Interpreters of texts, according to Eco, are ‘obliged’ both to challenge existing codes and to put forward interpretive hypotheses ‘that work as a more comprehensive, tentative and prospective form of codification.” (p129) There is a need for continuous extra-coding that creates what Eco describes as a border-line situation in uncoded contexts.
An example of an uncoded context is /he follows Marx/, which is used by Fodor and Katz to highlight the possibility of ideological, physical and theatrical interpretations. So, /he follows Marx/ could refer to a ‘disciple’ of Karl Marx; a person that ‘postdates’ Karl Marx; or one who ‘imitates’/’agrees’ with Groucho Marx.
Logically, establishing an interpretation of this example, requires more of an inference that Pierce called at times abduction and at times hypothesis.
At first an abduction appears to be “a free movement of the imagination, more endowed with emotion, than a normal decoding act.” (p132) There is a certain amount of probability and guess used in ‘making an hypothesis’, which can either be inducted or deduced. There is a certain general rule that forms the basis of deduction which allows for supposition to be posited. A result is produced from a rule and case. Whereas, in the process of induction a rule is inferred from a case and a result.
Eco reminds us that: “A semiotic theory must not deny that there are concrete acts of interpretation which produce senses that the code could not foresee, otherwise the principle of the flexibility and creativity of language would not hold.” (p133) The notion of continuous movement in sign production continues.
[OS/SS We are very quiet today because dear Lucelle has passed away. xxx]