General semantics is a self improvement and therapy program begun in the 1920s that seeks to regulate human mental habits and behaviors. After partial launches under the names human engineering and humanology, Polish-American originator Alfred Korzybski (1879–1950) fully launched the program as general semantics in 1933 with the publication of Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.
In Science and Sanity, general semantics is presented as both a theoretical and a practical system whose adoption can reliably alter human behavior in the direction of greater sanity. In the 1947 preface to the third edition of Science and Sanity, Korzybski wrote: "We need not blind ourselves with the old dogma that 'human nature cannot be changed', for we find that it can be changed."  However, in the opinion of a majority of psychiatrists, the tenets and practices of general semantics are not an effective way of treating patients with psychological or mental illnesses. While Korzybski considered his program to be empirically based and to strictly follow the scientific method, general semantics has been described as veering into the domain of pseudoscience.
Starting around 1940, university English professor S. I. Hayakawa (1906–1992), speech professor Wendell Johnson, speech professor Irving J. Lee, and others assembled elements of general semantics into a package suitable for incorporation into mainstream communications curricula. The Institute of General Semantics, which Korzybski and co-workers founded in 1938, continues today. General semantics as a movement has waned considerably since the 1950s, although many of its ideas live on in other movements, such as neuro-linguistic programming and rational emotive behavior therapy.
In the 1946 "Silent and Verbal Levels" diagram, the arrows and boxes denote ordered stages in human neuro-evaluative processing that happens in an instant. Although newer knowledge in biology has more sharply defined what the text in these 1946 boxes labels "electro-colloidal", the diagram remains, as Korzybski wrote in his last published paper in 1950, "satisfactory for our purpose of explaining briefly the most general and important points". General semantics postulates that most people "identify," or fail to differentiate the serial stages or "levels" within their own neuro-evaluative processing. "Most people," Korzybski wrote, "identify in value levels I, II, III, and IV and react as if our verbalizations about the first three levels were 'it.' Whatever we may say something 'is' obviously is not the 'something' on the silent levels."
By making it a 'mental' habit to find and keep one's bearings among the ordered stages, general semantics training seeks to sharpen internal orientation much as a GPS device may sharpen external orientation. Once trained, general semanticists affirm, a person will act, respond, and make decisions more appropriate to any given set of happenings. Although producing saliva constitutes an appropriate response when lemon juice drips onto the tongue, a person has inappropriately identified when an imagined lemon or the word "l–e–m–o–n" triggers a salivation response.
"Once we differentiate, differentiation becomes the denial of identity," Korzybski wrote in Science and Sanity. "Once we discriminate among the objective and verbal levels, we learn 'silence' on the unspeakable objective levels, and so introduce a most beneficial neurological 'delay'—engage the cortex to perform its natural function." British-American philosopher Max Black, an influential critic of general semantics, called this neurological delay the "central aim" of general semantics training, "so that in responding to verbal or nonverbal stimuli, we are aware of what it is that we are doing".
In the 21st century, the physiology underlying identification and the neurological delay is thought to involve autoassociative memory, a neural mechanism crucial to intelligence. Briefly explained, autoassociative memory retrieves previously stored representations that most closely conform to any current incoming pattern (level II in the general semantics diagram) arriving from the senses. According to the memory-prediction model for intelligence, if the stored representations resolve the arriving patterns, this constitutes "understanding", and brain activity shifts from evaluation to triggering motor responses. When the retrieved representations do not sufficiently resolve newly arrived patterns, evaluating persists, engaging higher layers of the cortex in an ongoing pursuit of resolution. The additional time required for signals to travel up and down the cortical hierarchy constitutes what general semantics calls a "beneficial neurological delay".
Identification prevents what general semantics seeks to promote: the additional cortical processing experienced as a delay. Korzybski called his remedy for identification "consciousness of abstracting." The term "abstracting" occurs ubiquitously in Science and Sanity. Korzybski's use of the term is somewhat unusual and requires study to understand his meaning. He discussed the problem of identification in terms of "confusions of orders of abstractions" and "lack of consciousness of abstracting". To be conscious of abstracting is to differentiate among the "levels" described above; levels II-IV being abstractions of level I (whatever level I "is"—all we really get are abstractions). The techniques Korzybski prescribed to help a person develop consciousness of abstracting he called "extensional devices".
Satisfactory accounts of general semantics extensional devices can be found easily. This article seeks to explain briefly only the "indexing" devices. Suppose you teach in a school or university. Students enter your classroom on the first day of a new term, and, if you identify these new students to a memory association retrieved by your brain, you under-engage your powers of observation and your cortex. Indexing makes explicit a differentiating of studentsthis term from studentsprior terms. You survey the new students, and indexing explicitly differentiates student1 from student2 from student3, etc. Suppose you recognize one student—call her Anna—from a prior course in which Anna either excelled or did poorly. Again, you escape identification by your indexed awareness that Annathis term, this course is different from Annathat term, that course. Not identifying, you both expand and sharpen your apprehension of "students" with an awareness rooted in fresh silent-level observations.
Autoassociative memory in the memory-prediction model describes neural operations in mammalian brains generally. A special circumstance for humans arises with the introduction of language components, both as fresh stimuli and as stored representations. Language considerations figure prominently in general semantics, and three language and communications specialists who embraced general semantics, university professors and authors Hayakawa, Wendell Johnson and Neil Postman, played major roles in framing general semantics, especially for non-readers of Science and Sanity.
Many recognized specialists in the knowledge areas where Korzybski claimed to have anchored general semantics—biology, epistemology, mathematics, neurology, physics, psychiatry, etc.— supported his work in his lifetime, including Cassius J. Keyser, C. B. Bridges, W. E. Ritter, P. W. Bridgman, G. E. Coghill, William Alanson White, Clarence B. Farrar, David Fairchild, and Erich Kähler. Korzybski wrote in the preface to the third edition of Science and Sanity (1947) that general semantics "turned out to be an empirical natural science." But the type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of serious debate within metaphysical philosophy. So Black summed up general semantics as "some hypothetical neurology fortified with dogmatic metaphysics." And in 1952, two years after Korzybski died, American skeptic Martin Gardner wrote, "[Korzybski's] work moves into the realm of cultism and pseudo-science."
Former Institute of General Semantics executive director Steve Stockdale has compared GS to yoga. "First, I'd say that there is little if any benefit to be gained by just knowing something about general semantics. The benefits come from maintaining an awareness of the principles and attitudes that are derived from GS and applying them as they are needed. You can sort of compare general semantics to yoga in that respect... knowing about yoga is okay, but to benefit from yoga you have to do yoga." Similarly, Kenneth Burke explains Korzybski's kind of semantics contrasting it, in A Grammar of Motives, with a kind of Burkean poetry by saying "Semantics is essentially scientist, an approach to language in terms of knowledge, whereas poetic forms are kinds of action".
The First American Congress for General Semantics convened in March 1935 at the Central Washington College of Education in Ellensburg, Washington. In introductory remarks to the participants, Korzybski said:
General semantics formulates a new experimental branch of natural science, underlying an empirical theory of human evaluations and orientations and involving a definite neurological mechanism, present in all humans. It discovers direct neurological methods for the stimulation of the activities of the human cerebral cortex and the direct introduction of beneficial neurological 'inhibition'....
He added that general semantics "will be judged by experimentation." One paper presented at the congress reported dramatic score improvements for college sophomores on standardized intelligence tests after six weeks of training by methods prescribed in Chapter 29 of Science and Sanity.
