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"The reality we manage to get into our heads is largely that reality which is abstracted through our symbol systems."

Time-binding: "The uniquely human ability to build on the accumulated knowledge of others, potentially to an exponential degree."

" ...teaches us how symbols are related to experience so as to make it less likely that we take too seriously the absurd or dangerous nonsense that within every culture passes for philosophy, wisdom, and political argument."

Aldous Huxley

"Experience shows that when the methods of general semantics are applied, the results are usually beneficial, whether in law, medicine, business, etc., be they in family, national, or international fields. If they are not applied, but merely talked about, no results can be expected."
Alfred Korzybski


Updated by Robert James 11/05/2024

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The Australian General Semantics Society (AGS)
is an incorporated association, first established in 1989 by Laurie Cox.

We are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, Australia. 
Our resources include:
    * Seminars in-oerson and on-line, on the foundations and application of GS,
    * Discussion groups: to participate in further study of General-Semantics,
    * A library of hundreds of books, articles, and various media on GS,
    * Affiliation and correspondence with the Institute for General Semantics,
    * Friendly, energetic, active people leading focussed and engaged lives.
Meetings are currently held on-line.  Details are published on this website.
Contact AGS

Due to changing circumstances, event schedules may change.
Email reminders are sent about 10 days before each event.

~ Recent Additions to the AGS Website ~

 Our last seminar:
Professor Lance Strate, President of the General Semantics Institute (New York)
at Univeristy of Sydney on 15th June 2024:

"Map, Territory and Environment"

<See the YouTube recording>


Saturday 17th August 2024

"Enabling Development of Our Potential: Frameworks and Actions

Presenter: Stuart B. Hill, BSc (Hons), PhD

Throughout history, inner and outer awareness has led deep thinkers, in endeavouring to make sense of what they are experiencing, to construct and communicate tentative explanations, and to develop ‘models’ for testing by carrying out and learning from actions.

Because we are social/relational beings, and because we have all had to survive diverse traumas, responses to these initiatives have included, on one end of the spectrum, spontaneous curiosity, investigation, questioning, open discussion, relating (to the thinking and models of others), and to their ongoing development; and, at the other end of the spectrum, to ‘branding’, isolation, separation, defence, exclusion and censoring.

Whereas the former ‘spontaneous’ (in the present) responses are from what I call our ‘core (unwounded/healed) self’, the latter responses are from our ‘compensatory/adaptive’ (wounded/unhealed) selves (wounding and healing are ongoing and never final processes; see below for visual). Although adaptive development enables us to survive our traumas, it leaves us with diverse patterned ‘negative’ behaviours (and usually denials about their existence).

Every initiative, including General Semantics, has been subject to, and is the product of, such processes. So, the task for all who are concerned with enabling wellbeing (from sub-cellular to global) is to be aware of the forces involved in these processes, and to design and manage all systems to enable expressions of our ‘core selves’.

My lifelong curiosity concerning explanations and models led me to learn about General Semantics, initially from Rachel Lauer (attending a talk by her at McGill University in 1983). And I supervised a research project by one of my students based on her five epistemes model, which we used to analyse all of the environmental films made by the National Film Board of Canada. Only one of the 30+ films exemplified the fifth episteme. The content of most related to the first and second epistemes. Such a finding can help us understand many other areas.

Dr Stuart Hill was appointed in 1995 as Professor and Foundation Chair of Social Ecology at the then University of Western Sydney. At UWS he taught units on Qualitative Research Methodology, Social Ecology Research, Transformative Learning, Leadership and Change, and Sustainability, Leadership and Change (he retired in 2009 and is now an Emeritus Professor in the School of Education in the now Western Sydney University).

And after the presentation, we will have our AGS AGM for AGS members.

When: Saturday 17th August 2024, 10am - 1pm Sydney time
            Friday 16th June 2024, 8pm – 11 pm Ohio / New York time.
            Please check your time zone

             Zoom meeting which is free and 100% covid and flu safe!

             Click here to join our meeting
Cost:    Free for Zoom participants.

Other lovely seminars coming up

* Rachel Lauer’s Stages of understanding.
(Details TBA)

* Timebinding - its formulation, implications and trends. 
"Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by other's experience." (Bismarck).  
An example of timebinding off others that have gone before.

* RJ's un-Pula GS Glossary (under construction):

A collaborative project, incorporating 20 years of AGS
 studies and discussions.

* Baby Boomers in Popular Culture 

How can we keep up with technology
 and dynamic culture,
and engage with our children and their children?
Are Korzybski’s extensional devices sufficient,
or do we need some new ones?

  * Ed MacNeal's "General Semantics - Then and Now"

Edward MacNeal held the position of executive secretary of the International Society for General Semantics in the late 1940s, works as an aviation consultant, and has written several notable books, including The Semantics of Air Passenger Transportation; Mathsemantics: Making Numbers Talk Sense; and MacNeal's Master Atlas of Decision Making (published 1997).

* Science without Soul

On 13th November 2020,
IGS Secretary Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer
addressed the Italian Senate
for the celebration of the UN 2020 Philosophy Day,
   on the theme “Science Without Soul.”

* More of Marty Levinson's 'Modern Fairy Tales

What significance can we draw from these?
Why are the 'traditional' fairy tales so durable? 
Is there a possible role for new fictional creations in GS?

* "Examples of GS Formulations in the Media"
   (by Dion, held-over from 21 May 1999)

Clips from movies/cartoons/comedy shows, etc,
that extensionally show up some problems
like fact-inference confusion (jumping to conclusions) ...

Australian General Semantics Society Incorporated
Incorporated Association No: INC9881458
Constitution (DOC format, to download)

Contact AGS


Past Activities



Updated by Robert James 16/07/2024

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