Ralph found out about the Institute of General Semantics from the forward to A. E. Van Vogt's science fiction novel The World of Null-A, which he read in 1972. In 1973 he attended a week-end seminar in general semantics. "That seminar left me in a confused state.", reports Kenyon. He finally decided to attend the summer laboratory-workshop in general semantics in 1974. "As a result of that seminar I just 'took off'.", says Ralph. "I read, understood, and integrated more books in the year following that seminar than I had in the ten years previous to it. That seminar also opened me up to 'people experiences'."
Ralph has now completed 6 institute seminars in general semantics. He intends to do further research. He brings an extensive scientific background to the study of general semantics. During his career in the Navy he was trained in steam propulsion and nuclear reactor engineering, received a B.S. and B.A. in Mathematics from Miami University in Ohio, and went on to earn two masters degrees (Human Resources Management and Computer Science) while on active duty as a Lieutenant. Since retiring from the Navy in 1981, he has continued to do business as Abstract Systems, etc., writing and selling software for PolyMorphic Systems microcomputers, and as a general consultant with the title Extrapolator. He was the editor of PolyLetter, a computer users group newsletter, from 1986 to 1993.
In September 1987, he completed a (third) Masters in Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ralph went on to complete his Ph.D. in Philosophy, also at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, on February 1, 1994. Ralph says, "I went into philosophy with the express purpose of examining the foundations of general semantics. I was already well qualified in engineering, mathematics, physics, and the military perspective, all of which I share with Korzybski. Korzybski quoted most of the major philosophers, and the basic perspective of general semantics centers around Karl Popper and his interpretation of the philosophy of science. It was only natural for me to study the philosophy of science in particular and philosophy in general. After all, the institute of general semantics describes general semantics as 'modern, open, applied, epistemology'. I wanted to know more."
Ralph states that he applied the perspective of general semantics to find a new resolution to an age old problem in philosophy. He found ways to resolve Zeno's paradoxes by bringing the perspective he attained through his studies of general semantics to bear on the problem. "As a result I found solutions to the paradoxes that had not been discovered in nearly twenty-five centuries."
Ralph hopes to continue to work to clarify the theoretical foundations of general semantics in relation to mathematics, philosophy, and artificial intelligence.
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