Annotated Bibliography of John Deely. Second part: 1999-2010
- Deely John. "How Is the Universe Perfused with Signs?". In Semiotics 1997, edited by Spinks, Cary William and Deely, John. 389-394. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.
- ———. "Physiosemiosis and Semiotics." In Semiotics 1998, edited by Spinks, Cary William and Deely, John. 191-197. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.
- ———. "Postmodernism and the Perfusion of Signs." In Semiotics - Evolution Energy. Toward a Reconceptualization of the Sign, edited by Taborsky, Edvina. 7-13. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 1999.
- ———. Natura Naturans and Natura Naturata. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000.
Preface to the book: Ecstatic naturalism: signs of the world by Robert Corrington
- ———. "A New Beginning for the Sciences." In Semiotics as a Bridge between the Humanities and the Sciences, edited by Perron, Paul, Sbrocchi, Leonard, Colilli, Paul and Danesi, Marcel. 103-116. Ottawa: Legas, 2000.
Presented at the November 2-7, 1995, Symposium 'Semiotics as a bridge between the Humanities and the Sciences' organized at Victoria Collegeof the University of Toronto by Prof. Marcel Danesi.
- ———. "The Latin Foundations for Semiotic Consciousness; Augustine (Fifth Century Ad) to Poinsot (Seventeenth Century)." Recherches Sémiotiques / Semiotic Inquiry 20 (2000): 11-32.
- ———. Four Ages of Understanding. The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
Contents at a Glance: Contents in detail XI; List of tables and illustrations XXIV; Preface: The boundary of time XXIX-XXXIII; 1. Society and civilization: the prelude to philosophy 3;
Part I. ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY: The discovery of "reality"
2. Philosophy as physics 17; 3. The Golden Age: philosophy expands its horizon 42; 4. The final Greek centuries and the overlap of Neoplatonism with Christianity 93;
Part II. THE LATIN AGE: philosophy of Being
5. The geography of the Latin Age 161; 6. The so-called Dark Ages 212; 7. Creating a wave: the Second Stage 251; 8. The fate of Sign in the Later Latin Age 364; 9. Three Outcomes, two destinies 411; 10. The road not taken 447;
Part III. THE MODERN PERIOD: The way of ideas
11. Beyond the Latin Umwelt: science comes of age 487; 12. The Founding Fathers: René Descartes and John Locke 511; 13. Synthesis and successors: The strange case of dr. Jekyll and mr. Hyde 540; 14. Locke again: the scheme of human knowledge 590;
Part IV: POSTMODERN TIMES: The way of Signs
15. Charles sanders Peirce and the recovery of Signum 611; 16. Semiology: modernity's attempt to treat the Sign 669; 17. At the Turn of the Twenty-first century 689; 18. Beyond Realism and Idealism: resumé and envoi 735;
Historically layered references 743; Gloss on the references 835; Index 837; Timetable of figures 1015-1019.
"If there is one notion that is central to the emerging postmodern consciousness, that notion is the notion of sign. And for understanding this notion, nothing is more essential than a new history of philosophy. For the notion of sign that has become the basis for a postmodern development of thought was unknown in the modern period, and before that traces back only as far as the turn of the 5th century AD. Yet the context within which the general notion of sign was first introduced presupposes both the ancient Greek notion of "natural sign" (semeion) and the framework of Greek discussions of nature and mind which provoked the development of philosophy in the first place as an attempt to understand the being proper to the objects of experience. Not only does it emerge that the sign is what every object presupposes, but, in modern philosophy, the conundrum about the reality of the "external world", the insolubility of the problem of how in theory to get beyond the privacy of the individual mind, springs directly from the reduction of signification to representation. So here is one of the ways in which the four ages of this book can be outlined: preliminaries to the notion of sign; the development of the notion itself; forgetfulness of the notion; recovery and advance of the notion.
Tracing the development of the notion of sign from its beginning and against the backdrop of Greek philosophy yields an unexpected benefit by comparison with more familiar historical approaches. Every modern history of philosophy has been essentially preoccupied with the separating off from philosophy of science in the modern sense, especially in and after the seventeenth century. From this point of view, many of the continuing philosophical developments of the later Latin centuries tend to drop out of sight. It has become the custom to present modern philosophy, conventionally beginning with Descartes (17th century), simply as part and parcel of the scientific break with the authors of Latin tradition, and to treat the bringing of nominalism into the foreground of Latin thought by William of Ockham (14th century) as if that were the finale of Latin development.
