'Theories' in everyday situations.Theories or doctrines are always linguistic. They formulate formulate /for·mu·late/ (for´mu-lat)
1. to state in the form of a formula.
2. to prepare in accordance with a prescribed or specified method. something which is going on inside our skin in relation to what is going on on the un-speakable levels, and which is not a theory. Theories are the rational means for a rational being to be as rational as he possibly can. As a fact of experience, the working of the human nervous system is such that we have theories. Such was the survival trend; and we must not only reconcile ourselves with this fact, but must also investigate the structure of theories.
- Alfred Korzybski Noun 1. Alfred Korzybski - United States semanticist (born in Poland) (1879-1950)
Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski, Korzybski , Science and Sanity Reasonable understanding; sound mind; possessing mental faculties that are capable of distinguishing right from wrong so as to bear legal responsibility for one's actions.
SANITY, med. jur. The state of a person who has a sound understanding; the reverse of insanity.
We couldn't could·n't
Contraction of could not.
couldn't could not stay alive without our 'theories'. In a world where we don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. all about anyone (including ourselves), or anything, we have to have 'theories' whether we are aware of our 'theorizings' or not. In some areas of human activities - especially science and mathematics, theories are explicitly formulated for·mu·late
tr.v. for·mu·lat·ed, for·mu·lat·ing, for·mu·lates
a. To state as or reduce to a formula.
b. To express in systematic terms or concepts.
c. , as "theories." This exposure, this openness, makes it possible for a theory to be criticized, and if necessary, modified, or abandoned, based on related observations. As general semantics gen·er·al semantics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
A discipline developed by Alfred Korzybski that proposes to improve human behavioral responses through a more critical use of words and symbols. is based on a theory - that science and mathematics represent human evaluation at its best, in terms of predictability - and as we can study and apply the methods and approaches of these two disciplines to our everyday lives and expect degrees of success similar to those achieved by scientists and mathematicians Mathematicians by letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z See also
In Webster's New Collegiate col·le·giate
1. Of, relating to, or held to resemble a college.
2. Of, for, or typical of college students.
3. Of or relating to a collegiate church. Dictionary (8th Edition) we find theory defined as: "A belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action." And also this: "A plausible or scientifically accepted general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena."
Following these, let's 'think' of, let's 'theorize' that a 'theory' basically consists of an attempt to explain; a map, a generalization gen·er·al·i·za·tion
1. The act or an instance of generalizing.
2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application. ; a statement of relative invariance in·var·i·ant
1. Not varying; constant.
2. Mathematics Unaffected by a designated operation, as a transformation of coordinates.
An invariant quantity, function, configuration, or system. expressing a relationship that what we imagine, what we believe, what we 'think' we understand or know, what we say correspond in some ways to what is going on. And that whatever we do, we do based on a 'theory' whether explicitly formulated or not. And let's call those unstated 'theories' "organismal or·gan·ism
1. An individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist, or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles, or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life.
If we generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.
2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively. these notions of theory, then the ways we 'think' about things, the ways we 'feel' about things, our personal beliefs, our religious beliefs, our knowledge, our generalizations, expectations, speculations Speculations is an online resource for writers who wish to break into or increase their presence within the science fiction, fantasy, or other speculative fiction subgenres. Speculations has been a Hugo Award nominee seven times. The website is maintained by Kent Brewster. , attitudes, prejudices, suggestions, explanations, assumptions, opinions, points of view, schools of philosophy, political systems, schools of psychology, laws, rules and regulations, plans, fears, wishes, hopes, criticisms, and so on, can all be 'thought' of in terms of 'theories'. (Note that Korzybski labeled his Non-Aristotelian system, general semantics, "A Theory of Values.") Even what we see, what we do, our approach to living, our "unconditional HEIR, UNCONDITIONAL. A term used in the civil law, adopted by the Civil Code of Louisiana. Unconditional heirs are those who inherit without any reservation, or without making an inventory, whether their acceptance be express or tacit. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 878.
UNCONDITIONAL. shoulds," the ways we interpret things, the meanings we give to our experiences, and so on, can be considered in terms of 'theories'.
