Synopsis

On October l0th,1994, in the Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Music Academy, a festive evening, dedicated to Professor Jerzy Pelc, was held on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. During the evening, TABULA GRATUI.ATIOSA, opening this volume, was read. It was signed by a hundred scientists from around the world: from Australia; England; Bohemia; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Holland; Hungary; Italy; Poland; Russia; Rumania; Switzerland; and the USA.
Most of the signatories of this congratulatory letter dedicated their papers to Professor Pelc. Thus, the FESTSCHRIFT came into being. All the papers in English have been included in this volume.1
The themes of these papers are far-reaching; they cover almost the whole range of semiotics — i.e. of a discipline which is the main object of Professor Pelc's previous scientific activity, crowned by his Prolegomena to Semiotics (published, for the first time, in 1982; we quote the second issue of this book — from 19842).
1.
In his Prolegomena to Semiotics, Professor Pelc writes: "Every sign means something or — as they say — has meaning. What is this meaning? That is just the central problem of semiotics" (p. 234).
This central problem of semiotics is the subject of Jaroslav Peregrin and Petr Sgall's paper (pp. 73ff). In it the authors take a general view of various conceptions of linguistic meaning, beginning from Frege's conception — distinguishing the senses of names and their nominata. Then Carnap's standpoint and Wittgenstein's late conception (i.e. of meaning as a mode of use in a "linguistic game") are discussed. The latter accords with the general attitude of functional as well as structural linguistics — including the classical Prague School. The new Prague School distinguishes a "tectogrammatical," deep way of analyzing meaning, taking into account lexical meaning as well as grammatical functions (syntactic relations and morphological categories). The important part of their argument is acted here by the notion of interchangeability salva veritate of expression in stated contexts; then it leads to the analysis of convictions, intensional contexts, and propositional attitudes. According to the authors, propositional attitudes concern "tectogrammatical" sense, i.e. a certain combination of linguistic meaning with identity of references.
Wojciech Kalaga (pp. 445ff) throws a different light upon the question of meaning. He takes up the essential problem of the appearance of meaning units in the process of cultural semiosis. He distinguishes two crucial moments in this process: the emergence of an identified object; and the transformation of the object into a sign (i.e. its inclusion in the stock of a meaning system). These moments constitute, as a matter of fact, two thresholds: separating what is senseful from what is "undenominable."
Any sentence which is true by virtue of its meaning is traditionally described as "analytic." Tomasz Bigaj (pp. 103ff) discusses the modern form of the dichotomy between analyticity and syntheticity on the grounds of the philosophy of mathematics. Some philosophers of mathematics (e.g. Field) hold that because of the presence of existential theses within it, mathematics cannot be considered analytic knowledge (and consequently, as long as we consider logic as an analytic discipline, mathematics cannot contribute to it — contrary to defenders of logicism). According to Ajdukiewicz's interpretation, an analytic sentence is a logical consequence of meaning postulates; the truth of an analytic sentence can sometimes depend on experience, scil. on the existence of objects — guaranteeing the truth of any respective meaning postulates. If we recognize axioms of mathematics as being meaning postulates, the thesis concerning analyticity and that concerning the presence of existential sentences in mathematics are compatible. Przelecki modifies Ajdukiewicz's conception, proposing to divide postulates into stricto sensu analytic components and synthetic components (the latter corresponding to a certain existential thesis). Mathematics, in such an approach, should be recognized as stricto sensu nonanalytic theory, because it contains a synthetic component, namely the thesis concerning the existence of the objects of mathematics, or objects assumed by mathematics. This is not, however, a solution to the problem of eventual nominalization of mathematics. It appears, moreover, that a synthetic component of mathematical theses is de facto a thesis not about the existence of some mathematical object, but about the fact that the number of optional elements of the domain must be such-and-such.