General semantics accumulated only a few early experimental validations. In 1938, economist and writer Stuart Chase praised and popularized Korzybski in The Tyranny of Words. Chase called Korzybski "a pioneer" and described Science and Sanity as "formulating a genuine science of communication. The term which is coming into use to cover such studies is 'semantics,' matters having to do with signification or meaning." Because Korzybski, in Science and Sanity, had articulated his program using "semantic" as a standalone qualifier on hundreds of pages in constructions like "semantic factors," "semantic disturbances," and especially "semantic reactions," to label the general semantics program "semantics" amounted to only a convenient shorthand.
Hayakawa read The Tyranny of Words, then Science and Sanity, and in 1939 he attended a Korzybski-led workshop conducted at the newly organized Institute of General Semantics in Chicago. In the introduction to his own Language in Action, a 1941 Book of the Month Club selection, Hayakawa wrote, "[Korzybski's] principles have in one way or another influenced almost every page of this book...." But, Hayakawa followed Chase's lead in interpreting general semantics as making communication its defining concern. When Hayakawa co-founded the Society for General Semantics and its publication ETC: A Review of General Semantics in 1943—he would continue to edit ETC. until 1970—Korzybski and his followers at the Institute of General Semantics began to complain that Hayakawa had wrongly coopted general semantics. In 1985, Hayakawa gave this defense to an interviewer: "I wanted to treat general semantics as a subject, in the same sense that there's a scientific concept known as gravitation, which is independent of Isaac Newton. So after a while, you don't talk about Newton anymore; you talk about gravitation. You talk about semantics and not Korzybskian semantics."
The regimen in the Institute's seminars, greatly expanded as team-taught seminar-workshops starting in 1944, continued to develop following the prescriptions laid down in Chapter XXIX of Science and Sanity. The structural differential, patented by Korzybski in the 1920s, remained among the chief training aids to help students reach "the silent level," a prerequisite for achieving "neurological delay." Innovations in the seminar-workshops included a new "neuro-relaxation" component, led by dancer and Institute editorial secretary Charlotte Schuchardt (1909–2002).
But although many people were introduced to general semantics—perhaps the majority through Hayakawa's more limited 'semantics'—superficial lip service seemed more common than the deep internalization that Korzybski and his co-workers at the Institute aimed for. Marjorie Kendig (1892–1981), probably Korzybski's closest co-worker, director of the Institute after his death, and editor of his posthumously published Collected Writings: 1920-1950, wrote in 1968:
I would guess that I have known about 30 individuals who have in some degree adequately, by my standards, mastered this highly general, very simple, very difficult system of orientation and method of evaluating—reversing as it must all our cultural conditioning, neurological canalization, etc.... To me the great error Korzybski made—and I carried on, financial necessity—and for which we pay the price today in many criticisms, consisted in not restricting ourselves to training very thoroughly a very few people who would be competent to utilize the discipline in various fields and to train others. We should have done this before encouraging anyone to popularize or spread the word (horrid phrase) in societies for general semantics, by talking about general semantics instead of learning, using, etc. the methodology to change our essential epistemological assumptions, premises, etc. (unconscious or conscious), i.e. the un-learning basic to learning to learn.
Yes, large numbers of people do enjoy making a philosophy of general semantics. This saves them the pain of rigorous training so simple and general and limited that it seems obvious when said, yet so difficult.
Successors at the Institute of General Semantics continued for many years along the founders' path. Stuart Mayper (1916–1997), who studied under Karl Popper, introduced Popper's principle of falsifiability into the seminar-workshops he led at the Institute starting in 1977. More modest pronouncements gradually replaced Korzybski's claims that general semantics can change human nature and introduce an era of universal human agreement. In 2000, Robert Pula (1928–2004), whose roles at the Institute over three decades included Institute director, editor-in-chief of the Institute's General Semantics Bulletin, and leader of the seminar-workshops, characterized Korzybski's legacy as a "contribution toward the improvement of human evaluating, to the amelioration of human woe...."
Hayakawa died in 1992. The Society for General Semantics merged into the Institute of General Semantics in 2003. In 2007, Martin Levinson, president of the Institute's Board of Trustees, teamed with Paul D. Johnston, executive director of the Society at the date of the merger, to teach general semantics with a light-hearted Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living. The Institute currently offers no training workshops.
