ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

This quarterly journal provides peer-reviewed articles on topics relating to general semantics.

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 4, December

Abstractions of Visual Abstracting
THE TWO DESIGNS reproduced on the covers of this issue of the General Semantics Bulletin (see page 569) were made by Margaret Nelson, who classifies herself nowadays as housewife and mother, and Lillian Charney, Executive Secretary, Canadian Home &...
After You Have Studied General Semantics
GENERALLY SPEAKING, you will make applications to two large groups of problems or situations: those that are essentially personal, and those that you will call professional or relatively impersonal. A word about each of these should help somewhat....
A General Semantics Course in the School of Journalism
ITEACH A one-semester course called General Semantics in Journalism to juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. I have varied the subject matter and the emphasis placed upon the different aspects...
Allen Walker Read, American Scholar*
SERENDIPITY, as Horace Walpole explained in 1754, is the happy capacity people have "of making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." Serendipity was the hallmark of Allen Walker Read's career as a scholar. Long...
Avoiding the Dangers of Semantic Adolescence
RECENTLY I WAS TALKING with a colleague from another college, whose point of view seemed enough like mine to make me hope that he too was sympathetic toward general semantics as a basic educational method. To my disappointment, he was not. He admitted...
Comments Responding to Probert's "Law Talk and Words Consciousness"
ON THE BASIS of Dr. Probert's recent book, Law, Language and Communication, I realized that I was almost certain to agree with what he was likely to say in his talk this afternoon. (1) Now that I have heard him, this is certainly true. He has shown...
Defining Terms or Describing Things?
THE CENTRAL THESIS of this paper was provided by one of the "big five" precursors of general semantics. It was Cassius J. Keyser who said: I can think of no greater improvement in our human discourse than that which would result if writers and...
Education and the Modern World
APUBLIC ADDRESS these days is scarcely respectable unless it announces in ominous tones that we live in a changing world. And the statement is doubly platitudinous because of course we have always lived in a world whose principal characteristic is...
Epistemology and Responsibility of the Mass Media
WORKING JOURNALISTS seldom concern themselves with deeply philosophical questions or with the epistemological assumptions of their own profession. Many operate on the aristotelian assumption that their words reflect (or should reflect) 'reality.' They...
Ethics of Time-Binding
POPULAR ORTHODOXY about 'human nature' for the past hundred years has, by virtue of a naive, elementalistic 'materialism,' defined man as a 'selfish animal,' engaged in a struggle in which the 'fittest' survive. Had society been differently constituted...
Foreword to "Science Teaching and the Humanities" by Philipp Frank
THE CLOSENESS of Dr. Frank's position, as it appears in the present article, to the point of view of general semantics is too evident to require elaborate comment. Stated in general semantics terminology, Dr. Frank's critique of our education and learning...
General Semantics and the Teaching of Mathematics
LANGUAGE PROFOUNDLY AFFECTS behavior. Sear the student with "Wrong again, Jones," and you may settle it--Jones quits the course. Challenge him with "Show us your reasoning, Jones," and Jones may find his own mistake--and henceforth check his logic...
General Semantics in Teaching an Introductory Course in Aesthetics
AT MILLS COLLEGE for the past two years we have been offering a survey of contemporary fine arts for freshman students. This course is an experiment in staff teaching with a co-ordinator carrying the large part of the teaching load. Faculty members...
General Semantics in the Practice of a Consulting Psychologist
IT IS NOT MY FUNCTION, I feel, to repeat general formulations of neuro-semantics. Rather, I would like to answer the queries of a certain number of professional people interested in applying techniques of general semantics. These people usually say,...
General Semantics Methodology in College English Teaching: Report of Results in a Freshman English Course at Syracuse University
General Context of the Experiment AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY during the academic year 1940-1941, we have based the course in English for freshmen upon introductory training in general semantics. In this report, I will attempt to formulate some of the...
Horticulture as a Field for Investigation of Semantic Reactions
IT IS WITH the greatest hesitation that I accept the invitation of my friend Alfred Korzybski to contribute to the program of this Congress at Denver. I recognize that my knowledge of the subject of general semantics is too fragmentary and too superficial...
How Scientific Is Social Science?
How scientific is social science? It seems to me that the way to address this question is to determine what we mean by "science" and by "social science" and then to see to what degree each of the several so-called social sciences meets the criteria...
In Memoriam: Allen Walker Read (1906-2002)
OUR SOCIETY [The American Society of Geolinguistics] has been profoundly saddened by the death of Allen Walker Read on October 16, 2002. Dr. Read was considered the foremost living authority on American English. He was a member of our Society for...
"In Shorts" from Language Habits in Human Affairs
WHAT SHOULD you get from this book? Students who read this book carefully should get: 1. a sense of the problems and difficulties involved in making accurate statements about themselves and the world in which they live; and, 2. a sense of...
Introduction
