Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 22, 2022


Thomas Byrne
Pages 33-49

Husserl’s Semiotics of Gestures
Logical Investigations and its Revisions

By examining the evolution of Husserl’s philosophy from 1901 to 1914, this essay reveals that he possessed a more robust philosophy of gestures than has been accounted for. This study is executed in two stages. First, I explore how Husserl analyzed gestures through the lens of his semiotics in the 1901 Logical Investigations. Although he there presents a simple account of gestures as kinds of indicative signs, he does uncover rich insights about the role that gestures play in communication. Second, I examine how Husserl augmented his theory of gestures in his 1914 Revisions to the Sixth Logical Investigation. Husserl describes some gestures as signals, which are experienced as intersubjective communication, as having a temporally diachronic structure, and as possessing an obliging tendency. Husserl also contrasts gestures to language by showing how language habitually leaves traces on us.

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