COST-1117EL Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Semiotics

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Semiotics
Very challenging
Very technical
Making something simple overly complex
Method- subject- philosophy
Not a theory
Study of how meaning is created and displayed
Basic unit of semiotics is signs (Many types of signs)
Why peirce?
Peirce’s work has been important for looking at images because of the distinctions
he makes between different kinds of signs and their relationship to the real
o 3 kinds: Iconic, indexical and symbolic
o Iconic signs: resemble or directly refer to their object in some way. The
image of the car on an icy road resembles the real object (the cartoon car).
o Indexical signs: suggests the presence of the object at some point in time.
The tire marks suggest the presence of a car on a road.
o Symbolic signs: bear no obvious relationship to their objects. Symbols are
created through an arbitrary alliance of a particular object and a particular
meaning. The “do not enter sign” is an example.
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