SEMANTIC REACTION 3)4)5)
"The psycho-logical reaction of a given individual to words and language and other symbols and events in connection with their meanings, and the psycho-logical reactions which become meanings and relational configurations the moment the given individual begins to analyse them or somebody else does that for him" (A. KORZYBSKI, 1950, p.24).
Let us observe that the author writes "psycho-Iogical", with hyphen, to emphasize the existence of both aspects in psychological attitudes. Semantic reactions are related both with the emotional and the mental levels in the nervous system, with a natural dominance of the former one.
KORZYBSKI comments: "It is of great importance to realize that the term "semantic" is non-elementalistic, as it involves conjointly the "emotional" as well as the "intellectual" factors". and… "The term semantic reaction will be used as covering both semantic reflexes and states" (p.25).
The basic point about semantic reactions is that meanings are never totally objective and absolute. They depend on the specific organizational psycho-logical closure, as well as of the cultural environment of the individual.
The Cross for example is a symbol revered by Christians, but may evoque negative reactions from a Muslim and no definite reaction at all from heathen who never heard about Jesus. Moreover, these reactions are automatic, not submitted to any voluntary control.
Semantic reactions can be very dangerous from the psychopathological viewpoint. KORZYBSKI proposed a whole psychotherapy based on the reeducation of semantic reactions in his work "Science and Sanity". Unawareness of semantic reactions also implies a great potential sociocultural risk, since they can easily be manipulated by ideologues, agitators and schemers.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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