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[Xmca-l] SENSE and PURPORT



Greg,

The exploration of the term *sens* [in French] that includes BOTH meaning
and tendency as a helpful way to understand *sense* was being elaborated
recently.
Here is the way Umberto Eco relates to the English term *sense* as he
differentiates *sense* from *purport*.
This discussion is on page 53 of his book "Kant and the "Platypus"

Eco opens this reflection by exploring Hjelmslev's Danish term [menings]
which he allowed to be translated into English with the term *purport*.

Here is Eco's rejoinder to the translation of [mens] AS *purport*

Different expressions for Hjelmselv have a factor in COMMON, namely the
*purport* [the thought itself] - even though this *purport* exists as an
amorphous mass and RECEIVES a particular form in and THROUGH language.
Eco asks the question "What does it mean to say there IS purport BEFORE any
SENSATE articulation effected by human cognition?"

Eco's answer to this question is to translate Hjelmslev's [mens] not as
*purport* but rather as *sense*.
His reason is that *sense* [French sens] can suggest BOTH meaning (but
there is no meaning before a given language has segmented and organized the
CONTINUUM)

AND

DIRECTION OR TENDENCY.

Eco then uses a metaphor to try to help us grasp his meaning of the term
*sense*
"AS IF to say that in the magma of the continuum there are lines of
RESISTANCE and POSSIBILITIES of flow, AS in the grain of wood or marble,
which makes it easier to cut in one DIRECTION RATHER THAN ANOTHER"

Martin's *plump materialism* may be understood within this metaphor of
*sense* [rather than *purport*] as both meaning and the resistance [and
limits] of *tendency* [direction].
Also seems to be relevant to *labeling* theory as you explore in your
article recently posted.

Not sure if I have offered enough context but also wanted to remain brief.

Larry