Current issues in pictorial semiotics. Lecture four: On Semiotic Ecology. Indexicality and Structure in Pictures and the Perceptual World

Research output: Working paper


The argument of our third lecture showed that iconicity could only be saved from the critical arguments advanced by Bierman and Goodman by means of introducing a properly structured common sense world. In this lecture, we will first consider to what extent the linguistic model may still be helpful, and in which respects it is misleading. Then the necessary furnishing of the common sense world, which is also the basis of picture interpretation, will be discussed in its own right. In this connection, the importance of indexicality to perception, in itself and as it carries over to pictorial representation, will be demonstrated. This will also prompt a return to the theory of indexicality, inspired, once again, in a close reading of Peirce, but developed on the bases of more recent psychological findings. The function of structural opposition will be discussed in contrast to the perceptual logic of indexicality.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • intension vs extension, basic level, mereology, whole and part, contiguity, opposition, structure, repleteness, density, Goodman, Hjelmslev, picture sign, linguistic sign, symptom model, semiotics, linguistic model
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameSemiotics Institute Online

Total downloads

No data available