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General Semantics and Epistemics: The Science-Art of Innovating

  • 26 Mar 2023
  • 1:30 PM
  • Zoom


Registration is closed

The third installment in our 2023 IGS lecture series will feature a talk by Dr. Gary David. Please join us on Sunday, March 26th at 1:30 PM EST for 

General Semantics and Epistemics:

The Science-Art of Innovating

At the beginning of the 20th century, our world entered a new phase when a tectonic shift in orientation occurred. This called for a re-formulating of our methods of evaluating. Alfred Korzybski was the historic codifier of those methods.

Epistemic counseling is a new approach to guiding us into 21st-century methods of evaluating. With its origins in General Semantics, Epistemics: The Science-Art of Innovating was initiated by J. Samuel Bois and has developed into a full-time practice with individuals and groups by Gary David. It is more education than therapy. It does have therapeutic value since we go into the lives of each person and introduce new methods of evaluating, but the goal is learning. Learning our way into an awareness of our self-reflexivity, creativity in meeting limits, and how values complexify from ‘silent’ level biology.

This talk will address these issues with one underlying question: How well do I learn, and what is the MOTIVATION that urges my thinking? What biology underlies the emotions within a semantic transaction, and how does the biology of emotion motivate the abstracting process from the lowest to highest orders?

Gary David studied with epistemologist J. Samuel Bois from 1964 to 1978, along with enjoying a long career as a professional musician. He taught epistemics and general semantics classes at Viewpoints Institute and at UCLA Extension from 1969-1975. In 1975, he received a PhD in epistemics from the Union Institute and University. It was the first accredited Ph.D. granted in that field. Later he became the editor of Bois's textbook on epistemics titled The Art of Awareness, now in its fifth edition, and still used as a text by individuals and colleges. In 1999, with science writer Brian Rothery in Ireland, he helped create the website Philosphere. It was dedicated to promoting those 20th-century writers who formed some of his major influences: L.L. Whyte, J.S. Bois, Alfred Korzybski, Silvan Tomkins, David Bohm, Gaston Bachelard, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He and Rothery were instrumental in getting two major works of L.L. Whyte's republished after they had been out of print for many years. They wrote new introductions for Whyte's The Next Development in Mankind and The Universe of Experience. His work in epistemics includes a 50-year study of the biology of human emotion guided by the work of Silvan Tomkins, as presented in his four-volume work, Affect Imagery Consciousness, and he served as co-chair of the board of the Silvan Tomkins Institute from 2010-2011. He has a private counseling practice and an online forum called The Art of Learning.

The lecture will be held via Zoom. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Registrants will receive the Zoom link in advance of the lecture.

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