ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 64, No. 2, April

Allness in Language and Politics
AT THE BEGINNING of this school year I was introduced to ETC [the journal of the Institute of General Semantics.] My assignment was to read and analyze articles. The articles that I read focused on varying causes of conflict as well as resolutions...
A Reflection on Labeling and Conditioning
"SMART," "Perfectionist," "Stupid," "Lazy," "Failure," "Procrastinator." These are labels I hear everyday and I could connect them to people I know. Recently, I've come to understand the importance of labels--they dictate not only how we see ourselves,...
As I See It: A Personal Overview of General Semantics
EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, students of general semantics face the question: "What is general semantics?" This article represents my overview of potential answers. Actually, I do not answer the question as asked but as translated to: "What is general semantics...
Charting the "False Maps" of Australian Aboriginal Education: Rethinking Education Policy from a General Semantics Perspective
In 1770 British Captain James Cook's expedition landed in Australia. This event, and Australia's subsequent settlement as a British penal colony, signaled an end to long-established traditional ways of life--and ways of knowing--for Australia's Aboriginal...
Correspondence
Time-Binding Bound Too Tightly? A rough description of time-binding: "A given generation of humankind has the potential to start where the previous generation left off." I received the following piece from a former colleague, Professor Karla...
Death and Metaphors
A GOOD FRIEND of mine died recently. We had been in high school together, and kept in touch for 45 years. I visited him in the hospital, as he lay wasting away from a fast-moving cancer. What do you say? We talked about death. We talked about whether...
From the Archives
55 Years Ago in ETC: Volume 10, Number 1 ANATOLE RAPOPORT, "WHAT IS SEMANTICS?" Now let us look at Korzybski's basic principles (or the non-aristotelian postulates, as they are sometimes called), on which his "non-aristotelian system" is built:...
General Semantics at Vermont Academy
I WAS FIRST introduced to GS as a graduate student at St. Lawrence University in the 1970's. I was in the army teaching in the ROTC program there. I have been teaching at Vermont Academy since retiring from the army 22 years ago. About five years ago...
Identity, Non-Identity and Then What? New Formulations for Fighting Ageism, Racism and Sexism, Etc
Introduction When we compare groups, we often run into problems with group words. I aim to show how Korzybski's formulations can help but only go so far. Finally I will talk about what we can do about it and look in more detail at the mechanisms...
In This Issue
CONTINUING last issue's theme of new and old, this issue features a broad range of authors, from one writer who started with the subject in the early days of ETC to a handful of high school students just starting out on the journey of learning about...
One History
ONE OF THE MAIN ideas of general semantics deals with map-territory relations. This idea focuses upon words as symbols replacing reality. "Just as no map can actually be the territory itself, no word can be the thing itself." (1) This concept applies...
Robert Anton Wilson, January 18, 1932-January 11, 2007
[Ed.: Wilson died very much as he lived, with frankness and curiosity, sharing his experience of the world with his readers. A week before he died, he posted on his website what turned out to be his last public message: Various medical authorities...
Rough Statements and Fuzzy Logic
THE WORDS "FUZZY" and "understanding" don't seem to go together. Yet in the article "Fuzzy Logic and General Semantics," Milton Rosenstein shows us that "fuzzy logic" enhances our understanding. (1) How can this possibly be? Even though there is an...
That Was by My Other Mother Chapter 2
WELL, IT SEEMED to me, for many years, that Korzybski was very cold and unsympathetic about "insane" persons--that perhaps he was "using" them, making fun of them, just to make a point in his lectures. I could not have been more wrong. It turns out...
The History Con
THE NOTION that history books tell THE TRUTH, meaning the actual what, when, where, why, how, and who of a past event is pure con. They can't. Now I'm not talking about the kind of history book that's nothing more than a list of past events presented...
Who Wrote the Book of Love?
ONE DAY in the mid-sixties, I saw a lapel button that, at the time, seemed to state an eternal truth. It announced, in gorgeous Old English script that "Love is." The idea affected me profoundly--but then, at age fifteen, many unexpected things affect...
Wikipedia Revisited
THE JULY 2005 issue of ETC included an article titled "Wikipedia and the Disappearing Author" in which I discussed the free, open-content, reader-edited Internet encyclopedia known as Wikipedia.org. The site runs on the technology known as "wiki,"...
Yes or No?: The Reality of Black and White Thinking
I'M TAKING a course called Conflict Resolution in which we examine how people deal with and resolve conflict; currently we are studying theories of human nature. Throughout the semester I've read several articles in ETC: A Review of General Semantics....