The Representation of Semantic Reactions on the Structural Differential


A few minutes ago, in reading Alfred Korzybski’s big blue book (though in PDF form), one of his phrasings made me think of how semantic reactions appear on the Structural Differential.

Granted, I can’t corroborate this take at the time, but it seems to me that the strings in Korzybski’s Structural Differential modeling the process of abstracting represent semantic reactions.

This would mean that the Structural Differential depicts a chain of related but different kinds of semantic reactions. There are semantic reactions to events, ones to the objects in our heads, ones to the labels and descriptions we give for those objects, as well as the language that those labels and descriptions inspire.

This understanding may suit Bruce Kodish, who has complained somewhat more vociferously than some others that I have had too narrow of an interpretation of Korzybski’s term “semantic reaction,” which I defined as “a reaction to words” in my essay “A Simple Definition of General Semantics.” Bruce, et al., urged a broader interpretation of something more like “a reaction to words and events.” For a time, I had trouble arguing that point of view.

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