October 30, 2019

Miloš Bogdanović Philosophical implications of Moris’s semiotic theory

Charles Morris’ semiotic theory as one of its major projects had the unification of all sciences of signs. However, since the above project has proven to be unsuccessful, in this lecture we will examine the reasons that led to this. Accordingly, it will be argued that to transcend the particularities of individual disciplines that he wanted to unify, Morris had to make certain ontological assumptions, instead of theoretical and methodological ones, that they could share. However, because the ‘sign’ as an ontological category could only be established if we follow the principles of the pragmatic philosophical tradition, second thesis will be that the reasons for this failure should be primarily sought in different effects that consistent application of the pragmatic principles has in each of them (primarily in linguistics and the philosophy of language). This should enable drawing several important conclusions regarding Morris’ project: namely, that his failure does not have to mean giving up semiotics as a potentially key discipline in approaching some fundamental philosophical problems, but also that it would demand return to the original semiotics developed in Peirce’s works.

Miloš Bogdanović (1980) graduated ethnology and anthropology and finished his master studies in socio-cultural anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. At the same faculty, at the Philosophy Department he obtained his PhD degree on a thesis titled „Quine’s naturalistic epistemology”. Domains of his interest include epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. He is currently employed at the Museum of Yugoslavia as a curator.

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