If two expressions have the same meaning, one of them can be regarded as a translation of the second one. According to Henryk Hiz (pp. 55ff), the formal condition of good translation sounds like this: a translation of any consequences of a given translated sentence should be a consequence of this sentence. This condition is defined for a situation when translation is made in the environment of bilingual persons. To generalize this condition, we should take into account the fact that — normally — consequences are not deduced from a given sentence (i.e. considered in isolation), but rather that components of knowledge (of a deducing person) must always be introduced as additional premises. Thus, every author of a translation intended for receivers belonging to a culture different from his own culture should know both of them very well.
The meaning of a given expression is modified, when the expression is metaphorically taken. As Urszula Niklas (pp. 343ff) recalls, the Greek root of the term "metaphor" is connected with moving something in space; i.e. the linguistic metaphor "moves" the name of something from the sphere of its common use to another sphere, in which this expression was not originally applied. The author, entering into the arena of fine arts, considers the space in which such metaphorical changing of places occurs. The spatial character of metaphorizing reveals itself clearly in the domain of visual arts; thus, according to the author, an examination of metaphorizing transfer in fine arts can bear materials which are also important for the analysis of linguistic metaphors (e.g. figurative modes of speech, poetry). In her paper, she analyzes visual metaphors in Brueghel's painting "The Fall of Icarus," and linguistic metaphors in Auden's poem appealing to the content of this painting.
Johan Wrede's paper (pp. 415ff) concerns the question of metaphorical figurativeness in modern literary theories (hermeneutics, deconstructivism). Metaphorical figurativeness is — according to the author — present in the case of such uses of language, as when we avoid distinct symbols, allegoric or emblematic codes, and provoke the imagination, suggesting specific senses within the framework of a given text. Deconstructivism takes an extreme stand against metaphorical formulations in texts: that they are a common source of inconsistency as regards the intended senses. The author does not agree with such an opinion, and tries to show, using examples from the works of Marinson (the Swedish Nobel-prize winner), that better results can be obtained when approached in the context of hermeneutic "contextualism."
Inquiries about metaphor have been, lately, actualized, as relating to the problem of computer translation. The idea is, that understanding human language requires, even in simple cases, a great compass of "unanticipatible" knowledge: heavy in codification; submitting to no algorithmic rules; and relativized to certain contexts. Irena Bellert (pp. 95ff) stresses the fact that it is especially complicated in the case of metaphors and metonymies when it comes to breaking linguistic rules, that are literally interpreted. The phenomenon of metaphorically and metonymically transferring the senses can have the great cognitive importance; it expresses itself in using non-sentential schemata of organization and of representation with respect to our experience. Metaphorical amplification of meaning can be, for instance, founded on physical experiences: e.g. the process of balance gives grounds for expressions like "balanced personality," "balanced view" or "the balance of power." We experience our own emotions in a scope like a homeostatic model, in which our health depends on the proper balance of emotional "stresses," "forces," and "pressures." The creative usage of language (i.e. introducing new metaphorical and metonymical transfers) indicates the way many reasonings and cognitive inferences are made. This argument is illustrated by several examples, like the introduction — by Seyle — of the notion of stress as a biologic syndrome; in doing so he has passed from the metaphor of "body as machine" to the idea of "body as homeostatic organism."
2.
Compound sentences, the truth-values of which depend only on the sense of their propositional functors and the truth-values of arguments of these functors, are extensional sentences. They include, among others, sentences of propositional calculus, e.g. constructed with the aid of the functor of implication. We cannot define as extensional many compound sentences in natural language, natural conditionals included. As Professor Pelc writes in his Prolegomena to Semiotics: "In the scope of logic, only the truth or the falsity of protasis and apodosis are essential as regards material implication; as regards conditionals of a natural language, on the other hand, it is essential, which truth-value is ascribed by the speaker to this protasis, and which of them to the respective apodosis: whether he recognizes one or both of them as true or as false; and whether he is sure of his choice or not" (p. 271).
Andrzej Boguslawski (pp. 29ff) takes up in his paper the problem of interpreting conditionals which contain egocentric mental predicates, i.e. expressions informing the actual state of a speaker's mind. Egocentric mental predicates (expressions like "I think that..."), usually keep their sense and the sense of the whole sentence independently of the place of their occurrence within a given conditional. But in some cases, after adding to apodosis, they become its semantically integral part. The author formulates anew the fundamental characteristics of conditionals in natural languages, contrasting them with the characteristics of material implication. He indicates examples, showing that not only pragmatic, but also semantic properties of conditionals are more far-reaching than the respective properties of material implications.
