The Foundation of Cognitive Semiotics in the Phenomenology of Signs and Meanings

Sonesson Göran
Language of the article : English
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2012.1105
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Cognitive semiotics, recently proposed in different quarters as a new paradigm for the human and the social sciences, aims to wed cognitive science with semiotics. While generalizing the notion of cognition to make it cover most of mental life (as well as, sometimes, many “subpersonal” aspects), cognitive science has hardly left any specific place to phenomena of meaning. Semiotics, on the other hand, at least in some of its manifestations, those, notably, inspired by Peirce, tends to resolve about everything into constellations of signs. The result, in both cases, is conceptual obscurity and confusion. Epistemologically, the task of cognitive semiotics consists in relating these two instances of single vision, putting mind where mind should be and signs in their proper place. The first part of the essay is concerned with the phenomenological method, and with its application to the case of perception. In particular, we will discuss whether and to what extent perception can be said to contain propositions. The second part will present the sign as an elementary concept of cognitive semiotics, derived mainly from a phenomenological understanding of the notion of appresentation, but also making use of some ideas derived from Piaget. Instead of identifying all vehicles of meaning with signs, the notion of sign is here narrowed down to very particular cases of meaning, distinct from other kinds of meaning, given more directly in perception. Finally, in the third part, we will take up neo-Gricean analysis of meaning, suggesting that, in the most common cases, the notion of sign will take care of this kind of meaning, but in same particular cases, and in some contexts, a Gricean type of meaning is still needed.

Pour citer cet article :

Sonesson Göran (2012/2). The Foundation of Cognitive Semiotics in the Phenomenology of Signs and Meanings. In Morgagni Simone (Eds), Semiotics and Thought, Intellectica, 58, (pp.207-240), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2012.1105.