Gneral Semantics


Alfred Korzybski

General Semantics.  If you are new to General Semantics (GS), you can save yourself from going down a rabbit hole by understanding that the word General doesn’t communicate much here, and, more importantly, the word Semantics is very misleading. As I discovered, GS has very little to do with the discipline of semantics as I usually understand it as simply the study of meaning, particularly the meaning of words:

GS includes some semantics the usual sense, of course,  but is much larger than that in ambition, scope, breadth and depth. Ironically it was this misunderstanding that drew me to GS in the first place! If, for example, GS had been called something like Non-Aristotelian Systems, or Time Binding,  I would not have known what that meant and disinclined to look into it further. It almost certainly would have held no interest for me were it not for the fact that Albert Ellis said that he drew upon GS (as well as Stoic philosophy) in developing REBT. If you are lucky enough to have an early edition of A Guide to Rational Living , note that it is written in  E-Prime, a fascinating version of English, and a small subset of GS. I write about E-Prime on this website and am writing a book about it. 

So, what is GS, anyway? Rather than inflict my imperfect understanding, here from the website of the Institute of General Semantics

General semantics is a popular, practical discipline that applies modern scientific thinking toward the solution of personal and professional problems.

Through the application of general semantics ideas and principles, general semantics brings about clearer thinking, peaceful interaction, and greater sanity to one’s life.

General semantics has served as the foundation for numerous approaches to human problems with its unique applications adapted from modern science.General semantics was introduced by Alfred Korzybski in his 1933 book, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.”

GS is a very important contribution to the collective wisdom of humanity. It is a little bit obscure and does involve a learning curve. However, I hope you will all consider learning a bit more about it.  There is a lot of free information on the website of the Institute of General Semantics and there is also an excellent GS facebook group.



Have you read any of these books? Please add a review or comment or question in the form at the bottom.  Thanks!





Language Habits In Human Affairs



Have you read any of these books? Please add a review or comment or question in the form at the bottom.  Thanks!



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