Conditionals in natural languages are, sometimes, used to express convictions concerning causal connections between the state of affairs stated by protasis, and the state of affairs stated by apodosis. The notion of cause itself is analyzed by Juri S. Stepanov (pp. 137ff). The author briefly describes the evolution of this philosophical notion — from Aristotle to the present day. Then he poses the question of whether human views on the nature of cause have been subject to change during the course of this evolution, or whether the linguistic-conceptual framework of these views has been changed. He adopts, finally, the opinion held by Vendley among others, that the notion of cause depends, in the end, on the type of language used to define this notion.
One of the most important questions concerning conditionals and subordinate clauses (broadly speaking) — is the temporal relation between their members. Laszlo I. Komlószi (pp. 269ff) suggests that the logical construction of connections between a main sentence and the respective sub-clauses can exert so great an influence upon the intrinsic temporal structure of the subclauses, that the compound structure of the time of utterance, of the time of event, and of the time of estimation of the event, can be warped. deformed, reoriented — or even suspended within the sub-clauses.
In natural languages — from a formal point of view — transforming a sentence from active into passive, is not as semantically neutral as analogical transformation in the framework of the language of functional calculus (consisting in substituting a predicate referring to a certain dyadic relation, by a predicate referring to the converse of this relation). Klaus Heger (pp. 263ff) analyzes the structure of sentences formulated in the passive voice from an onomasiological point of view — using categories of hierarchization (perspectivization) of semantic elements of sentence and of functional perspective, drawn from Deneš. He shows that semantically equivalent sentences formulated in various forms in German in the passive voice lead to various "hierarchizations" (various "actants" and "circonstants"), as well as to various "functional perspectives."
3.
There are such scientists who claim that to understand the signs of any language is to know the thoughts hidden behind those signs. According to adherents of this view, "thinking..." as Professor Pelc writes in his Prolegomena to Semiotics ."..goes in parallel to speaking, and it consists in associating some presentations with other ones in human consciousness" (p. 240).
According to Anna Wierzbicka (pp. 297ff), the notion of thinking itself is a primitive and indefinable notion. It is also a universal notion: respective words appear in all ethnic languages (taking into account the phenomenon of polysemy). The author presents a semantic analysis of the term "to think" in English, referring to various ways of using this term in English sentences. She claims (polemizing with Vender's views), that in spite of the diversity of syntactic contexts, the notion of thinking is indeed (as Wittgenstein noticed) a widely ramified notion, but that it constitutes a lexical unity which is semantically homogeneous. The author rejects the view that thinking is, in essence, an intrinsic speech. Investigating various ethnic languages she indicates that the common notion of person (who "thinks," "wants," "feels," "knows") is also linguistically universal, and lexicalized in like manner within these languages.
One of the most important kinds of thinking is reasoning. Evandro Agazzi (pp. 87ff) tries to catch the essence of reasoning and its intrinsic aims as well as the notion of rationality. According to the author reasoning consists for instance in connecting thoughts with the aid of the relation of logical consequence. The final aims of reasoning are to be: founding a certain stock of information or explaining a certain state of affairs. These aims are realized, on the one hand, by mathematical proofs, and by explanations of phenomena in empirical sciences on the other. These two cases differ, however, one from another, as regards the degree of certainty implicit in their conclusions (i.e. general explanations in empirical sciences are always encumbered with uncertainty). Rationality, on the other hand, must not be identified with the pursuit of complete certainty; its symptom is rather the readiness to confront arguments with reality while constantly looking for the truth.
An analysis of non-formalized arguments — scientific as well as current ones — engages a good deal of attention in Geffrey B. Keene's paper (pp. 115ff). He gives a lot of thought to the possibility of identifying in such arguments semantic premises expressing non-tautological semantic connections of terms, to the correctness of consequence, to their possible inner contradiction, etc. He also gives a certain method for ordering and reconstructing such arguments.
