RE: [xmca] action based research

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sat Dec 02 2006 - 00:03:10 PST

Sasha, arbitrariness is not a part of Peircean Semiotics. The *arbitrary*
sign belongs not to Semiotics, but to Semiology, that line of thinking from
Saussure through Levi-Strauss up to Derrida, i.e., structuralism. The point
is that for Peirce every sign is a material thing and not an "ideal" at
all. A sign is something which mediates between an object and an
"interpretant", i.e., a thing which is affected by the other thing. In the
first place Peirce has in mind perfectly ordinary material interactions.
Symbols arrive on the scene only much later. Peirce simply takes
communication as the primary category of existence rather than Being. He
does not have things which later on may signal each other, but rather
signals which may thereby constitute objects. An excellent approach to
understanding activity, IMO.


At 04:55 AM 2/12/2006 +0300, you wrote:
>... If you omit the term "semiotic" and mention only "artifact mediation"
>I should
>agree without any objections.
>But in this combination I can hardly agree with you. Point is that just
>Pavlov with his fundamental concepts of unconditioned and conditioned
>reflexes, as well as the idea of speech as the Second Signal System
>("Second" because the "First" one - the system of natural reflexes - is also
>a "Signal System") based on ideology of arbitrary signs (signals), on
>ideology of semiosis. (Look it in detail in Nikolai Bernstein). ...

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