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    Default semiotics vs epistemology

    Epistemology is a theory of knowledge.
    For more detail see: Epistemology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have been fascinated by this branch of philosophy for as long as I can remember. Before I even knew what it was called. But for a long time, I have found the problems it creates artificial and the distinctions it makes to be false.

    Slowly, over time, I have developed a fascination with what is known as semiotics.
    see:What is Semiotics?

    My own summary is that semiotics is a theory of meaning. The article I linked is one of the first things I read as my fascination developed. However, I disagree with a lot of what is written (for instance, I don't believe semiotics is a purely human endeavor).

    So what I'd like to discuss is the difference between a theory of knowledge and a theory of meaning, and how those different pursuits can lead to different frameworks for how we process the world.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield
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  2. #2
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Default

    Semiotics is great. I don't know much about epistemology. Perhaps this thread can marry the two.
    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    My own summary is that semiotics is a theory of meaning.
    Pretty much. "The map is not the territory." Signs are separate from their meaning. A red light itself is not 'stop, dammit.'
    (for instance, I don't believe semiotics is a purely human endeavor).
    Though, the author goes on to say that ...
    All life forms engage in semiosis, all use signs, only humans know they exist.
    Lifeforms can all map stuff to other stuff. Given repeated association, dogs can map the ringing of bells to forthcoming doggie biscuits.

    So I don't think 'semiosis' is purely a human endeavor, either. But the conscious association/separation of sign and meaning is human territory. I think the author used a definition of 'semiosis' that transcends the mapping of sign to meaning, but that looks at that association.

    __

    Oh, and no discussion of semiotics would be complete without The Treachery of Images.



    Translation: "This is not a pipe."

    "Of course it is, dumbass!" lots of people would say.

    But here, Magritte (the painter) makes the point that, standing outside of the painting, what's there is not a pipe at all--it's a mere representation of a pipe. One could not "stuff [this] pipe" with tobacco as one could an actual pipe.

    The map is not the territory--it's a representation of the territory.
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    aka "Bush Did 9/11"
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    Prophet and Channel, God Almighty
    Author, the Holy scripture Elevenetics

    "Just as jet fuel cannot melt steel beams, so too cannot the unshakeable pillars of Truthtology ever be shaken, whether by man, nature, or evidence."
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  3. #3

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    @jscrothers, thanks for your input. I was starting to think this topic might be either too abstract or too esoteric for people to participate in.

    I think the nature of consciousness and conscious awareness is an entirely large discussion of its own. Considering that have have non-human apes that can use a human sign language, I think that there are species other than human beings that are aware of symbols.

    Thanks for bringing up the treachery of images.

    I think another important thing to consider is : How Better Register the Agency of Things: Semiotics | bruno-latour.fr , especially for those who tend towards the epistimological view of the philosophy of science.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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