The operation of acceptance is a component of each and every reasoning. A certain kind of acceptance is the subject of the analysis submitted by Jan Srzednicki (pp.129ff). He takes into consideration the view according to which norms and values are expressions of preferences. When we recognize any X as possible to accept, or any Y as impossible to accept, we identify a certain value and/or we apply a certain norm. In the utilitaristic perspective, values precede norms; in the intuitionistic perspective, norms establish values. Norms are necessary conditions of preferences: if norms do not work, nothing else can function. Persons ready to do something in an intended manner, should first be ready to apply norms or/and to identify values.
It is quite a commonly held opinion, that arguments which violate the principle of non- contradiction are incorrect. Katalin G. Havas (pp. 49ff) discusses the problem taken up by Lukasiewicz in the early part of this century concerning the status of the principle of non-contradiction. In particular she poses the question: whether the meaning of the term "the principle of non-contradiction" depends on the context (and the group of related problems). She asks whether this is at all a law, being the most fundamental, the most certain, and the most epistemologically primitive one — the significance of which is not founded on a certain theory — or whether all the laws, the principle of non- contradiction included, are only some standard ways of looking at the world, or some paradigms shared by groups of scientists. The author reflects, like Lukasiewicz, upon various possible interpretations of the Aristotelian principle of non-contradiction: ontological; methodological; and meta-logical. She admits the possibility of "worlds" where the so-called paraconsistent logic holds, and where neither ontological nor methodological versions of the principle work — but where the general meta-logical principle of non-contradiction remains a necessary condition of rational discourse.
4.
Professor Pelc in his Prolegomena to Semiotics emphasizes the fact that often in its history "semiotics was related to logic and philosophy" (p.15).
General remarks on the relation between these disciplines — with special regard to historical and sociological aspects — are presented by Erhard Albrecht (pp. 161ff). He foreshortens the views, among others, of Humboldt, Baudouin de Courtenay, and the structuralists, developing on the base of these views his own opinion concerning the influence of social factors on the formation of various coats of language (he refers here to the Lvov-Warsaw School and to its methods). In this context, he constructs a list of fundamental (in his opinion) semiotic questions and problems. Considering the methodological aims of logic in the formation of language — interpreted in the shape in which it occurs in Carnap (e.g. in Logical Foundations of Probability) — he regards explication, understood in such a manner, as an extremely valuable tool for explicating the senses of words.
Thanks to strong connections with many other sciences, semiotics has the ambition to be an interdisciplinary science. The notion of interdisciplinarity does not find — according to András Kertész (pp.121ff) — its explication in the framework of the analytical philosophy of science (i.e. where particular theories rather than whole disciplines are considered). On the other hand, semiotics can be regarded as a standard example of cooperation between various branches and disciplines of science. In his paper, he takes up the matter of the possibility and the conditions by which such an epistemic value as interdisciplinarity is compatible with another, main, epistemic value: exactness. Interest in this matter comes from the fact that the value of exactness has now lost its significance in research practice (and in the general philosophy of science), but representatives of particular disciplines, in accordance with the old tradition of the analytical philosophy of science, keep presenting exactness as an obligatory requirement for more mature research in the future. There are distinguished, in his paper, two kinds of interdisciplinarity: by explication; and by integration. The first case consists in substituting an expression p from a theory P by an expression q from a theory Q, being more exact than P: it is excluded when P itself is exact in the same degree as Q. The second case is defined by the aid of the notion of modularity: B-moduli (i.e. moduli of behavior) and T moduli (i.e. moduli of the theory of human behavior) in particular. Interdisciplinarity, in this sense, consists in networks of T moduli and B- moduli.
