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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2014

Peirce and the Cenoscopic Science of Signs

Lars Elleström
Pages 83-138
DOI: 10.5840/ajs2014301/24

Material and Mental Representation
Peirce Adapted to the Study of Media and Arts

The aim of this article is to adapt Peirce’s semiotics to the study of media and arts. While some Peircean notions are criticized and rejected, constructive ways of understanding Peirce’s ideas are suggested, and a number of new notions, which are intended to highlight crucial aspects of semiosis, are then introduced. All these ideas and notions are systematically related to one another within the frames of a consistent terminology. The article starts with an investigation of Peirce’s three sign constituents and their interrelations: the representamen, the object, and the interpretant. A new approach to the interrelations of these three sign constituents is then suggested and manifested in a distinction between representation and neopresentation. This is followed by a critical discussion of Peirce’s three types of representation—iconicity, indexicality, and symbolicity—and their interrelations, which sets the stage for a presentation of what is referred to as the material and mental representation (MMR) model. This model aims to illuminate the problematic relation between material and mental facets of signification triggered by media and art products, and other material things and phenomena.

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