Mentioning a Point

Begins 5:45pm

[SS I just ran out of ink in my pen.  It took me less than four weeks to use it all up.  It was mainly used in writing notes that supposedly helped me understand what I was reading in Eco’s Theory of Semiotics.  I think it’s worth mentioning.  I don’t know why?]

[OS Because you sometimes want others to know what happens before you get to the page.  You/We want there to be a sense of what goes on underneath, before, behind, around this PhD.]

[SS Yeah. It’s not this neat process that unfolds with precision and clarity with each day.  Some days it feels bleak and I feel we are in a deep, dark hole where there can be no escape.]

[OS Kind of like today! We are going round in circles on just one page digesting ‘pointing’ and ‘mentioning’.  It is also a hard day emotionally.  The Phd is caught in the middle of a whole life consumed with questions about purpose, cause, future, desire, survival, pleasure, commitment and responsibility.  Eco is not a great distraction from all of that.  In fact, he can muddy the waters.  Today is a day to just keep going.  Right now is the moment to get back out on to the page…]

Indexical devices or pointers apparently are “charactereised by the fact  that they have as their meaning the object to which they are physically connected.” (p163-164)  This definition although rejected by Eco ‘as not true’ is used by him as the basis for analysing the process of mentioning.

For example, a pointing finger at a cat accompanied by the statement /This is a cat./ would generally be accepted as true.  In order for that to be true it mus be translated as follows: the perceptum of the cat must systematically correspond with the semantic properties of the cat.  Both are in that process represented by the same sign-vehicle.  The cat at this point is no longer just a physical object.  “It has been transformed into a semiotic entity.”

[SS But how can it be true and transformed, if Eco himself bypasses what he himself stated as untrue, namely the definition of the meaning of the object to which the ‘pointing finger’ is connected?]

[OS Because the common sense version of the pointing finger pointing toward something else helps to build the more transformative definition of pointers beyond the object to the perceptum, which can then lead to the idea of ‘Ideas as Signs.”]

[SS Why don’t we just say all that on the page?  And by the way, I have noticed that when you quote Eco, you change the spelling of his words from American spelling to English spelling.  Doesn’t that point toward some kind of judgement of yours?]

[OS  Because on the page we have to be certain.  Whereas an Internal Conversation is just a conversation that shows we are thinking about what we are putting on the page.  And what it takes to get there.]

[SS You are clearly starting to go round in circles.  And, you don’t really answer my questions.]

[OS Zzzzzzz!]

Ends 5:05 pm

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