The X figure is ubiquitous in contemporary culture, but attempts to explain our fixation with X are rare. This book argues that the origins and meanings of X go far beyond alphabets and archetypes to remembered feelings of body movements - movements best typified in the performance of “spread-eagle” as a posture or gesture. These body memories are then projected onto other patterns and dynamics to help us make sense of the world. The argument is accomplished using a blend of insights from linguistic anthropology, cognitive linguistics, rhetoric culture and process semiotics to bring together revealing clues from languages, cultures and thinkers around the world. Chief among the uses and experiences of X are its tendencies to involve us in surprising reversals and blends. In ancient times the X-pattern was discussed as “chiasmus”, a figure which, according to Maurice Merleau-Ponty, informs the most basic elements of our bodily experience, calling into question polarized dichotomies such as subject versus object. Pushed to extremes, presumed opposites like these tend to reverse suddenly. Likewise, blended experiences of our bodily extremities - arms and legs, toes and fingers, hands and feet - provide a plausible source of grounding for unique human abilities like analogy and double-scope conceptual integration. The book illustrates these dynamics by drawing attention to uses of X in history, prehistory and daily life, from sports and advertising to world mythology and languages around the world. The Semiotics of X is the first step towards developing a larger argument on the important but neglected role that chiasmus plays in cognition. It aims to inspire continued exploration on the figure, with the full expectation that chiasmus will become for the 21st century what metaphor became for the 20th century: a revolution in thinking about the way we think.
Semiotics - the study of the general principles of signs and sign systems – is crucial to an understanding of human nature, both social and psychological. The sign systems that we use for interaction with others determine our potential for thought and social action, and language is central among them. It is the implicit claim of this two-volume work that linguistics has something very specific to give to semiotics, and many would further claim that relational network models of language in particular, i.e. systematic and stratificational linguistics, have a fundamental contribution to make.
Paleo-gesture and the Vitruvian man -- Spread-eagle in sports and torture -- Spread-eagle brand marks -- Through the hourglass -- Semiotic squares and double-binds -- Foot fingers and arm thighs -- XXX: All alone in the solipsistic crowd -- XOXOXO: Figure meets ground
Current interest in semiotics is undoubtedly related to our increasing awareness that our manners of thinking and acting in our world are deeply indebted to a variety of signs and sign systems (language included) that surround us.
Can semiotics and computers be compatible? Can computation advance semiotics by enhancing the scientific basis of the theory of signs? Coupling semiotics, a philosophical and phenomenological tradition concerned with theories of signs, with computation, a formal discipline, may seem controversial and paradoxical. Computational Semiotics tackles these controversies head-on and attempts to bridge this gap. Showing how semiotics can build the same type of conceptual, formal, and computational models as other scientific projects, this book opens up a rich domain of inquiry toward the formal understanding of semiotic artifacts and processes. Examining how pairing semiotics with computation can bring more methodological rigor and logical consistency to the epistemic quest for the forms and functions of meaning, without compromising the important interpretive dynamics of semiotics, this book offers a new cutting-edge, model-driven theory to the field.
It has often been claimed that the aim of semiotics is to establish a general theory of systems of signification. However, as Jean-Claude Coquet notes in a recent collection of essays, what distinguishes one school of semiotics from another is the initial definition given of sign. If, for certain semioticians, the sign is first of all an observable phenomenon, for the Paris School it is first of all a construct and this point of departure has crucial theoretical and practical consequences. The essays appearing in these two volumes are representative of recent work carried out by members of this semiotic school. Essays in Volume I study problems more closely related to theoretical issues, while Volume II focuses more specifically on various fields of application.
