peirce and artifacts; back to Uslucan

From: Bill Barowy (
Date: Mon Dec 27 2004 - 06:48:21 PST

Mike wrote:

"I am on weak ground to interpret semiotic theories, Bill. Wouldn't
 semiosis depend on the history of the interpretant and the signs too? "

I think I quoted Uslucan on just that at the bottom of my message, so it seems
we agree to agree, and at last I can relate to someone on weak ground as is
my own. Perhaps I can make it even weaker.

Your sense of Uslucan's paper is similar to what I've read about semiotic
studies being eclectic. But then, if a semiotician observes the human
cognition fundamentally to be the coordination of signs, why would some, say
Piaget's notions of stage development, be less preferable than others? Can
not one draw as one needs, and finds appropriate, from the vast semiotic bank
of the milieu?

I won't go into an analysis of woodworking and its tools for a illustration,
because these are more aimed toward the material end of the spectrum, but how
about this scenario? I once was an experimental physicist and built
instruments to make observations of the light emitted by excited atoms and
molecules. This required mastering and using electromagnetic theory, atomic
and molecular quantum theories, special relativity theory, solid state
theory, as well as optics, digital and analog electronics, mechanical design,
machining, computer programming, and whatever else. Seems eclectic, no? But
compared to the human condition, atoms and molecules in their interaction
with each other and with light are very, very simple. Still I needed many
diverse conceptual frameworks to make observations. Why should the human
condition require less?

How are we not contemplating a foolish consistency?


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