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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 34, Issue 1, 2006

Andrew Stables
Pages 121-133

From semiosis to social policy
The less trodden path

The argument moves through three stages. In the first, the case is made for accepting ‘living is semiotic engagement’ as ‘a foundational statement for a postfoundational age’. This requires a thoroughgoing rejection of mind-body substance dualism, and a problematisation of humanism. In the second, the hazardous endeavour of applying the above perspective to social policy begins with a consideration of the sine qua non(s) underpinning such an application. These are posited as unpredictability of outcomes and blurring of the human/non-human boundary. In the third stage, the case is developed for a policy orientation that is both liberal-pragmatic (with some caveats relating to ‘liberal’) and post-humanist, and the paper concludes with some speculation concerning the precise policy outcomes of such an orientation.

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