Other institutions supporting or promoting general semantics in the 21st century include the New York Society for General Semantics, the European Society for General Semantics, the Australian General Semantics Society, and the Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences (Baroda, India).
The influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, and of early operationalists and pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce, is particularly clear in the foundational ideas of general semantics. Korzybski himself acknowledged many of these influences.
The concept of "silence on the objective level" — attributed to Korzybski and his insistence on consciousness of abstracting — are parallel to some of the central ideas in Zen Buddhism. Although Korzybski never acknowledged any influence from this quarter, he formulated general semantics during the same years that the first popularizations of Zen were becoming part of the intellectual currency of educated speakers of English. On the other hand, later Zen-popularizer Alan Watts was influenced by ideas from general semantics.
L. Ron Hubbard claimed to have used the theory in his creation of Dianetics and acknowledged this in the books Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Science of Survival, and Scientology 8008.
General semantics has survived most profoundly in the cognitive therapies that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. Albert Ellis (1913–2007), who developed Rational emotive behavior therapy, acknowledged influence from general semantics and delivered the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture in 1991. The Bruges (Belgium) center for Solution Focused Therapy operates under the name Korzybski Institute Training and Research Center. George Kelly, creator of personal construct psychology, was influenced by general semantics. Fritz Perls and Paul Goodman, founders of Gestalt therapy are said to have been influenced by Korzybski Wendell Johnson wrote "People in Quandaries: The Semantics of Personal Adjustment" in 1946, which stands as the first attempt to form a therapy from general semantics
Ray Solomonoff (July 25, 1926 – December 7, 2009) was influenced by Korzybski. Solomonoff was the inventor of algorithmic probability, and founder of algorithmic information theory (a.k.a. Kolmogorov complexity). Another scientist influenced by Korzybski (verbal testimony) is Paul Vitanyi (born July 21, 1944), a scientist in the theory of computation.
During the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, general semantics entered the idiom of science fiction. Notable examples include the works of A. E. van Vogt, The World of Null-A and its sequels.  General semantics appear also in Robert A. Heinlein's work, especially Gulf.  Bernard Wolfe drew on general semantics in his 1952 science fiction novel Limbo.  Frank Herbert's novels Dune and Whipping Star  are also indebted to general semantics. The ideas of general semantics became a sufficiently important part of the shared intellectual toolkit of genre science fiction to merit parody by Damon Knight and others; they have since shown a tendency to reappear in the work of more recent writers such as Samuel R. Delany, Suzette Haden Elgin and Robert Anton Wilson. In 2008, John Wright extended van Vogt's Null-A series with Null-A Continuum. William Burroughs references Korzybski's time binding principle in his essay The Electronic Revolution, and elsewhere.
Neil Postman, founder of New York University's media ecology program in 1971, edited ETC.: A Review of General Semantics from 1976 to 1986. Postman's student Lance Strate, a co-founder of the Media Ecology Association, served as executive director of the Institute of General Semantics from 2007 to 2010.
[Burke] would encourage the "delayed response" (p. 238). Korzybski’s technique recommends that an individual interpose a "moment of delay" between the "Stimulus and the Response" in order to control meaning (p. 239). According to Burke, Korzybski’s doctrine of the delayed action, as based on the ‘consciousness of abstracting,’ involves the fact that any term for an object puts the object in a class of similar objects" (p. 240). Burke points out that Korzybski’s technique falls short with regard to the "analysis of poetic forms": "For ‘semantics’ is essentially science, an approach to language in terms of knowledge, whereas poetic forms are kinds of action" (p. 240).
Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski ([kɔˈʐɨpski]; July 3, 1879 – March 1, 1950) was a Polish-American independent scholar who developed a field called general semantics, which he viewed as both distinct from, and more encompassing than, the field of semantics. He argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed, and thus no one can have direct access to reality, given that the most we can know is that which is filtered through the brain's responses to reality. His best known dictum is "The map is not the territory".E-Prime
E-Prime (short for English-Prime or English Prime, sometimes denoted É or E′) is a version of the English language that excludes all forms of the verb to be, including all conjugations, contractions and archaic forms.
Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing. A number of other scholars have criticized E-Prime's utility.Institute of General Semantics
The Institute of General Semantics (IGS) is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1938 by Alfred Korzybski, to support research and publication on the topic of General Semantics. The Institute publishes Korzybski's writings, including the seminal text Science & Sanity, and books by other authors who have studied or taught general semantics, such as Robert Pula, Irving J. Lee, Wendell Johnson, and Stuart Chase. Every year since 1952, it has sponsored the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, with presenters from a broad range of disciplines, from science to medicine to entertainment, including names like actor Steve Allen, psychologist Albert Ellis, scientist and visionary R. Buckminster Fuller, linguist Allen Walker Read, and philosopher F. S. C. Northrop. The Institute offers periodic seminars, workshops and conferences and is headquartered in New York City.
The IGS is closely affiliated with GS groups around the globe, including the Australian General Semantics Society.
The Institute of General Semantics publishes:
ETC: A Review of General Semantics, a quarterly journal printed since 1943, distributed to IGS members and subscribed to by over 350 libraries around the world.
Numerous books, CDs and DVDs on general semantics.Lance Strate
Lance A. Strate (born September 17, 1957) is an American writer and professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University. He was the 2015 Margaret E. and Paul F. Harron Endowed Chair in Communication at Villanova University, and in 2016 lectured at the School of Journalism and Communication at Henan University, in Kaifeng China.Strate is quoted frequently in the media about politics and social media, including in The New York Times, USA Today, Fortune Magazine, ABC News, South Dakota Public Radio (NPR), The National Post (Canada), The Jerusalem Post, and NHK Japanese Public Television.Strate is one of the founders of the Media Ecology Association. He served as that organization's first president from 1998 to 2009, and was the co-founder of the MEA's journal, Explorations in Media Ecology, which he co-edited from 2001 to 2004, and edited alone from 2004 to 2007. He has been a trustee of the Institute of General Semantics since 2013, and served as the IGS Executive Director from 2008 to 2011. He was elected president of the New York Society for General Semantics in 2016. He is also a past president of the New York State Communication Association. He has been on the faculty of Fordham University since 1989, and served as department chair between 1997 and 2001. He has also taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University, New York University, William Paterson University, the University of Connecticut, and Adelphi University.
Strate is author or co-author of six books—including a book of poetry - and editor or co-editor of seven others. Translations of his work have appeared in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Hebrew, Mandarin, and the fictional Quenya language. His articles have appeared in The Guardian and are regularly featured in the Jewish Standard and The Times of Israel.He has been president of the Congregation Adas Emuno, a Reform synagogue in New Jersey, since 2012.Levels of Knowing and Existence
Levels of Knowing and Existence: Studies in General Semantics (Harper and Row 1959) is a textbook written by Professor Harry L. Weinberg that provides a broad overview of general semantics in language accessible to the layman.Map–territory relation
The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that "the map is not the territory" and that "the word is not the thing", encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself. The relationship has also been expressed in other terms, such as Alan Watts's "The menu is not the meal."Null-A Three
Null-A Three, usually written Ā Three, is a 1985 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. It incorporates concepts from the General semantics of Alfred Korzybski and refers to non-Aristotelian logic.
The novel is a continuation of the adventures of Gilbert Gosseyn from The World of Null-A (1945) and The Pawns of Null-A (1948).Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising is a book by Robert Anton Wilson first published in 1983. It is a guide book of "how to get from here to there", an amalgam of Timothy Leary's 8-circuit model of consciousness, Gurdjieff's self-observation exercises, Alfred Korzybski's general semantics, Aleister Crowley's magical theorems, Sociobiology, Yoga, relativity, and quantum mechanics, amongst other approaches to understanding the world around us, and claiming to be a short book (under 300 pages) about how the human mind works and how to get the most use from one. Wilson describes it as an "owner's manual for the human brain".
