Synecheia II - Spring Semiosalong 2022

The second session of Synecheia, this semester's Semiosalong series, will take place this Thursday, March 24th, at 19.00.
The meeting will take place online, but you can also join us in person in Jakobi 2-306.
Here is the program for the evening,

Ivan Fomin, ““Your neighbors are, in a measure, yourself”. Towards a Peircean account of intersubjective synechia in social semiosis”

 “Nor must any synechist say, ‘I am altogether myself, and not at all you.’ … your neighbors are, in a measure, yourself, and in far greater measure than, without deep studies in psychology, you would believe”, says Charles S. Peirce in his article “Immortality in the Light of Synechism”. The idea of intersubjective continuity is essential for Peirce’s general theory of signs and especially for its applications in social sciences and humanities. The power of this concept consists in the fact that it allows us to account for intersubjective aspects of meaning-making and habit-taking. Thereby, it opens a possibility for developing a Peircean version of social semiotic theory that would complement the existing systemic-functional tradition of Social Semiotics. In particular, the category of logonomic rules that is central for Bob Hodge and Gunther Kress’s Social Semiotics can be theorized on the basis of Peirce’s conceptual apparatus. In Peirce's terms, logonomic rules can be seen as final interpretants that emerge in intersubjective synechia. They function as habits of intersubjective mind that enable both thought (production of initial interpretants) and action (production of dynamic interpretants). The development of a synechist theory of social semiosis is crucial for bridging Peirce’s pragmaticist phaneroscopy with social phenomenological approach to we-subjectivity. It can also be important when it comes to other semiotic concepts and ideas that imply some sort of intersubjective synechia, such as Ferdinand de Saussure’s ideas about language being a phenomenon of “conscience collective”. Overall, Peirce’s concept of synechism can be used as a powerful integrative tool that allows us to account for intersubjective continuity which is theorized across various linguistic, semiotic, and sociological traditions.

Pauline Delahaye, “The devil is in the detailed definitions: can non-human animals have a “language”?”

The question of language, and more precisely, of the language as an ability owned exclusively by human beings is an almost obsessive one. Most of the time, we can see that the very definition of language, through history, was shaped in order to exclude non-human animals, rather than to describe an objective phenomenon. Different criteria have been used to draw this line. We will see that all of them are problematic, mostly because they are chosen not for their relevance, but for their supposed human exclusivity. With each new ethology or anthropology discovery, they became more fragile. We will show how difficult it is to draw a line, and what accepting a continuity between our species can teach us about variety in human languages.

You can join the zoom session via this link:

Meeting ID: 983 0729 7073
PW: 093741

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