Archive for January, 2012

Michael Hardt “The Withering of Civil Society”

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Hardt, Michael 1995. The Withering of Civil Society. – Social Text No. 45: 27-44

In order to situate Foucault’s work on the terrain of Hegel’s civil society,  however,  we  need  to  take  a  step back  and  elaborate  some  of  the nuances  of  Foucault’s  theoretical perspective.  Hegel’s  understanding  of the  historical rise  of  civil  society and  the generalization of  its  educative social role does  correspond in several respects to the process  that Michel Foucault  calls the governmentalization of  the  State. (32)

The  exertion of power is organized through deployments,  which  are at once  ideological, institutional, and corporeal. This  is  not to say that there is no  State, but rather that it cannot effectively be isolated and contested  at a level separate from society. In Foucault’s framework, the modern State is not properly understood  as  the  transcendent  source  of  power  relations in society. On  the contrary, the State as such is better understood  as a result, the consolidation  or  molarization of  forces  of  “statization” (etatisation) immanent  to social power relations. (33)

The  State, Hegel  claims, is not the result but the cause; Foucault adds, not a transcendent but an immanent cause, statization, immanent  to  the  various  channels,  institutions, or  enclosures  of social production. (33)

Deleuze  suggests that it is more adequate, then, to understand the collapse of the walls defined by the enclosures not as  some  sort  of  social  evacuation but  rather as  the generalization of  the logics that previously functioned  within these limited domains  across the entire  society,  spreading like  a  virus.  The  logic of  capitalist production perfected  in  the factory now  invests  all forms  of  social production.  The same might  be  said also  for the school, the family, the hospital,  and the other disciplinary institutions. (35)

The  panopticon,  and disciplinary diagrammatics in general, functioned primarily in  terms  of  positions,  fixed points,  and identities. Foucault saw the production of identities (even “oppositional” or “deviant” identities, such as the factory worker and the homosexual)  as fundamental to the functions of rule in disciplinary societies. The  diagram of  control,  however,  is  not  oriented  toward position  and  identity, but rather toward mobility  and  anonymity. It  functions  on  the  basis  of  “the whatever,”5 the flexible and mobile performance of  contingent identities, and thus its assemblages or institutions are elaborated primarily through repetition and the production of simulacra. (36)

Control functions  on  the plane of  the simulacra of  society. The  anonymity and whateverness of the  societies  of control is precisely what gives them their smooth  surfaces. (37)

Marx calls the subsumption of labor real, then, when the labor processes themselves are born within capital and therefore when  labor  is incorporated not  as  an  external,  but  an  internal force, proper to capital itself. (38)

In this light, the real subsumption  appears as the completion  of capital’s project  and  the  fulfillment  of  its longstanding dream-to  present itself  as  separate from labor, and pose  a  capitalist society that does  not look to labor as its dynamic foundation. (39)

What  is subsumed, what  is accepted  into  the process,  is  no longer a potentially conflictive force but a product of the system itself; the real subsumption does not extend vertically throughout the various strata of society but rather constructs  a separate plane, a simulacrum of society that excludes  or marginalizes social  forces foreign to  the system. Social capital thus appears to reproduce itself autonomously, as if it were emancipated from the working class, and labor becomes  invisible in the system. The  contemporary decline  of labor unions  in both  juridical and political terms, as the right to organize and the right to strike become  increasingly irrelevant in  the constitution,  is only  one  symptom of  this  more  general
passage. (39)

Not  the State,  but  civil  society has  withered  away! In  other  words,  even  if  one were  to  consider  civil  society  politically  desirable-and  I hope  to  have shown that this position is at least contestable-the  social conditions necessary for civil society no longer exist. (40)

Civil society, as we  have seen, is  central to  a form of rule, or government, as Foucault says, that focuses, on the one  hand, on the identity of the citizen and the processes  of civilization and, on the other hand, on the organization  of  abstract labor. […] What has come  to  an end,  or more  accurately declined in importance in postcivil  society, then, are precisely these  functions  of  mediation or education and the institutions that gave them form. (40)