This hiatus of two and a half centuries in the history of philosophy, however, effectively disappears when we make our way from ancient to modern times by tracing mainly the development of the philosophical notion of signum. From the High Middle Ages down to the time of Descartes we find a lively and continuous discussion of sign which, through a series of important if unfamiliar controversies on both sides of the thirteenth century, leads to a basic split in the closing Latin centuries. On one side stand those who think that the general notion of sign is an empty name, a flatus vocis, a nominalism, no more than a "relation of reason", an ens rationis. On the other side are those who are able to ground the general notion in an understanding of relation as a unique, suprasubjective mode of being, a veritable dual citizen of the order of ens reale and ens rationis alike, according to shifting circumstances.
Modern philosophy, from this point of view, appears essentially as an exploration of the nominalist alternative; and postmodern thought begins with the acknowledgment of the bankruptcy of the modern effort, combined with the determination pioneered by C. S. Peirce to explore the alternative, "the road not taken", the "second destiny" that had been identified in the closing Latin centuries but forgotten thereafter. Peirce's postmodern resumption of premodern epistemological themes produces a number of immediately dramatic and surprising results (beginning with the cure for the pathology dividing our intellectual culture between the personae of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).
So derives the title for this work, Four Ages of Understanding: ancient Greek thought, the Latin Age, modern thought, postmodern thought. The book is a survey of philosophy in what is relevant to the "understanding of understanding" from ancient times to the present. It is intended both as a reference work in the history of philosophy and a guide to future research - a "handbook for inquirers" in history, philosophy, and the humanities generally, including historians and philosophers of science. The book also aims to aid in the classroom those professors willing to wean a new generation from the "standard modern outlines" of philosophy's history which serve mainly to support the post-Cartesian supposition that history is of next to no import for the doing itself of philosophy." pp. XXX-XXXI.
- ———. "Physiosemiosis in the Semiotic Spiral: A Play of Musement." Sign System Studies 29 (2001): 27-48.
- ———. "A Sign Is What?". Sign System Studies 29 (2001): 705-744.
Presidential Address to the Semiotic Society of America delivered at October 19, 2001, luncheon of 26th Annual Meeting held at Victoria University, Toronto
- ———. "Umwelt." Semiotica 134 (2001): 125-135.
- ———. What Distinguishes Human Understanding? South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 2002.
Contents: Foreword IX-XIV; Preamble 3; 1. Requirements of the discussion 5; 2. Foundations in Nature for the semiotic point of view 16; 3. The semiosis of sensation 33; 4. From sensation to Umwelt as species-specific objective world 38; 5. How the distinctiveness of semiosis in general possible? 47; 6. A semiosis beyon perception 68; 7. The dependency of understanding on perceptual semiosis 110; 8. Language and understanding as a single semiosis exapted 120; 9. The semiotic animal 124; Appendix Definition of Umwelt 126; Historically layered references 144; Index 168-178.
"This is an essay in what used to be, and still largely is, called the "philosophy of mind", a designation heavy with the dualistic assumptions of classical modernity. When those assumptions wrapped up in that traditional classification are jettisoned in favor of an epistemological paradigm compossible with semiosis, it becomes clear that what we are dealing with is straightforwardly a semiotics of the cognitive activities of living organisms. The following pages are better viewed under this clarification.
Dr. Anthony Russell claimed that the clarification makes of the essay "the first treatment of the distinction between sense and intellect worth reading since the days of Locke and Hume". Be that as it may, if the reader adjudges the work worth having read, the game shall have been worth the candle.
Semiotics is nothing more or other than the knowledge we develop by studying the action of signs, and it receives its various divisions from the various ways and regions in which that action is verified. This study presupposes nothing more than a notion of sign as one thing standing for another in a relation of renvoi, that is to say, an irreducibly triadic relation, actual or virtual, but in the case of cognitive life, it seems, always actual. Such a general notion of sign is verified, at the extremes, in phenomena we call "natural" and in phenomena we call "cultural", as well as in the intermediary phenomena of social interaction such as sociology, for example, studies it. But - and this is one of the more surprising upshots of contemporary semiotic research - the actual proposal of such a general notion of sign appears to be no older than Augustine, and a creation of the specifically Latin Age of philosophical history.
Proposed at the end of the fourth century, the semiotic point of view did not receive a warrant until the early seventeenth century, when it was for the first time demonstrated how the early Latin proposal for a general notion of sign, applicable in a single sense to the extremes of nature and culture, could be vindicated through the fact that relation according to the way it has being is indifferent to whether its subjective foundation or ground be taken from physical interaction and being or from cognitive activity alone. This establishment of a unified object or subject matter for semiotic investigation was in principle revolutionary for our understanding of human experience and the knowledge which derives there-from. It unified in a single instrument or medium the otherwise diverse products of speculative knowledge about the natures of things and practical knowledge about human affairs and the application thereto of speculative knowledge.
The first author who succeeded in giving voice to the underlying unity of the being in relation upon which all action of signs as such depends was John Poinsot (1589-1644), an Iberian philosopher of mixed Burgundian and Portuguese descent. In the text of his Tractatus de Signis, published in 1632, the new beginning implicit in the adoption of the semiotic point of view is in two ways at least symbolized. First, the text expressly notes that the sign requires a standpoint superior to the division of being into what is and what is not independent of cognition, which translates, in modern parlance, into a standpoint superior to the confrontation of realism with idealism. Second, the compass of the Tractatus de Signis text unites what were, in the then-traditional liberal arts curriculum of the European universities, the opening discussions of logic with the concluding discussions of the theory of knowledge." pp. IX-X.
- ———. "The Absence of Analogy." Review of Metaphysics 55 (2002): 521-550.
"The doctrine of analogy as the Latins came distinctively to develop it pretty much began its philosophical life in the Stagirite's reply to the Parmenidean One doctrine. There is no one way to say being, replied Aristotle, but, on the contrary, many ways; irreducibly many. At least, as we will see, this was the point from which it developed among the Latins after Thomas Aquinas, who took up Aristotle's point more fully and in some strikingly different ways than is suggested by the Greek of Aristotle. We will see that precisely for want of an understanding of the foundational implications of Aquinas's doctrine of analogy and his corollary doctrine of the transcendental "properties" of being, most of his late modern followers, in their battle against Descartes and the idealism in general that became the hallmark of modernity, fell into that trap (native to the way of things) of proceeding "as if a philosophy of being could not also be a philosophy of mind," (*) and quite missed the problem of being-as-first-known, as shall appear." (p. 522)
(*) Jacques Maritain, Distinguish to Unite, or The Degrees of Knowledge, trans, from the 4th French edition under the supervision of Gerald B. Phelan (New York: Scribner's, 1959), 66: "comme si une philosophie de l'etre ne pouvait etre aussi une philosophie de l'esprit."
- ———. "From Semeion to 'Signum' to 'Sign': Translating Sign Form Greek to Latin to English." In Essays in Translation, Pragmatics, and Semiotics. 129-172. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2002.
- ———. The Impact on Philosophy of Semiotics. The Quasi-Error of the External World with a Dialogue between a 'Semiotist' and a 'Realist'. South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 2003.
Contents: Part I. The impact on philosophy of semiotics.
1. The state of the question 3; 2. Demarcating modernity within philosophy 10; 3. Why th doctrine os signs is not modern 28; 4. Hw semiotics restores tradition to philosophy 51; 5. Classical antiquity and semiotics 90; 6.Prospective 96;
Part II. The quasi-error of the external world
1. Betwixt and between 117; 2. The egg of postmodernity 119; 3. The egg hatches 125; 4. Skirmishes on the boundary 131; 5. Reality too is a word 140; 6. Amodeling system biologically underdetermined 145; 7. Blickwendung: a glance in the rear-view mirror 147; 8. Updating the file 150;
Part III. Dialogue between a 'semiotist' and a 'realist'
"A sign is What?" A conversation between a 'semiotist' and a ?realist' 157; Diagram: the semiotic spiral 164; References historically layered 209; Index 250-267.
"With Peirce, in recovering from the Latins the general notion of sign, (1) and in advancing that notion both by naming distinctively its third term and by shifting the focus from the being to the action of signs (so that it is well understood that, in that spiral of semiosis (2) we call experience, representamen, significate, and interpretant are constantly changing places as abductions give way to deductions and deductions to retroductions provenating yet further abductions, and so on, in a semiosis that would be infinite did not death intervene to curtail the process in the individual case), what we were handed was precisely a new set of categories. (3) This "new list", like the categories of Aristotle, purported to contain modes of being as able to exist independently of mind and able to be known precisely in that dimension of their being; but unlike Aristotle's were not restricted to that order of prospective existence, "ens reale". Like Kant's categories, the new list purported to reveal the input of mind into objectivity; but unlike Kant's was not restricted to the mind-dependent dimension of what is consequently known, "ens rations". In short, by revealing how mind-independent and mind-dependent being interweave in the constitution of experience as a semiotic web of relations whose nodes, reticles, or interstices precisely present to us an objective world both natural and cultural in its provenance and knowability, the new list of categories carries us forward beyond modernity and not simply back to some older viewpoint ("realism") adequately presaged in both ancient Greek and medieval Latin thought.
In short, semiotics proves for philosophy neither a question of premodern (though it draws on ancient discussion of relation as much as on medieval discussion of sign) nor modem, but precisely postmodern in its positive essence. For semiotics enables us to see clearly what, for philosophy, modernity consisted in, and why modern philosophy proves wanting when it comes to the analysis of science, language, and knowledge - to matters epistemological generally. For all thought is in signs, and signs are sustained by their distinctive action, which is exhibited in but cannot be confined or reduced to language, as semiology and late modem analytic thought (after the "linguistic turn") beguiled their followers into believing." pp. 28-29
(1) Beuchot and Deely Common sources for the semiotic of Charles Sanders Peirce and John Poinsot, 1995; Deely Why investigate the common sources of Charles Peirce and John Poinsot? 1994.
(2) See the Diagram in Part III, p. 164 below.
(3) Peirce 1867: Collected Papers 1. 545-559.
- ———. "The Quasi-Error of the External World. An Essay for Thomas A. Sebeok, in Memoriam." Cybernetics & Human Knowing 10 (2003): 25-46.
Abstract: "There is a story according to which Professor Sebeok was on a panel of distinguished speakers who received from the audience a challenge to show cause why the basic ideas of semiotics, such as that of Umwelt, were not simply one more version of solipsistic idealism. Each of the speakers in turn addressed the matter, each beginning with a protestation (outdoing in earnestness the previous speaker) to the effect that, Of course, I am not a solipsist. Finally, Tom's turn arrived. He shrugged, and said simply: I'm a solipsist. It was one of those seminal moments, of which Tom created so many, like the time in Toronto where he mentioned in passing in his main remarks that Everyone thinks of language in terms of communication. But language has nothing to do with communication. In the question period, the very first questioner challenged him on the point. You said that language has nothing to do with communication, the audience member reminded him. Why did you say that? Because it doesn't, Tom answered pointedly, and proceeded to call on the next questioner."
- ———. "The Semiotic Animal (Long Version)." In Logica, Dialogica, Ideologica. I Segni Tra Funzionalità Ed Eccedenza, edited by Petrilli, Susan and Calefato, Patrizia. 201-219. Milano: Mimesis, 2003.
- ———. "The Word 'Semiotics': Formation and Origins." Semiotica 146 (2003): 1-49.
Revised and expanded in: Why semiotics?.
- ———. "On the Word Semiotics, Formation and Origins." Semiotica 146 (2003): 1-50.
- ———. "The Semiotic Foundations of the Human Sciences from Augustine to Peirce." Recherche Sémiotique / Semiotic Inquiry 23 (2003): 3-29.
- ———. Why Semiotics? Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 2004.
Contents: Chapter 1. Why semiotics? 3; Chapter 2. Tentatives of terminology 11; Chapter 3. My guess at the riddle 53; Appendix A. The first programmatic statement toward a doctrine of signs (Locke 1689) 59; Appendix B. The second programmatic statement toward a doctrine of signs (Saussure 1916) 62; Appendix C. The Latin prelude to a doctrine of signs (Poinsot 1632) 66; Historically layered references 71; Index rerum 89-96.
"The word 'semiotics' as a matter of interest today can hardly be discussed apart from a consideration as well of its late modern competitor in intellectual culture, 'semiology'. Seldom has the struggle to define the soul of a newly emerging cultural epoch, in the present case 'postmodernism' as bearing on a molting of philosophical tradition itself, been so succinctly encapsulated as in the late 19th and 20th century history and contest between these two terms. To this spectacle we arrive late enough in the game to realize that semiotics is the term that has carried the day, in the sense of portending the main future line of development of the doctrine of signs within intellectual culture.
The formation and origins of semiotics as a dictionary item, that is to say, as a publicly recognized lexical item of natural language, is what will concern us here. We will see that from its earliest appearances in the English tongue the word semiotics has been bound up with a twofold notion or question: What is to be understood by the doctrine of signs? and What name is most proper to understanding the development of such a doctrine?
The word has ancient roots in Greek medicine, we will see; but its late modern/postmodern establishment in English is what will concern us here. I have chosen the device of numbered paragraphs to facilitate the reader's grasp of the investigative steps, empirical in the broad sense, that I have taken by examining sequences of dictionaries to track the emergence and variations on 'semiotics' as an English lexical item in its own right. Whatever its overtones and provenances from the past and from other languages, within neither Greek nor Latin does the term seem ever to have existed as such, certainly not with its definitive (at least for the time of the twenty-first century's first decade!) postmodern significance of the doctrine that signs consist in every case in a triadic relation of referral.
