Website Logo Website Logo
Foundations for semiotics
Ferdinand de Saussure
The sign
Around 1900, Ferdinand de Saussure imagined the encounter between two formless nebulae: thought and sound. Their encounter engenders the necessity to unite and divide. Therefore the contours of forms are emerging, ending up in signs.
The system
The attraction between thought and sound creates a union: the sign. An idea is fixed in a sound and a sound becomes the sign of an idea. In-forming the amorphous, by coupling and delimiting signs, creates the articulation of an expression and a content. The result is a system of signs: language, allowing a society to communicate.
The social
Semiosis is the place where the junction between an idea and a sound, a sign, encounters the junctions of another individual. The multiplicity of these encounters requires a social system of signes.
Charles S. Peirce
Around 1900, Charles S. Peirce combines two concepts in conceiving semiosis. On the one hand, the representation as a relationship between a sign and the object to which the sign refers. On the other hand, an interpretant as the logical equivalence of the representational relationship. In combining the two, representation and interpretation, a triangle emerges. Semiosis is the encounter between three elements.
The process
Every semiosis impels a new semiosis. The interpretant takes the place of the representation. And in turn, this representation finds a new interpretant in  establishing a new triangular encounter. The attraction between interpretants, through a representation, thus leads to an endless process. A kind of inner dialogue, driven by an inferential logic of reasoning, due to the mechanics of semiosis.
Semiosis is about the vague process of inferential logic, caused by the encounters between interpretants, in changing the understanding of man.
Claude E. Shannon
During the 2nd World War, Claude E. Shannon invented the possibility of digitally manipulating information. This allows us to better target ads on the Web. Firms like Google and Facebook benefit from this in accumulating their capital. But the algorithm for calculating information is limited to one unit with a minimal meaning: the bit. Therefore, as Shannon states, information “says
nothing about the value or importance of the information”.
The purpose
Quite the opposite. Although it is mainly presented as an enhancement, when information processing (or so-called “intelligence”) takes over, Shannon points out that it forces humanity “to adapt to a world in which its mental powers are somehow devalued. “. Umberto Eco says the same in other words when stating that in the virtual world of information, we risk “losing any idea of purpose and of action”.
Tous les sens
While humanity is busy wandering around in an excess of information, it loses all trace of what it wants as a subject. Without the aegis of meaning, information lacks the meaning of what man feels.
Semiosis embodies the objective of fully regaining the dynamics of meaning.  Thought, seized by a logic around a sign that signifies. As a social system or as an individual process. Semiosis makes sense cogent through understanding of meaning.
Logo pour Site