Instead  of  disciplining  the  citizen  as  a  fixed social identity, the new social regime seeks to control the citizen as a whatever identity, or rather as an infinitely flexible placeholder for identity. It tends  to  establish  an  autonomous  plane  of  rule,  a  simulacrum  of  the social-separate from  the  terrain  of  conflictive  social  forces. Mobility, speed, and flexibility are the qualities that characterize this separate plane of  rule.  The  infinitely programmable machine,  the  ideal  of  cybernetics, gives us at least an approximation of the diagram of the new paradigm of rule. (40-41)


Margus Vihalem “What is ‘the subject’ the name for?”

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Vihalem, Margus 2011. What is ’the subject’ the name for? The conceptual structure of Alain Badiou’s theory of the subject. – Sign Systems Studies 39(1): 60-80

[…] truth is not the prerogative of philosophy; rather it is the turning-point giving birth to philosophical reflection, to conceptual framing wherein these conditions may get elucidated but not resumed altogether. In addition, truth in Badiou’s conception is not a matter of knowledge (savoir, see 1988: 9). Knowledge simply gives us access to what is – being, it is unable to explain what happens – the unknown, the unexpected, the Event. (66)

Truth, being […] immanently related to (the course of) history, is by its very nature eminently revolutionary: it enables an advent of something more or less new, it concerns a radical change in the course of being qua being. (69)

[…] excess of ontology […] is discovered and embodied in the concept called the event. (70)

[…] philosophy is concerned with what escapes being as totality (counted as one) and turns to a concrete situation, or as Badiou puts it, to a singular multiplicity, in order to track down the real circumstances of the event. (70)

[…] there is a singular multiplicity of living entities, and there is a void (or even voids), a vague being identified simply as brute matter, previously called being as being. (71)

This theory [of ‘subjectivation’] […] has nothing to do with neither the transcendental nor the substantial subject. Quite the contrary, its consistency is organized in time, it is entirely submitted to the temporal modifications. (73)

[…] there is no objective way for truths to be approached in their so-called eternity, truth is strictly a matter of appearing and especially of revealing – subjective affirmation alone enables to confirm that there are truths. […] This is what the subjectivation in its broadest sense is about: organizing an exception which fails to follow the rule. (74)

[…] the subject has no essence, no substance, no foundation, no transcendental structure, no knowledge of his own, which means that it is completely unsubstantiated and has no ontological meaning whatsoever before coming into contact with the event. This subject, determined first and foremost as completely formal, is unfounded and founds itself only on the fragments of a consistency that Badiou, using his peculiar terminology, defines as that of fidelity. (74)

[…] the subject subsists only as a productive and determining form that results in the very category of truth. […] It has meaning only insofar as it belongs to the faithful continuity of the event. (75)

[…] the subject signifies precisely “a system of forms and operations” (Badiou 2006: 55), and there is no ultimate operation to be accomplished, no ultimate form to be fixed. (76)

[…] in addition to the faithful subject Badiou discovers, there are two other forms of subject that he calls respectively ‘the reactive subject’ and ‘the obscure subject’ which are to be discerned as essentially unproductive forms (they are merely passive bodies rather than subjects) because they deny the power of the event for the present and either fail to recognize it or project it into some idealized transcendence. (76-77)

This is why Badiou may be justified to declare himself as both post-Cartesian and post-Lacanian thinker: he introduces a radical dividing-line between the fundamental categories of being and truth which permits him to identify the subject not as a support or an origin, but as a fragment of the processes of truth (Badiou 1988: 22). (77)

Indeed, the subject is to be understood as a militant, subjectivating and organizational form of artistic, scientific, political and affectionate activity and of the determination of the indiscernible character of an event that confers meaning to this activity. (77)

Iain Mackenzie & Robert Porter “Dramatizing the Political”

