Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Peirce, Sebeok, and the Semiotic Reformation on Contemporary Communications

At the International Étienne Gilson Society, the latest issue of Studia Gilsoniana includes this article by Maria Asuncion L. Magsino.

"Language in a broad sense becomes imperative for communication to ensue. Language considered as a system of signs and signification is achieved through a process involving sign relations, e.g. semiosis. Charles S. Peirce’s Theory of Signs can provide a basic framework for the elucidation of the intelligibility of signs. Furthermore, the ability for generating sign processes in an organized manner is determined by what Thomas A. Sebeok designates as an organism’s modeling capacity. Modeling capacities range from primitive to complex, thus generating three orders of language corresponding to language as a Primary Modeling System (PMS), a Secondary Modeling System (SMS) and a Tertiary Modeling System (TMS). This Peirce-Sebeok framework for communication, which John Deely places as 'postmodern,' is premised upon what he designates as the suprasubjective nature of sign relations and their equally suprasubjective function. Thus, Sebeok’s Modeling Theory together with Peirce’s doctrine on the nature and behavior of signs can be used to direct the generation as well as the interpretation of language systems in accordance with the ultimate norm of communication, that is, to reflect truth as an icon of reality."

#language #sign

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