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articles
1. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Steven Skaggs The Semiotics of Visual Identity: Logos
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Visual identity systems allow a visual object to stand for, and provide suggestive expression of, a host. The primary graphic element in a visual identity system is the logo. In three sections, this article explores inportant semiotic mechanisms by which logos perform the work of identifying. The first section points to the difference between basic visual differentiation (boundary coherence) and affective/cognitive reference (semantic coherence). It makes a distinction between two kinds of reference that occur simultaneously in logos: (1) an immediate referencing of the host entity (the entity for which identification is sought), and (2), indirect, reference that is often metaphoric in character. The second section offers a four-part classification scheme for logos based upon a Peircean icon/index/symbol division with the addition of an axis of syntactical detail. A “hidden” class of logo is predicted by this Peircean framework; examples are identified and this class is named “gesturegraphs”. It is argued that this four-part classification scheme is both semiotically necessary and sufficient. Any further classes of logos can be considered subclasses within the four semiotic factors proposed. These classes are not judged to be discrete, but rather to afford blended and combinatorial situations. The rhetorical tropes of metonym and metaphor are discussed in terms of their value to the pictographic mode of logo design. Finally, in the third section of the article, genre is defined as the coherence of stylistic features in relation to the sector of the host’s activity. Two case studies are given as examples of how genre influences the semantical context of logos.
2. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Massimo Leone Semiotics of Religion: A Map
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The essay proposes a concise map of some of the current research trends in the semiotics of religion. Within the theoretical framework of Peirce’s philosophy of semiosis as interpreted and developed by Umberto Eco, the essay situates the semiotic study of religion at the crossroad of nature and culture and singles out as its main task studying both the abstract level of religious ideologies of signification and the empirical level of religious systems of expression and communication.
3. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Richard L. Lanigan Crossing Out Normative Boundaries in Psychosis: The Communicology of a Social Semiotic Passage in Dickens’ Bleak House
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The coding function of semiotic-systems in literature is explored as an example of Umberto Eco’s real and fictional protocols in the play of discourse formation (lector in fabula). The intricate phenomenological levels of intersemiotic translation (apposition, opposition, chiasm, zeugma) are illustrated by analyzing a rhetorical passage (semiotic object) from Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House. The passage on the logic of series (“lists”) allows us to explore fact/fiction, real/imaginary, normal/abnormal, sane/insane, neurotic/psychotic choices as discourse voice protocols (active, middle, passive) for the axiological interpretation (ethic, moral, aesthetic, politic, and rhetoric) of meaning formation (tropes) and signification function (figures). Models of discourse are drawn from Benveniste, Foucault, Greimas, Lévi-Strauss, and Wilden.
4. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Sally Ann Ness Diagnosing with Light: The Semiotics of Acupoint Biophoton Emissions Testing
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Acupoint Biophoton Emissions Testing (ABET), an alternative diagnostic technique used by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, illustrates a case of non-linguistic Delome-level semiosis that is understood to form an interface between endosemiotic and linguistic semiotic levels of human (bio-)communication. Performed manually, the technique employs an array of Hypoiconic and Indexical Symbols that, when used in combination, enable practitioners to “listen in” and learn with biocommunicational processes, re-embodying them in a manner that renders them available to conscious recognition and linguistic representation. The Delome formations of the ABET technique afford the gradual accumulation and transformation of practitioner understanding through sign co-performances that achieve triadic relationality mediationally—prefiguring fully representational forms of learning. They demonstrate embodied capacities for pattern recognition, coordination, exploration, articulation, explication and self-governance that may have evolved in advance of representational sign formations, setting the evolutionary stage for them.
5. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Morten Tønnessen What Can be Known about Future Umwelten?
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This article addresses Umwelt futurology, the study of future Umwelten: i.e., subjective, semiotic lifeworlds. Umwelt futurology as I describe it is an interdisciplinary enterprise founded on Umwelt theory but also drawing on work done in other academic studies of future developments. It complements Hiltunen’s semiotic work in futures studies on weak signals. Asking what can be known about future Umwelten, I ascertain that our most solid knowledge about any Umwelt situated on Earth is derived from an understanding of what constitutes the minimal Umwelt in general and more specifically in Earthly terms. Our understanding of constitutive features of various lifeforms, and of typical developments at different life stages in the ontogeny of organisms, provides us with further reliable knowledge about lasting traits of organisms endowed with an Umwelt. To describe the complex interplay between the physical environment and the Umwelt and Innenwelt of organisms, I introduce a three-dimensional interactive semiotic model of environmental change. Taken together, knowledge about basic features of Umwelten and about the biosemiotic interplay in nature involving Umwelt creatures provides us with the foundational building bricks that we need to construct an empirically informed Umwelt futurology. I argue that both predictions and scenarios concerning future lifeworlds can be developed from within this theoretical framework. While Umwelt predictions are meant to be of a merely factual nature, and can give us more informed ideas about the future, Umwelt scenarios may feature both factual and normative elements. These can help us make more informed choices whenever we discuss actions, lifestyles or policies that have an impact on future lifeworlds.
reviews
6. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Jamin Pelkey A Watershed for Qualia: Marc Champagne’s Unified Theory of Consciousness: Review of Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects, by Marc Champagne
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7. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Marc Champagne Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: A New Précis
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8. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Hongwei Jia Signs, Language, and Listening: A Review: Review of Signs, Language and Listening: Semioethic Perspectives, by Susan Petrilli
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9. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
Kermit Snelson The Phanerochemical Wedding of Logic and Philosophia Perennis: On Morrissey’s The Way of Logic: Review of The Way of Logic, by Christopher S. Morrissey
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10. The American Journal of Semiotics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3/4
About the Authors
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