Semiotics Seen Synchronically

AutorDeely, John N., 1942-
PealkiriSemiotics seen synchronically: the view from 2010 / John Deely
IlmunudNew York [etc.] : Legas, 2010
ViideDeely, John N. 2010. Semiotics seen synchronically: the view from 2010. New York: Legas.

While still a very interesting read, this short monograph (essay?) mainly takes the road already taken by many - that of comparing Peirce, Saussure, Jakobson and Lotman; and dwelling upon such matters as nominalism, linguistic communication, arbitrariness of linguistic signs, etc. Not the riches semiotic source for a nonverbalist, to say the least. Perhaps, yet again, I should re-read this one in the coming years when these issues seem more familiar and/or more important.
But that the universe is perfused with signs no semiotician today has much - if any - room to doubt. The only question outstanding is in what exactly does this perfusion consist? Is it simply that all things are in principle knowable, but actually to know any of them we depend upon the action of signs? Is it simply that all living things in order to thrive and develop over time depend upon tha action of signs? Or is it indeed that the very universal itself, in order to make life possible in the first place, was already partially dependent upon a virtual action of signs where objectivity, too, was only virtual, while things alone were actual and interactive? (This last was an idea already implicit in the Augustinian notion of signa naturalia, or physionomic signs, in contrast to the signa data, or teleonomic signs, manifestations of life.) (Deely 2010: 41)
Here the first case brings to mind Austins contention that the cheese sitting right in front of the observers face is not a sign of the cheese; and also makes clear the modern understanding of Augustinian dual distinction of signs.
...it is extremely difficuly to bring out attention to elements of experience which are continually present. For we have nothing in experience with which to contrast them; and without contrast, they cannot excite our attention. ... The result is that roundabout devices have to be resorted to, in order to enable us to perceive what stares us in the face with a glare that, once notices, becomes almost oppressive with its insistency. (Peirce 1894: CP 1.134)
This is neat because similar statements can be gathered elsewhere and compared. That is, attention is a highly significant semiotic phenomenon.


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