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Mackenzie, Iain; Porter, Robert 2011. Dramatizing the Political: Deleuze and Guattari. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

The dramatization of struggle would seem to be intrinsic to any struggle itself. (2)

[…] to dramatize the political, in the manner of Deleuze and Guattari, is to make a work of art. The dramatization of the political, therefore, forges a methodological link between politics and aesthetics. As we will argue, dramatization expresses the intrinsically aesthetic nature of moments of politicization – those moments when the machinations of politics are deemed insufficient to meet the demand of the political – and it does so by way of constructing an aesthetic response to those moments. The proper methodological response to a significant political event, for example, is to treat it as an art-work that demands a response appropriate to its form – that is, another work of art. (3)

[…] dramatizing the political is not simply a critical method vis-à-vis other forms of political thought but a way of doing political philosophy that explicitly links it to the need to challenge the institutions and formations of everyday politics by way of an art of critical intervention – through writing, but also cinema and other image-forms, as well as the dramatic irruptions of political movements. (4)

[…] political philosophers need to start thinking like artists or, better still, along with artists, in bringing to life concepts that provoke, resonate and allow us to meaningfully access the domain of the political. (8)

[…] philosophical-political thought, or the very formulation of political concepts, implies an aesthetic moment, a drama that necessarily and inevitably plays through conceptualization as such. (9)

Deleuze and Guattari and Political Theory
[…] the method of dramatization in Deleuze and Guattari aims to determine the nature of political concepts and how we to access, know and feel the resonance of political concepts. (20)

First, and most obviously, there is a need to develop a critical sense that the medium, form or genre in which political concepts are formulated and expressed is immanently constitutive of their meaning and significance. Second, though less obviously perhaps, the drama implied by the formulation of political ideas should fundamentally impact upon our sense as political theorists of what is involved in the process of conceptualization itself. […] Put all too simply: what we may think of as the aesthetic dimensions of political thought […] are not contingent or inessential, but necessary and constitutive. (23)

Dramatization as Critical Method
[…] a critical method is one in which we come to know the world through changing it; whether or not this change will be ‘for the better’ is a question of a different order. […] [the method of dramatization] is the acquisition of knowledge about the political world through the activity of changing it. (37)

[…] if all concepts express relations (to the extent that they group elements together under the concept and they always exist in relation to other concepts) and there is no rational necessity for the relations they express, then the determination of concepts must itself be a practical activity (rather than a merely theoretical activity aimed at unearthing the essential characteristics of the related elements). (39)

[…] Deleuze treats ideas as real problems: as outside and yet productive (rather than inside and regulative) of thought. (41)

[…] the method of dramatization is firmly established as that approach to ideas whose indeterminate experience exceeds the subject, which sets them into motion through a process of intense characterization […] (42)

[…] this is the reality of concepts we use: they are always locked into a field of dynamic interactions; otherwise concepts would have no meaning or resonance for us at all and they would simply fall dead on the ground. (43)

A concept, though, is not simply that which ‘surveys’ the conceptual field (grouping certain forms of the state together, for instance); it also ‘inaugurates’ a plane of immanence (the idea that there is a world of states that can be thought about, for example). (49)

[…] the persona is the character that brings to life the relationship between thought and the non-thought that it implies. […] In dramatizing the critic, the philosopher is able to establish a territory upon which the method becomes a critical method: a means of not merely interpreting a pregiven reality but changing that reality in the name of alternative forms of knowledge. (50)

Dramatization: The Ontological Claims
[…] philosophical texts should not be read with a view to interpreting what they mean, but performed with the aim of bringing to life the forces that animate the text. (55)

[…] we will typically think of intensity in very human terms, notably as the emotional domain that traverses human interaction and identity. (55)

For Deleuze, all the relations that we experience are the result of processes of intensification. In other words, it is not simply that things exist in a series of intense relationships; it is intensification that brings things into existing relationships. (56)

What is intensification? In the context of our discussion of method, intensification is the process constitutive of the extensive diversity implied by conceptualizations. While concepts group together elements that appear the same from the perspective of some criterion of identity, the point of creating the concept is to express the intensity of the elements that it groups together by bringing them into relations with each other. (56-57)

[…] when we think of individuals (people, performances and so on, as well as crystals) we must always remember that process has primacy over product. (58)

1)    First, Deleuze argues that all relations of quantity and quality are conditioned by intensity […];
2)    Second, he argues that intensive relations are relations of ‘pure difference’ – self-differing variations within things, so to speak, rather than the differences between things whose essence we already know. […]
3)    Third, he argues that intensive difference is always subject to a principle of indetermination. […]
4)    relations of pure difference are indeterminate (they have a role in determining individuals but cannot in themselves be determined) and, as such, they are an ideal but nonetheless real component of actual – determinable – things. (60-61)

Conceptualization always expresses an idea but it does so by taking a perspective on that idea: we always bring a persona to bear within the methods we use, and if we do not recognize this then we will tend toward idealism – the collapse of concept and idea. (63)

To know the idea behind the concept, therefore, is to change the relations within and between concepts so as to express the system of pure differential relations constitutive of the non-representational idea that conditions our determination of the concept. To put it as a slogan: make an event of thought! (65)

To dramatize concepts in order to access the ideas they express, therefore, is to ‘make a difference’ by making an event of thought. (65)

Every concept already has more than one component to it. […] Equally, each of these concepts has multiple components. That said, concepts do not have infinite component parts because every concept must leave out other concepts in order to define itself. So a concept is ‘a finite multitude’, to use Deleuze and Guattari’s phrasing from What is Philosophy? (66)

The dramatization of concepts […] is the process by which one ‘recovers’ the events that conditioned their emergence. (67)

Language and the Method of Dramatization
Humour plays a role in learning, for Deleuze, precisely because it creates an important felt sense that what often passes for supposedly informed or rational instruction […] has limited sense, that it remains problematic in some way. There is therefore wisdom to be found when one embarks on ‘this adventure of humour’ (Deleuze 1990, 136). (78)

It is a pragmatics that insists, inevitably, on the importance of performance in language, or the use of language in speech action, while simultaneously retaining the idea that language is characterized by a kind of intrinsic or immanent movement that issues from the medium itself. (82-83)

Events and the Method of Dramatization
Badiou (2009, 384): “The event is always what has just happened, what will happen but never what is happening.”

This ‘bloc of sensations’ is ‘a compound of percepts and affects’ distinct from the perceptions of the perceiver and the affections of those affected. It is a ‘bloc’ of sensations, therefore, because it is not simply some thing that some one then senses; it is a structured domain of intensity in which thing and person […] are implicated. Put like this, we see no reason why the dramatic event cannot be described as a work of art. (129)

[…] the ‘bloc of sensations’ that Deleuze and Guattari’s words here evoke is what the art-worj is said to preserve in itself. The art-work stands up on its own to the extent that it remains ‘independent’ or autonomous from its creator, from its potential audience, from its material situation, and even from the medium or form in and through which it is expressed. Something happens in the art-work, something new is created, a cut in being, the structuring of a domain of intensity. (133)

Jobst Conrad “Limitations to Interdisciplinarity …”

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Conrad, Jobst 2002. Limitations to Interdisciplinarity in Problem Oriented Social Science Research. – The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies vol. 1, no. 1. kättesaadav:

Practical (social) problems rarely are in accordance with disciplinary boundaries. Therefore scientific knowledge, if superior at all, has to be taken from different fields and combined. So open questions have to be investigated in a problem oriented manner, when external, non-theoretical purposes tend to dominate. Problem oriented research, as opposed to basic research, is less interested in gaining new general scientific findings, but more concerned with the utilization of general knowledge for practical (social) problems which are not structured according to disciplinary categories and limitations. This implies inherent uncertainties and the necessity of (problem oriented) interlinkage of disciplinary knowledge. (3)

Problem oriented research differs from applied research. The latter is oriented towards the specification and application of available scientific knowledge (analytical models, conceptual schemes, techniques, instruments) for relatively clearly specified purposes. In contrast problem oriented research must, in principle, deal with uncertainties related to prognosis, complexity and contingency in order to legitimize decisions which have no certain foundations, but typically cannot wait until basic questions of a scientific field have been solved. (3)

Interdisciplinarity may well be considered a valuable ideal of integrating (theoretical) concepts and methods in a common framework, but rarely a realistic aim in terms of developing a new common theory. Perhaps a common new context is all that can be hoped for. Typically, this would be at the level of system building within an integrated (and reflexive) theory. (4)

Since problem oriented research is almost by definition not oriented towards theory building, it can hardly involve interdisciplinarity. Thus, corresponding empirical analysis of problem oriented research should evaluate how far it satisfied the various criteria of competent multidisciplinary scientific cooperation indicated above but not its genuine interdisciplinarity. (5)

Alessandro Duranti “On Theories and Models”

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Duranti, Alessandro 2005. On Theories and Models. – Discourse Studies, Vol 7(4-5): 409-429

The first thesis I proposed is called ‘the primacy of interaction’, that is, the idea that interaction is the presupposed ingredient and product of any human affair. In other words, we need interaction to be who we are and, in turn, our ways of being produce further interaction. […] Speakers are constantly evaluating their about-to-be-uttered words vis-à-vis their about-to-be-addressed audience. The audience is always part of the message even before it does anything (and it always does do something). (411)

[…] an important question to address in this context is whether we can distinguish between interaction and communication at all, regardless of how they have been defined in the past. (412)

General criteria should be identified to assess not only whether a given description is valid (as opposed to misleading or mystifying) but also whether it is better than other possible descriptions. Such evaluative criteria may include: (1) the ability of a given description to provide a characterization of the phenomenon in question so that we can easily differentiate it from others, whether or not intuitively similar, phenomena; (2) the capacity of an analysis to offer generalizations; and (3) the potential to offer a measure of comparison of phenomena that appear different but turn out to be the same or appear the same but turn out to be different. (416)

the centrality of interaction presupposes an interest in the kind of ‘work’ that interaction gets done or that is done through interaction. Crucial in this endeavor is the dimension of temporality. We do not just ask ‘why this feature/expression/act/turn/exchange/activity etc.?’ but ‘why this feature/expression/act/turn/exchange/activity etc. now?’ (416)

Let us think of a theory as a set of propositions, preferences, and attitudes toward a particular set of phenomena or entities. We are thus always engaged in theorybuilding whenever we are concerned with the logic of our research, the paradigm-in-practice that we use, or, rather, that we must use in order to get to talk about anything (I am using ‘must’ here in both the epistemic and deontic sense). Hence theories include an epistemology, that is, what we think we can know and what we think we should be able to know. And theories also include an
implicit or explicit ontology, particular assumptions on the nature of the phenomena we are trying to understand and a set of associated practices (i.e. way of implementing those assumptions and, in turn, reinforcing them). (418)

Let us think of models as entities that are good to think-with. They are worth pursuing if they provide us with a conceptual apparatus that can be used to describe, and thus (better) understand or explain a given range of phenomena. Models are often thought of as representations but only in the very general sense of ‘standing in’ or ‘standing for’ the phenomena themselves or the logic of their functioning. (419)

One of the advantages of ‘models for’, like all metaphors, is that they have a life of their own which frees them from our own original assumptions. We can explore the model in ways that are more adventurous than the ways in which we can explore something that we control very tightly. One possible generalization here is that there might be a tendency for ‘models of ’ to be more constraining and closed areas of inquiry and a tendency for ‘models for’ to be more open-ended frames of inquiry. (421)

