Re: "infra-semiotic" Re: [xmca] On Roth's "On Mediation"

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Thu Oct 25 2007 - 13:51:44 PDT

  thanks for getting that full quote to me,. Guinard's study on Peirce, from which I quoted, was part of an effort to ontologically ground astral influences (yes, things like the effect of Mercury going retrograde or the beneficence of a Jupiter-Sun trine). So when you mention that "Peirce here is recognizing the dialectical possibility of "a very strange sort of information" being conveyed "in themselves" by vehicles that he would not recognize as signs. " I had to smile (still am) since that is precisely the kind of "information" that Carl Jung was indicating when talking about "sychronicities" - (I can hear the clanking of hegemonic armor on the horizons, rattlings of paradigmatic chains). V: "There are no coincidences".
  Odd that we could come around to this dimension from another angle the echoes (coincientally?) the collective cs impact on the Mojave high pressure system.
  Do such astral influences exist? In "Time's Empires", a book about the calendrical systems of early agricultural civilizations, Anthony Aveni (archaeastronomer) described an experiment in which clams were transported from the Atlantic coast of the US to some university in the midwest, about 1500 miles to the west. In their natural habitat these clams would open their shells to feed during high tide. They were moved and kept in a sealed aquarium box and electrodes were connected to them to record their opening and closing. When first in the midwest lab they continued to open and close their shells at the same hour as the corresponding high tide in their native habitat. But over the course of two weeks the timing of the opening and closing changed and then again stabilized -- stabilized to the time that the moon was either overhead or on the other side of the planet, the two lunar positions corresponding to the tides.
  A clam feeling the lunar gravity?? The only physics capable of explaining this is string theory. If this effect can be shown to exist for an animal that consists of different kinds of muscles tissues, Imagine what that effect might be on such tissues as make up human glandular and nervous systems.
  The systems for interpreting these dimensions were systematically eradicated in the development of modern western science and banished from the domain of "legitimate" "scientific" investigation. Nevertheless, one wonders why the "Wall Street Journal" would considered the change in Pluto's official astonomical status (from planet to planetoid) to be front page news that contained the sub-heading: Astrologer's assure that terminological modification not important. (I can't remember the exact lines, that's a paraphrase). For hundreds more examples, the doubtful should really check out the study "Cosmos and Psyche" by renowned intellectual historian, Richard Tarnas, whose "Adventures of the Western Mind" (??) is used in Western Civ courses throughout the USA.
  One also thinks of the people on an island east of Sumatra who sensed a change in the ocean and consequently all went up to the top of a hill thereby saving themselves as the 2005 tsunami engulfed their village. What "sign" could be said to have alerted them? If it's not a sign, then what is it?

  p.s. I've seen more direct evidence for astral influences on psyche and history than I have for genetic ones!!! from the history of the Twin Towers to that of Melville's Moby Dick to the correlation of hard aspects of Mars with industrial accidents and on and on . . . I'm also familiar with the statistical studies attempting to debunk such influences and their interpretation, yet the scientific integrity of the studies demonstrating "The Mars Effect" withstood 25 years of attacks from broad segments of the scientific community.
Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu> wrote:
  Thanks, Paul,
Here is 2.231 in English

231. The Sign can only represent the Object and tell about it. It cannot
furnish acquaintance with or recognition of that Object; for that is what
is meant in this volume by the Object of a Sign; namely, that with which
it presupposes an acquaintance in order to convey some further information
concerning it. No doubt there will be readers who will say they cannot
comprehend this. They think a Sign need not relate to anything otherwise
known, and can make neither head nor tail of the statement that every Sign
must relate to such an Object. But if there be anything that conveys
information and yet has absolutely no relation nor reference to anything
with which the person to whom it conveys the information has, when he
comprehends that information, the slightest acquaintance, direct or
indirect--and a very strange sort of information that would be--the
vehicle of that sort of information is not, in this volume, called a Sign.

I wasn't denying the possibility of infra-semiotic information. I was
taking issue with the idea of "conveying information in themselves" as
criterial for semiotic / infra-semiotic. Peirce here is recognizing the
dialectical possibility of "a very strange sort of information" being
conveyed "in themselves" by vehicles that he would not recognize as signs.
So this is not actually in disagreement with the point that I was making.

One source of confusion that runs throughout Peirce is that sometimes
Peirce uses "sign" for the triadic relation, and sometimes (as here) for
the mediating element within that relation.

Another point for clarification has to do with how we understand what we
mean by "information." In a book review that's in the cue for MCA, I
distinguish between "info*mation" (the sort of thing that can be contained
and cnveyed in messages) and "in-formation" (by which something
semiosically participates in the formation of something else--possibly an
habituated operation in the CHAT sense). This was the earlier sense of the
word, which seems all but lost in the present "Information Age," at least
in English.

While I would acknowledge the possibility of infra-semiotic "info*mation,"
I wouldn't use that possibility to characterize operations as such.

On Thu, 25 Oct 2007, Paul Dillon wrote:

> Tony,
> I think Jay's notion of infra-semiotic information finds support in Peirce, an idea developed by Patrice Guinard in his study on Peirce who wrote (quoting from Guinard's spanish text):
> "Si existe una cosa que comunica una información sin tener absolutamente ninguna relación con nada de lo que conoce directamente o indirectamente la persona que comprende esta información cuando le es comunicada, (...) el vehículo de esta suerte de información no es denominada en este volumen, un signo." [Peirce, C. P. 2.231 ; G. D. p.124]
> In the underlined Peirce clearly points to information not communicated semiotically as he understood semiotics.
> Paul
> Tony Whitson wrote:
> Jay,
> I would just want to briefly take issue with the idea of "semiotic" that
> is presupposed in your gloss on "infra-semiotic."
>> From a Peircean perspective, I would argue that meaning is not something
> that signs convey. Meaning is what signs potentiate. Sign is triadic
> relation, potentiating interpretants in which the "object" of
> interpretation is interpreted through the mediation of representamena
> (including intermediate/intermediating interpretants). Meaning is the
> signification-thru-mediated-activity* potentiated by the triadic sign
> relation, rather than a positive (or structurally relative, as in
> Saussure) semantic content that may be contained and conveyed in or by
> "signs" as containers or conveyors of "meaning."
> In this view, operations qualify as fully semiotic (vs. infra-semiotic)
> sign-elements insofar as they participate in such triadically mediative
> activity.* The difference that you point to in terms of "meaningfulness"
> might be considered in terms of differences in how Thirdness is realized,
> as between actions and operations, but this would not be a differences of
> semiosis vs. non- (or infra-) semiosis.
> _______
> *"activity" here is not meant in the sense of differentiation from actions
> & operations.
> On Thu, 25 Oct 2007, Jay Lemke wrote:
>> I have always thought of
>> operations as "normally infra-semiotic" , i.e. under most conditions they do
>> not have or convey meaning in themselves. (Anything can be made meaningful by
>> some special framing, of course).
>> Jay Lemke
>> Professor
>> University of Michigan
>> School of Education
>> 610 East University
>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>> Tel. 734-763-9276
>> Email.
>> Website.
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
> Tony Whitson
> UD School of Education
> NEWARK DE 19716
> _______________________________
> "those who fail to reread
> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

Tony Whitson
UD School of Education

"those who fail to reread
are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
-- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)_______________________________________________
xmca mailing list

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
xmca mailing list
Received on Thu Oct 25 13:54 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Nov 20 2007 - 14:25:43 PST