The being of sign as consisting universally in a relation essentially triadic is a postmodern view of premodern provenance, as is coming to be widely known in semiotics, if sometimes to the consternation of Peircean purists who prefer to overlook or deny Peirce's debt to the Latins in this particular; but the appropriation of 'renvoi' as the term properly to name this fundamental recognition is of recent vintage, coming only after Jakobson (1896-1982), indeed, and with certain essential revisions taken into account, (*) to arrive at the henceforward classical formula for sign (the action of which is the subject matter of semiotic investigation): aliquid alicuique stat pro alio, 'one thing standing for another to some third party'. This formulation is the latest molting, we will see subsequently, of a distinguished lineage."
(*) See Jakobson "Coup d'ceil sur le devéloppement de la sémiotique", in Panorama sémiotique / A Semiotic Landscape, Proceedings of the First Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, Milan, June 1974, ed. Seymour Chatman, Umberto Eco, and Jean-Marie Klinkenberg (The Hague: Mouton, 1979), 3-18. Also published separately under the same title by the Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies as a small monograph (= Studies in Semiotics 3; Bloomington: Indiana University Publications, 1975); and in an English trans. by Patricia Baudoin titled "A Glance at the Development of Semiotics", in The Framework of Language (Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Studies in the Humanities, Horace R. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, 1980),1-3 viewed under the two correctives, Deely New beginnings. Early modern philosophy and postmodern thought followed by Deely A sign is what? 721-22. Cf. Deely The impact on philosophy of semiotics passim.
- ———. "The Role of Thomas Aquinas in the Development of Semiotic Consciousness." Semiotica 152 (2004): 75-139.
Abstract: "'Semiotic consciousness' is the awareness we have of the role and action of signs in the world. This essay examines the role of Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274) in the growth of semiotic consciousness among the Latins, as Charles Sanders Peirce will take up the matter in influencing the twentieth-century establishment of semiotics as a global intellectual movement. Although Aquinas never focused on the subject of signs for its own sake, he frequently treats of it in relation to other direct investigations in a great variety of contexts. The result of his treatments is to have left a series of texts which, though not without their inner tensions, contain a series of consequences and connections which can be developed into a unified theory of the being constitutive of signs as a general mode. Precisely this theory was spelled out systematically for the first time in the 1632 Treatise on Signs of John Poinsot, expressly grounded in a pulling together of Aquinas's various texts together with a careful analysis of the role of signs in human experience. The resulting doctrinal perspective proves to have been implicit in Aquinas and to lie at the foundation of Peirce's notion of signs as triadic relations, a notion he took over from the later Latins and developed anew, particularly in shifting the focus from the being to the action proper to signs, or 'semiosis'. It is this appropriation and shift that marks the boundary between modernity and postmodernism in philosophy, with respect to which the writings of Aquinas are like a taproot."
- ———. "The Semiosis of Angels." Thomist 68 (2004): 205-258.
- ———. "Semiotics and Jakob Von Uexküll's Concept of Umwelt." Sign System Studies (2004).
presented 10 January 2004 at the 9-10 January 2004 International Symposium 'Zeichen und der Bauplan des Lebens - Uexküll Bededutin heute'
- ———. "'Semeion' to 'Sign' by Way of 'Signum': On the Interplay of Translation and Interpretation in the Establishment of Semiotics." Semiotica 148 (2004): 187-227.
- ———. "The Thomistic Import of the Neo-Kantian Concept of Umwelt in Jakob Von Uexküll." Angelicum 81 (2004): 711-732.
- ———. "Thomas Albert Sebeok, "Biologist Manqué"." In International Association for Semiotic Studies 2004 World Congress. 2004.
- ———. "Tom Sebeok and the External World." Semiotica 150 (2004): 1-21.
- ———. "'Semeion' to Sign by Way of Signum: On the Interplay of Translation and Interpretation in the Establishment of Semiotics." Semiotica 148 (2004): 187-227.
- ———. "Dramatic Reading in Three Voices: A Sign Is What?". American Journal of Semiotics 20 (2004): 1-66.
- ———. "From Semiotic Animal to Semioethic Animal and Back." In Macht Der Zeichen, Zeichen De Macht / Signs of Power, Power of Signs, edited by Withalm, Gloria and Wallmannsberger, Josef. 120-136. Wien: Lit. Verlag, 2005.
- ———. "The Semiotic Animal (Definitional Version)." In Semiotics 2003, edited by Williamson, Rodney, Sbrocchi, Leonard and Deely, John. Ottawa: Legas, 2005.
- ———. "The Semiotic Animal: A Postmodern Definition of Human Being Superseding the Modern Definition "Res Congitans"." In Proceedings of the International Congress on Christian Humanism in the Third Millenium: The Perspective of Thomas Aquinas, edited by Pontificia, Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis and Società, Internazionale Tommaso d'Aquino. 261-274. Vatican City: Pontificia Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis, 2005.
