Basics of Semiotics

Paper $15
168 pages, 6" x 9", preface, footnotes, references, index

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Basics of Semiotics

Deely, John

"Deely's book, the only successful modern English introduction to semiotics, is a clear, creative, and provocative synthesis of major trends, past and present." - Thomas A. Sebeok, Indiana University

The last half century has produced an increasing interest in semiotics, the study of signs. As an interdisciplinary field, moreover, semiotics has produced a vast literature from many different points of view. As the discourse has expanded, clear definitions and goals become more elusive. Semioticians still lack a unified theory of the purposes of semiotics as a discipline as well as a comprehensive rationale for the4 linking of semiosis at the levels of culture, society, and nature. As Deely suggests in his preface, the image of the modern semiotic universe is the same as that of astronomy in 1611 as suggested by John Donne: "Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone; / All just supply, and all Relation."

This short, cogent, philosophically oriented book outlines and analyzes the basic concepts of semiotics in a coherent, overall framework.

John Deely is Professor of philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies of the University of St. Thomas (Houston), and author of numerous works on philosophy and semiotics, most recently The Impact on Philosophy of Semiotics (St. Augustine's Press), The Four Ages of Understanding (Toronto), and What Distinguishes Human Understanding (St Augustine's Press).