The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 38, Issue 1/4, 2022

Bent Sørensen, Torkild Thellefsen, Amalia Nurma Dewi
Pages 27-70

A Dialogue with Leone’s Socio-cultural Semiotics of Innovation
Considering the Relevance of Some Peircean Concepts

Innovation has become emblematic of our times. Indeed, innovation is seen as a vital economic, social, and technological phenomenon, increasingly attracting research interest. However, innovation is, we believe, much more than this; innovation also concerns processes of signification, communication, and inference. Therefore, both the process and product of innovation are open to semiotic explanation and analysis. However, not many semioticians have—so far—addressed innovation (at least not under the rubric of innovation). The prolific Italian semiotician Massimo Leone is the exception to the rule. Leone has tried to lay the groundwork for a semiotics of innovation. We have organized Leone’s semiotics of innovation into sixteen statements, which we address here. Hence, in a critical dialogue with Leone, we introduce Peirce’s concepts of abduction, the three hypoicons (including similarity), and the semiotic mind (of the innovator/receiver) in order to apply a few ideas which we believe can be of relevance when working with a semiotics of innovation conceptually and/or methodologically