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Issues raised by Ruthrof’s ’Meaning: An intersemiotic perspective’

King, D. (1997) Issues raised by Ruthrof’s ’Meaning: An intersemiotic perspective’. Semiotica, 115 (3-4). pp. 391-396.

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In 'Meaning: An intersemiotic perspective', Ruthrof argues that the entirety of human experience can be construed in terms of sign systems. Following Peirce, who maintains that we think only in signs, he says:

... reality is the result of the corroboration of one system by at least one other sign system. Or, more simply, reality occurs when signs from different significatory systems support one another. (Ruthrof 1995: 25)

In my opinion, Ruthrof's theory of sign systems is highly persuasive. There are, however, ethical considerations arising from it that I think need discussing. If what I have to say in the following is cogent, we shall find ourselves faced with a choice: either reject Ruthrof's theory of signs, or profoundly revise our attitudes with regard to art. Given the persuasiveness of Ruthrof's theory, I shall be urging the latter.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Copyright: © Walter de Gruyter
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