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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 41, Issue 4, 2013

Laura Gherlone
Pages 391-403

Semiotics and interdisciplinarity: Lotman’s legacy

A particular aspect of Juri Lotman’s semiotic theory is, without a doubt, the acknowledgment of the impossibility of adopting a single scientific language for the comprehension of processes underlying cultural dynamics. In his last work, Unpredictable Mechanisms of Culture, Lotman underscores that natural sciences and humanities have to search for the unity of the incompatible through a profound meta-linguistic dialogue. This can happen only considering the reality in its antinomies, or as informed by a plurality of languages reciprocally aimed to express the real movement of objects – a hetero geneous and contradictory movement: hence, Lotman’s suggestion (which is also his ethical legacy) that the Aristotelian polyhedral unity of science be returned to. The aim of this paper is to retrace Lotman’s relationship with the ideas of science, scientificity and interdisciplinary method, stressing his last reflections concerning the urgency of returning to the Aristotelian unified structure of knowledge, or a form of knowledge in which different and never completely mutually translatable scientific languages coexist autonomously, while being in a dialogue.

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