An Evaluation of Semiotics as a Science of Sign Systems

An Evaluation of Semiotics as a Science of Sign Systems

Document details
Category: Linguistics Essay
Subcategory: Knowledge of Meaning
Words: 1807
Pages: 6

In this essay I will be evaluating whether or not semiotics can be considered a science of sign systems. Semiotics are a relatively new science, and are essentially the close analysis of any sign system found in an established society. When semiotics are applied to a twenty-first century society, the addition of technology changes the meaning of the word semiotics slightly, as it is impossible not to factor in to any argument various distinctions between human behaviour and intellect with relation to mechanical systems. These similarities between machines and the human mind are strongly related to semiotic sign systems created by humans. I believe the notion that language can be studied in a scientific fashion, rather than a historical one to be a valid argument a good example of this can be found in A Course in General Linguistics when Saussure states that semiotics are found by establishing a field of enquiry and studying synchronically in the style of a science as opposed to diachronically. Also, due to the natural properties of language, semiotics may be used as a model of the outside world surrounding human society, physical occurrences waiting upon a scientific explanation. This reduces the differences and similarities that are encountered when dealing with sign systems, for example the aforementioned technological and human intellectual differences, to be little more than a statement of a formalised language. Complex systems of semiotics could perhaps be regarded as purely aesthetic systems found in art forms rather than something particularly scientific. It is important to note that as intellectual creatures, humans are able to comprehend and use language to speak about things without the help of sign systems Pierce states that all manner of things can be turned into themselves and signs in particular can be transformed into a medium between the world and the human mind. In contrast, something that is regularly perceived as a sign can be misused just as easily, for example interpreting...

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