"A postmodern humanism consistent with the thought of Thomas Aquinas requires a new definition of human being, one which extends the classical understanding of «rational animal» on the basis of a study of what is distinctively human within the action of signs. Ancient and medieval philosophy was generally "realistic", but failed to distinguish thematically between objects existing as such only in knowledge and things existing whether or not known. The understanding of the human being that accompanied this orientation was expressed in the formula "rational animal"
(animal rationale). Modern philosophy came to an understanding of the difference between objects existing in knowledge and things existing independently of knowledge, but at the price of failing to show how things can themselves become objects. The understanding of human being that accompanied the modern divorce of objects from things was enshrined in the formula "thinking thing" (res cogitans). Philosophy became "postmodern" when, through work recovering and advancing the original semiotic consciousness of the Latin Age systematized in the 17th century work of John of St. Thomas, it became possible to understand how, through the action of signs, objects and things are interwoven in the fabric of human experience that transcends the modern opposition of realism to idealism. The understanding of human being that develops from and together with this postmodern perspective is precisely captured in the formula "semiotic animal" (animal semeioticum). "
- ———. Augustine and Poinsot: The Protosemiotic Development. Sofia: Tip-Top Press, 2005.
- ———. Purely Objective Reality. Sofia: Tip-Top Press, 2005.
"In his Letter on Humanism of 1947, Heidegger declared that the subject/object opposition and the terminology that accrues to it had still not been properly addressed in the history of philosophy, and he awaited a proper disquisition that resolved the problem. To date, that has not been provided. This volume explains and solves the prevailing problems in the subjectivity/objectivity couplet, in the process making an indispensable contribution both to semiotics and to philosophy. This book shows that what is thought to be 'objective' in the commonplace use of the term is demonstrably different from what objectivity entails when it is revealed by semiotic analysis. It demonstrates in its exegesis of the 'objective' that human existence is frequently governed by examples of a 'purely objective reality' -- a fiction which nevertheless perfuses, is perfused by, and guides experience. The ontology of the sign can be mind-dependent or mind-independent, just as the status of relation can be as legitimate on its own terms whether it is found in ens rationis or in ens reale. The difference in the awareness of human animals consists in this very contextualization that Deely's writings in general have made so evident: the ability to identify signs as sign relations, and the ability to enact relations on a mind-dependent basis. Purely Objective Reality offers the first sustained and theoretically consistent interrogation of the means by which human understanding of 'reality' will be instrumental in the survival -- or destruction -- of planet Earth."
- ———. "Defining the Semiotic Animal: A Postmodern Definition of Human Being Superseding the Modern Definition "Res Cogitans"." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (2005): 461-481.
"As modernity began with a redefinition of the human being, so does postmodernity. But whereas the modern definition of the human being as res cogitans cut human animals off from both their very animality and the world of nature out of which they evolved and upon which they depend throughout life, the postmodern definition as semeiotic animal both overcomes the separation from nature and restores the animality essential to human being in this life. Semiotics, the doctrine of signs suggested by Augustine and theoretically justified by Poinsot, developed in our own day after Peirce, introduces postmodernity by overcoming the Kantian epistemological limits on the side of ens reale and showing the social constructions superordinate to ens reale as essential to animal life."
- ———. "Why the Semiotic Animal Needs to Develop a Semioethics." In The Semiotic Animal, edited by Deely, John, Petrilli, Susan and Ponzio, Augusto. 207-221. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 2005.
"This paper will discuss why the definition of human being as semiotic animal necessarily implies a semioethic, in light of how, as a definition, it both differs from the classical (ancient and medieval) definition of the human being as "rational animal" and replaces the modern definition of human being as "res cogitans". At issue here is the classical distinction between speculative and practical thought, and how the definition of ethics as belonging determinately to the practical sphere is affected by the establishment of semiotics as transcending that classical distinction. I will consider how the perspective of semiotics impacts upon the traditional ideas of ethics, and how these traditional ideas, in turn, are absorbed into or transformed by the notion of a "semioethics"."
- ———. Thomas Albert Sebeok and Semiotics. Sofia: Tip-Top Press, 2005.
- ———. "The Literal, the Metaphorical, and the Price of Semiotics: An Essay on Philosophy of Language and the Doctrine of Signs." Semiotica 161 (2006): 9-74.
- ———. "On 'Semiotics' as Naming the Doctrine of Signs." Semiotica 158 (2006): 1-33.
- ———. "Semiotics, History Of." In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Second Edition, edited by Brown, Keith. 216-229. London: Elsevier, 2006.
- ———. "Let Us Not Lose Sight of the Forest for the Trees..". Cybernetics & Human Knowing 13 (2006): 161-193.