Sweet describes the pragmatic foundations of standard logic and applies these foundations to the task of developing a theory of intended models as an extension of standard model theory in which the relevant "intending" is represented pragmatically. Methods of formal logic are used to investigate the structure of the relation between language and the world. The truism which holds that this relation includes the speaker as well as the object spoken about is formally explicated and applied to the problem of illuminating one of the deepest phenomena in standard model theory: the existence of non-isomorphic models of complete theories. To this end it is shown that standard logic admits pragmatic foundations upon which a theory of intended models can be built as an extension of standard model theory. The relevant "intending" is represented by the very forms of verbal behavior which determine the grammatical and logical structure of the sentences whose referential meaning is in question. The uniqueness properties of the class of intended models may then be described. The first section of the book states the immediate goal of standard pragmatics as that of recovering the algebraic structure first-order logic by means of a purely pragmatic construction. The second section, the major portion of the work, then provides the foundation for a semiotic theory of intended models and referential meaning. The theory is then applied to the problem of referential indeterminancy, which has been associated with the phenomenon of scientific revolutions. The theory is also applied to the problem of the apparent synonymy of observationally equivalent theories. Sweet concludes that such theories are not referentially synonymous in any natural sense which is analogous to the paradigm sense in which theories of alternative scales of measurement are referentially synonymous. A novel feature of this book is the formal explication of the idea that the factors, pragmatical in nature, which distinguish the actual meaning of a sentence from among its possible meanings, whose range is defined by the manner in which the sentence is parsed, determine that very parsing. Applicability to natural language of the model-theoretic semantics thereby obtained is made possible by another feature of the book: the development of a theory of locally standard grammar which provides the foundation for representing the structure of natural language as that of standard first-order logic, in a local, as distinguished from a global, sense. This book is intended for scholars in logic, semiotics, and the philosophies of language and of science. Those concerned specifically with such philosophers as Peirce, Martin, and Davidson will also find the study valuable.
This book explains and illustrates a variety of semiotic issues in the study of biblical law. Commencing with a review of relevant literature in linguistics, philosophy, semiotics and psychology, it examines biblical law in terms of its users, its medium and its message. It criticizes our use of the notion of 'literal meaning', at the level of both words and sentences, preferring to see meaning constructed by the narrative images that the language evokes. These images may come from either social experience or cultural narratives. Speech performance is important, both in the negotiation of the law and the narratives of its communication. Non-linguistic semiotic phenomena, utilizing other senses and involving such notions as space and time, also need to be taken into account. For the early biblical period, at least, conceptions of law based upon modern models need to be replaced by the notion of 'wisdom-laws'. Amongst the issues addressed in the course of the argument are the structure of the Decalogue, the role in the law of (Greenberg's) 'postulates', 'covenant renewal' and 'talionic punishment'.
This is the first book of its kind that explains the basic concepts, theoretical foundations and systematic research of linguistic semiotics, so as to establish a well-founded framework for linguistic semiotics as an independent discipline. While examining the major claims of different schools of semiotics, it also addresses 12 central issues concerning linguistic semiotics, and outlines semiotic studies in China focusing on the multiple research areas and accomplishments. In addition to illustrations and tables, the book offers an “Index of References in Linguistic Semiotics” consisting of 1,063 entries, including monographs, journal papers, conference proceedings, etc. in Chinese, English and Russian.
At the end of his life, Pierre Schaeffer commented that his musical and sound experiments had attempted to go beyond 'do-re-mi'. This had a direct bearing on Einstürzende Neubauten's musical philosophy and work, with the musicians always striving to extend the boundaries of music in sound, instrumentation and purpose. The group are one of the few examples of 'rock-based' artists who have been able to sustain a breadth and depth of work in a variety of media over a number of years while remaining experimental and open to development. Jennifer Shryane provides a much-needed analysis of the group's important place in popular/experimental music history. She illustrates their innovations with found- and self-constructed instrumentation, their Artaudian performance strategies and textual concerns, as well as their methods of independence. Einstürzende Neubauten have also made a consistent and unique contribution to the development of the independent German Language Contemporary Music scene, which although often acknowledged as influential, is still rarely examined.
May you sell your spare kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? Should we allow betting markets on terrorist attacks and natural disasters? May spouses pay each other to do the dishes, watch the kids, or have sex? Should we allow the rich to genetically engineer gifted, beautiful children? May you ever sell your vote? Most people—and many philosophers—shudder at these questions. To put some goods and services for sale offends human dignity. If everything is commodified, then nothing is sacred. The market corrodes our character. In this expanded second edition of Markets without Limits, Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski say it is now past time to give markets a fair hearing. The market does not, the authors claim, introduce wrongness where there was not any previously. Thus, the question of what rightfully may be bought and sold has a simple answer: if you may do it for free, you may do it for money. Contrary to the conservative consensus, Brennan and Jaworski claim there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold, but only restrictions on how we buy and sell. Key Updates and Revisions to the Second Edition: Includes revised introductory chapters to further clarify what’s at stake in the commodification debate. Provides easier-to-follow chapters on semiotic objections, stronger analyses of these objections, and more evidence of these objections’ widespread pervasiveness. Offers cogent responses to several recent papers that have raised counterexamples to the authors’ thesis. Includes new empirical evidence on the ways markets sometimes crowd in virtue and altruism. Analyzes the topics of blackmail and "associative" objections to markets. Includes new material on issues surrounding exploitation and coercion, selling citizenship, residency rights, and arguments about "dignity" as objections to markets.