"How," one might ask, "is what we see in any way related to 'theory', when it is right there before us?" Well, I invite you to consider this: When we see a person, thing, situation, etc., we don't see all that's going on. What we see can be considered a map, a gross representation, of whatever is going on. With further observations and investigations, we discover that there's more going on than what we originally observed. In this sense we could say, our first - and for that matter any future observations - could be considered as organismal unstated theories, that what is seen is what is there - all that's there. And when we fail to recognize that what we see is not all that's there, that what we see, is not all that could be seen, we identify the object with what we see. But an object is more than what is seen.
What we do, and how we do what we do, is based on our organismal theories. But "what else" is there does not go away just because we did not see it; and shocks, disappointments, and frustrations follow. Now I am not saying that we can ever know all that's there. But knowing that we don't know, and reminding ourselves that our actions are based on organismal theories, and working at ways to reveal our unstated 'theories' to ourselves, can make living less stressful, calmer, gentler (a 'theory').
Significant differences between these everyday generalizations of scientific theories, and scientific theories, include these factors: In science, theories are formulated from a great deal of information, gathered from the analyses of careful observations; theories are explicitly formulated as theories. This is worth emphasizing. The contemporary scientist does not say "This is so" or "This is the truth." He or she in formulating a theory as theory is making an explicit proposal that the theory adequately explains the facts as presently interpreted. In science, ideally, theories are deliberately formulated in unambiguous terms. (This minimizes quibbling, and unnecessary arguments as to what the creator of the theory proposes to explain.)
In science theories are put to the test - and they are eventually modified, updated, improved, abandoned, if what is expected from the theory is not corroborated cor·rob·o·rate
tr.v. cor·rob·o·rat·ed, cor·rob·o·rat·ing, cor·rob·o·rates
To strengthen or support with other evidence; make more certain. See Synonyms at confirm. by observations. (Scientists, behaving as scientists, usually do not fight each other over acceptance of their theories: theories are critically reviewed by others in the field.) In science "theories" bridge the gap between what's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. in our imaginations, and what's going on elsewhere - an extensional "let's look for correspondence and structural similarities, between what we propose, and what we observe" approach to understanding ourselves as we relate to happenings. Scientific theories are not presently considered as the final word - no matter how long they have been around. And they don't get useless, and are not abandoned, because of age. More often, scientific theories improve with age. They explain more, and more accurately - newer theories often include older theories as special cases. In science, the corroboration of a theory with observations, is not taken as "proof' that things are so, that the theory explains all. Scientists as scientists do not "identify" their theories with the happenings they set out to explain. A heuristic A method of problem solving using exploration and trial and error methods. Heuristic program design provides a framework for solving the problem in contrast with a fixed set of rules (algorithmic) that cannot vary.
1. time-binding approach works in the sense that theories help the scientist to formulate better theories.
Let's compare some of the above to our everyday 'theorizings'. In our everyday attempts to make sense of things, to give meanings, to explain, to understand, to bridge the gap between what we claim to know and what we know we don't know, we usually do not 'think' that whatever we happen to be doing involves some 'theory', or that we are 'theorizing'. We scarcely 'think' of our explanations, beliefs, the meanings we give to our experiences, our opinions, criticisms, conclusions, our ideas of morality, and so on, as 'theories'. So in our everyday actions we seldom 'think' of putting our theories to the test. What we are more likely to do is become more verbal, and more defensive. We look for support from others. We work at convincing others of the 'truth' and tightness of our 'theories'. We form alliances, and get violent, in our determination to hang on to our opinions-feelings-'theories'. We more often become very creative in finding ways to interpret and use new factors, not to re-view our 'theories', but as "further proof' that we were right. And not 'theorizing' that others 'theorize', we don't usually use the factors in their 'theories' to help us fine-tune our own, but tend to reject other 'theories' wholesale.
