Abstracts of the Articles / Résumés des articles


Nº 18



 
KIRITANI Osamu : "Culture, Information and Selection"

Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has been applied to culture since the late twentieth century. The aim of this paper is to contribute to such evolutionary approaches to culture by introducing the notion of information evolution. Based on Ruth Millikan’s concepts of “local information” and of “direct proper function,” this study attempts to clarify how the evolution of cultural entities is related to their informational characteristics. It finds that the very concept of local information in fact implies the concept of direct proper function. It is then shown that natural signs, including those in the cultural domain, have been selected for carrying information by a Darwinian-type selection mechanism.

     [Article in English]


Juan José MARTINEZ-SIERRA: "Using Bourdieu to Approach the Concept of Television as an Instrument of Social Reproduction in the U.S.: The Paradox of The Simpsons"

In this paper, the author aims to reflect on certain relevant aspects of the role television plays in contemporary American society, such as the influence it can exert on the general public, and the question of who controls it. The main intent is to raise pertinent questions and elicit issues for debate, rather than to pursue a thorough analysis of the matter. To do so, the author applies a selection of notions from Pierre Bourdieu’s model of reproduction of cultural and social power to a reflection on today’s role of television in American society. A central aim is to test the hypothesis that television helps to reproduce the American economic, social, and political system. A particular sample of American television programming – the popular cartoon sitcom The Simpsons – is considered. The examination of this show, also using some concepts from Bourdieu’s model, will lead to the conclusion that The Simpsons reproduces the system it critiques.

     [Article in English]


Thomas CLARK: "Language as Social Capital"

This article considers the proposition that language may be regarded as a mode, a form, a palpable reality of relations between people. It therefore raises an ontological problem in the definition and theory of social capital. Whereas numerous commentators have addressed questions of the aetiology, cultivation, distribution, and effects of social capital, there is as yet no satisfactory explanation of what it is as such. If there is a substantial phenomenon called social capital, then one of its manifest forms is language. The main proof is that language descriptively conforms to the defining characteristics of social capital, which this article addresses in detail.

     [Article in English]


Michael ZYPHUR, Gazi ISLAM, Michael FRANKLIN: "The Synthetic Unity of Valuation: Saussure, Marx, Simmel, and Kant on Money and Valuation"

This article attempts to redress the paucity of research addressing the psychology of money and valuation. Drawing on Saussure, Marx, and Simmel, the current work attempts to develop an understanding of money as a signifier of value, with both money and value conforming to semiotic rules of signification. Then, value is shown to occur as a function of the ordering of commodities for a particular individual, requiring an interrelation between commodified objects in order to understand any single commodity. Further, the process of commodification is shown occur in accord with Kant’s discussion of the synthetic unity of apperception, such that the process of valuation may be understood as representing individual consciousness. Finally, we discuss our analysis of money and value.

     [Article in English]


Simon LINDGREN: "Mosh pits outside the oval office : Mapping sign functions in a music video with a political message"

When the Eminem music video ‘Mosh’ was released on the Internet shortly before the 2004 US election it was mass downloaded, and its strong political imagery quickly made it a pop culture phenomenon. One journalist actually called it ‘the most important piece of mainstream dissent since the 60’s’. In this article a deconstruction of this video is carried out, drawing on Roman Jakobson’s semiotic theory of sign functions. The primary goal, however, is neither simply to discuss, nor to review the video ‘Mosh’ as a specific expression, nor is it to champion Jakobson’s theory as the ultimate semiotic model. The aim is rather to illustrate the potential possessed by basic semiotic analysis when it comes to bringing the symbolic workings of a ‘political’ visual text to light – and thereby critically investigating a case of construction and contestation of the social world in visual discourse.

