Edusemiotics as Process Semiotics: towards a new model of semiosis for teaching and learning

Andrew Stables

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Standard definitions posit the sign as a discrete entity in relation with other signs and standing for an object (either physical or psychological). Thus the sign has two roles, as prompt and as substitutive representation. The latter raises difficult questions about the relationship of the semiotic to the non-semiotic or pre-semiotic, which can be resolved logically (as in Peirce) or rejected as unanswerable (as in Saussure), but which can never be satisfactorily resolved empirically as the phenomenal cannot be divorced from the semiotic. This impasse can be resolved if we drop the assumption that the sign is essentially substitutive. The assumption of discrete entities, at either the phenomenal or the noumenal levels, is a function of discredited substance metaphysics. On a process metaphysical account, the reality of the sign is not attached to the discreteness of any pre-existing entity. The sign remains as prompt and as relational but not (other than sometimes with respect to other signs) substitutive. Rather than defined as standing for an object, the sign can now be regarded much more simply as a feature of an event. This conception of the sign is explored in terms of its implications for teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45–50
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

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