Sources of Semiotic: Readings with Commentary from Antiquity to the Present

Overview

This book provides an introduction to semiotic through readings from classic works in the field. In contrast with descriptions of communication systems based on the methods of empirical linguistics and interpretive studies of artistic means of communication, this text delimits semiotic as a logical study with its foundations in the theories of Greek and medieval logicians and the classifications of Charles Peirce.

Clarke defines semiotic as the general theory that attempts to ...

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Overview

This book provides an introduction to semiotic through readings from classic works in the field. In contrast with descriptions of communication systems based on the methods of empirical linguistics and interpretive studies of artistic means of communication, this text delimits semiotic as a logical study with its foundations in the theories of Greek and medieval logicians and the classifications of Charles Peirce.

Clarke defines semiotic as the general theory that attempts to specify the logical features of signs and the similarities and differences among the great variety of forms they can take. He samples readings from the field and explains their role in the development of the subject. His discussion begins with the treatment of signs in the early Greek period, starting with Aristotle and ending with Sextus Empiricus. He proceeds through an examination of the works of the medieval philosophers Augustine and Ockham, of post-Cartesians Arnauld, Reid, and Berkeley, and of the founder of modern semiotic, Charles Peirce. Final chapters cover the major writings of those who have shaped the development of the field in the twentieth century: Morris, Skinner, and Carnap of the behavioral school of semiotic; Saussure, Hjelmslev, Barthes, and Jakobson of the Continental school; and the analytic philosophers Strawson, Bennett, Lewis, and Goodman.

Each selection, accompanied by Clarke’s commentary, works to restore the links between semiotic and medieval discussions of signs that inform this work. Throughout, Clarke offers students a history that is also an aid for charting a course through the present-day maze of divergent approaches and conflicting methodologies.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A first-rate anthology that will provide students and general readers access to the literature of semiotic and an overview of its development from the Classical Greek period to the present. A commentary and a general introductory first chapter provide background and explanation of the reading selections. Paper edition (unseen), $14.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809316144
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1990
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

D. S. Clarke, Jr., is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Among his most recent works are Principles of Semiotic and Rational Acceptance and Purpose.

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