Australian General Semantics Society Inc.




Seminar Summary - May 2017


"GS Formulations
"Some of the Formulations"

Some GS Formulations


1. Abstracting examples: fan as a disk, temperature comparisons etc.

2.  Abstracting natural order: from event to, senses, object (non-verbal), label (verbal) etc.

3.  Abstraction labels able to go on indefinitely.

4.  Action by contact vs action at a distance.

5.  Assumptions (incorrect and equivalent ones); unconscious ones are worst!

6.  Assumptions of infinity and absolutes in Aristotelian systems.

7.  Assumptions: dropping or adding depends on point of view.

8.  Asymmetric relations of abstracting levels, instead of symmetric subject-predicate.

9.  Background/context effect on evaluating and meaning.

10.  Behavioural habit patterns and their revision along GS lines.

11.  Canalisation: Habitual behaviour and early experiences affecting later evaluation.

12.  Cause-effect: Not just two one-one terms, infinite-valued network is a better approximation.

13.  Colloids: the chemistry of life (This formulation is now considered somewhat out of date).

14.  Communication is imperfect: Expect mis-communication and index word meaning.

15.  Communications are better the closer people’s experience for words.

16.  Compare things at the same abstraction level, eg 6 apples plus 2 oranges = 8 fruits.

17.  Conditionality of conditional reactions should increase with GS training.

18.  Consciousness of abstracting.

19.  Definition of truth values for propositional function: True, False, Meaningless, Indeterminate.

20.  Definition of words and meaninglessness. Related to meaning and limitation.

21.  Degree orientation vs either-or; Infinite-valued probability vs True/False.

22.  Delayed reactions (preventative and therapeutic value)

23.  Differences in similarities and similarities in differences.

24.  Dynamic process world best represented as static maps for the human brain.

25.  E-Prime and EMA as methods to help reduce mis-evaluation.

26.  Eithor/Or replaced by And/Also where appropriate.

27.  Elementalism vs non-elementalistic terms, eg “space” and “time” -> “space-time”.

28.  Evaluating rather than thinking or emoting.  Evaluating = fn(facts, expectations, etc).

29.  Expectations affect what we see and hear. Etc.

30.  Extensional definition vs intensional definition eg 1,2; 3,6; 4,8 vs 7=2x, eg Smith1.

31.  Extensional devices: dating, indexing, Chain index, Etc, Quotes, Hyphens, “and then”.

32.  Extroverted introvert as the healthy individual.

33.  Fidoism – copying animals in their reactions eg operant and classical conditioning.

34.  Group names, eg “animal” is an abstracting, and not things.

35.  Happiness relates to minimum expectations.  Happiness = Outcome – Expectations?

36.   Identification of orders of abstraction, eg one name for many levels, eg “X is X”.

37.  IFD: Idealisation => Frustration => Demoralisation.

38.  Inductive-Deductive method of science.

39.  Inferential knowledge different from facts or assumptions.  Confusion of levels.

40.  Intensional language conveys similarities and ignores differences.

41.  Interpolation and extrapolation as generalisations which we make in everyday life.

42.  The verb “to be” (“is”) has four uses: Projection, Identification, Auxiliary and Existence.

43.  Jumping to conclusions

44.  Language affects human evaluating and hence behaviour.

45.  Language should be structurally similar to the world and our nervous systems.

46.  Languages have structure and assumptions.

47.  Levels of knowledge: absolutistic, absolutistic-relatevist, relativist.

48.   Levels of knowledge: primitive, Aristotelian and non-Aristotelian (“non-A”).

49.  Limitations of senses: accurate only to some level.

50.  Logical fate: premises/assumptions automatically leading to theories and behaviour.

51.  Map is not ALL the territory it represents. Hence uncertainty about territory.

52.  Map is not the territory it represents.  The word is not the thing.

53.  Map should be structurally similar to the territory for a person, ie TVP ~ MVP.

54.  Maps can be made of maps (self-reflexive) and the theory of types.

55.  Maths as a language without content.

56.  Maths: the most similar language to the world and our nervous system.

57.  Meta-level maps about maps, eg intervals, viewpoints, etc.

58.  Modern science rather than primitive science (eg superstition).

59.  Multimeaning, multiordinal, contextual and personal meanings for words.

60.  Multivalued logic.

61.  Neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic issues.

62.  Non-additivity, non-linear eg 1 gal of water + 1 gal of alcohol < 2 gals of mixture.

63.  Non-allness vs Allness (finite known characteristics implied).

64.  Non-Aristotelian system.

65.  Non-Identity A1<>A2,  At1<>At2 vs Identity of A=A as absolute sameness.

66.  Operationalism: knowing by doing and observing.

67.  Organism-as-a-whole-in-environment non-elementalistic viewpoint.

68.  Over/Under defined terms.

69.  Postulational methods.

70.  Projection of properties onto realist, ie the “is” of predication, eg “a rose is red”.

71.  Propositional and doctrinal functions, and system functions, eg null-A system.

72.  Psycho-logical reactions.

73.  Relational methods rather than subject-predicate methods.

74.  Relative invariance of function/structure under transformation rather than property.

75.  Semantic reaction = total organism-as-a-whole reactions to symbols and situations.

76.  Semantic relaxation method.

77.  Sensory awareness.

78.  Snarl and purr words, ie some words convey almost only emotion.

79.  Specification and generalisation.  Moving down and up abstraction levels.

80.  The Structural Differential.

81.  Structure, relations order only the content of knowledge, only similar M->T structure.

82.  Symbol reactions (human) vs signal reactions (animal).

83.  Timebinding and definition of mankind.

84.  “Transacting”, interactive instead of “objective” and “subjective”. Observer and observed.

85.  Uncertainty principle.

86.  Undefinded terms and circularity of knowledge.

87.  “Unsanity” as a term between “sanity” and “insanity” (related to unpredictability).

88.  Viewpoints affect what is seen, eg relativity (the “to me” attitude).


89.  The question of “why” has problems both with causal and goal-type expectations.

90.  Silent-level abstracting.

Copyright D. Hewson 1997.



Disclaimer: This "summary" is a collection of notes derived from our discussion by a number of means.  It is by no means a scholarly dissertation on the subject as presented.  It does not purport to be the "policy of AGS".  Comment and criticism (constructive or otherwise) is welcome.  If anyone has been misquoted, copyrights infringed or confidences betrayed, please Contact us.



Updated by RJ 16 May 2017

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