Whitehead: “But consciousness, which is the supreme vividness of experience, does not rest content withteh dumb sense of importance behind the veil” (48). **INteresting that “vividness” is a degree (“quality”)
“The idea that language is a veil between us and reality; that words erect barriers which prevent direct access; that any and all expression contains error—these notions are universal and perennial…Language is infected and unreliable or it is somehow to blame for the human condition. In myths of origin, language is somehow implicated in loss; somebody gets the message wrong or forgets it entirely. In later versions of a Fall, language is an analogue of sin and deaht; and reason, because of its dependence on language, is profoundly and irremediably inadequate. Only faith, grace, intuition, or Right Reason can assure redemption” (49). ***I wonder if the recent celebration of “failure” belongs in this conceptualizing.
“Saussure’s characterization of the signifier as an acoustic image has led positivist linguists into this trap: any idea of the correspondence of language and reality is undercut by the idea of an arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified” (49). ***Dyadic notion of sign.
“In the perspective of a triadic semiotic, the gaps function as part of the semiotic structure itself” (49).
“Thus, for Ogden and Richards, a triangle with a dotted base line symbolizes a triadic meaning relationship in which a symbol refers to an object (referent) only by means of a meaning (reference, at the apex) entertained by the sign-maker, and it can be construed only by an interpreter who shares that meaning” ( 49). ***I need to work this shared-ness into my model. I think the bubbles work, but I need some color to indicate the shared meanings.
“If the relationship of the signifier and the signified is somehow determined by the interpreter, constrained by his ‘discourse community,’ the dilemma created by the inconsonance of the doctrine of the arbitrary sign and theories of the correspondence of language and reality could be bypassed: meaning could be brought into the picture as a psychological concept; hermeneutics could supplant semiotics; critics could learn to love their chains, rejoice in barriers and gaps” (49). ***The ultimate hopefulness
“But triadicity has no explanatory power unless interpretation is seen as a logical, not a psychological matter” (49).**How does this speak to affect? This is consonant with OOO, and discussions of ambiance/environment…
“(Peirce foresaw the difficulty and spoke only with reluctance of interpreters rather than what he called the interpretant, the mediating idea help buddy interpreter.)” (49). ***Takes the”Self” out. Operates on the level of firstness?
“Triadicity – the recognition of mediation– is not a matter of defining two powers of language, one which separates and one which unites, as in Mauthner’s image of the ocean as bridge and as barrier. The point is, rather, that it is by being a barrier that it is a bridge: Language as such – the formal system, the arbitrary structure, unconscious and historically determined–language is itself the great heuristic” (49).
“…without the concept of mediation, the heuristic power of formal constraints cannot be appreciated; without an understanding of separation as the condition of the making of meaning, there is no reason to account for mediation” (50). **The third is logical, not convenient.
“…the dyadic sign encourages the mystical notion that beyond the formal structure there is real reality” (50).
“….truth is seen as being on one or the other side of a barrier—with us and our empirical measurements, or beyond us and out of reach” (50-51). ***EMPRICISM. How does this square with Massumi’s Radical Empiricism?
“It is notable that this dichotomy of language and reality is consonant with the idea that language and thought are identical” (51). ***What are the implications for reflection?
“Only the triadic sign can accommodate mediation, but triadicity degenerates very quickly to dyadicity, with a third awkwardly tacked on, unless signification is seen as a dynamic, on-going, dialectical process of determination” (51). ***Meaning is always in process, forming/re-forming, moving, never captured, never static, always in motion. Vital.
“But once we accept the ‘immediacy’ or necessity of mediation, the dichotomy of language and reality dissolves and we discover that this opposition is logically faulty. Mediation—that is to say, the acknowledgement of interpretation as a constituent part of the sign—converts dichotomies to dialectical relationships; it transforms dyadic structures to dynamic processes; it makes interpretation the motive power of symbolization. This is, indeed, what Richards meant in referring to Peirce’s ‘revolutionary doctrine of the Interpretant'” (52). ****Revolution
“A muddle of the psychological and the logical is the result when the identity of language and thought and the correspondence of language and reality are presupposed, as seems to be the case here…If limits are understood as merely constraining, without a recognition of enabling function, then Wettgenstein’s formulation is analogous to Neitzsche’s image of the prison-house of language. And, of course, no formulation which omits process can account for the heuristic power of language” (52). ***Learning can’t happen independent of a process. Is “learning” and “communciation” the same kind of thing here? A Process. They are different kinds of processes? What do they share? What differentiate’s?
Vygotsky: “…the study of thought and language must begin, not with the elements of thought and language, but with the unit of meaning” (53). **Isn’t ‘meaning’ one of those elements?
“For Vygotsky meaning is a dynamic system: it is like a cell because of hte way it is organized and because it is in process. Vygotsky depends on organic metaphors to represent an understanding of semiosis—the making of meaning, the linguistic process—but he does not let metapors do his thinking for him….in lively conjunction and from a method which continually demonstrates the dynamic character of semiosis” (53) ***Bissell’s ‘doctrine of dynamic reciprocity’….
“When he comes to discuss the character of play in the development of the child, Vygotsky speaks of it as a mediated activity which, incidentally, he represents by a triangle with a dotted line between stimulus and response, the apex being a ‘complex, mediated act.’ The earliest instance of meaning making is seen not as a response to the environment or as an instinctual expression but as an activity of mediation” (53). ***Montessori
“The only way we can account for the emergent identification of language and thought is by taking semiosis into account. Thus, in a triadic perspective, all gaps and abysses, cuts and barriers, are mysterious barricades: by the logic of necessity, they define the heuristic power of limits, the very conditions of knowing” (54). ***This semiosis echoes in Massumi’s porous, misty boundaries?
Leave a Reply