USC Price School of Public Policy

Dr. William J. Williams

Emeritus Professor


Dr. William J. Williams is currently an Emeritus professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, and, the Co-founder and Director of the Institute for Applied Epistemics and General Semantics.

As a Professor, Dr. Williams has focused in the areas of Theory, Behavior, Organizational Philosophy, Personnel, Social Change, and Politics and Administration.

Dr. Williams has taught seminars on Organizational Behavior, Theory and Method, Social Change and the Administrative Process, Administrative Theory, Philosophy of Administration, Policy Analysis, Politics and Administration, and language and thinking.

His research focus is in epistemology, critical thinking, General Semantics Theory and Methodology, interdisciplinary methodology and theory, Epistemics, language psycho-logics, Abduction, the processes of abstracting, the epistemologies of mathematics and physics, and cognitive science.

The many books, articles and monographs were outgrowths of the research focus (foci). His most recent research and writing endeavors are in the application of epistemics and the epistemological profile to the fields of psychiatry, family therapy and cognitive therapy in clinical settings and literature evaluation.

Dr. Williams also developed, as Director of the USC Center for Social Action, programs in community leadership and development; the University Without Walls Program for USC / Shaw University; and, the Department of Public Affairs at Shaw University. Simultaneously, conducted executive leadership training program for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, the City of Compton, the State of California, and the Federal government.

In addition, he has had political appointments in the Johnson Administration; served as a Congressional staff aid; been a candidate for Secretary of State of California; consultant to the California State Assembly; Consultant to Non-Profit Arms of Corporations; and, research consultant for public service labor unions.

The Applied Epistemics Institute, headed by Dr. Williams, is a scholarly and academic Non-Profit organization engaged in research, publishing, consulting and education. The Institute has three primary areas of focus:

Developing and implementing epistemic inquiry methods that promotes synthesizing and integrating various disciplines, fields and concentrations.

Utilization of the epistemic theoretical methodologies to evaluate and revise theoretical practical methodologies already being used by various disciplines. This is commonly known as Overarching Methods.

Use of applied epistemological notions of epistemics, the epistemological profile, general semantics methodology, theory of conceptual revolutions, epistemologies of mathematics, the process of abduction and root metaphors serve as underpinning for generating new inquiry methods. These conceptual notions, together, form an overarching theoretical process.

These areas of focus (foci) lead to improved decision-making, innovative thinking, and provide disciplines and individuals with tools to transform perspectives, methods for implementing changes, and vehicles for inventing new namings as new ideas emerge in the process.

The message can be summarized as follows: To translate the theoretical constructs into meaningful action we begin by examining the structure, cultural history and meaning of the language we use. Simultaneously, scientifically observing how that language affects our thinking, behavior and our actions, individually, in groups, in disciplines and fields. Revisions emerge automatically as we use these processes.

For more information please visit the Institute for Applied Epistemic and General Semantics at