A certain light upon the notion of exactness is thrown by the analysis of its generalized antonym: the notion of imprecision. Solomon Marcus (pp. 59ff) proposes (especially in mathematical contexts) a common paradigm for predicates of various kinds of imprecision — such as "approximate," "random," "vague," "fuzzy," "ambiguous," "negligible," "indiscernible," "plausible," "possible," "credible," "uncertain, "ineffable" etc. The role of this paradigm is to be played by the idea of conjugate pair, inspired by the notion of mutually conjugate magnitudes (e.g. position and momentum) from quantum mechanics. A conjugate pair is characterized by mutually connected conditions which cannot be simultaneously fulfilled. The examples of such pairs are: {precision, truth}; {sensibility, clarity}; {certainty, reality}; {rigor, sense}; and — even — {syntax, semantics}. The author exemplifies and analyzes a number of conjugate pair from the domains of mathematics, like: {empirical efficiency, theoretical convergence}; {decimal expansion, expansion into a continuous fraction}; {important algorithms, low complexity algorithms}; {completeness, consistency} et al.
Interpreting some problems of the theory of language with the aid of the conceptual apparatus of mathematics — with the aid of the notion of metric space - is also proposed by Olgierd Adrian Wojtasiewicz (pp. 8lff) in his paper. The author starts by quoting the definition of "metric space" (with any number of dimensions). The notion of metric space has already been used in the area of classifying and retrieving documents. The author wants to make use of this notion (the notion of sphere with a certain center and radius) to interpret the notion of semantic field of terms, the notion of category (in the theory of prototype in cognitive linguistics), the notion of acceptability of expressions as well as to interpret the domain of Linnaeus' biological taxonomy.
Wojciech Buszkowski (pp. 39ff) applies the conceptual apparatus of model theory to describe the mutual connections between various kinds of categorial grammars. The author formulates, in particular, conditions of equality or inclusion between three families of languages generated by categorial grammars.
Specifically, he turns his attention to a family constituted by the least solutions of a system of equations.
5.
If inquiries within semiotics are to be origins of reliable knowledge, then their "cardinal virtues" — as Professor Pelc embraces them in his Prolegomena to Semiotics - should be "caution and reserve" (p. 349).
These virtues are important not only for theoretical but also for practical reasons. Human knowledge is a mighty factor, providing facilities for a greater and greater influence upon our environment — as well as for the future of the human species itself. This influence is not always positive nowadays, and therefore, we should estimate our knowledge and its development more critically than we did in the past. Thus, according to Jerzy A. Wojciechowski (pp. 145ff), the development of human knowledge should be considered a moral problem. The author discusses the ideas underlying this development in modern times, as well as the reasons why it can create problems. He considers the relation (of proportionality) between the scope of knowledge and the need of a parallel ethical estimation. He also points to the fact that traditional ethical systems are not sufficient to solve the problems created by the development of knowledge.
According to Paul Bouissac (pp. 435ff), successful conceptualization of the development of knowledge, as well as cultural dynamics in general — in any case from a Darwinian evolutionary perspective — can be reached by means of the notion of meme as introduced by Dawkins in 1976 (cf. his book on the egoism of genes), to signify self-duplicating informative patterns in culture. The author expands that hypothesis of the existence of "memes," formulating two questions: why and how memes disappear; and what are the consequences of this fact for the problem of the manner of their "living," "Memes" are hypothetical cultural informative patterns (i.e. sets of semiotic instructions) limited by the same evolutionary laws as biological genes, although their "biological" status has the markings of parasiticity (i.e. the possibility of long anabiotic states in the form of records). The theses drawn from evolution "memetics" are: that "memes" adapt to exploit small, uncontinuous environments; that they reach the extremum by using highly specialized media; and that they exist in conditions of imbalance.
Vilmos Voigt (pp. 397ff) presents the dynamics of cultural (as well as political) relations between European countries — exemplified in the case of Finland and Hungary on the one hand, and Poland and Hungary on the other. He concentrates his considerations on the perception, by Hungarians, of Polish and Finnish national careers, either as being models to imitate, or, on the contrary, to reject. The paper gives a picture of the cyclical, oscillatory increase and decrease of the Hungarians' interest in the careers of the said nations.
