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Philosophy | Diagrammatology - An Investigation on the Borderlines of Phenomenology, Ontology, and Semiotics

Diagrammatology

An Investigation on the Borderlines of Phenomenology, Ontology, and Semiotics

Series: Synthese Library, Vol. 336

Stjernfelt, Frederik

2010, XXII, 508 p.

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  • Presents the first scrutinization of Peirce’s general diagram doctrine
  • Compares and integrates pragmatism and phenomenology; Peirce and Husserl
  • Comprises of an interdisciplinary study involving philosophy on the one hand and biology, art history and theory of literature on the other
  • Presents a realist semiotics as opposed to strong anti-realist positions in the semiotic tradition
  • Advocates a rational understanding of diagram use in thought

Diagrammatology investigates the role of diagrams for thought and knowledge. Based on the general doctrine of diagrams in Charles Peirce's mature work, Diagrammatology claims diagrams to constitute a centerpiece of epistemology. The book reflects Peirce's work on the issue in Husserl's contemporanous doctrine of "categorial intuition" and charts the many unnoticed similarities between Peircean semiotics and early Husserlian phenomenology. Diagrams, on a Peircean account, allow for observation and experimentation with ideal structures and objects and thus furnish the access to the synthetic a priori of the regional and formal ontology of the Husserlian tradition.

The second part of the book focusses on three regional branches of semiotics: biosemiotics, picture analysis, and the theory of literature. Based on diagrammatology, these domains appear as accessible for a diagrammatological approach which leaves the traditional relativism and culturalism of semiotics behind and hence constitutes a realist semiotics


Diagrams will never be the same. A fascinating and challenging tour through phenomenology, biology, Peirce's theory of signs and Ingarden's ontology of literature, all neatly tied together through the guiding thread of the diagrammatical. A veritable tour de force.
Barry Smith, SUNY at Buffalo, U.S.A.

With his meticulous scholarship, Frederik Stjernfelt shows that Peirce and Husserl were cultivating a broad and fertile common ground, which was largely neglected by both the analytic and the continental philosophers during the 20th century and which promises to be an exciting area of research in the 21st.
John F. Sowa, Croton-on-Hudson, U.S.A.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Biosemiotics - Charles Sanders Peirce - Diagrams - Edmund Husserl - Literature - Phenomenology - Roman Ingarden - Semiotics - Theory of Signs - body - concept - epistemology - idea - reason - relativism

Related subjects » Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Linguistics - Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Preface.- Introduction.- I. DIAGRAMS – PEIRCE AND HUSSERL.- 1 Let’s Stick Together – Peirce’s Metaphysics of the Continuum.- 2 The Physiology of Arguments – Peirce’s Extreme Realism and the Continuum in his Theory of Signs.- 3 How to Learn More – An Apology for a Strong Concept of Iconicity.- 4 Moving Pictures of Thought - Diagrams as Centerpiece of a Peircean Epistemology.- 5 Everything is Transformed - Transformation in Semiotics.- 6 Categories and Diagrams – the Grasping of Ideal Objects in Husserl and Peirce.- 7 Mereology – Parts and Wholes in Phenomenology and Semiotics.- 8 Diagrammatical Reasoning and the Synthetic A Priori.- II. BIOSEMIOTICS, PICTURES, LITERATURE.- 9 Biosemiotics as Material and Formal Ontology.- 10 A Natural Symphony? – Actuality of von Uexküll’s Bedeutungslehre.- 11 Man the Abstract Animal - Diagrams, Abstraction, and the Semiotic Missing Link.- 12 The Signifying Body – Making Sense of 'Embodiment'.- 13 Christ Levitating and the Vanishing Square – Diagrams in Picture Analysis.- 14 Into the Picture – Husserl’s Picture Theories and Two Picture Types.- 15 Small Outline of a Theory of the Sketch.- 16 Who is Michael Wo-Ling Ptah-Hotep Jerolomon? – Literary interpretation as Thought Experiment.- 17 Five Types of Schematic Iconicity in the Literary Text – an Extension of the Ingardenian Viewpoint.- 18 The Man Who Knew Too Much - Espionage in Reality and Fiction: Regional Ontology and Iconicity.- Perspective.- APPENDIX - Peircean Continuity between Mathematics and Philosophy.- Bibliography.- Notes.- Index.

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