“Chapel Perilous, that vortex where cosmological speculations, coincidences, and paranoia seem to multiply and then collapse, compelling belief or lunacy, wisdom or agnosticism.” ~Robert Anton Wilson


    Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Share
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Lucid Memes on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:23 pm

    I've always found this subject interesting, but never really delved into this subject as much as I would like too. Some people here seem to be familiar with it...curious as to anyone's thoughts about this if they have any or care to share.

    Here's some basic info

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood.

    One of the attempts to formalize the field was most notably led by the Vienna Circle and presented in their International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, in which the authors agreed on breaking out the field, which they called "semiotic", into three branches:

    * Semantics: Relation between signs and the things they refer to, their denotata.
    * Syntactics: Relation of signs to each other in formal structures.
    * Pragmatics: Relation of signs to their impacts on those who use them. (Also known as General Semantics)

    These branches are clearly inspired by Charles W. Morris, especially his Writings on the general theory of signs (The Hague, The Netherlands, Mouton, 1971, orig. 1938).

    Semiotics is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions, for example Umberto Eco proposes that every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication. However, some semioticians focus on the logical dimensions of the science. They examine areas belonging also to the natural sciences - such as how organisms make predictions about, and adapt to, their semiotic niche in the world (see semiosis). In general, semiotic theories take signs or sign systems as their object of study: the communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics or zoosemiosis.

    Syntactics is the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols.[1] More precisely, syntactics deals with the "rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences."[2]. Charles Morris adds that semantics deals with the relation of signs to their designata and the objects which they may or do denote; and, pragmatics deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis, that is, with all the psychological, biological, and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    And how do you think this relates to a conspiratorial world view?


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:09 pm

    It's a fascinating subject area. I read Eco's "A Theory of Semiotics" years and years ago and have now recently bought a copy, plus his "Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language". I hope to get onto those books soon. I think that the vanguard of this area is now in the hybrid discipline of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

    From tha above link a synopsis:

    Summary

    Biosemiotics (bios=life & semion=sign) is an interdisciplinary science that studies communication and signification in living systems. Communication is the essential characteristic of life. An organism is a message to future generations that specifies how to survive and reproduce. Any autocatalytic system transfers information (i.e. initial conditions) to its progeny so that daughter systems will eventually reach the same state as their parent. Self-reproducing systems have a semantic closure (Pattee 1995) because they define themselves in their progeny. A sign (defined in a broadest sense) is an object that is a part of some self-reproducing system. A sign is always useful for the system and its value can be determined by its contribution to the reproductive value of the entire system. The major trend in the evolution of signs is the increase of their complexity via development of new hierarchical levels, i.e., metasystem transitions (Turchin 1977).


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


    Ouroboros

    The Ouroboros is a mythological serpent that chews its own tail. According to another interpretation, the Ouroboros is building itself from its mouth. I selected the Ouroboros as a symbol for biosemiotics because it represents self-reference or, using the term of Pattee (1995), semantic closure which I believe is the essential feature of any organism and any sign. Biosemiotics (bios = life and semion = sign) is an interdisciplinary science that studies communication and signification in living systems (see introductory texts on semiotics: 'Communication' and 'Semiotics for Beginners'). Moreover, it considers communication as the essence of life. But what is communication and what are signs? We are used to these terms because we use signs in our everyday life. But is it possible to define a sign without referencing to humans? I am going to show that this is possible using the conception of semantic closure (Pattee 1995).

    And the idea of an organism's [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is key to the "semiotic web" all creatures find themselves in, releasing, receiving and interpreting signs and signals on an innate biological and unconscious level, and via the conscious mind as well.

    Each creature, in a sense, creates it's own "reality bubble" that is relative to the surrounding world, the biosphere, and the creatures within it, but is contained within the "semiotic web", a biological interface of immense complexity. All kinds of signs and signals are given off on a bio-chemical level, unconscious communication.

