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Displaying: 1-10 of 1110 documents


1. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Alin Olteanu, Andrew Stables Learning and adaptation from a semiotic perspective
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Th is paper discusses the relation between learning and adaptation, arguing that the current state of the art in semiotics suggests a continuity between the two. An overview of the relevant theories in this regard, as considered in semiotics, reveals an embodied and environmental account of learning, where language plays an important but nevertheless limited role. Learning and adaptation are seen as inseparable cases of semiotic modelling. Such a construal of these opens up new pathways towards a nondualist philosophy and theory of education.
2. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Eetu Pikkarainen Adaptation, learning, Bildung: Discussion with edu- and biosemiotics
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Learning and adaptation are central problems to both edusemiotics, or semiotics of education, and biosemiotics. Bildung, as an especially human way or form of learning, and evolution as the main form of adaptation for many biologists after Darwin are often regarded as mutually exclusive concepts even though human beings are undeniably one biological species among others. In this article I will try to build a bridge between the biosemiotical, edusemiotical and Bildung-theoretical stances. Central to this discussion is biosemiotician Kalevi Kull and some of his recent publications where he considers adaptation, evolution and learning. The primary theoretical resource that I utilize here, in addition to the general Greimassian, edusemiotical and Bildungtheoretical starting points, is perceptual control theory (PCT) to which I compare the Uexkullian conception of functional circle.
3. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Kalevi Kull Choosing and learning: Semiosis means choice
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We examine the possibility of shifting the concept of choice to the centre of the semiotic theory of learning. Thus, we define sign process (meaning-making) through the concept of choice: semiosis is the process of making choices between simultaneously provided options. We define semiotic learning as leaving traces by choices, while these traces influence further choices. We term such traces of choices memory. Further modification of these traces (constraints) will be called habituation. Organic needs are homeostatic mechanisms coupled with choice-making. Needs and habits result in motivatedness. Semiosis as choice-making can be seen as a complementary description of the Peircean triadic model of semiosis; however, this can fit also the models of meaning-making worked out in other shools of semiotics. We also provide a sketch for a joint typology of semiosis and learning.
4. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Jamin Pelkey Emptiness and desire in the first rule of logic
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Charles Sanders Peirce’s first rule of logic (EP 2.48, 1898) identifies the inception point of human inquiry. Taking a closer look at this principle, we find at its core a necessary relationship between emptiness and desire that underlies all genuine instances of human learning and adaptation. This composite relationship plays a critical role in the function or failure of learning but has received scant attention in the literature. As a result, the complexities of the first rule of logic are not well understood, often being mistakenly conflated with the rule’s famous corollary, ‘do not block the way of inquiry’, or passed over with cursory definitions, including ‘wonder’, ‘doubt’ and ‘the will to learn’. Following a background discussion highlighting the nature of reflexive inquiry and fallibilism that situate human consciousness both within and beyond animal being, I draw on multiple layers of evidence from a range of disciplines to better reveal the complex dynamics intrinsic to the first rule of logic. These layers include a closer reading and exegesis of the original passage and surrounding text; a semiotic reanalysis of this reading in light of recent advances in the semiotic theory of learning; a resituation of these distinctions within broader contemporary discussions of emptiness ontology to which I contribute in part via an original semantic/rhetorical analysis of a linguistic construction in Laozi; the introduction of a closely related pedagogical tool under development in the context of my own university-level teaching in ethnography and research methods; and the dialogic situation of this diagram within discourses of psychotherapy, philosophy and literature. Building on these principles and distinctions, the paper closes with a perspective shift on obstacles and desire in human learning and an expanded reformulation of the first rule of logic.
5. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
John Tredinnick-Rowe Can semiotics be used to drive paradigm changes in medical education?