The book examines many aspects of social mind control and mental imprinting, and provides mind exercises at the end of every chapter, with the goal of giving the reader more control over how one's mind works. The book has found many readers among followers of alternative culture, and discusses the effect of certain psychoactive substances and how these affect the brain, tantric breathing techniques, and other methods and holistic approaches to expanding consciousness. It draws a parallel between the development of one's mind and the development of higher intelligence theorized by biological evolution.
Prometheus Rising was copyrighted and published in 1983 but began as Wilson's Ph.D. dissertation called "The Evolution of Neuro-Sociological Circuits: A Contribution to the Sociobiology of Consciousness" in 1978-79 for Paideia University in California. In 1982, while in Ireland, Wilson rewrote the manuscript for commercial publication, removing footnotes, improving the style, adding chapters and exercises, and sketching out diagrams for the illustrations. Eventually Wilson submitted the work to New Falcon Publications, which accepted it within 48 hours. Wilson received his advance 48 hours after that, according to his preface in the tenth printing of Prometheus Rising.
The current edition also includes an introduction by Israel Regardie.Quantum Psychology
Quantum Psychology: How Brain Software Programs You & Your World is a book written by Robert Anton Wilson, originally published in 1990.
Some consider Quantum Psychology a follow-up to Wilson's earlier volume Prometheus Rising, mainly for the presence of practical exercises to demonstrate its concepts at the end of each chapter (this time intended for groups rather than a lone reader). It focuses primarily on the metaphysical and epistemological problems of Aristotelean reasoning and its use in everyday language, covering E-Prime (Wilson wrote the book in E-Prime) and how it addresses many of the semantic (and resulting perceptual) "spooks" that common language lets in.
It also covers psychosomatic healing and a possible explanation for it; non-local effects in quantum physics (Bell's theorem) and the theories of David Bohm; and a brief recap of the Timothy Leary eightfold consciousness theory of human consciousness which Prometheus Rising covers in greater detail.S. I. Hayakawa
Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa (July 18, 1906 – February 27, 1992) was a Canadian-born American academic and politician of Japanese ancestry. A professor of English, he served as president of San Francisco State University, and then as U.S. Senator from California from 1977 to 1983.Sanity
Sanity (from Latin: sānitās) refers to the soundness, rationality and health of the human mind, as opposed to insanity. A person is sane if he/she is rational. In modern society, the term has become exclusively synonymous with compos mentis (Latin: compos, having mastery of, and Latin: mentis, mind), in contrast with non compos mentis, or insane, meaning troubled conscience. A sane mind is nowadays considered healthy both from its analytical - once called rational - and emotional aspects. Furthermore, according to Chesterton, sanity involves wholeness, whereas insanity implies narrowness and brokenness.Science of Survival
Science of Survival is a 1951 book by L. Ron Hubbard, extending his earlier writings on Dianetics. Its original subtitle was "simplified, faster dianetic techniques", although more recent editions have the subtitle "Prediction of human behavior". It is one of the canonical texts of Scientology.The title of Science of Survival alludes to Science and Sanity, a highly popular work by Alfred Korzybski, the founder of general semantics. Hubbard acknowledged Korzybski's contributions in the book.It has remained perpetually in print over the years, and is currently published by Bridge Publications, Inc.Science of Survival was the follow-up to Hubbard's best-selling Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It expanded significantly on Dianetics, setting out what Hubbard called the "dynamics of behaviour" and provided descriptions of new techniques of Dianetics processing that Hubbard described as being faster and simpler than those that he had advanced previously. In the book, Hubbard introduced two concepts that were later to become key elements of Scientology: theta and the tone scale. He also endorsed the concept of past lives.Semantic differential
Semantic Differential (SD) is a type of a rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts. The connotations are used to derive the attitude towards the given object, event or concept.
