Semiotic Theory of Culture

  • Tadeusz Pawlowski
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 144)


The application of linguistic, or, more generally, of semiotic concepts and methods, in the realm of cultural research is today in vogue. Such applications are sometimes referred to as ‘the semiotic theory of culture’, especially when they encompass the broader domain of human behaviour and its products. What are the advantages which the followers of the semiotic approach hope to gain by the transference of linguistic concepts and methods to the realm of cultural phenomena? Linguistics is the most advanced and precise of all the humanistic disciplines—or so the practitioners of semiotics say—and the transference will make it possible to achieve in the field of cultural research results as fruitful as those gained in linguistics. However, the subject matter of linguistics is languages, i.e. certain systems of signs. Therefore—the argument continues—in order to be able to apply linguistic concepts in cultural research, we have to extend the existing usage of the concept ‘sign’ in such a way, as to subsume under it all or nearly all cultural phenomena.


Boolean Algebra Indicator Relation Cultural Research Semantic Function Cultural Indicator 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadeusz Pawlowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of LodzPoland

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