Anatol Rapoport (1953) Operational Semantics

Over on a Twitter thread, @sregoczei had mentioned a work that I hadn’t previously known.

“What is usually lacking in the conventional academic approach to philosophy is an extensive inquiry into the relations between thinking and doing.”
# AnatolRapoport 1953 “Operational Philosophy: Integrating Knowledge and Action”

This book is available on the Internet Archive at

IThank you David for making this old item surface.
I used Anatol Rapoport’s ‘Operational Philosophy’ as a supplementary text in a math course I taught at UofT.
Why am I still interested in it today?
Because systems thinking, even if we pull together all the varietes, such as cybernetics, system dynamics, ecosystems, GSTh, is still not enough.
We need, as I see it in 2019:

  1. general semantics (Korzybski)
  2. operationalism and constructivism (Brigman, Rapoport, Regoczei)
  3. conceptual analysis (Sowa)

Rapoport was offering a ‘doing’ way of understanding semantics.
Operational semantics.
The work has not yet been continued as of today.

I was fortunate to see Anatol Rapoport in person, speak on General Systems and Peace, at the ISSS 1998 Atlanta meeting. There’s a digest of his talk at .

There is history of science as digests of other ISSS meetings at , in the days before blogging became popular.

Great book on operational philosophy by Rapaport. Thanks for posting the link to it on, I can tell its a great read after reading just the first 4 pages!

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