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General Semantics Seminar

  • 19 Jun 2023
  • 21 Jun 2023
  • Room SL11E, Leon Lowenstein Hall, Fordham University, 113 West 60th St., NY, NY 10023


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Introduction to General Semantics
An In-Person Seminar
June 19-21
New York City

The Institute of General Semantics is pleased to sponsor an in-person seminar on general semantics and related non-aristotelian systems. The 3-day intensive course will include lecture, discussion, and exercises designed to provide participants with a thorough grounding in the discipline and its applications.

For those unfamiliar with general semantics, the seminar will provide a comprehensive introduction to the tradition and its 21st century evolution. For those already familiar with the non-aristotelian approach, the course will provide reinforcement, enrichment, and an updating and expansion of the discipline. And for those interested in and/or involved in teaching, the seminar will provide useful guidance on pedagogy related to topics such as language, symbolic communication, thought and behavior, and epistemology and evaluation.

The seminar leaders will include four trustees of the Institute of General Semantics: Mary P. Lahman, Professor Emerita of Communication Studies at Manchester University and author of Awareness and Action; Corey Anton, IGS Vice-President, Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State University, and author of Communication Uncovered: General Semantics and Media Ecology, and How Non-being Haunts Being: On Possibilities, Morality, and Death Acceptance; Michael Plugh, Associate Professor of Communication at Manhattan College and President of the Media Ecology Association; and Lance Strate, IGS President, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, and author of Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition, and Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyric Excursions Within the Human Lifeworld

The seminar will be held on June 19th to 21st in New York City, at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus. The annual meeting of the Media Ecology Association will take place immediately following the conclusion of the seminar, from June 22nd to 25th, and seminar participants are encouraged to attend, as the MEA convention will include several sessions sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics.

The seminar fee is $100 for IGS members, $150 for non-members, and will cover the cost of course materials. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation, room, and board. Registrants will receive information regarding discounted hotel rates.

We will try to accommodate everyone interested in attending the seminar, but space will necessarily will be limited, so register early to insure your participation!

Introduction to General Semantics 3 Day Seminar

Readings:   Mary Lahman, Awareness and Action (will be provided)

Tentative Schedule

June 19: The Map is Not the Territory

Day 1 Morning

        9-10  Introductions

        10-11  Science and the Nature of Reality

        11-12  Understanding Perception

Lunch Break

Day 1 Afternoon

        1-2  Sensory Awareness

        2-3  Structural Differential and the Abstraction Ladder 

        3-4  The Map is not the Territory

June 20: The Word is Not the Thing

Day 2 Morning

        9-10  Symbol vs. Signal

        10-11  Language and Thought

        11-12  Metaphor

Lunch Break

Day 2 Afternoon

        1-2  Verbal/Meta Awareness

        2-3  Non-Aristotelian Principles of Thought

        3-4  Abstracting, Reification, and the IFD Disease

June 21: The Organism-As-A-Whole-In-Its-Environment

Day 3 Morning

        9-10 Extensional Orientation and Devices

        10-11  Semantic Relaxation

        11-12  Non-Elementalism

Lunch Break

Day 3 Afternoon

        1-2  Facts and Statements

        2-3  Fact/Inference Test

        3-4  The Semantic Environment

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