- ———. "'To Find Our Way in These Dark Woods' Versus Coming up Short." Recherche Sémiotique / Semiotic Inquiry 26 (2006): 165-234.
- ———. Intentionality and Semiotics. A Story of Mutual Fecundation. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2007.
- ———. "The Primary Modeling System in Animals." In La Filosofia Del Linguaggio Come Arte Dell'ascolto: Sulla Ricerca Scientifica Di Augusto Ponzio / Philosophy of Language as the Art of Listening: On Augusto Ponzio' Scientific Research, edited by Petrilli, Susan. 161-179. Bari: Edizione dal Sud, 2007.
- ———. Descartes & Poinsot: The Crossroad of Signs and Ideas. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2008.
Volume 2 in the "Postmodernity in Philosophy" Poinsot Trilogy: Contrasting the Way of Signs to the Way of Ideas, Semiotics to Epistemology.
- ———. "From Semiosis to Semioethics: The Full Vista of the Action of Signs." Sign System Studies 36 (2008): 437-421.
- ———. "How to Go Nowhere with Language." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (2008): 337-359.
- ———. "On the Value of Poinsot's Work to Philosophy Today." In Cursus Philosophicus. V-XIV. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2008.
Introductory remarks to the critical edition reprint of Poinsot's Cursus Philosophicus ed. B. Reiser "II reimpresso emendata" 1948 (original edition Spain, 1631-1635). Vol. I
- ———. "Evolution, Semiosis and Ethics: Rethinking the Context of Natural Law." In Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Law, edited by González, Ana Marta. 241-257. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008.
- ———. Augustine & Poinsot: The Protosemiotic Development. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2009.
Volume 1 in the "Postmodernity in Philosophy" Poinsot Trilogy: Determining the Standpoint for a Doctrine of Signs
- ———. Peirce & Poinsot: The Action of Signs from Nature to Ethics. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2009.
Not Yet published.
Volume 3 in the "Postmodernity in Philosophy" Poinsot Trilogy: Contrasting the Way of Signs to the Way of Ideas, Semiotics to Epistemology.
- ———. Purely Objective Reality. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009.
- ———. Semiotic Animal: A Postmodern Definition of "Human Being" Transcending Patriarchy and Feminism. South Bend: St. Augustine Press, 2010.
- ———. Medieval Philosophy Redefined. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2010.
The Development of Cenoscopic Science, AD 354 to 1644 (from the Birth of Augustine to the Death of Poinsot)
- Deely John, and Lenhart Margot, eds. Semiotics, 1981. New York: Plenum Press, 1983.
- Deely John, Williams Brooke, and Kruse Felicia, eds. Frontiers in Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
Contents: Editor's Preface: "Pars pro toto" VII; Description of contributions and list of permissions XVIII-XXII;
I. The name and its context.
John Locke: Coining the name 3; John Deely: The coalescence of semiotic consciousness 5; Thomas A. Sebeok: The Doctrine of Signs 35;
II. Semiotic systems: Anthropocentric, Zoosemiotics, Phytosemiotics
Donald Preziosi: The multimodality of communicative events 44; Jacques Maritain: Language and the theory of Sign 41; Umberto Eco, Roberto Lambertini, Costantino Marmo, Andrea Tabarroni: "Latratus Canis" or: The Dog's barking 63; Thomas A. Sebeok: The notion of Zoosemiotics; Thomas A. Sebeok: "Talking" with animals: zoosemiotics explained 76; Martin Krampen: Phytosemiotics 83; John Deely: On the notion of phytosemiotics 96;
III. Developing themes
T. L. Short: Life among the Legisigns 105; Floyd Merrell: Structuralism and beyond: a critique of presuppositions 120;
IV. Reshaping traditional spheres: some regional applications
Eugen Baer: The medical symptom 140; Umberto Eco: On symbols 153; Irene Portis Winner: Semiotics of culture 181; Michel Herzfeld: Disemia 183; Roberta Kevelson: Prolegomena to a comparative legal semiotic 191; Richard Lanigan: Semiotics, communicology, and Plato's Sophist 199; Brooke Williams: History in relation to semiotic 217; Luigi Romeo: Heraclitus and the foundations of semiotics 224;
V: The name and its direction
Joseph Ransdell: Semiotic objectivity 236; Thomas A. Sebeok: "Semiotics" and its congeners 255; John Deely; Semiotic as framework and direction 264;
Notes 272; References 289; Explanation of reference style (Historical layering) 290; Index 323-329.
"The collection is complementary to the sister collection of Robert Innis, Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985), which is a superb assemblage of neoclassic authors, contemporary more or less, but most now dead, and mirroring the embryonic stage through which semiotics first established itself on the contemporary scene. The two collections represent, respectively, points of departure, on the one hand, and trajectories of travel since.