     [Article in English]


G. GUIBERT: "Epistémologie des textes religieux"

A further question is to ask if some pre-comprehension or interpretation are involved in biblical text analysis. In fact, when studying discourse as result from the application of textual methods, or in the framework of translation, of text from a source-language into a focused language: a such interpretation should be clarified. Pre-comprehension of a text should have a role like a presupposition in the process of studying text, or regarding translation ? In this case, how can we qualified this process ? Which is the contribution of presupposition in translation or textual analysis, and why this contribution should argue to be avoid in textual analysis ? That is the questions we can propose but not always answer yet in this article.

     [Article in French]


Gordon BERTHIN, Michael BERTHIN: "Astronomical Utility and Poetic Metaphor in the Rongorongo Lunar Calendar"

Existing models of Rongorongo, so it would seem, are not adequate to enable translation of the corpus. We wrote this paper to develop a model for the script—vocabulary, syntax and anthropoid glyph deconstruction—which might be used as basis for further translation. Our next paper will show this. Incidental to the purpose of our authorship but valuable to the cause of scholarship, we further developed the current translations of the lunar calendar and addressed deficiencies associated with current models.

     [Article in English]







Résumés en français




KIRITANI Osamu : "Culture, Information and Darwinian Selection"

On sait que la théorie néodarwinienne s’applique, depuis la fin du vingtième siècle, à la culture. Cet article vise à contribuer aux recherches embrassant cette approche, en proposant le concept de l’évolution de l’information. Fondée sur les concepts de Ruth Millikan de “l’information locale” et de la “fonction propre directe”, cette étude tente d’éclaircir la relation entre l’évolution du topos culturel et les caractéristiques informationnelles de celui-ci. Un des résultats ainsi révélés est que le concept même de l’information locale implique celui de la fonction propre directe. Ensuite on démontre que les signes naturels, notamment ceux du domaine culturel, sont élus pour leur fonction de représentation des informations, et ce, selon des critères de sélection du type darwinien.

     [Article en anglais]


Juan José MARTINEZ SIERRA : "Bourdieu and U.S. Television as a Means of Social Reproduction"

Cette investigation tente de réfléchir à certains aspects pertinents du rôle que joue la télévision dans la société américaine, dont l’influence qu’elle exerce sur le grand public, et la question de savoir l’identité de l’autorité qui la dirige, s’il en est. L’objet principal est de soulever des questions et d’entamer un débat plus ample, plutôt que de poursuivre jusqu’au bout une analyse exhaustive de la problématique. Dans ce but, l’auteur se penche sur un choix de concepts relevant de Pierre Bourdieu, notamment celui de la multiplication du pouvoir culturel et social, afin d’expliquer et de comprendre le rôle de la télévision dans l’Amérique contemporaine. Un des buts de l’étude est de mettre à l’épreuve l’hypothèse selon laquelle la télévision contribue à propager et à multiplier les systèmes économique, social et politique des Etats-Unis. L’émission The Simpsons est considérée dans le but de démontrer, à l’aide de Bourdieu, que cette comédie populaire reproduit en effet le système qu’elle critique.

     [Article en anglais]




Dans le projet d'appliquer une méthode de linguistique textuelle à des textes, une question d'épistémologie se pose eu égard au statut des résultats obtenus avec ladite méthode, ainsi qu'au positionnement de ces résultats, qui peuvent être nouveaux, relativement aux résultats d'analyse issus de l'application d'autres méthodes. Si ces textes appartiennent à des manuscrits anciens, dont on a gardé une trace et différents témoins, ayant servi au cours de l'histoire à différentes traductions, ayant eu lieu dans diverses langues à différentes époques, la question posée se complexifie de façon radicale; et, pourtant, une question d'épistémologie demeure pour traiter des textes anciens, au cours de laquelle la question de la méthode appliquée, des présupposés mis en œuvre lors de cette application, demeure une question décisive. Nous choisirons pour exemple l'épistémologie nécessaire à l’analyse de textes bibliques.


     [Article en français]


Le reste des résumés suivra bientôt.







AS/SA Nº18 (2006.12)   ISSN 1204-6150

Editors/Rédacteurs : Pascal G. Michelucci & Peter G. Marteinson
University of Toronto




© 2006 AS/SA

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2006.12.03