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Our conferences and symposia often feature our annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series.

The Institute of General Semantics periodically hosts, sponsors, and co-sponsors conferences and symposia attended by people from around the world, featuring presentations on topics related to general semantics and its multidisciplinary interests.

Upcoming events

    • 19 Jun 2023
    • 21 Jun 2023
    • New York City

    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 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 (lecture)

            10-11  Language and thought (lecture and discussion)

            11-12  Metaphor (lecture and exercise)

    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

            9-10Extensional 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

    • 27 Oct 2023
    • 29 Oct 2023
    • The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park S, New York, NY 10003

    Registration is for 

    In-Person Attendance ONLY

    All IGS Members in Good Standing Will Receive Instructions on How to Livestream the Event Online Prior to the AKML

    The 71st Annual 

    Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

    October 27th, 2023

    Co-Sponsored by the New York Society for General Semantics

    the International Bateson Institute

    the Media Ecology Association

    the Tomkins Institute

    and the 404 Festival of Art and Technology


    Lera Boroditsky

    Dr. Lera Boroditsky is a Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California San Diego. She previously served on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Stanford University, and as editor in chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology. Her research is on the relationships between mind, world and language (or how humans get so smart). Her TED talk on how language shapes thinking has been viewed more than 19 million times. Boroditsky has been named one of 25 visionaries changing the world by the Utne Reader, and is also a Searle Scholar, a McDonnell scholar, recipient of a National Science Foundation Career award and an American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientist lecturer. She once used the Indonesian exclusive "we" correctly before breakfast and was proud of herself about it all day.

    Dr. Boroditsky's lecture is entitled:

    Language and Cognition

    Language allows a myriad ways to construe and describe everything from basic physical features of the world like colors and shapes to complex societal issues like crime or immigration. Professor Boroditsky will review the ways in which both the languages we speak, and the particular constructions we are exposed to within those languages, shape the ways we think. Linguistic frames create pathways for thinking, making some elements of an issue seem obvious while obscuring others. Her lecture will highlight some powerful ways that language shapes thinking, showing that sometimes a single word imbedded in a narrative can covertly shape the way we construe situations and reason about events.

    The AKML will be followed by our

    Non-Aristotelian Perspectives

    Ecological Approaches

    and the



    October 28th-29th, 2023

    Send inquiries regarding participation to

    We welcome papers and proposals that fit the symposium theme of Non-Aristotelian Perspectives, Ecological Approaches, and the Anthropocene, or that otherwise relate to the topics of general semantics, linguistics and semiotics, media ecology, communication and culture, science and the empirical  method, epistemology and phenomenology, cybernetics and systems theory, technology and society, art and perception, cognition and consciousness, evolution and emergence, health and human potential, etc.

    The lecture, dinner, and symposium are being held at the historic Players Club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. 

    Registration is free for IGS members and their guests, but all attendees must be registered in advance in order to gain admittance to the club. More information regarding the dinner and symposium schedule will be made available at a later date.

    Please note that as an historic 18th century landmark, the site is not handicap accessible. Dress code is business casual and is strictly enforced, including no sneakers, shorts, ripped jeans, t-shirts).

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