IGS Discussion Forums: Learning GS Topics: What can General Semantics teach me concerning love?
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, October 1, 2007 - 03:50 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

In general semantics seminars I attended Charlotte Read provided a bibliography which included early work on the attitude theory of emotion. I incorporated the reference and content in my Think-Feel and Know-Act. Some have taken to using the term "pair-bond" in reference to the tendency of members of a species to remain together. The "bonding" meachanisms can be several, such as in "imprinting", pheremones, "legal", "culture", and many more. Also the term 'love' "is" extremely abstract - as abstract an "intuitive concept" as there may be.

I'll keep this short. As I'm sympathetic to the "Philosophy in the Flesh" approach of applying second generation cognitive science, I think the attitude theory of emotion, which is based in motor attitudes and physiology, provides a background context to "inform" the mechanisms of attraction and bonding. You might (or might not) find some interesting points of view vis-a-vis "love" in that source. Key component behind "orientation" are both arousal and values.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 09:37 am Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

I don't know what people are talking about when they use the word 'love' without a more extensional description as an example. What general semantics teaches us about the use of abstract words in general applies to the word 'love' in particular.

Like the meson is the exchange particle of the strong force in nuclear bonding, the word 'love' acts often as the exchange particle of the "force" of love that holds a couple together.

Say it tenderly. Say it often enough. Do not say it for everything, but do for behavior and speech that enhances your feelings or that shows support for staying "bonded".

But also continue "bonding" behavior and speech that does not rely solely on the word 'love' itself. Do so, and the word will not lose its bonding force power.

Everything else becomes discussable in terms of bonding.

We bond for mutual need satisfaction.
Needs and desire do not always coincide.
Consciousness can hold maps with error;
errors in perception.
errors in "assumptions"
errors in "beliefs"
errors in "theory"
errors in "reasoning"

Our conscious selves can and do work at cross "purposes" with our unconscious semantic reactions and our needs. (What we say is our needs may not be.)

General semantics would say look at the particulars, be more extensional, delay reactions, cooperate, and more. Be aware of the communications issues in both verbal and non-verbal communications as general semantics theorizes them - in particular the "inferred" or "inferrable" "message" one could send or get from non-verbal behavior.

See "How to Read a Person Like a Book by Gerard Nierenberg (IGS and NYSGS board member).

What do I, personally mean by 'love'? you can get an idea from this.