Susan Presby Kodish
During the years 1920 to 1950, Alfred Korzybski studied, and then conveyed to others through lectures, seminar, and writings, how human beings can learn to evaluate and act more sanely in conducting their individual and social lives. The questions he raised as he developed the discipline of general semantics continue to be relevant as we approach the twenty-first century. Although we now have more scientific information about how humans function, this information often is applied inadequately. We need to he at least as concerned as ever in how we utilize our time-binding capacities: How can we function more effectively in utilizing the best we inherit from the past, in order to contribute to a more positive present and future?
The Institute of General Semantics, the Hofstra Center for General Semantics and Critical Thinking, and the Hofstra Cultural Center, in convening the Eleventh International Interdisciplinary Conference on General Semantics, sought to bring together people in diverse fields who are interested in addressing this crucial time-binding question by considering the contributions, interconnections, and relevance for current times of general semantics and other critical 'thinking' systems. This volume, Developing Sanity in Human Affairs, represents the proceedings of that conference program.
The program organization bridged theory and practice; history, current activity, and the future; and presentations and discussion, giving participants a flavor for the complexities encompassed by general semantics. Although we are not able to reproduce the postpaper discussion sessions in this volume (except in an abbreviated form in "Integrating Critical Thinking and General Semantics: An Interactive Panel"), we offer most of the papers presented at the conference so that readers can have an opportunity to take part in its time- binding activities.
As papers were received by the conference committee in response to the call for papers, we were impressed with their quality, range, and the extent to which