Knowledge — and scientific knowledge in particular — is identified with theories on the one hand, or with authors (of these theories) on the other. In Adam Podgórecki's paper (pp. 453ff) we can find a typology of the positions of various people taking themselves for — or regarding themselves as scientists, a typology made from a sociological perspective, and founded on the author's immediate contacts with various scientific circles. He distinguishes and characterizes ten kinds of scientists: (1) innovators; (2) potential innovators; (3) group innovators; (4) professional scientists (repetitors, interpreters-commentators, enthusiasts, analysts, erudites, collectors, classifiers); (5) disappointed scientists; (6) instrumental scientists; (7) spectacular scientists; (8) organizers; (9) "guardians"; and (10) scientists-activists.
6.
"Applied semiotics..." as Professor Pelc writes in his Prolegomena to Semiotics .".is the fruit of systematic application of semiotic methods, especially of the method of interpreting and the method of analyzing language, to a certain complex of objects, events, and phenomena, constituting an ordered whole, such as some branches of art ... One of the branches of art, investigated from the olden times with the aid of semiotic methods, is literature: poetry and prose" (p. 341).
Maria Caterina Ruta's paper (pp. 351ff) belongs to just this application: the semiotics of literature. She analyzes thematic analogy and modifications of elements in literary structures, with respect to the works of the Spanish writer Cervantes (1547-1616): i.e. two comedies (Los banos de Alger and Los tratos de Alger); an autonomic fragment of Don Quijote (Capitan cautivo); and a short story (El amante liberal). The author tries to justify the hypothesis that they present in various versions the same general motif: the predicament of Christians in Arabic captivity.
The literary production of the Irish writer Joyce (1882-1941) is considered in Wlodzimierz Krysinski's paper (pp. 317ff) as a model for critical theory of literature. An analysis of his production is difficult because of the fact that the texts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake — narratively discontinuous, aleatory, and epiphanic — do not submit to an approach in the framework of a theory understood (at least) as a homogeneous complex of categories. Joyce realizes, and simultaneously "derealizes" his literary aims in the process of dynamically reacting functions of mimesis, mathesis, and semiosis (i.e. of the three "forces of literature" — according to Barthes). His representations have no stabilized frame of reference. In his work, cognition "circles" objects and motives, continuously creating senses in an eternal and unlimited process. Since 1922, Joyce's works "deconstructed" and undermined previous theories concerning the novel; furthermore we should look for the clue (to them) in the "semiotic of passions," created just lately.
An analysis of poems by two Czech poets — Nezval (1900-58) and Seifert (1901-1986) — makes a starting point in Thomas G. Winner's paper (pp. 407ff) on poetism: one of the two avant-garde artistic trends in the Czechoslovakia of the inter-war period (cf. the "Carline" poet group; the second trend was surrealism). Poetism owes its characteristic features to the specificity of reconstruction of the Czech language as a written language after almost a two-hundred-year break. The author distinguishes certain peculiarities of the poetry of this group: liberated from rigid, semantic and grammatical, frameworks; from traditional visual representation to free plays of fancy, associations, and assonances, and to autonomy of terms and to verbal games.
Hanna Ksiazek-Konicka's paper (pp. 325ff) offers a comparative study of the language and poetical media used by two Polish poets: Przybos (1902-70) and Bialoszewski (1922-83). Her comparative tool is the category of visual thinking, a term adopted from Arnheim — the German philosopher and psychologist of art from the school of Gestalt-psychology. Visual thinking is anotion that breaks with the traditional dichotomy of intellect and sense. A perceiving subject, in this conceptual frame, "thinks with the aid of her/his senses" (i.e. chooses, simplifies, completes, composes, and modifies sense-data). She/he performs (on the sensual level) a whole array of prelinguistic operations of abstraction. The author applies Arnheim's category to a detailed analysis of Przybos and Bialoszewski's poetry, as well as to a comparison of the cognitive attitudes (certainty — uncertainty) of both poets.
