Introductory Editorial No. 22

Welcome to the twenty-second installment of our journal, which is devoted once again to the importance of the intension.

As we saw in the last issue, the mental object is the referent of interest in quotidian human social communication, and thus in semiotics, as this sort of referent has the capacity to vary according to the culture and psychology of the communicating parties. In other words, we agree with Rastier that the naive realism of Morris and Carnap leave us ill-equipped to investigate anything anthropomorphically meaningful in communication. Even Hjelmslev's self-edified semiotics, like its predecessors, and especially like that of Peirce, supply us with little more than a translation of logic, that pedestrian logic of material things, rigidly constructed and inflexible, a Hegelian three-legged creature that is somehow meant to cover useful ground while limping along awkwardly, a fish out of water, in a universe of anthropological investigation.

No, a true semiotics, while able to describe rigorously the ordinary functioning of denotative utterances and indicative verbs, must also possess the dimensional duality to dare enter into the realm of the subjunctive, the conditional, and even the properly fictional, an ideological gateway to the imagination, where our collective hallucinations, nay, our shared mental world, define and order the lives we live, the decisions we make, and the way in which we speak of ourselves.

And so we see in this issue's selection of excellent articles the way in which it is acculturated concepts, mythically transmitted in cultural terms, which give meaning and life to the words we choose, and the way in which we use them. This, we feel, is still among the most important, and ill-served, areas of our discipline.

Peter Marteinson
For the Editors,
February / March 2009


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AS/SA Nº 22, Editorial

© 2009, Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliquée

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