General Semantics

General Semantics is woven throughout BEYOND MOTIVATION and THE MANAGEMENT OF TIME. James T. McCay was a partner with Dr. J. Samuel Bois (Bois, McCay and Associates) who was a leading writer about General Semantics and an associate of Alfred Korzybski.

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

General semantics was introduced by Alfred Korzybski in his 1933 book Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.

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.

What is the difference between semantics and general semantics?

Semantics typically refers to the field of study that is concerned primarily with how symbols (language) relate to their referents in the ‘real’ non-verbal world. Included in this study would be the consistency of words to referents as well as the logical validity of statements.

General Semantics goes beyond semantics in that it includes the at-the-moment responses and interactions of the individual humans who participate in a communicative process. General semantics truly represents an interdisciplinary methodology that invokes not only semantics but linguistics, grammar, behavioral sciences, physiology, etc.

Alfred Korzybski explained:

“In revising semantics, I am adding the word General, and also have enlarged the meaning in the sense that it turns out to be a general theory of values; evaluation. … In our seminars we investigate the factors of evaluation.”

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Beyond Motivation by James T. McCay with Richard E. Ward