There remains to explain the articulation of the parts of the present collection in their specific character.
Part I explains the origin of the term "semiotic" as it comes to us from Locke, and conveys specifically a perspective, as Winance put it (1983: 515), "able to assimilate the whole of epistemology and natural philosophy as well", where "nature" is understood, as Aquinas explained in such a context (c.1269: 1.1.2), "ita quod sub naturali philosophia comprehendamus et metaphysicam" -- "in such a way as to include whatever there is of being".
Part II does not treat of all the main semiotic systems known to exist, but only of those three concerning which programmatic research statements are as such extant. This part treats therefore of the three main semiotic systems so far explored as such by teams of researchers cognizant of their orientation and concerned to establish it as such. Further frontiers remain, and some of them (by no means all, or even always accurately) have already been indicated in the position paper of Anderson et al. (1984), "A Semiotic Perspective on the Sciences: Steps Toward a New Paradigm".
Part III concerns themes common to the breaking down and breaking through of the confines imposed by the various linguistic paradigms, as semiotics has moved into its broader perspective of development.
Part IV illustrates the penetration of semiotics into some areas already well established in traditional terms. This section is the most incomplete, inasmuch as the influence of semiotics extends to many "traditional spheres" besides those specified here; but we have chosen the readings for this section with an eye to their exploratory merit. The point of the section is to illustrate lines of possible over already achieved development.
Part V, finally, returns to the name, for the purpose of exploring now not its origins, but its future. It might equally well have been titled "Prospective Semiotics".
In short, the volume begins with the text of Locke's original proposal, followed by a philosophical-historical exegesis of that proposal, and develops through a series of essays establishing the connection of the original semiotic perspective to traditional lines of specialized thought (including philosophy itself) and exhibiting the possibilities of that original perspective in more or less detailed applications to major problem areas. The readings globally taken provide, as we have said, a corrective and an enhancement of popular conceptions of semiotic today.
We aim at nothing less than a full-scale "paradigm shift", in the popular consciousness, from the exclusively literary, structuralist, and Saussurean pars to the inclusive biological, philosophical, and Peircean totum." pp. XVI-XVII.
- Deely John, and Evans Jonathan, eds. Semiotics, 1982. Lanham: University Press of America, 1987.
- ———, eds. Semiotics, 1983. Lanham: University Press of America, 1987.
- Deely John, and Baer Eugene, eds. Medical Semiotics. Lanham: University Press of America, 1988.
- Deely John, and Evans Jonathan, eds. Semiotics, 1986. Lanham: University Press of America, 1988.
Proceedings of the eleventh annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, 16-19 October 1986, San Francisco, California.
- Deely John, Prewitt Terry, and Haworth Karen, eds. Semiotics, 1988. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990.
- ———, eds. Semiotics, 1989. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990.
- Deely John, Bernard Jeff, Voight Vilmos, and Withalm Gloria, eds. Semiotics with Simbolicity, 1990. Lanham: University Press of America, 1993.
- Deely John, and Prewitt Terry, eds. Semiotics, 1991. Lanham: University Press of America, 1993.
Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America.
- Deely John, and Corrington Robert, eds. Semiotics, 1993. Bern: Peter Lang, 1996.
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America 21-24 October 1993, Radisson Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri.
- Deely John, and Spinks Cary William, eds. Semiotics, 1995. Bern: Peter Lang, 1996.
Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America 19-22 October 1995, Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.
- ———, eds. Semiotics, 1996. Bern: Peter Lang, 1997.
- ———, eds. Semiotics Yearbook 1997. Bern: Peter Lang, 1998.
- ———, eds. Semiotics, 1998. Bern: Peter Lang, 1999.
- Deely John, Spinks Cary William, and Simpkins Scott, eds. Semiotics, 1999. Bern: Peter Lang, 2000.
- Deely John, and Simpkins Scott, eds. Semiotics 2000: Sebeok Century. Ottawa: Letters Press, 2001.
Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America, held Sept. 28-30, 2000 at Purdue University, Purdue, Indiana.
- ———, eds. Semiotics 2001. Ottawa: Legas, 2002.
- Deely John, and Prewitt Terry, eds. Semiotics 2002. Ottawa: Legas, 2003.
- Deely John, Sbrocchi Leonard, and Williamson Rodney, eds. Semiotics 2003. Ottawa: Legas, 2005.
- Cobley Paul, ed. Realism for the 21st Century. A John Deely Reader. Scranton: Scranton University Press, 2010.
- Deely John, and Petrilli Susan, eds. Sign Crossroads in Global Perspective. Semiotics and Responsibilities. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2010.