General Semantics

General semantics is a program begun in the 1920s that seeks to regulate the evaluative operations performed in the human brain. After partial launches under the names "human engineering" and "humanology," Polish-American originator Alfred Korzybski (1879–1950) fully launched the program as "general semantics" in 1933 with the publication of Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.

General semantics is not generalized semantics. Misunderstandings traceable to the discipline's name have greatly complicated the program's history and development.

The sourcebook for general semantics, Science and Sanity, presents general semantics as both a theoretical and a practical system whose adoption can reliably alter human behavior in the direction of greater sanity. Its author asserted that general semantics training could eventually unify people and nations. In the 1947 preface to the third edition of Science and Sanity, Korzybski wrote, "We need not blind ourselves with the old dogma that 'human nature cannot be changed,' for we find that it can be changed."

Many recognized specialists in the knowledge areas where Korzybski claimed to have anchored general semantics—biology, epistemology, mathematics, neurology, physics, psychiatry, etc.— supported his work in his lifetime, including Cassius J. Keyser, C. B. Bridges, W. E. Ritter, P. W. Bridgman, G. E. Coghill, William Alanson White, Clarence B. Farrar, David Fairchild, and Erich Kähler. Starting around 1940, university English professor S.I. Hayakawa (1906–1992), speech professor Wendell Johnson, speech professor Irving J. Lee, and others assembled elements of general semantics into a package suitable for incorporation into mainstream communications curricula. The Institute of General Semantics, which Korzybski and co-workers founded in 1938, continues today.

Read more about General Semantics:  The Major Premises, Connections To Other Disciplines

Other articles related to "general semantics, semantics, general, semantic":

S. I. Hayakawa - Academic Career
... and has greatly helped popularize Alfred Korzybski's general semantics and in effect semantics in general, while semantics or theory of meaning was overwhelmed by mysticism ... debt as follows My deepest debt in this book is to the General Semantics ('non-Aristotelian system') of Alfred Korzybski ... upon the works of other contributors to semantic thought especially C ...
Levels Of Knowing And Existence - Reviews
... reviews of the text are primarily from proponents of general semantics and experts in the field and are invariably favorable ... Those who object in general to the theories of general semantics usually focus their criticism on the founder Alfred Korzybski and his publications ... the one-time Director Emeritus of the Institute of General Semantics, stated that he believed Levels of Knowing and Existence "may be the best 'middle level' text in ...
Structural Differential - General Semantics
... The general semantics discipline was founded by Korzybski, who gained recognition first with the publication of Manhood of Humanity (1921) and then ... Also influential was the magazine ETC A Review of General Semantics, founded in 1943 ...
General Semantics - Connections To Other Disciplines
... General semantics has important links with analytic philosophy and the philosophy of science it could be characterized without too much distortion as ... Peirce, is particularly clear in the foundational ideas of general semantics ... from this quarter, but he formulated general semantics during the same years that the first popularizations of Zen were becoming part of the intellectual currency ...

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