Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

General Semantics Is Not "About" General Semantics

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

General Semantics Is Not "About" General Semantics

Article excerpt

Often students of general semantics get bogged down by the high order abstractions of its principles and formulations; they become quite skilled in the grammar, logic, and semantics of general semantics, and pay scant attention to the pragmatics and general semantics of the discipline. They seems to forget that general semantics is not "about" general semantics.

General Semantics is concerned with the inter-relationships between our environments, our language, our behavior, our relationship with our selves, our relationship with others, and the operations of our nervous systems. If we are to use and benefit from general-semantics principles and formulations, then we should explore ways to bridge the gap between these high order abstractions and their applications to the improved management of our concrete everyday concerns, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, communication activities, problem solving, stress management, conflict management, and so on. The following is an example of ways of simplifying one general-semantics high order abstraction - the extensional device "etc," and illustrates how easily one can apply it towards more appropriate evaluation for better management of everyday affairs.

To increase the usefulness of "etc" we employ the principle of differentiation and ask ourselves the following questions when occasions arise:

* What else could be said? What else could be done?

* How could it be said differently? How could it be done differently?

* Was that the only approach? Was that the best approach at this time?

* Could the situation be managed differently? What are some other ways I could understand this? How else could I interpret this? How do others talk about this?

* How else could I experience this? What other theories could I come up with?

* Am I open to other points of view? How do I know for sure? Did I see it and hear it myself? …

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