We believe that human action (from the lifting of a spoon in preparation for testing the content of a dish to the declaration of war) always involves some form of interaction and that therefore any model, theory, and method
aimed at explaining or simply describing what humans routinely do in the course of their everyday affairs must have some way to include ‘interaction’ as a dimension that needs to be referred to, theorized, and empirically reckoned with, e.g. ‘captured’ or ‘inscribed’ through some form of documentation […] (422)

‘Interaction’ has not had the same intensive critical scrutiny (outside of the criticism of ‘interactionism’ in sociology) perhaps because of its taken-for-granted or, alternatively, its underanalyzed status in past and current debates (including theoretical debates on contemporary socio-ethical-political issues). (422)

Any empirically founded study of human interaction must attend two needs: (1) the need to refer to or take into consideration human consciousness – which includes intentionality as well as human awareness and self-understanding – and (2) the need to avoid assuming a theoretical-methodological stance exclusively or even primarily founded on cognitive processes (assumed to be) lodged within the (individual) mind. (422-423)

We may have a commitment to a continuous updating of our documentary techniques depending on the type of
phenomena we want to capture (phenomena →technique) or a commitment to experiment with different techniques to see what kind of phenomena they can reveal (technique →phenomena). (423)

We must first commit to making our units of analysis explicit and then to assess their potential for crosscontextual, cross-cultural, cross-linguistic analysis. (423)

Among students interested in an interactional approach, there is a recurrent call for clear statements regarding the criteria for the acceptance or rejection of a given analysis. For example, we need to say what constitutes evidence for asserting that feature f does a or is used to accomplish a. (423)

Reflexivity transfers the omnipresent political and ethical dimensions of human affairs to the context of researchers’ choices. (424)

Julia Kristeva “Semiotics: A Critical Science and/or a Critique of Science”

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Kristeva, Julia 1986. Semiotics: A Critical Science and/or a Critique of Science. – Kristeva, Julia. The Kristeva Reader. New York: Columbia University Press: 74-88

Tundes pakilist vajadust eneseanalüüsi järele, pöördub tänapäeva teaduslik diskursus keelte uurimise poole ja püüab välja tuua mudeleid, mis on nende (ja tema enda) aluseks. Teiste sõnadega, sel määral, mil sotsiaalset praktikat (ökonoomika, argiteadvus, „kunst” jmt) vaadeldakse märgisüsteemina, „mis on struktureeritud kui keel”, allub iga taoline praktika (olles loomuliku keele suhtes sekundaarseks mudeliks, olles modelleeritud tema eeskujul ja modelleerides teda omakorda) teaduslikule analüüsile. Just siin konstitueerub, või, mis on praegusel hetkel õigem, otsib ennast semiootika. (75)

Semiootika — see on formalisatsioon, mudelite tootmine. Seetõttu peame me semiootikast rääkides silmas just nimelt mudelite, st formaliseeritud süsteemide, millede struktuur on isomorfne ja analoogne mingi teise süsteemi (mis on uurimisobjektiks) struktuuriga,  välja töötamist (alles eesseisvat). (76)

Määratledes semiootika kui mudelite tootmise, viitasime me mitte ainult tema objektile, vaid puudutasime ka spetsiifilist eripära, mis teda teiste „teaduste” seas esile tõstab. Nii nagu täppisteaduste mudelid, nii on ka semiootikas loodavad mudelid oma olemuselt representatsioonid ja omavad nendena ajalis-ruumilisi koordinaate. Semiootika aga selle poolest erinebki täppisteadustest, et ta toodab nimelt selle modelleerimise teooriat, milleks ta ise on — teooriat, mida võib põhimõtteliselt rakendada objektidele, mis ei ole representatiivsed oma olemuselt. (77)

[…] teooria loob üheaegselt (kusjuures iga kord uuesti) nii semiootika objekti (uuritava praktika tüübi semiootiline tasand), kui ka selle tööriista (mudeli tüüp, mis vastab teatud semiootilisele struktuurile, mis on teooria poolt välja toodud). (77)

