Australian General Semantics Society Inc.


                    Seminar Summary - 26 February 2011


“Introduction to GS (General Semantics)”

A day for reviewing our GS formulations. 
Based on "A Twelve-Session General Semantics Teaching Guide for Adults"
by Martin H. Levinson.

Led by David Hewson

We started with a large catch up time, in view of the long time since we'd met, and the significant events in our lives since then.

Then we did a 30 minute test to see which parts of our GS knowledge needed the most reviewing.

This was followed by discussion on the following topics, to varying degrees, depending on the test results:

1) Problem-solving through the scientific method

2) Mental maps – i.e. map to territory relationships.  In this we also looked at:

   a) Isomorphic mapping:  A one-to-one mapping which preserves structure.
       What structure is in the territory is in the map? 
       Of course with “the map is not all the territory” this is not possible.

  b) Homomorphic mapping:  A many to 1 mapping, preserving structure. 
What is in the territory may be in the map but many features in the territory get  represented by just one feature in the map.  We illustrated map-territory relationship with some very abstract maps of Australia, eg. detailed structure about Sydney was squashed into just a single dot.  But the dot was roughly structurally correct in regards to other cities like Perth and Melbourne.

3) Extensional and Intensional orientation and definitions.

4) The “is of projection”.  And using “to me” as a solution.

5) Non-allness, and etc.

6) Identification and the GS solution of Indexing.

7) We live in a dynamic process world, yet our maps are static.  A GS solution here is dating.

8) “Either-or” language.  Its limits and using a Degree orientation as a solution.

9) Fact –inference confusion.  We talked about this much discussed  topic and how the titled gets abstracted.  I.e. from “confusing a statement of fact with a statement of inference” to just “fact – inference confusion.”  Dr Levinson, offers these definitions:

       a) “Fact” - A statement about that which can be observed, verified, and proven.

       b) “Inference” - A statement about the unknown that goes beyond what one experiences or observes.

10) Nonverbal communication, i.e. communication of ideas without words.

11) Signal and symbol reactions.  How to do less of the former and more of the later, in an appropriate manner.  I.e. don’t delay too long and think/investigate during the delay.

12) How to avoid asking unsane questions.  I.e. ones that cannot be tested or checked out.



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