Australian General Semantics Society Inc.




Seminar Summary - Saturday 30th June 2018


"A Celebration of the Life and Work of Laurie Cox -
Pioneer of General Semantics in Australia, and Founder of AGS

Presented by David Hewson.

Our seminar
at "Cifftop View" Bonnet Bay in Sydney was hosted as usual by Pauline and Gavan - Thank you both!


Sharing of triumphs and tragedies and miscellaneous yarns.

GS Diary

In the spirit of "applying general semantics principles" to our lives, as opposed to dwelling in theory, we considered members' accounts of observations and applications relating to the principles and formulations of our discipline.

Today's Proceedings

1.  Reminisces about when we first met Laurie.

2.  Check Assumptions exercise e.g. assumption that "doctors are male".

3.  Introduction to GS.  We covered the following formulations:

a.  Map is not Territory => infer territory can change but map will not.

b.  Map is not all the Territory => infer that bits of territory are left out, distorted or added in.

c.  Symbol versus signal reactions

d.  Elementalism

e.  Either/OR distortion

f.   Improve conditionality of our maps

g.  Projection of attributes onto the Territory

h.  Identification, e.g.  Map = Territory

i.   Filtering / abstracting = leaving out information

j.   Fact inference confusion

4.  Following Laurie’s book about managing disputes, we covered a dispute about leadership.  This used the awareness of the either-or formulation to ask a better question.

Then we split the issue up into cases following the, getting extensional formulation.  Finally we discussed the managerial grid as a more non-Aristotelian way of Leadership.  This included double loop learning where the manager can learn from their staff as well as vice versa.  See the Institute Bulletin Number 50 page 93, for more details.

5.  Areas where people can differ:

a.  Opinions –anything goes e.g. taste in food like I love or hate a chicken dish.  So here we need to watch out for projecting.

b.  Fact – observation rules, e.g. is the statue David carved from marble?  And looking at the statue of David can resolve this question.

c.  Inference – tough middle ground, e.g. should you be on a low fat or low carbohydrate diet?  Is it best to lose weight quickly via a fast or slowly via a moderate diet?  This needs observation and correct inference.

6.  Briefly we went over Bois’ epistemological profile.

a.  Level 2:
Aristotelian objective.  What you see depends just on what’s out there.

b.  Level 3:
Relativist.  What you see depends just on your viewpoint.  Your meaning depends just on your interpretation.

c.  Level 4:
Interaction.  What you see depends on what’s out there and how you see it.  Therefore one can change what’s out there AND your view of it.

d.  So one’s meaning from someone else’s sentence depends and what was said and how you interpreted it.  An interaction of the two. 

~ 0 ~ 

Business Meeting

We reflected on the year past and planned for the year ahead, in our usual style.

Next Meeting:

Sunday 19 August

"Future Shock"

Should we live in fear of Alvin Toffler’s predictions,
or can we equip ourselves for the unknown?
Presented by Robert James

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 3 July 2018

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