Semiotics


This chapter explicates key terms form semiotics and pragmatics, and uses these to reconceptualize the relation between mental states, social statuses and speech acts. Section 12.2 lays out the fundamental features of semiotic processes through the lens of Peirce's lexicon: sign, object, interpretant; iconic, indexical, and symbolic; and so forth. It differs from the usual summaries of Peirce by focusing on the interpretant (in contrast to the sign or object), and by focusing on inference (in constrast to indexicality). Section 12.3 uses these concepts to reframe the nature of social relations and cognitive representations. Starting out from the work of the Boasian, Ralph Linton, it theorizes social statuses and mental states through the lens of semiosis and intersubjectivity. Section 12.4 uses this reframing to recast performativity and agency. By reading Mead through the lens of Peirce, and reading Austin through the lens of Mead, it widens our understanding of the efficacity of speech acts to include sign events more generally.


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