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Re: [xmca] Body expression as sign.

Andy, Vera
I was not using Peirce's notion of symbol.
For Peirce the red and blue clyinder represents a barbershop as a symbol.
This  is an ARBITRARY relationship, a sign relationship.

In contrast, I am using Gadamer's notion of symbol [as articulated by Joel
Weinsheimer points out that Gadamer explored how "symbol", which use to
refer to appearance, reflection,and especially image, has has transformed
its meaning and become historically  equivalent of the meaning of  "sign"

Gadamer is questioning the modern instrumental theory of language and the
sign system of reason. In moden discussions of language the concept of the
image (eikon) has been replaced by that of the sign (semeion or semainon).
Gadamer writes,
"This is not just a terminological change; it expresses an epoch-making
decision about thught concerning language... Wedged in between image and
sign, the being of language couldonly be reduced to the level of pure
sign." [Truth and Method, 413]

Andy, Gadamer is exploring  contrasting the relation of words *as*
signs,  and distinguishing the alternative assumption relating words *as*
images [symbols in Gadamer's tradition].

 Derrida, and Eco,  likewise assert that an image is not a sign.
Gadamer asks what are the consequences and implications of this antithesis
for the philosophy of language?
For Gadamer a sign is a tool. Conceived *as* a sign [tool] a word is an
instrument that the SUBJECT employs for its OWN ends.
Gadamer asks, is it sufficient to think of language *just* or *merely* as a
MEANS of communication?
In Weinsheimer's interpretation of Gadamer,

"Gadamer may overemphasize the sameness, coincidence, continuity, and unity
of the word with what it words - that is, if he stresses the ways in which
words are like images and symbols - he does so by way of corrective, for
nobody disputes the arbitrariness of the sign.... it is necessary to
reexamine the premises of the idealism on which the contrary, semiotic
thesis are based.... Asserting that there is something of the image in the
word raises questions about how free from its concrete situation the
sign-making mind actually is. To phrase this in terms of the AESTHETIC
context from which Gadamer begins, once the symbol degenerates into sign,
it can no longer be distinguished from allegory. Understood as sign, the
symbol is independent of the symbolized, and in that respect allegorical.

Andy, 'm not in a positon to have a strong opinion on these matters, but it
does have some relevance to Vygotsky's notion of *aesthetic reaction* which
Zinchenko was discussing.


On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM, Vera John-Steiner <vygotsky@unm.edu> wrote:

> Andy and Larry,
> I was just going to write a very similar note to Andy's. I believe that the
> Peircian distinctions are very widely accepted,
> Vera
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 9:23 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Body expression as sign.
>  Larry are you intending to use these terms as in Peirce's system?
> For Peirce "sign" is a global category including a wide array of
> relations between sign, interpretant and object.
> For Peirce a *symbol* has only a conventional relation to the object for
> the interpretant. It is an *icon* which relies on resemblance to the
> object, and an *index* on a material connection. But there are other
> theories of semiotics I guess.
> Andy
> http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/peirce2.htm*
> *Larry Purss wrote:
> > Joseph, Jack, Rod and Christine
> >
> > I would like to explore the topic of *body expression AS signs* [the
> topic
> > of the thread]
> >
> > The term *signs* and how it links to two other terms *gesture* and
> *symbols*
> >
> > This is not to put in question the focus of this thread to open up and
> > explore questions of *energy* *movement* *emotion* and *attunement*.  The
> > overall general term *expression* and how expression is an *aesthetic
> > REACTION* [Vygotsky's term] or an *aesthetic RESPONSE* [Gadamer's term]
> > I seems to be  central to our understanding bodily expression
> >
> > Within this general notion of expression my question is if the following
> >  statements are equivalent, different, or ambivalent?
> > * Body expression AS gesture
> > * Body expression AS sign
> > * Body expression as symbol
> >
> > My understanding of the relation of *signs* to what they signify is that
> > the relation is ESSENTIALLY arbitrary. One sign can replace another sign
> > and either sign can equally represent the signified.
> >
> > Symbols, by contrast have a relation of RESEMBLANCE to the signified.  We
> > cannot merely transfer one symbol to be replaced by another symbol
> > without this change radically changing the meaning.
> >
> > Both signs and symbols are implicated in conceptual understanding.
> >
> > Body expression as *gesture* moves into the realm of *showing* and
> > *perceiving* ACTUAL physical bodily movement. Some traditions assume this
> > level of bodily expression is pre-conceptual.  However other traditions
> > asumme bodily gesture is expressing cultural-historical conventionalized
> > movements.
> >
> > My question is: When we are exploring aesthetic REACTION or aesthetic
> > RESPONSE  to bodily *expression* [as a general term] are we
> *understanding*
> > this bodily expression at the level of gesture, symbol, or sign
> > expressions? Do the adjectives used to modify *expression* change the
> > meaning of our understanding of expression as a general term?
> >
> > Larry
> > On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM, Joseph Gilbert
> <joeg4us@roadrunner.com>wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Let us remember that spoken-word language is composed of sounds made by
> >> the body, sounds that issue forth as expressions of emotions and that
> cause
> >> hearers bodies to assume patterns of motion analogous to those in the
> >> generators of the sounds. Thereby motion and emotion are transferred
> from
> >> originators to receivers. It is that sense of emotion, that we
> experience
> >> by our spoken words, that provides us with a sense of meaning. Our own
> >> emotion is the bottom line of our sense of meaning. Things have meaning
> >> only in as much, and in how, they affect us. And our emotions are the
> way
> >> we experience effects. Our words deal in the currency of meaning - our
> >> emotions - , and they refer to things. Because of this dual nature,
> words
> -
> >> the very things that identify things - inform us of the meaning of our
> >> world simply by affecting our emotions with their sounds. Since we are
> >> normally preoccupied with the referential aspect of words, it is
> >> subconsciously that we experience their emotional effects.
> >>
> >>                Joseph Gilbert
> >> ______________________________**____________
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608461459/
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