Publication 7892

Wąsik Z. (2014) Meaning as a subjective construct. Chapter 7 in: Lectures on the epistemology of semiotics. Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław Publishing, Wrocław: 127–153. Fulltext at
Excerpt: In this lecture, a logical-philosophical approach to meaning-carriers or meaning-processes is juxtaposed with the anthropological and biological conceptions of subjective significance uniting the semiotics of culture with the semiotics of nature. Special attention is paid to practices and patterns of meaning-creation and meaning-utilization in social interactions. The subject matter of the domain studied by human semiotics is specified in terms of sign- and meaning-processing and sign- and meaning-interpreting activities of communicating selves who utilize the objects found in their subjective universe as functional tools or valuable goods of culture. The roots of such subject-oriented conceptions of sign and meaning will be traced in the, praxeological, i.e., function- and purpose-oriented or the axiological, i.e., value- and need-oriented view of culture. Thus, exposed in a human-centered theory of culture is the role of a subject who acts as a meaning-utilizer or meaning-evaluator, and who nominates and subsumes the objects of culture as signs of purposes or needs. With regard to the semiotic activity of human beings a proposal is put forward to distinguish two forms of meaning-nomination and meaning-subsumption, either from the viewpoint of praxeosemiotics or axiosemiotics. Praxeosemiotic nominations and subsumptions are connected with the ascription of functions to the objects hitherto as being useful for certain purposes, and the axiosemiotic nominations and subsumptions result in the transfer of products and behavior of people to the realm of cultural objects with respect to their goodness.

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