segunda-feira, 23 de agosto de 2010

V Advanced Seminar on Peirce’s Philosophy and Semiotics e 13ª Jornada do Centro Internacional de Estudos Peirceanos (CIEP)

O V Advanced Seminar on Peirce's Philosophy e a 13a Jornada de Estudos Peirceanos
serão realizados durante os dias 1 e 2 de setembro de 2010 na PUC-SP.

Seguem abaixo os abstracts dos principais conferencistas deste evento!
Abstract 1: Mediation, Representation, & Translation: “Grammatical” & “Rhetorical” Questions

Vincent Colapietro - Pen State University (USA)
Peirce’s formal doctrine of signs not only results from the exercise of a semiotic competence (an ability to use signs in an effective and fruitful manner). Its object is in part this very competence or expertise; more broadly, it is to some extent the form of agency of which such competence or expertise is an aspect. That is, Peirce’s theory of signs encompasses an account of the distinctive form of deliberative agency by which such a theory is elaborated and revised (the process of revision being, at a certain stage in the historical realization of any theoretical account, integral to that of elaboration or articulation). A sign theory would be incomplete if it did not provide the adequate resources for sketching a more or less detailed portrait of the sign theorist. Given Peirce’s overarching goal of intellectual self-control, this reflexive facet of his sign theory is just what we should expect.
The inaugural concern of Peirce’s sign theory is, however, not at all an account of such agency. It is a pervasive, rudimentary process observable throughout nature. This process lends itself to controlled observation and formal analysis. But the formal relationships identified and analyzed by Peirce in this theory of signs are, at bottom, dynamic processes. As Max H. Fisch has pointed out, Peirce’s semeiotic is a doctrine not of signs but of semiosis, the action of signs. Signs are intermediaries and semiosis is, at the very least, a process of mediation. Whatever functions in such a way as to inaugurate, sustain, or enhance a process of mediation is, from a Peircean perspective, a sign. But are processes of mediation also – and inevitably – processes of representation? Is Peirce’s doctrine of semiosis first a foremost an account of mediation or is there a better term to identify the center of concern (e.g., does the term representation or, for that matter, some other word indicate more precisely than mediation this center)? Indeed, what in Peirce’s judgment is the relationship between mediation and representation, first, as dynamic processes and, then, as abstractable forms of intelligible relationships? Is representation a specific form of mediation? In turn, Peirce characterizes semiosis as a process of translation? What is the connection between the process of translation and that of mediation, also between translation and the process of representation?
From a pragmatist perspective, the inaugural concern of Peirce’s formal theory (mediation? representation? translation?) cannot be separated from the eventual form in which this theory ought to be cast. Moreover, it cannot be severed from the emerging goals of an evolving process of theoretical elaboration. Following Fisch once again, Peirce’s semeiotic culminates in methodeutic. The form in which the theory of signs is most appropriately cast is arguably a reflexive, normative inquiry into the conditions and forms of inquiry. It is, however, possibly something wider – a rhetoric inclusive of more than the discourses and disciplines of the experimental sciences (i.e., a rhetoric inclusive of artistic works no less than practical communication). An account of the most rudimentary and pervasive form of semiosis (grammar in Peirce’s sense being one of the names for this account) must ultimately give way to a nuanced understanding of historical practices such as experimental inquiry, artistic innovation, practical discourse, and possibly much else.
One of the most basic topics to be interrogated regarding Peirce’s theory of signs is the inaugural object of concern, or the initial focus of inquiry, including the term by which this object or focus is most effectively (or least misleadingly) identified (mediation? representation? translation? some other word or expression?). Another is the upshot of Peirce’s own reflection on signs. Does his theorizing culminate in methodeutic or something even more comprehensive – a distinctive form of rhetorical consciousness (inclusive of, but not limited to, methodeutic awareness)?

Abstract 2: Natural and Non-Linguistic Propositions
Frederik Stjernfelt - Aarhus University (Dinamarca)

