Cognitive Semiotics: Göran Sonesson (LU): The history and epistemology of the semiotic tradition
Göran will present the introduction to his forthcoming book, "Pictorial Extensions of Mind. The Cognitive Semiotics of the Picture Sign". A chapter of the book will be sent to everyone on the CogSem list in advance, and we will have an open discussion on this last seminar for the semester, before wishing each other a happy summer.
In this chapter, we will start out from a history of semiotics, not as the brainchild of Peirce and/or Saussure, but as a tradition of inquiry which runs through all human thinking, at least from Greek antiquity to the present, which is concerned to understand the nature of meaning, how it is at all possible, and how it has originated. In the second part of the chapter, we will shift to an epistemological perspective, construing semiotics as a particular point of view, geared to meaning-making, which can be taken on everything which is human or, more generally, endowed with life. In so doing, we will demonstrate that the hermeneutical approach, from Vico to Prieto, when its limitations are taken into account, will naturally lead on to cognitive semiotics, understood as the dialectics of phenomenology and experiment. Once this epistemology of the cognitive-semiotic perspective has been spelled out, we can introduce depiction as a particular kind of operation of the mind.