion of personal emotions; and if the book be read with care, it will be seen that, though the clarifying definition of the classes of life has been chiefly used in the book for its great carrying power in the practical world, its greatest help will ultimately be in guiding the investigation, the right valuation and especially the control and use of the higher human powers.


The question remains: What is Man? I hope to show clearly and convincingly that the answer is to be found in the patent fact that human beings possess in varying degrees a certain natural faculty or power or capacity which serves at once to give them their appropriate dignity as human beings and to discriminate them, not only from the minerals and the plants but also from the world of animals, this peculiar or characteristic human faculty or power or capacity I shall call the time-binding faculty or time-binding power or time-binding capacity.

What I mean by time-binding will be clearly and fully explained in the course of the discussion, and when it has been made clear, the question-What Is Man?-will be answered by saying that man is a being naturally endowed with time-binding capacity-that a human being is a time-binder-that men, women and children constitute the time-binding class of life.

There will then remain the great task of indicating and in a measure sketching some of the important ways in which the true conception of man as man will transform our views of human society and the world, affect our human conduct and give us a growing body of scientific wisdom regarding the welfare of mankind including all posterity.

The purpose of this introductory chapter is to consider certain general matters of a preliminary nature-to indicate the spirit of the undertaking-to provide a short course of approach and preparation-to clear the deck, so to speak, and make ready for action. There are two ways to slide easily through life: Namely, to believe everything, or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking. The majority take the line of least resistance, preferring to have their thinking done for them; they accept ready-made individual, private doctrines as their own and follow them more or less blindly. Every generation looks upon its own creeds as true and permanent and has a mingled smile of pity and contempt for the prejudices of the past. For two hundred or more generations of our historical past this attitude has been repeated two hundred or more times, and unless we are very careful our children will have the same attitude toward us.

There can be no doubt that humanity belongs to a class of life which to a large extent determines its own destinies, establishes its own rules of education and conduct, and thus influences every step we are free to take within the structure of our social system. But the power of human beings to determine their own destinies is limited by natural law, Nature's law. It is the counsel of wisdom to discover the laws of nature, including the laws of human nature, and then to live in accordance with them. The opposite is folly.

A farmer must know the natural laws that govern his wheat, or corn, or cow, as otherwise he will not have satisfactory crops, or the quality and abundance of milk he desires, whereas the knowledge of these laws enables him to produce the most favorable conditions for his plants and animals, and thereby to gain the desired results.

Humanity must know the natural laws for humans, otherwise humans will not create the conditions and the customs that regulate human activities which will make it possible for them to have the most favorable circumstances for the fullest human development in life; which means the release of the maximum natural-creative energy and expression in mental, moral, material and spiritual and all the other great fields of human activities, resulting in happiness in life and in work-collectively and individually-because the conditions of the earning of a livelihood influence and shape all our mental processes and activities, the quality and the form of human inter-relationship.

Every human achievement, be it a scientific discovery, a picture, a statue, a temple, a home or a bridge, has to be conceived in the mind first-the plan thought out-before it can be made a reality, and when anything is to be attempted that involves any number of individuals-methods of coordination have to be considered-the methods which have proven to be the best suited for such undertakings are engineering methods-the engineering of an idea toward a complete realization.

Every engineer has to know the materials with which he has to work and the natural laws of these materials, as discovered by observation and experiment and formulated by mathematics and mechanics; else he can not calculate the forces at his disposal; he can not compute the resistance of his materials; he can not determine the capacity and requirements of his power plant; in short, he can not make the most profitable use of his resources.

Lately in all industries and particularly during the late World War, which was itself a gigantic industrial process, another factor manifested itself and proved to be of the utmost importance: namely, the human factor, which is not material but is mental, moral, psychological. It has been found that maximum production may be attained when and only when the production is carried on in conformity with certain psychological laws, roughly determined by the analysis of human nature.

Softcover, 8¼" x 6¾, 210+ pages

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