    It is very interesting to note the this rather well hidden, but cutting edge philosophy-cum-science discipline has the Ouroboros as it's symbol, of the notion of semantic closure, and are very closely tied with the transhumanist movement. Cybersemiotics is a slight variant discipline tightly, tightly aligned with biosemiotcs.
    I think of these guys as potentially the true ideological descendants of the alchemists of old. I wrote a short blog post on this:

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    From that post:

    Addendum: For clarificiation of my presently tenuous linking of Biosemiotics/Cybersemiotics and Alchemy both have very similar areas of study, purpose, and obscure jargon meant only for the 'initiate' (Though of course this may be applied to all scientific, techonological and technical fields), the employment and study of sign and symbol systems, and (crucially) the study and investigation of man & nature.
    This comparison is mostly superficial and can be applied to many scientific disciplines, yet I personally see many concrete parallels. The ancient art of transformation and the modern multi-pronged pragmatic beast that seems to be it's descendent both possess the apparent purpose (even if you argue that alchemy was a method of allegorical spiritual transmutation) of the quest for the elixir of life, biosemiotics/cybersemiotics being also involved in the transhumanist arena. Many other far more prominent candidates exist for the title of modern day alchemists, even the entire field of science and technology itself, but I see something very telling in the specifics of Biosemiotics and Cybersemiotics. Especially as it is not such a brand new, emergent entity and is still very much unknown.
    Alchemy in hiding in the recesses of academia?

    But to get back on to you question as the subject of semiotics relates to a conspiratorial worldview is that the various organisms within that particular semiotic web have an agreed upon system of reference points, as in Peirce's most basic system (and yes, I had to look this up to be sure):

    A sign, an object, and an interpretant.

    The "conspiracy theory" research community, like any other biosphere, has it's own little semiotic web that it needs to break out of, and evolve. At least I think so. For full semantic closure evolution of the system is not merely implicit.
    Conspiratorialists, as a group, do veer toward groupthink dictated by that vehicle of semiosis, the World Wide Web. It's become too homegeneous despite all the bickering and infighting. Original thought and interpretation of data received, of signs and signals, is at a premium.

    The main problem for me with semiotics, especially Peirce's system in it's later stages, is that it gets amazingly complex. I don't understand it at all. If I gave it a lot of time, maybe. Have a look at this page from the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. It gets ridiculously ornate and that is almost certainly not the final system. There is a huge amount of his notebooks that haven't even been read as yet.

    And biosemiotics is another complex study area. I know enough to know that this subject area is huge, and could have as much impact as Jung's Collective Unconscious if it's complexity and jargon can be broken down for the layman. Like me. There could be a semiotica explosion as in the synchromystic blogosphere playing with the theories of Jung, if it could be simplified. The two areas could fully synchronise. bounce bounce
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:13 am

    When I read what you posted about biosemiotics, it think memetics

    What is the purpose for closing a system? Is that in relation to self replication? If so, that too could be considered memetics, because the etymological root of memetics is mimema for "something imitated"...like a mime. So the emulation could be considered replication. Just noticing similarities.

    I'm interesting in knowing more about the cuttting edge philsophy-cum-science. I've heard of Kabbalists trying to make Golems in a similar light; attempting to masturbate to sigils in an attempt to give life to the perfect slave.

    I was going to ask you how cybersemiotics translates into transhumanism? But I now see the connection. There are many occult sciences from ancient and medieval times that directly translate into various fields of modern science. And every now and then, modern scientists harken back to a mystical past for inspiration and it is evident in their work.

    But I personally don't think there's anything supernatural about it now, nor was their anything supernatural about it then. But only that in the past, they were mystified by the beginnings of a science that was still in its infancy. When a discipline is newly undertook, and not all the solid answers are available yet...so naturally, mystical imagination creeps in to fill in the blanks; thus early sciences appear magical.

    The art of memetics has existed since the dawn of speech, art, and writing...even though the name memetics is new, the concept of controlling people through creative inspiration is not new at all. I'm in agreement with Alan Moore when he suggests that the first magicians were the first artists and writers. Semiotics, as I've come to understand, attempts to explain how people perceive reality...and magicians/memeticists on the other hand, control people by altering people's perceptions of reality.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:04 am

    For me the Clarke axiom holds true for me:

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

    And in reverse too:

    Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology

    It's all the same thing for me. I don't necessarily think of it as "magickal" or "mystical" in the hokey sense, but more along the lines of what you expressed.

    The point is that one of the main features of classical alchemy is that they undertook the study and investigation of man and nature. This is just about all that biosemiotics does. And then they interface seamlessly with the field of cybersemiotics who use the data pertaining to the nature of biological organisms, their communications, their social structures, genetics, neurology, etc, to attempt to engineer artificial life. Not just A.I., but A.L.