If we don't know we are doing something, we can't self-consciously do anything about it; we cannot make corrections; we cannot make significant improvements. So as a species, and as individuals, not being aware of our dogmas, beliefs, myths, knowledge, ideals, etc., as uncertainties, as 'theories', we often get disagreeable dis·a·gree·a·ble
1. Not to one's liking; unpleasant or offensive.
2. Having a quarrelsome, bad-tempered manner.
dis , and sometimes we fuss and fight personal and national wars; we build walls and shoot down anyone trying to escape our particular political, religious, and other 'theories'; we sometimes even torture torture, the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering in order to intimidate, coerce, obtain information or a confession, or punish. and put others with differing 'theories' in prisons, and so on, in defense of our personal, group, and societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. 'theories'. In our everyday behaviors, our 'theories' remain intensional (philosophy) intensional - A description of properties, e.g. intensional equality, that relate to how an object is implemented as opposed to extensional properties which concern only how its output depends on its input. when higher priority is given to the 'theory' than to what the theory attempts to explain: What's going on in our imagination and verbally formulated as opinions, beliefs, etc. is considered more important than what's going on outside of our heads. Unlike the situation in science, our 'theories' are often more valuable to us than what these 'theories' are supposed to be about. Often we don't easily let go of our 'theories'. But this is to be expected: As mentioned before, we live our lives according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. our 'theories'. And you could add: "When we don't recognize this, we fail to recognize how much of our problems start with us and the ways we look at, and the theories we make about, things."
An aspect of the theory of general semantics can be formulated as follows. Science and mathematics represent human evaluation at its best, in terms of predictability. The methods of science and mathematics can be studied, taught, learned, and applied to our everyday situations. If we study and apply these methods when applicable to our everyday situations, we are likely to achieve measures of success in our relationships with ourselves, with others, with what's going on around us, similar to those achieved in science and mathematics. As individuals, we can put this theory to the test. There are nations based on religious theories (my theory). Wouldn't it be nice if just one nation set out to educate itself in terms similar to those developed in general semantics theory? I theorize-suggest that if we develop more understanding and appreciation of scientific theories, and become more conscious of our own behaviors as 'theorizings', we would, as in science, be more open to other possibilities; become more critical observers and more critical thinkers-evaluators. I 'theorize' that we would learn and understand much more about ourselves-in-our-worlds, and much more about others-in-their-worlds, and consequently get along much better with each other than we have been doing over the centuries. I 'theorize' that we would find our living a "continuous creative non-allness learning experience." And that we would give more importance to what we observe-theorize going on, than to what we say-'think' and believe-theorize about what's going on. I 'theorize', that if we approach our life situations as a laboratory and our actions as 'experiments' and 'theories', that we would differentiate more between what we think-feel and say, and what's going on. We might become better managers of our lives. We might develop the "art of gentle living" with ourselves, with others, and with the trees, animals, rivers, lakes, and seas. Can you imagine what might happen if we formulated our laws as 'theories' and set a date for reviewing the effects they had on the society? Theorize the·o·rize
v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es
To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
To propose a theory about. , for example, what might happen if those who 'knew' abortion was a sin, considered their 'knowledge' as 'theory'.
As an experiment, and for practice, the reader is invited to formulate theories related to each of the above mentioned behaviors. For instance, a theory related to marriage could be formulated along these lines: Partners getting married 'theorize' (most times not knowingly) that the good times each had with the other when they were dating and not living together, will persist when they start to live together.
To paraphrase par·a·phrase
1. A restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning.
2. The restatement of texts in other words as a studying or teaching device.
v. Einstein Ein·stein , Albert 1879-1955.
German-born American theoretical physicist whose special and general theories of relativity revolutionized modern thought on the nature of space and time and formed a theoretical base for the exploitation of atomic energy. : "The world we have created is a product of our theorizings." But we don't 'know' that - yet!
Milton Dawes lives in Montreal, where he combines lectures, music, and dance in the training workshops he offers in "Personal and Professional Development Through General Semantics." Note: use of quotation marks quotation marks
the punctuation marks used to begin and end a quotation, either `` and '' or ` and '
quotation marks npl → comillas fpl
in this paper based on a system established by the Institute of General Semantics The Institute of General Semantics is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1938 by Alfred Korzybski, located in Fort Worth, Texas. Its membership roles include members from 30 different countries. for their publication, The General Semantics Bulletin.