[…] semiootika ei ole midagi muud, kui katkematu omaenese objekti ja/või omaenese mudelite ümberhindamine, nende mudelite (aga järelikult ka nende teaduste, kust nad üle on võetud) kriitika, ja samuti iseenda (kui kindlakskujunenud tõdede süsteemi) kriitika. (77)

Öeldu tähendab, et semiootika enesekonstrueerimine ei saa olla midagi muud peale semiootika kriitika, mis on suunatud millelegi semiootikast erinevale — ideoloogiale. (78)

Igasugune semiootika on seega võimeline konstitueeruma ainult kui semiootika kriitika. Olles ruumiks, kus teadused ära kaotatakse, esitub semiootika kui selle protsessi eneseteadvus  ja seega kui „teaduslikkuse” ümberhindamine; olles midagi vähemat (või suuremat) kui teadus, on ta pigem agressiooni ja illusioonide kaotamise ruumiks teadusdiskursuse sees. (78)

Selline semiootika staatus eeldab: 1. semiootika erilist suhet teiste teadustega, sealhulgas lingvistika, matemaatika ja loogikaga, mille mudeleid ta kasutab. 2. uue terminoloogia loomist ja vana lammutamist. (79)

Kuni praeguse ajani määratlesime me semiootika objekti kui teatud semiootilist tasandit, st niisugust tähistavate praktikate läbilõiget [coupe], kus tähistatavat modelleeritakse tähistajana. (80)

[…] kuna semiootika on diskursuse , st iseenda teadus-teooria, kuna ta püüab ära tabada toodetud produktile eelneva  tootmise dünaamilist liikumist, kuna, järelikult, ta hakkab vastu representatsioonile ja samal ajal kasutab mudelite (representatiivsete) abi, kuna, lõpuks, ta püüab ületada sedasama formalisatsiooni, mis ainult annabki talle määratletuse  ja mida ta ise kõigutab teooriate, mille objektiks on ettekujutamatu (mõõdetamatu), abil, —   sedavõrd  tootmise semiootika rõhutab, et tal on tegemist teistsuguse objektiga kui kommunikatiivse vahetuse objekt (mis /40/allub representatsioonile ja rerepresenteerib ise), mis on täppisteaduste objektiks. Koos sellega, rõhutades teaduse (täpse) terminoloogia lõhkumise vajalikkust, orienteerib ta seda (terminoloogiat) selle teise näitelava suunas, kus toimub väärtuse tekkimisele eelnev töö, mida me võime esialgu vaid suure vaevaga eristada. (85)

Peter Grzybek “The Concept of ‘Model’ in Soviet Semiotics”

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Grzybek, Peter 1994. The Concept of ’Model’ in Soviet Semiotics. – Russian Literature XXXVI: 285-300

a)    Natural language can indeed be considered a modelling system, since it involces the construction of mental models. These models are analogical (or iconical) in nature, but they are not the only mode to represent the contents of a text. In this sense, then, natural language actually reflects what Lotman terms the „principal semiotic heterogeneity“.
b)    The semiotic heterogeneity of a ’text’ not only generally confirms the idea of semiotic heterogeneity; it also makes the claim of an isology between ’sign-text-culture’ more and more convinving.
c)    Although mental models are analogical by nature, their generation is not restricted to iconic signs; nevertheless, iconic components are indispensable from the construction of discouse models, by whatever kind of signs they may be generated.
d)    Since a mental model need not be veridical, but can instead be fictitious and may involve true or false assertions, it is necessary to realize that within this framework, a literary work of art cannot be distinguished from an everyday statement. Given this circumstance, the notion of a ’secondary modelling system’ will have to be reflected anew. It might turn out to be useful to re-define a secondary modelling system not as a structure which is superimposed upon language or constructed like it, but as a structure to which, on a secondary level of signification, cultural concepts (semantic oppositions) are attributed which, instead of the original input, serve as the basis of interpretation. […] secondary modelling systems represent only part of art in general, and that art is not restricted to secondary modelling systems. (295-296)