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This essay sets out to explain how educational semiotics as a discipline can be used to reform medical education and assessment. This is in response to an ongoing paradigm shift in medical education and assessment that seeks to integrate more qualitative, ethical and professional aspects of medicine into curricula, and develop ways to assess them. This paper suggests that a method to drive this paradigm change might be found in the Peircean idea of suprasubjectivity. This semiotic concept is rooted in the scholastic philosophy of John of St Thomas, but has been reintroduced to modern semiotics through the works of John Deely, Alin Olteanu and, most notably, Charles Sanders Peirce. I approach this task as both a medical educator and a semiotician. In this paper, I provide background information about medical education, paradigm shift s, and the concept of suprasubjectivity in relation to modern educational semiotic literature. I conclude by giving examples of what a suprasubjective approach to medical education and assessment might look like. I do this by drawing an equivalence between the notion of threshold concepts and suprasubjectivity, demonstrating the similarities between their positions. Fundamentally, medical education suffers from tensions of teaching trainee doctors the correct balance of biological science and situational ethics/judgement. In the transcendence of mind-dependent and mind-independent being the scholastic philosophy of John of St Thomas may be exactly the solution medicine needs to overcome this dichotomy.
6. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Lauri Linask Differentiation of language functions during language acquisition based on Roman Jakobson’s communication model
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The paper uses Roman Jakobson’s conceptual framework to study the development of communication of children. It sets out to explain how cardinal functions of verbal messages – referential, emotive, conative, phatic, metalingual and poetic – understood in terms of Jakobson’s communication model – progressively differentiate during children’s language acquisition. The differentiation of these functions is apparent in changes in children’s use of language, as it corresponds to the gradual formation and adoption of various linguistic structures in the development of speech. Children’s acquisition of the use of grammatical subject and predicate, corresponding to the appearance of specifically metalingual speech, among other linguistic structures, is related to children’s adaptation to the linguistic environment. The article relates differentiation of metalingual and poetic functions to the development of children’s thinking using the example of crib talk.
7. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Cary Campbell Returning ‘learning’ to education: Toward an ecological conception of learning and teaching
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This article describes a notion of learning as adaptive semiotic-growth. In line with the theme of this special issue, learning will be approached on a broad ecological and evolutionary continuum – most generally expressed as a form of adaptation to the environment. Viewing learning through the criterion of signification (semiosis) means that learning is continuous across the entire biological realm. Both the life process and the learning process are expressed through forms of semiotic-engagement and involve continual adaptation and meaning-making. Thus, learning cannot be seen as unique to humans. Learning is more broadly ecological before it is “cultural”. From here we can imagine educational institutions as forms of exaptation, that evolved naturally to channel learning more effectively. Thinking of learning on an ecological continuum means that learning cannot be “located” or pinned down easily in educational research or practice. Rather, learning has a sporadic identity; it is emergent in the specificity of events and must be discerned within the practices that enact it. Realizing learning as something emergently enacted in the educative encounter, and not something that can be determined and implemented, allows us to resist turning learning into an accountability tool that can easily be used towards ideological ends.
8. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Alexandra Milyakina Rethinking literary education in the digital age
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This paper discusses the perspectives of literary education in the context of the transforming of the notions of literature, reading, and learning. While everyday semiotic practices are becoming increasingly digital and multimodal, school education in most countries is still largely focused on mediating original literary texts in print and their established interpretations. Less conventional sources of literary information – brief retellings, comic strips, memes, social media posts – tend to make up a large part of the students’ semiotic environment; yet these are usually dismissed by school education as inaccurate and irrelevant. Cultural semiotics, however, allows regarding pulverized versions of texts as a part of a natural educational system – the culture itself. A holistic approach allows not only integrating everyday semiotic practices into a school curriculum, but also revealing the inherent multimodality, transmediality, and creativity of the literary experience. Th e paper explores possible implications of semiotics in three aspects of literary education: multimodality and heterogeneity of literary experience; influence of digital media on the perception habits; reading as a creative building of a whole from different fragments. The overarching goal is to enrich school education through a deeper understanding of literary experience and a widening of the spectrum of acknowledged tools, formats and media. Th e theoretical survey is supported by reallife examples from school practice and recreational reading.
reviews and notes
9. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Frederik Stjernfelt A Peirce for the 21st century
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10. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
Zdzisław Wąsik, Elżbieta Magdalena Wąsik A report on the conference “Ecosemiotic Paradigm for Nature and Culture”
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