Many philosophical positions associate propositions with an utterer or observer able to assume a propositional "stance" or propositional "attitude". Whether or not such ideas are then bracketed or made explicit, they tend to tie the notion of proposition to that of conscious intention. As is well known, Peirce's semiotics counts among the great trinity of anti-psychologism, along with Frege and Husserl - which is why Peirce would never define propositions by referring to consciousness. Rather, Peirce's broader doctrine of propositions, "dicisigns", merit an actualization. According to Peirce, dicisigns may be described semiotically. In the more or less systematic jungle of sign taxonomies, it is often overlooked how proposiitons form the central sign type in Peirce's semiotics. They are the only signs able to convey information - and it is for this reason that the mature Peirce refers to simpler signs than full-flegded propositions as being "degenerate". But how is the truth claim of propositions described without recourse to consciousness? By describing the semiotic structure of propositions. Peirce's basic idea is that dicisigns are signs which refer to their object in two independent ways at once. One such partial sign involved in the proposition designates the object by means of an index (maybe a symbolic index, maybe a quantifier, maybe a proper name, etc.) makiing it possible to identify the object referred to by the proposition. Another such partial sign describes the same object by means of an icon (maybe a symbolic icon (a predicate, be it adjective, verb, common noun, etc.), a picture, a diagram, etc.). In some cases, the two signs involved in the proposition are functions displayed by aspects of the dicisign and only implicitly present; in other cases they are explicitly formalized so as to form distinct parts of the dicisign as in many linguistic representations of propositions. The possibility of the proposition to carry truth or falsity lies, of course, in the possibility of its two constituent aspects to agree or disagree. The claim of this paper is that this doctrine of dicisigns forms an important extension of the the received doctrines of propositions, because it allows a renewed focus upon which classes of empirical signs may incarnate propositional structures. It goes without saying that human languages, natural and artificial, may express propositions - but the Peircean dicisign doctrine permits a double extension of the scope of proposition-like signs.
One is in biosemiotics. All signs which are effective in conveying information, even in cellular biology, must possess a propositional structure in order to be efficient. E. Coli's cognition of carbohydrates form one such simple proposition in cognition; the semiotic arms-race between firefly species constitutes a more complicated case of propositions exchanged in communication. At the same time, the existence of such quasi-propositions of different complexity in biology makes it possible to imagine the development of higher animals and finally human beings with more sophisticated use of propositions.
Another such field is human non-linguistic semiotics. A picture in itself, it has often been noted, is unable to claim anything. But in most cases, pictures are used to claim things because they appear as the predicate aspects of more or less explicity dicisigns where the subject aspects of the dicisign is performed by text, legend, commentary, arrows, pointers, gestures or other indices. This comes to the fore in Peirce's doctrine of diagrams and diagrammatical reasoning where diagram icons, furnished with indices designating the objects referred to, form propositions which may be manipulated in order to reach new such propositions in diagrammatical reasoning.
The Peircean doctrine of dicisigns, then, constitutes an overlooked mediation between image and text, between biosemiotics and human semiotics, between logic, semiotics, and cognition.

Abstract 3: From Representation to Mediation
Winfried Nöth - Kassel University (Alemanha)

Whereas representation is a key concept of Peirce’s early writings in semiotics, the key to Peirce’s later semiotic theory is the concept of mediation. The present paper traces the evolution of this paradigm shift. In the course of this shift, the former concept was not substituted by the latter but rather reduced in its scope from its former meaning of ‘sign’ in general to one of its aspects, namely the sign’s representation of its object. Peirce’s growing emphasis on mediation in semiosis corresponds to his increasingly dynamic view of signs and sign processes.
In Peirce’s Collected Papers, the terms represent and representation occur no less than 365 times. Taking up the medieval tradition, still reflected in Locke’s Essay of 1689, in which the concepts of sign and representation were used interchangeably, the early Peirce had defined semiotics as “the general science of representation” (W 1: 174; CP 1.303). At the same time, as early as 1865, Peirce distanced himself from the mentalist tradition of the theory of representation when he criticized Kant’s concept of representation (Vorstellung) for its neglect of the sign’s “mediate reference to its object” (W 1, 257; 1865).
The growth of Peirce’s concept of representation is also apparent in the terminological change from “representation” to “thirdness” as the term of the third of his three categories (CP 1.545-59). In 1889, Peirce arrived at the conclusion that “I did not then know enough about language to see that to attempt to make the word representation serve for an idea so much more general than any it habitually carried, was injudicious. The word mediation would be better” (CP 4.3). Thirdness and mediation were now the terms substituting the concept of representation, whose meaning now became more restricted in its scope.
Foreseeing Derrida’s critique of the idea of representation as a “re-presentation”, Peirce, in 1901, also engages in the debate between the “representationists and presentationists” (CP 5.607, 1901). The sign is now a medium. In a triadic relation to its object, which determines it, and its interpretant, which it determines, the Sign is henceforth endowed with the power of communicating its message to an interpretant (MS 793.1-3, c. 1905).
Peirce’s theory of semiosis as a process of mediation is of particular relevance to the foundations of media studies. The media, as well as the signs+ in general, serve the purpose of mediating between a second and a third, but the agency of mediation needs to be examined more closely. Peirce’s theory of the agency of the sign offers a key leading to new answers.

