Here is one of the 'new' words of general semantics, non-elementalist and multiordinal. It labels a function of the organism-as-a-whole-in-environments: the words we say, the words that come to our 'mind', etc., constitute aspects of our evaluations as well as the acceleration of our heart-beats, perspiration of our hands, etc.

General semantics is also called "general theory of evaluation": we assign values to the meanings we create from the events we perceive. These values are built according to our theories, our 'moods', our 'physical health', etc., and can encourage us to reinforce them or to modify them, by a feedback process. Evaluations thus vary from one individual to the other, but also for the 'same' individual at different times (Smith1977 is not Smith1997).

For example, we can observe a flash of lightning during a violent storm and evaluate it like "a divine sign", "a random natural phenomenon", "an electric phenomenon", etc., according to our premises. A change of those premises could perhaps lead to a change of our evaluations and our attitude when re-experiencing a storm, for example by avoiding sheltering under a tree. This new evaluation of the storm as an electric phenomenon gives us better survival value.

© ESGS, 2001.