Osgood's Semantic Differential was an application of his more general attempt to measure the semantics or meaning of words, particularly adjectives, and their referent concepts.
The respondent is asked to choose where his or her position lies, on a scale between two polar adjectives (for example: "Adequate-Inadequate", "Good-Evil" or "Valuable-Worthless"). Semantic differentials can be used to measure opinions, attitudes and values on a psychometrically controlled scale.Semiotic anthropology
The phrase "semiotic anthropology" was first used by Milton Singer (1978). Singer's work brought together the semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce and Roman Jakobson with theoretical streams that had long been flowing in and around the University of Chicago, where Singer taught. In the late 1970s, Michael Silverstein, a young student of Jakobson's at Harvard University, joined Singer in Chicago's Department of Anthropology. Since that time, anthropological work inspired by Peirce's semiotic have proliferated, in part as students of Singer and Silverstein have spread out across the country, developing semiotic-anthropological agendas of their own.
Semiotic anthropology has its precursor in Malinowski's contextualism (which may be called anthropological semantics), which was later resumed by John Rupert Firth. Anthropological approaches to semantics are alternative to the three major types of semantics approaches: linguistic semantics, logical semantics, and general semantics. Other independent approaches to semantics are philosophical semantics and psychological semantics.Elizabeth Mertz has recently reviewed the burgeoning literature in semiotic anthropology (2007).
Robert Boroch in article Rethinking Milton Singer’s semiotic anthropology: A reconnaissance (2018: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0119) proposed the extension of semiotics anthropological about the theory of semiotics culture by Yuri Łotmana.Structural differential
The structural differential is a physical chart or three-dimensional model illustrating the abstracting processes of the human nervous system. In one form, it appears as a pegboard with tags. Created by Alfred Korzybski, and awarded a U.S. patent on May 26, 1925, it is used as a training device in general semantics. The device is intended to show that human "knowledge" of, or acquaintance with, anything is partial—not total.Stuart Chase
Stuart Chase (March 8, 1888 – November 16, 1985) was an American economist, social theorist, and writer. His writings covered topics as diverse as general semantics and physical economy. His thought was shaped by Henry George, by economic philosopher Thorstein Veblen, by Fabian socialism, and by the Communist social and educational experiments being in the Soviet Union around 1930.Chase spent his early political career supporting "a wide range of reform causes: the single tax, women's suffrage, birth control and socialism." Chase's early books, The Tragedy of Waste (1925) and Your Money's Worth (1928), were notable for their criticism of corporate advertising and their advocacy of consumer protection.The Pawns of Null-A
The Pawns of Null-A is a 1956 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt originally published as a four-part serial in Astounding Stories from October 1948 to January 1949 as The Players of Null-A. It incorporates concepts from the General semantics of Alfred Korzybski and refers to non-Aristotelian logic. It was published in the UK with the original name.
The novel is a continuation of the story of Gilbert Gosseyn from The World of Null-A, expanding on the galactic events which drove the interplanetary invasion of the earlier story.The World of Null-A
The World of Null-A, sometimes written The World of Ā, is a 1948 science fiction novel by Canadian American writer A. E. van Vogt. It was originally published as a three-part serial in 1945 in Astounding Stories. It incorporates concepts from the General Semantics of Alfred Korzybski. The name Ā refers to non-Aristotelian logic.Wendell Johnson
Wendell Johnson (April 16, 1906 – August 29, 1965) was an American psychologist, actor and author and was a proponent of general semantics (or GS). He was born in Roxbury, Kansas and died in Iowa City, Iowa. The Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center, which houses the University of Iowa's speech pathology and audiology programs, is named after him. He is known for the experiment nicknamed the "Monster Study" for the damage it did to its human subjects, although this study has defenders.His son is former American Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Nicholas Johnson.