Abstract4:Peircean mediation seen through a multilayered documentary lens
Fernando Andacht - University of Ottawa (Canadá)

In a paper of his mature years, “What is a sign?” (1894), Peirce gives an account of a core element of his semiotic, signs, and of their essential role in our reasoning. He proposes a curious metaphor to describe the organic structure of the three components of sign action, to emphasize that “we cannot dispense with any of them”: “we may liken the indices we use in reasoning to the hard parts of the body, and the likenesses we use to the blood: the one holds us stiffly up to the realities, the other with its swift changes supplies the nutriment for the main body of thought” (EP2: 10). Vital as the solid support of our bones, and as the nourishing fluid of blood are, Peirce asserts that the nature of the entire structure is symbolic: “The complex whole may be called a symbol; for its symbolic, living character is the prevailing one”. This in no way contradicts the triadic nature of signs and of reasoning with them; it underlines the generality of mediation, the symbolic principle at work in culture and in nature, through these growing, governing principles.
In a work from 1903, Peirce formulates a question which he concedes is too hard to answer with the knowledge available at that time: “How do (symbols or words) produce their effect?” (EP2: 184). Far from being a rhetorical question, this is a full program for future research, one in which semioticians are still fully engaged more than a century later. The notion of ‘mediation’ is introduced, since this effect cannot consist in symbols directly reacting upon matter. But if they act upon things, as they undoubtedly do (“Words then do produce physical effects. It is madness to deny it.” (Ibid.), how is that possible? What is the mysterious process about whose existence Peirce is so certain? It is as a form of government working upon concrete things which “involves the idea of possible variations which no multitude of existent things could exhaust” (EP2:183). In this context, Peirce gives a series of synonyms for the “general principle that is operative in the real world”: representation, symbol, mediation, and at its most abstract, Thirdness, a term “less colored” than representation. All things embodying “Betweenness or Mediation” (words, flags, anthems) are concrete instances of this category. To illustrate its modus operandi, Peirce quotes a famous speech of American revolutionary Patrick Henry. The inflammatory words could have travelled across the world and the barrier of a foreign language (Tagalog), through an interpreter, and still be capable of exerting the same explosive, emancipatory physical effect they had in 18th c. America.
I will not furnish the answer to this daunting question, but I aim to describe this process such as it is embodied in a film. To do so I will avail myself of the term ‘representation’, whose “suggestions are (more) narrow and special” (than those of Thirdness); they evoke politics and the stage. An experiment on the politics of identity in a filmed theatrical setting may sum up the plot of Jogo de Cena (2007), a documentary by Brazilian director E. Coutinho. It is hard to translate the pun of its title, a nutshell account of the film itself: Playing with the stage /with the staging (of life). Musement on a stage … The film’s idea consists in asking ordinary women with a story to tell, of their own lives or from life, in front of a camera. Unknown and well-known actresses are then asked to represent/interpret that narrative representation on the stage where the women had told their tales. The stories of these modern day Scherezades were edited in many ways to bring out the endless possibilities that those representations/interpretations possess, as generals, through a double mediation, that of natural narratives (W. Labov) and that of almost fictional, scripted performances by stage professionals, who are, nevertheless, amateurs at this uncanny representation. They perform lives which are not literary, which were never intended for the stage, but which by the very act of being performed on one, and filmed in a documentary, grow into a more complex representation. This wondrous instance of the growth of symbols through shifting representations, results in an experiment which tests the limits of mediation, of representation, as it governs facts, affects matter, and is held together by the hard indexical bones and fed by the nutritious blood of qualities. We witness the drama provided by the actresses but also by the ordinary women who bring their stories to an almost empty theater filled with narrative identity plays, a dazzling show of the growth of symbols.

O congresso é aberto a professores, pesquisadores e estudantes de graduação e pós-graduação, bem como a todos aqueles interessados na filosofia e, especialmente, na semiótica peirceana.
Serão disponibilizadas 80 vagas.
Para fazer uma pré-inscrição obrigatória para participar do evento acesse o e-mail: . A inscrição definitiva se dará com presença no evento e aquisição do Caderno com os textos dos palestrantes (valor R$ 30,00). Ouvintes não receberão certificados, somente os inscritos terão certificados.


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