The Self as a Sign, the World, and the Other: Living Semiotics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Self as a Sign, the World, and the Other

Living Semiotics, 1st Edition

By Susan Petrilli


347 pages

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Paperback: 9781138516878
pub: 2017-09-25
Hardback: 9781412851824
pub: 2013-06-30
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pub: 2017-07-28
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Ostentation of the Subject is a practice that is asserting itself ever more in today's world. Consequently, criticism by philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists has been to little effect, considering that they are not immune to such practices themselves. The question of subjectivity concerns the close and the distant, the self and the other, the other from self and the other of self. It is thus connected to the question of the sign. It calls for a semiotic approach because the self is itself a sign; its very own relation with itself is a relation among signs. This book commits to developing a critique of subjectivity in terms of the "material" that the self is made of, that is, the material of signs.

Susan Petrillihighlights the scholarship of Charles Peirce, Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Mary Boole, Jacques Derrida, Michael Foucault, Emmanuel Levinas, Claude Levi-Strauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Charles Morris, Thomas Sebeok, Thomas Szasz, and Victoria Welby. Included are American and European theories and theorists, evidencing the relationships interconnecting American, Italian, French, and German scholarship.

Petrilli covers topics from identity issues that are part of semiotic views, to the corporeal self as well as responsibility, reason, and freedom. Her book should be read by philosophers, semioticians, and other social scientists.

Table of Contents

Foreword -by Augusto Ponzio
Introduction: To Begin from a Semiotic Perspective

1 The Sign "Self" and Its Interpretations
1.1 The Lifeworld as Semiosis
1.2 Signs of the Self and the Self as a Sign
1.3 The Self in-between Bodies and Signs
1.4 Time and the Other: Future, Inference, Otherness
1.5 Listening and Identity
1.6 Incomplete, Unfinalizable Self
1.7 Semiotics and Responsibility
1.8 The Detotalizing Approach and the Word
1.9 Sign-Interpretant Dialogic
1.10 Self, Thought, Word
1.11 To Sum Up and Push Ahead

2 A Terminological and Conceptual Intermezzo
2.1 Life, Language, and the Global Semiotic Perspective
2.2 More about Modeling, Communication, and the "Play of Musement"
2.3 Global Semiosis and Intercorporeal Interconnectivity
2.4 "The Semiotic Self," Global Communication, and the Health of Semiosis
2.5 Self and Its Boundaries, a Biosemiotic Perspective
2.6 Self-Perception: Subjective Signs and Objective Signs

3 The Inner-Outer Illusion
3.1 The "Obscure Part" of the Self
3.2 Inward and Outward, a Double World at Least
3.3 The Body in the Sign. Thought, Body, and Culture
3.4 The Self between Community and Singularity
3.5 Identity and Its Otherwise
3.6 Knowable/Unknowable. Beyond Logical Reasoning
3.7 Self-Control, Freedom, and Responsibility
3.8 Attraction, Constraint, and Casualness
3.9 More on Agapasm and Abduction, Protagonists in the Thought-Sign Relation
3.10 Dialogic, Logic, and Ontology, a Closer Look
3.11 Language, Signs, Values. Between Significs and Semioethics

4 The Self as Opening to the Other
4.1 The "Small Experience" and the "Great Experience," a Biosemiotic Perspective
4.2 The Self from Reason to Reasonableness
4.3 The Self in the Interrelation between Love and Logic
4.4 Female Difference and Critique of the Identical
4.5 Translation as Increase in Value
4.6 The Multiple Self
4.7 Self and "Ident," in Praise of "Selfness"
4.8 Subjectivity Detotalized, the I as Centrifugal "Dividuality"
4.9 Mother-Sense as a Human Propensity
4.10 Gift-Giving at the Origin of Logic and Language

5 Self, Other, and Values
5.1 One's Own Word Is Always the Other's. On Language and Dialogism
5.2 Dialogism, Corporeity, and Consciousness
5.3 The Speaking Subject and the Concrete Utterance
5.4 The Psyche in Sociality, between Inner and Outer
5.5 A Double Birth at Least
5.6 The Unconscious, Signs, and Social Ideology
5.7 Official/Unofficial Conscious, Official/Unofficial Ideology
5.8 Interrelations between Sign Tissue and Psycho-Social Tissue
5.9 The Concepts of "Open Self" and "Open Society"
5.10 Sciences for the Construction of New Men in a New Society
5.11 Between Cooperation and Uniqueness, and the Role of Semiotics
5.12 Linguistic Mystification, Social Alienation, and Values
5.13 Global Communication and the Technologies of Separation
5.14 Beyond the Individual Body, Intercorporeity, the "Grotesque Body"

6 The Self in Language and Communication
6.1 Interpretation, Otherness, and Dialogism
6.2 Dialogism and Witness to the Other
6.3 Substantial Dialogism and Absolute Otherness
6.4 Writing, Indirect Speaking, Discourse Genre
6.5 Significance, Iconicity, Responsibility
6.6 The Self as a Text
6.7 To Speak Is to Respond
6.8 Verbal Action and Its Nonverbal Communicative Conditions
6.9 The Rustle of Communication

7 Critique of Identity: For an Extracommunitarian Self
7.1 Difference, Dialogism, and the Quality of Life
7.2 Logic of Identity and "Critique of Dialogic Reason"
7.3 For a New Semiotico-Philosophical Founding of the Self, Signs, and Values
7.4 Nonfunctionality and the Properly Human
7.5 In the Face of the Other
7.6 The Humanism of Otherness, "homo sum: humani nihil mihi alienum puto"
7.7 Obscenity of the Identical
7.8 Unindifferent Difference: Critique of the Identical and Its Reproduction
7.9 The Extracommunitarian Self
7.10 Work and Belonging
7.11 Reappropriation and Exposition
7.12 Outside the Trap of Identity, or "Otherwise than Being"
7.13 Fear of the Other and Fear for the Other
7.14 On the Signs of Sexual Identity
7.15 Return to "Writing"
7.16 Outside Place, Outside Identity

8 Self, Freedom, and the Word's Otherness
8.1 Between the Myths of Mental Illness and the Subject's Self-Sufficiency
8.2 The Subject as Substratum and the Foundation Fallacy
8.3 Cyphermatics, a Science of the Word
8.4 Intentionality and Nonintentionality of the Conscious in the Word
8.5 Subjectivity and the "Limits of Interpretation"
8.6 On the Sign Relation between the Self as a Subject and Its Object
8.7 Sign Models and Conceptions of the Subject
8.8 The Dialogic Self
8.9 The "Same Other"

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