AS TIME-BINDERS, we inherit the potential to build on the accomplishments of those we follow. Our time-binding legacy comes with many responsibilities, one of which is to recognize and honor our benefactors such that our accomplishments not be confused...
Introduction of Alfred Korzybski at a Luncheon in His Honor: New York City, January 28, 1948
EVERY ONCE in a while a man comes along who overturns a great towering edifice of accredited wisdom. He is usually not welcomed at the time, especially by those on the top of the edifice, but gradually the world comes to be grateful. New knowledge...
Language Revision by Deletion of Absolutisms
MANY PROPOSALS, in a wide variety, have been made for revising the English language in order to increase its efficiency and usefulness. Some would deal with the morphological level (I am, you am, he am, we am, youse am, they am), while others would...
Law Talk and Words Consciousness
ONE IS TEMPTED on an occasion like this to be profound. Certainly the previous speakers were, although not exclusively so. Let me right away say one thing that might at least sound profound. That is that law discourse--law talk as I prefer to call...
On General Semantics and Physico-Mathematical Method
The following is a summary of Korzybski's remarks at a luncheon held in his honor at the Yale Faculty Club in February 1949. IFEEL THAT I am honored to be here at Yale and I wish that I might have been an alumnus of Yale if for no other reason than...
On Sensory Awareness
IN SPEAKING of "sensory awareness" I refer to the work developed, and so named, by Charlotte Selver, which has become so influential particularly during the past few decades. Why is this approach important in training ourselves through general semantics?...
On Structure and Survival
KORZYBSKI WAS principally concerned with man as an organism-as-a-whole and the relationship of the structure of his psycho-logical, time-binding processes to the world in which man lives. In his profound discussion of the structure of these relationships,...
Preliminary Notes for a Semantics of Music
JOHN SMITH, visiting New York for the first time, is walking down noisy Sixth Avenue with his New York friend, Jones. Smith stops, puts his hand on Jones' arm, and asks: "Did you hear that noise?" Jones smiles tolerantly. "What noise do you mean?"...
Re-Education in Reading: A Report of Applications of General Semantics in Remedial Work in Reading
I IF SOME MAGICAL TRANSFORMATION could be produced in men's ways of looking at themselves and their fellows, no inconsiderable part of the evils which now afflict society would vanish away or remedy themselves automatically.... As an old Stoic proverb...
Science, Common Sense and Decency
We must stress that the article of Dr. Langmuir deals with two entirely different worlds, the physico-mathematical world of exact sciences, where the aristotelian principles do not apply fundamentally; and the human world, still ruled by antiquated aristotelian...
Science Teaching and the Humanities (Introduction)
[Due to the length of this article, only the introduction to Dr. Frank's article follows. The full paper can be read online at: www.time-binding.org/library/etc/4-4-frank.pdf.] THERE IS A widespread belief that the rising contempt for tolerance...
Some Implications of General Semantics Methodology for Social Work
THE APPLICATION of the theory of general semantics in the specialized field of Social Work calls for the adoption of a new attitude toward already-existing knowledge in that field rather than for the acceptance of a new and different theory concerning...
Teaching General Semantics to Those Less Likely to Succeed: A Teaching Experience with High School Dropouts
"See what I have in my hands?" "Yeah, it's a pair of glasses." "You're wrong. It's the smallest color television set ever made." "And you're a nut. It's a pair of glasses. And you can't change it by calling it a color television set." "You...
The Geolinguistics of Verbal Taboo
THE WORD geolinguistics may not be very familiar to a number of you in this audience and perhaps I should preface my remarks with a few words about this field. The initial exposition is to be found in Professor Mario Pei's book, Invitation to Linguistics,...
The Use of General Semantics in Teaching the Language Skills in the Eighth Grade
LIKE MANY English teachers in high schools and junior colleges I have found that the attempt to improve my students' language skills constitutes the heaviest burden of my teaching. The language problem has been given a great deal of attention in recent...
The Use of GS in the Motivation of a Select Group of High School Students: Summary of a Project
Introduction ONE OF THE most challenging problems of education today is that of motivation. Its importance has become so recognized that teachers spend most of their energies finding ways to get students interested and ready for new topics. No matter...
The Worlds in Which We Live
THE CHART entitled "The Worlds in Which We Live" is designed to represent the various areas of our knowledge of the world. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] * The central circle covers the field of what we perceive through our 'senses.' This field is limited,...
To Be or Not to Be: E-Prime as a Tool for Critical Thinking
E-Prime! The Fundamentals AMBROSE BIERCE, in his famous Devil's Dictionary, defined logic as "The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." As we become conscious of...
What We Observed in Teaching General Semantics
THIS QUESTION has been asked: If it were possible to adapt a system of semantic training for children, could it be given at the elementary level? Our answer to this question is based on the results of experiments conducted in Chicago schools during...
You Can't Write Writing
THE LATE Clarence Darrow, while speaking one day to a group of professors of English and others of kindred inclination, either raised or dismissed the basic problem with which his listeners were concerned by asking, "Even if you do learn to speak correct...

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