Semiotic Ontologies

Paul Kockelman

in Agent, Person, Subject, Self

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926985
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980512 | DOI:

Series: Foundations of Human Interaction

Semiotic Ontologies

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This chapter introduces the concept of ontologies, loosely understood as ensembles of assumptions regarding the underlying constitution of, or salient patterns in, the world. It argues that such ontologies are both an outcome of meaningful interaction and a condition for meaningful interaction. That is, just as one interprets in light of an ontology, one ontologizes in light of an interpretation. It shows that the agents that have ontologies include not just people, but also things, and anything outside or in-between. And it shows that ontologies may be embedded and embodied as they are articulated or enminded. In part, it is meant to introduce some of the overarching categories and commitments of this book (focusing on the relation between ontology, interaction, and infrastructure). And, in part, it is meant to reflexively frame this project in terms of its own categories and commitments (and thereby critically attend to its own conditions of possibility).

Keywords: ontology; inference; interaction; infrastructure; kind; index

Chapter.  5200 words. 

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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