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Book Discussion > Semiotics Reading

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message 1: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeef) | 14 comments Mod
I found this rather straightforward book on Semiotics called "Semiotics for Beginners" in case anyone is interested in reading/discussing the finer points.

message 2: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 7 comments Mod
I found Barthes to be the most interesting and relevant in semiotics, but I'm by no means well-read in this field. Derrida was interesting, but the ultimate worth of his writing is undecidable.

message 3: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeef) | 14 comments Mod
I have Eco's "A Theory of Semiotics" right now, but I'm still trying to finish up 1000 Plateaus and might want a break from philosophy before tackling it. I've heard that his book is more readable/accessible than most. The above link reads more like a textbook than anything, and I've only got a few pages in.

I'll have to add Barthes' Mythologies to my list. Derrida I will get to some day as well.

In the opening pages of "semiotics for beginners" the author discusses how looking at the world in this way bestows upon the critical thinker the power of the critique. I am hoping that this foray into the relative unknown will shed some light on this statement.

message 4: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 7 comments Mod
I just picked up Barthes' "The Pleasure of the Text" and I'll probably start reading it when I'm done with Bucky Fuller. I don't know how relevant it is to semiotics, but knowing Barthes it will at least be generally in the field.

message 5: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeef) | 14 comments Mod
I'm halfway through Eco's "A Theory of Semiotics" and it's a really well written, well organized read, though it is slightly boring me in the details.
His general message seems to be that ideas that we try to represent in words are culturally generated, and are also interpreted/decoded using similar cultural filters.
The book is broken down into developing a theory of codes and a theory of sign production. He touches upon information theory, of which I have read a few of the books he references from my undergrad engineering studies. I found this to be somewhat surprising, and am inspired by the breadth of Eco's intellect. He also references a lot of authors I would like to get my hands on... Hjelmslev, Wittgenstein, Levi-Strauss, Pierce, Saussere, etc.

His work "Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language" is said to be more pertinent to studies of grammar and artificial intelligence, which might interest some breeders.

I recommend "The Name of The Rose", which is one of his works of fiction to anyone. It was a really well written, interesting and fun book. It's about monks and a library.

message 6: by Mr (new)

Mr Duck | 6 comments Mod
I've totally read 'The Name of the Rose'. Book straight up ruled. I have another book of his too, but what is this semiotics stuff all about.

Is this a theory about the world, or some philosophy, or science, or just people taking their own literature too seriously / out of proportion?

Please call your mother at least once per month.

message 7: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeef) | 14 comments Mod
You've read some chomsky. You know what linguistics is about. It's like linguistics, but there is a certain animosity between the fields. Semiotics claims to be a more generalized form of linguistics. It is is a field that attempts to describe the exchange of ideas. Apparently we exchange ideas via signs and language is a limited, though quite rich aspect of this process. Umberto Eco argues that "culture" is a system of coding and recoding of ideas and contexts, and any aspect can be studied as a system of signs.

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