Greimasean phenomenology and beyond: From isotopy to time consciousness

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Abstract

In spite of appearances, the true encounter between Husserlean phenomenology and Parisian school semiotics still has not occurred. In this paper, I suggest that, by adopting ideas from phenomenology, many of which have received new currency in contemporary cognitive science, we can retain a basic formality of the theory, without yielding to any reductionist tendency. After a brief look at the hidden phenomenology of Hjelmslev's work, which was a fundamental inspiration to Greimas, I delve deeper into the Greimasean notion of isotopy to the point where it can be seen to have a counterpart in the notion of schema, which has a long history in psychology and phenomenology, before its brief hour of fame in cognitive science. The fundamental advantage of the notion of schema, as against that of isotopy, is that the former is structured, while the latter is not; and, in particular, that the former is temporally structured, which means that it also can be differently organized. This leads us on to the suggestion that the schema, as the successor term to isotopy, has an existence not only in the everyday life of any human being, but also in the evolutionary history of the human species.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics

Keywords

  • connotation, isotopy, Phenomenology, schema, sign
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-113
Number of pages21
JournalSemiotica
Volume2017
Issue number219
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes