Home

Semantic reactions
"The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either."
Mark Twain

The formulation "semantic reaction" (in abbreviated form: s.r), psycho-logical responses to words and other stimuli in relation with meanings, became necessary to express non-elementalism in human reactions.
A man will react not only to the external and internal physical environment, but also to the semantic environment (his meanings, his theories, his premises, etc). This environment will, in turn, influence the behaviour and consequently the physical internal/external environment.
We are used to this phenomenon at verbal levels, but much less at the non-verbal levels (how theories, premises, etc., can influence our visual perception for example). Many 'optical illusions' can illustrate this mechanism.
This also explains why psychotherapy is possible, by using 'only' verbal means.
© ESGS, 2002.