“The literal, the metaphorical, and the price of semiotics: An essay on philosophy of language and the doctrine of signs”

This essay by John Deely is stupendous and I note it here to impel myself to write about it.  It’s simultaneously an an all out attack on both ‘Analytic Philosophy’  and Semiology ( the obsession with language in both) but in a way that incorporates them in a broader Semiotics. In other words, while Deely portrays his criticisms as sounding the death knell for an obsession with language, what he really does is delimit  the scope of the ‘obsession with language’ placing them properly into a broader Semiotics. His comments on the “arbitrariness of the sign” throughout  are a particular highlight.  If only Deely wrote  for the ‘common man’  and not his assumed audience of  specialists. His writing is taxing, frequently digressive – footnotes and brackets that can run half a page –  and highly technical ( the subject matter itself, not to mention the frequent use of Latin, Greek, and German terms, none of which, obviously,  I speak or read ). For all that, I’m making the effort and hope to record my thoughts here.

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