Advertisement

Freedom, Repression and Constraints

  • Paul Cobley
Chapter
Part of the Biosemiotics book series (BSEM, volume 15)

Abstract

Semiosis has a tendency to grow, to lead to more semiosis. Yet, organisms often need to decelerate that growth, or repeat parts of it; this occurs through the appearance of invariants. As Peirce argues, it is the “essential function of a sign to render inefficient relations efficient – not to set them into action, but to establish a habit or general rule whereby they will act …” (8.332). Beyond invariance, an important issue in respect of the continuity of nature as it encompasses culture is that of the apparent impediment or blockage to straightforward development of a phenomenon. As will be seen in Chap.  8, the issue is occasionally overlooked in understandings of culture; invariably, though, there will be plenty of evidence to reveal that one or another cultural phenomenon has not had a smooth trajectory delivering it to its current stage of development. Instead, it will have been subject to overdetermination and uneven development. In Chap.  8, it will be shown that the descriptions of nature offered by biosemiotics need to be alive to overdetermination and unevenness, too. In the present chapter, the focus is on the conceptualisation of impediments to development, some of their consequences and how they are played out in relation to one aspect of culture in particular, the interface of the visual and the nonverbal more generally.

Keywords

Nonverbal Communication Optical Channel Visual Artifact Repeat Part Advanced Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bentham J. In: Božovič M, editor. The panopticon writings. London: Verso; 1995.Google Scholar
  2. Birdwhistell RL. Kinesics and context. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press; 1970.Google Scholar
  3. Cobley P. Sebeok’s panopticon. In: Cobley et al., editors. “Semiotics Continues to Astonish”: how Thomas A. Sebeok shaped the future of the doctrine of signs. Berlin: de Gruyter; 2011. p. 85–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Darwin C. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th ed. London: John Murray; 1872.Google Scholar
  5. Deacon TW. Incomplete nature: how mind emerged from matter. New York: Norton; 2012a.Google Scholar
  6. Deacon (2011) was in the reference list I submitted = Deacon TW. Consciousness is a matter of constraint. New Scientist. 2011; issue 2840; https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228406-300-consciousness-is-a-matter-ofconstraint/ (last accessed 21 March 2016)Google Scholar
  7. Deely J, Petrilli S, Ponzio A. The semiotic animal. New York: Legas; 2005.Google Scholar
  8. Eagleton T. Figures of dissent: critical essays on fish, Spivak, Žižek and others. London: Verso; 2003.Google Scholar
  9. Elkins J. Visual studies: a skeptical introduction. London: Taylor and Francis; 2003.Google Scholar
  10. Fast J. Body language. New York: Simon and Schuster; 1970.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault M. Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan, Harmondsworth: Penguin; 1977.Google Scholar
  12. Freud S. Repression. In On metapsychology. The theory of psychoanalysis. (Pelican Freud Library 11.) ed. Angela Richards, trans. James Strachey. Harmondsworth: Penguin; 1984[1915]. p. 139–58.Google Scholar
  13. Gould SJ, Lewontin RC. The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme. Proc R Soc Lond. 1979;B205(1161):581–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gould SJ, Vrba ES. Exaptation: a missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology. 1982;8:4–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hall ET. The hidden dimension. New York: Anchor Books; 1966.Google Scholar
  16. Hall JA, Knapp ML, editors. Nonverbal communication. Berlin: de Gruyter; 2013.Google Scholar
  17. Hoffmeyer J. Semiotics of nature. In: Cobley P, editor. The Routledge companion to semiotics. London: Routledge; 2010b.Google Scholar
  18. Hoffmeyer J, Kull K. Baldwin and biosemiotics: what intelligence is for. In: Weber BH, Depew DJ, editors. Evolution and learning: the Baldwin effect reconsidered. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 2003.Google Scholar
  19. Ibrus I. Culture is becoming more visible and therefore richer. In: Development of estonian cultural space. Tallinn: Estonian Development Report; 2014/2015. p. 222–5.Google Scholar
  20. Jameson F. Signatures of the visible. London: Routledge; 1990.Google Scholar
  21. Jay M. Downcast eyes: the denigration of vision in twentieth-century French thought. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1993.Google Scholar
  22. Kendon A. Gesture: visible action as utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Levin D. Keeping foucault and derrida in sight: panopticism and the politics of subversion. In: Sites of vision: the discursive construction of sight in the history of philosophy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 1997.Google Scholar
  24. Machin D. Introduction. In: Machin, editor. Visual communication. Berlin: de Gruyter; 2014. p. 3–22.Google Scholar
  25. Maher J. Seeing language in sign: the work of William C. Stokoe. Washington: Gallaudet University Press; 1997.Google Scholar
  26. Mirzoeff N. An introduction to visual culture. London: Routledge; 1999.Google Scholar
  27. Mitchell WJT. Picture theory: essays on verbal and visual representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1994.Google Scholar
  28. Peirce CS. Guessing. Hound Horn. 1929;2(3):267–82.Google Scholar
  29. Petrilli S. Crossing out boundaries with global communication: the problem of the subject. Subj Matter. 2005;2(2):33–48.Google Scholar
  30. Petrilli S, Ponzio A. Semiotics unbounded: interpretive routes through the open network of signs. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  31. Ponzio A. Signs, dialogue and ideology. Trans. Susan Petrilli. Amsterdam: John Benjamins; 1993.Google Scholar
  32. Ponzio A. The I questioned: Emmanuel Levinas and the critique of occidental reason. Subj Matter. 2006a;3(1):1–45Google Scholar
  33. Ponzio A. The dialogic nature of sign. Trans. Susan Petrilli, New York: Legas; 2006b.Google Scholar
  34. Ritchie TD, Sedikides C and Skowronski, JJ. Emotions experienced at event recall and the self: Implications for the regulation of self-esteem, self-continuity and meaningfulness. Memory. 2015; 24 (5): 577–591.Google Scholar
  35. Ruesch J, Kees W. Nonverbal communication: notes on the visual perception of human relations. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1956.Google Scholar
  36. Sebeok TA. In what sense is language a ‘primary modeling system’? In: Broms H, Kaufmann R, editors. Semiotics of culture: proceedings of the 25th symposium of the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics, Imatra, Finland, 27th–29th July, 1987. Helsinki: Arator; 1988. p. 67–80.Google Scholar
  37. Sebeok TA. A sign is just a sign. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 1991c.Google Scholar
  38. Sebeok TA. Nonverbal communication. In: Cobley P, editor. The Routledge companion to semiotics and linguistics. London: Routledge; 2001a.Google Scholar
  39. Sebeok TA. Global semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 2001b.Google Scholar
  40. Sebeok TA, Umiker-Sebeok J. “You Know My Method”: a juxtaposition of Charles S. Peirce and Sherlock Holmes. Bloomington: Gaslight Publications; 1980.Google Scholar
  41. Sonesson G. Pictorial concepts: inquiries into the semiotic heritage and its relevance for the analysis of the visual world. Lund: Lund University Press/Chartwell-Bratt; 1989.Google Scholar
  42. Stern D. Diary of a baby. New York: Basic Books; 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Cobley
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Languages and CulturesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies; and Professor in Language and Media, School of Media and Performing ArtsMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations