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Displaying: 11-20 of 468 documents

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11. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Anti Randviir, Eero Tarasti, Vilmos Voigt Finno-Ugric semiotics: Cultores and metacultores
12. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Winfried Nöth Umberto Eco's semiotic threshold
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The "semiotic threshold" is U. Eco's metaphor of the borderline between the world of semiosis and the nonsemiotic world and hence also between semiotics and its neighboring disciplines. The paper examines Eco's threshold in comparison to the views of semiosis and semiotics of C. S. Peirce. While Eco follows the structuralist tradition, postulating the conventionality of signs as the main criterion of semiosis, Peirce has a much broader concept of semiosis, which is not restricted to phenomena of culture but includes many processes in nature. Whereas Eco arrives at the conclusion that biological processes, such as the ones within the immune system, cannot be included in the program of semiotic research, Peirce's broader defmition of semiosis has meanwhile become thefoundation of semiotic studies in biology and medicine and hence in biosemiotics and medical semiotics.
13. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
John Deely Semiotics as a postmodem recovery of the cultural unconscious
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This essay explores the terminology of semiotics with an eye to the historical layers of human experience and understanding that have gone into making the doctrine of signs possible as a contemporary intellectual movement. Using an essentially Heideggerian view of language as a heuristic hypothesis, the name semiotics is examined in light of the realization that only with Augustine's Latin signum was the possibility of a general doctrine of signs introduced, and that first among the later Latins was the idea of sign as a general mode of being specifically verifiable both in nature and in culture in establishing the texture of human experience vindicated according to an explanation of how such a general mode of being is possible. The contemporary resumption through Charles Peirceof the Latin line of vindication completed especially by Poinsot is explored along these same lines in terms of considerations of why the term semiotics has emerged as, so to speak, the logically proper name of the global interest in signs.
14. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Marcel Danesi A note on Vico and Lotman: Semiotics as a "science of the imagination"
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The Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico foreshadowed many of the ideas currently being entertained by the modem cognitive and human sciences. By emphasizing the role of the imagination in the production of meaning, Vico showed how truly ingenious the fIrst forms of representation were. His view that these forms were "poetic" is only now being given serious attention, as more and more linguists and psychologists come to realize the role of metaphor in the generation of abstract systems of representation. The Estonian semiotician Yuri Lotman espoused a basically similar view, highlighting the role of the poetic imagination in the generation of the textuality that holds cultures together in meaningful ways. A comparison of these two exceptional thinkers has never been entertained. This note aims to do exactly that. Specifically, it takes a first glimpse at the parallels of thought and method that inhere in the main works of these two ground-breaking thinkers. Such a comparison will establish a theoretical framework to make semiotics a true "science of the imagination". It will show that semiosis and representation are not tied to any innate neural mechanisms, but rather to a creative tendency in the human species to literally "invent itself'.
15. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Frederik Stjernfelt Mereology and semiotics
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This paper gives a fIrst overview over the role of mereology the theory of parts and wholes - in semiotics. The mereology of four major semioticians - Husserl, Jakobson, Hjelmslev, and Peirce is presented briefly and its role in the overall architecture of each of their theories is outlined - with Brentano tradition as reference. Finally, an evaluation of the strength and weaknesses of the four is undertaken, and some guidelines for further research is proposed.
16. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Jaakko Hintikka Language as a "mirror of nature"
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How does language represent ("mirror") the world it can be used to talk about? Or does it? A negative answer is maintained by one of the main traditions in language theory that includes Frege, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Quine and Rorty. A test case is offered by the question whether the critical ''mirroring'' relations, especially the notion of truth, are themselves expressible in language. Tarski's negative thesis seemed to close the issue, but dramatic recent developments have decided the issue in favour of the expressibility of truth. At the same time, the "mirroring" relations are not natural ones, but constituted by rule-governed human activities a la Wittgenstein's language games. These relations are nevertheless objective, because they depend only on the rules of these "games", not on the idiosyncrasies of the players. It also turns out that the "truth games" for a language are the same as the language games that give it its meaning in the first place. Thus truth and meaning are intrinsically intertwined.
17. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Felice Cimatti The circular semiosis of Giorgio Prodi
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Prodi's semiotics theory comes into being to answer a radical question: if a sign is a cross-reference, what guarantees the relation between the sign and the object to which it is referring? Prodi rebukes all traditional solutions: a subject's voluntary intention, a convention, the iconic relation between sign and object. He refutes the fIrst answer because the notion of intention, upon which it is based, is, indeed, a fully mysterious entity. The conventionalist answer is just as unsatisfactory for it does nothing but extends to a whole group that which cannot be explained for a single component; the iconic one, finally, is rejected toosince in this case the notion of "likeliness", as the basis of the concept of "iconicity", is not explained. Prodi's answer is to locate the model of semiotic relations in the figure of the circle. The circle is life, which is nothing else but an infinite chain of translation and recognition relations amidst ever more complex systems. The circle has neither a beginning nor an end. It has no foundation, no established rule. It holds no cause that cannot become, in turn, effect. Semiosis, then, is based upon life for life, itself, is intrinsically semiotic. We can put the world in signs, that is we can come to know it, because we, ourselves, are a part of that very worldthat through us is made known. Finally, what this implies is that being inside the circle of semiosis-life, an issue arises what is beyond that circle: that is both an aesthetic and a religious problem.
18. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Winfried Nöth Protosemiotics and physicosemiosis
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Protosemiotics is the study of the rudiments of semiosis, primarily in nature. The extension of the semiotic field from culture to nature is both necessary and possible in the framework of Peirce's semiotic theory. Against this extension, the critique of pansemiotism has been raised. However, Peirce's semiotics is not pansemiotic since it is based on the criterion of thirdness, which is not ubiquitous in nature. The paper examines the criteria of protosemiosis in the domain of physical and mechanical processes.
19. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jesper Hoffmeyer S/E ≥ 1: A semiotic understanding of bioengineering
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Natural (non-cultivated) systems are nmed to economize their use of energy as much as possible, and thereby to produce minimal amounts of entropy. It is suggested that this has been obtained by optimizing the evolutionary creation of semiotic controls on all processes of life. As long as biological (ultimately photosynthetic) energy sources satisfied most human needs for energy consumption, these biosemiotic controls remained largely undisturbed, with the result that production systems remained sustainable. The industrial revolution instantiated a ruphure of this balanced situation. The semiotic control function (S) would no longer match the size of the energy flow (E). In the industrial production system, energy flows have dramatically been increased, while the S component has not been taken care of. This has created a dangerously low S/E ratio, and it is suggested that this low S/E ratio constitutes a fundamental explanation of the environmental crisis. In order to restore a sustainable production system, we will now have to develop technological means for a strong increase in the S factor of the production system. It is suggested that this can be obtained through a development of considerate, gentle, and clever forms of biosemiotic technology.
20. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Augusto Ponzio, Susan Petrilli Bioethics, semiotics of life, and global communication
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Ethical problems connected with biological and medical discoveries in genetic engineering, neurobiology and pharmaceutical research, reach a unified and critical point of view in bioethics as a specific discipline. But even before reaching this stage, ethical problems already belong to two totalities: the semiobiosphere. and the current social form of global communication. Coherently with its philosophical orientation, bioethics must necessarily keep accountof this double contextualisation. The semiobiosphere is the object of study of global semiotics or the semiotics of life. Global semiotics is of particular interest to bioethics not only because of the broad context it provides for the problems treated by bioethics, but also because it provides bioethics with an adequate contextualisation both in terms of extension, of quantity, as well as of quality. From this point of view, "contextualisation" also means critical reformulation. We are now alluding to the need of viewing bioethical problems in the light of today's socio-economic context, that is, in the context of global communication-production. These contextualisations are closely related from the viewpoint of ethics. Semiotics as global semiotics or semiotics of life must accept the responsibility of denouncing incongruencies in the global system, any threats to life over the entire planet inherent in this system.