General-semantics constitutes a theory of metacognition, a working theory of how humans construct their perceptions, beliefs, theories, etc. Metacognition, thinking about thinking, has traditionally been considered part of the branch of philosophy called epistemology, the theory of knowledge.
Over the years many philosophers such as Plato and Descartes have speculated and theorized about how we know what we know. These theorists lacked much empirical knowledge of the human nervous system, psychology and other relevant areas of knowledge such as how scientists and mathematicians actually behave in order to gain knowledge. As a result their views were often riddled with untenable assumptions such as that of a `mind' separate from a `body'. Among other things, what distinguished Korzybski from these theorists was his effort to bring to bear studies in neuroscience, behavioral/social science, natural science, mathematics, linguistics and other fields to develop a scientific and thus up-to-date and open-ended, applied epistemology.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
General Semantics-A Theory of Metacognition
In an article entitled Bridging the Research-Practice Divide: Using General-Semantics in Physical Therapy Practice I wrote the following which I still think applies. I shamelessly quote myself: