Semiotics 1986

Myrdene Anderson
Pages 321-327

On a Motivated Semiotic

The notion of a motivated semiotic might capture some of the intent behind "empirical semiotics", itself a rubric striking many as an oxymoron. In "motivated semiotics", practitioners would foreground the provisionality in all phases of a project, from the conditions of interdisciplinarity, the acknowledgment of open, nondeterminate systems, their emergent constraints of enablement and limitation, the role of initial and boundary conditions, on to the transdisciplinary problematics of interpretation and the selection of tropes which act as digestive enzymes for the wider dissemination of ideas. Without such provisionality, nothing safeguards any motivated program (and, let's face it, all agendas are motivated), and consequently, even in semiotics, all research risks slipping unawares down the time-greased chute of vulgar positivism.

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