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ABS082 - The epistemological relevance of Peircean pragmatism for Vygotskian semiotic mediation

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
11:20 AM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
This presentation derives from a manuscript prepared for the ISCAR-affiliated journal Mind, Culture, and Activity. It concerns the author’s research project on the Peirce-Vygotsky co-articulation of signs, the first phase of which was reported in 2014 in this Journal (21/4, “The synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation”). The epistemology of Peircean pragmatism emphasises the life of the mind as integral to the making of human existence, in particular, the social, perceptual and logical nature of knowledge that determines the meaning of intellectual concepts by virtue of cooperative and open-ended endeavours. In challenging the methods of tenacity, authority, and apriority, a Peircean vision of scientific inquiry elicits a new discourse upon the affordance of public meaning in knowledge construction. This, in turn, provides a rationale for developing further insights into Peircean semiotics, with specific reference to the self-perpetuating function of semiosis and its implication for addressing the cross-over of diverse modes of meaning in modern-day communication and representation. Premised on the fusion of deduction and abduction as a conceptual primer, it is argued that the intertwining of icon, index, and symbol within Peircean secondness can come into play in Vygotskian semiotic mediation. This brings with it a tour d’horizon for the semiotic connectivity of language, meaning, and consciousness – a central tenet of cultural-historical activity theory for understanding human interactions with the world. The presentation thus offers fresh perspectives on advocating semiotic methodology gleaned from the epistemological confluence of Peirce and Vygotsky.
University of Oxford, Alumnus
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