    "Alife", as they call it. The attempt to build a biological brain and containing organism.

    I went into all this some time ago, I will have to do it again and compile data. They're all in bed together for the push to a golem, as you put it.

    For just an idea of the disciplines these guys cover and the direction they're going in have a look at the title page from the 1991 foundational textbook on biosemiotics, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]:

    Contents

    Preface xi
    Concerning Gaia—Semiosic Production of/in/by/for Our Planet 1
    Myrdene Anderson

    Editing the Text of a Disease: Semiotic and Ethical Aspects of Therapeutic 15

    Genetic Engineering
    Eugen Baer

    The Brain's Models and Communication 27
    Vilmos Csanyi

    Semiotics and Biosemiotics: Are Sign-Science and Life-Science Coextensive? 45 John Deely

    Modeling Life: A Note on the Semiotics of Emergence and Computation in 77

    Artificial and Natural Living Systems
    Claus Emmeche

    Some Semiotic Aspects of the Psycho-Physical Relation: 101
    The Endo-Exosemiotic Boundary
    Jesper Hoffmeyer

    Organization of Biosystems: A Semiotic Approach 125
    A.U. Igamberdiev

    Nature Semiotics: The Icons of Nature 145
    Y.L. Kergosien

    Ecogenesis and Echogenesis: Some Problems for Biosemiotics 171
    Walter A. Koch

    Phytosemiotics Revisited 213
    Martin Krampen

    Evolution and Semiotics 221

    Kalevi Kull

    On the Specificity of Musculoskeletal Symptoms: A Biosemiotic Excursion 235
    Paivi Leino, Tuula Heiskanen, and Jeddi Hasan

    As Signs Grow, So Life Goes 251
    Floyd Merrell

    The Neglect of Subjective Medical Data and the Cultural Construction of Pain Disease—A Cross-Cultural Study 283
    Thomas Ots

    On Abductions from the X-Ray Screen: The Semiotic Potential of Radiology Illustrated by Two False Suspicions 301
    Klaus Schonauer and Richard Kretzschmar

    Species, Signs, and Intentionality 317
    Joachim Schulz

    `Tell Me, Where is Fancy Bred?': The Biosemiotic Self 333
    Thomas A. Sebeok

    Biosemiotics: A Functional-Evolutionary Approach to the Analysis of the Sense of Information 345
    Alexei A. Sharov

    Half of the Living World Was Unable to Communicate for about One Billion Years 375
    Sorin Sonea

    The Social Construction of Alzheimer's Disease 333
    Philip B. Stafford


    Biosemiotics, Ethnographically Speaking 407
    Kathryn Vance Staiano

    Categorical Perception as a General Prerequisite to the Formation of Signs? On the Biological Range of a Deep Semiotic Problem in Hjelmslev's as Well as Peirce's Semiotics 427
    Frederik Stjernfelt

    Varieties of Semiosis 455
    Thure von Uexkull

    On the Emergence of Chemical Languages 471
    F. Eugene Yates
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:42 pm

    I've started re-reading (after many years) Umberto Eco's "A Theory of Semiotics", and I've included this rather tantalizing excerpt from the introduction to Eco's semiotic theory (Note the passage is labelled number thirteen basically if you omit the zero. I'm trying to play the synchromystic with dry academic semiotics already. LOL):

    0.1.3. A theory of the lie

    This project for semiotics, to study the whole of culture, and thus to view an immense range of objects and events as signs, may give the impression of an arrogant 'imperialism' on the part of semioticians. When a discipline defines 'everything' as its proper object, and therefore declares itself as concerned with the entire universe (and nothing else) it's playing a risky game. The common objection to the 'imperialist' semiotician is: well, if you define a peanut as a sign, obviously semiotics is then concerned with peanut butter as well — but isn't this procedure a little unfair? What I shall try to demonstrate in this book, basing myself on a highly reliable philo­sophical and semiotical tradition, is that — semiotically speaking — there is not a substantial difference between peanuts and peanut butter, on the one hand, and the words /peanuts/ and /peanut butter/ on the other. Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign. A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else. This something else does not necessarily have to exist or to actually be somewhere at the moment in which a sign stands in for it. Thus semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used 'to tell' at all. I think that the definition of a 'theory of the lie' should be taken as a pretty comprehensive program for a general semiotics.

    I'm hoping that Eco will expand on this later in the book. I'm just getting into the main part of the text now.
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:46 am

    Some semiotics links:


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Various links to download at the bottom of the page


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    splinters
    Yellow Belt
    Yellow Belt

    Number of posts : 69
    Registration date : 2009-04-15

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by splinters on Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:25 pm

    thanks for these links.

    I would offer my opinion now upfront, but after reading Jaques elul's works recently I have realized many of us are compelled to answer questions or express opinions prematurely. I will share my findings with all when I catch up to you all in this area of semantics semiotics etc
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:51 am

    Winston_Smith wrote:I've started re-reading (after many years) Umberto Eco's "A Theory of Semiotics", and I've included this rather tantalizing excerpt from the introduction to Eco's semiotic theory (Note the passage is labelled number thirteen basically if you omit the zero. I'm trying to play the synchromystic with dry academic semiotics already. LOL):

    0.1.3. A theory of the lie

    This project for semiotics, to study the whole of culture, and thus to view an immense range of objects and events as signs, may give the impression of an arrogant 'imperialism' on the part of semioticians. When a discipline defines 'everything' as its proper object, and therefore declares itself as concerned with the entire universe (and nothing else) it's playing a risky game. The common objection to the 'imperialist' semiotician is: well, if you define a peanut as a sign, obviously semiotics is then concerned with peanut butter as well — but isn't this procedure a little unfair? What I shall try to demonstrate in this book, basing myself on a highly reliable philo­sophical and semiotical tradition, is that — semiotically speaking — there is not a substantial difference between peanuts and peanut butter, on the one hand, and the words /peanuts/ and /peanut butter/ on the other. Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign. A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else. This something else does not necessarily have to exist or to actually be somewhere at the moment in which a sign stands in for it. Thus semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used 'to tell' at all. I think that the definition of a 'theory of the lie' should be taken as a pretty comprehensive program for a general semiotics.

    I'm hoping that Eco will expand on this later in the book. I'm just getting into the main part of the text now.

    Yeah, wow! thank for you sharing this

    Umberto seems like a rather interesting bloke

    I recently bought his novel "Foucault's Pendulum" ...he explains many of his semiotic concept through his fictional work in effort of giving variety and further understanding into these concepts. I can't wait to crack it open


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:14 am

    Lucid Memes wrote:Yeah, wow! thank for you sharing this

    Umberto seems like a rather interesting bloke

    I recently bought his novel "Foucault's Pendulum" ...he explains many of his semiotic concept through his fictional work in effort of giving variety and further understanding into these concepts. I can't wait to crack it open

    Eco is very interesting indeed. I finished his "A Theory of Semiotics" a while ago, and read "Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language" too so that it would prepare me for reading "The Name of the Rose" the book that he was prompted to write to facilitate greater understanding of his semiotics for the layman.
    I plan on getting onto that book soon, but mucho research is in my way right now with the Céli Dé. But Eco's book is directly related to the subject matter so it will all connect in time.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:59 pm

    Hey check out this book. Look at the table of contents...seems pretty thorough

    The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages by Paul Lunde

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    The art of the code-code making and code breaking--remains shrouded in mystery and seems locked away in the murky realms of military intelligence, spies, and secret services. Yet codes affect virtually every area of our lives, providing security, protecting identity, and enabling us to connect via the Internet across global boundaries. This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia surveys the history and development of code making and code breaking in all areas of culture and society-from hieroglyphs and runes to DNA, the Zodiac Killer, The Da Vinci Code, graffiti, and beyond. Beginning with the first codes, including those found in the natural world and among ancient peoples, the book casts a wide net, exploring secret societies, codes of war, codes of the underworld, commerce, human behavior, and civilization itself. Editor Paul Lunde and an extraordinary group of specialists have compiled the most comprehensive and complete collection of codes available. Visually stunning and packed with fascinating details, The Book of Codes tells the complete story of codes at a time when they have become fundamentally important to our lives.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:03 pm

    Looks an interesting book. Smile
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Extant on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:13 pm

    Some neat little graphics on Charles Sanders Peirce semiotics system:

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on his system: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Sponsored content

    Re: Semiotics: General Theory of Signs and Symbolism

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:43 am