In Else M. Barth's paper (pp. 423ff), a logical-semiotical description of the extraordinary mode of thinking of Quisling (1897-1945) — the prime minister of the Norwegian collaborationist government during the time of German occupation — is presented. His manuscripts unfold his own specific philosophical ambitions (i.e. the philosophy of "universism"). Some interesting mental schemata and expressions are repeated in them (we very often find such words as "sacred war" or "blood"). He ascribes deep significance to the masculine-feminine opposition, the mystic heritage of blood, and the call for a sacred war against an unidentified enemy (the author identifies this enemy with woman).
7.
Professor Pelc writes in his Prolegomena to Semiotics: "What is expressed in some arts by word and picture or word and music, we express in other arts either with picture alone, with music alone, with gesture alone, or with picture, or with gesture and music" (p. 343).
Diverse clues to a semiotic analysis of art — especially of music — are touched upon by Eero Tarasti (pp. 363ff), referring to such writers as Greimas, Eco, and Baudrillard. He puts these clues in the context of various problems or values associated with Greimas' distinctions (e.g. "euphoric" — "disphoric"), and he uses — in his analysis — such categories of elements as: (i) artists (musicians) in the creative process; (ii) musical (artistic) happening; (iii) and musical estimation or "modalization."
The language of music is used for example by television (which disposes of the whole bag of expressive media). In the last decades, the television screen has ceased to be just a "window on the world": it has stopped playing the centralized, ritual role providing means of information, becoming instead a medium of mutual communications, thanks to (among other things) the introduction of cameras, video recorders, cable television, and video games onto the mass market. The passive sense of picture has been replaced by communicability (i.e. the possibility of the receiver's influence on the "text" appearing on the screen) by a ludic attitude of the market towards the television picture. According to Gianfranco Bettetini (pp. 311ff), this communicability has the form of a video game, and such electronic conversation is a kind of play. The author distinguishes five categories of video games: simulations of sports and of military actions; games inspired by cinema; electronic versions of traditional games (e.g. cards); simulations of actions in the framework of a certain profession (e.g. physician); and specific games not appealing to reality. In this paper he analyzes the connections and the degree of dependence between given games and simulated realities.
Professor Pelc, in his Prolegomena to Semiotics emphasizes, that "not only ... art expresses its author's experiences. Extra-artistic objects, articles of common consumption, can also be used by us as signs of their producers' design or intention" (p. 343).
For that reason, the authority of semiotics covers the whole sphere of human artifacts and all other objects, taking part in a specific sign-process. Such a description, accentuating the role of technological artifacts as "interfaces" (cf. Simon), as links between "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" environments associated with them, is of great importance for identifying semiotic problems. Analyzing these links, Ladislav Tondl (pp. 375ff) distinguishes extensional and intensional interpretations with reference to the semantic dualism in Frege's sense.
8.
We read in Professor Pelc's Prolegomena to Semiotics: "It is instrumental in knowing any thing, event, or phenomenon, to possess information about their genesis. The same holds for studying notions. Acquaintance with their genealogy makes, sometimes, a long step further" (p. 39).
Lucio Melazzo (pp. 221ff) reaches furthest back with respect to the history of semiotics in this volume. He presents and annotates the content of Cratylus, written by perhaps the most classic of the representatives of Greek philosophy: Plato (427-347 BC). It is a dialogue between Hermogenes, Cratylus, and Socrates, concerning the problem of the correctness of names. The main point of this dialogue is the controversy between devotees of naturalistic and conventionalist interpretation of names (with Socrates as a moderator). Socrates' final standpoint is that we must look for the correctness of names, not within the names themselves, but in the reference of names to things.
Xiankun Li (pp. 215ff) has recourse to an equally early antiquity, analyzing theses from Dialogue about White Horse, by Gonsung Long (320-250 BC), a Chinese scientist from the School of Names. The central, controversial thesis of the dialogue — "White horse is not a horse" — should be interpreted, according to the commentator, as a sentence expressing the difference between the extension of both its names (the copula "is" being taken in such a sense that it expresses the relation of equivalence). In ancient China, this way of approaching relations between terms was very rare, and Gonsung Long's dialogue was treated as paradoxical and sophistic, whereas in fact it constitutes an important contribution to the development of logical semiotics. In the context of Gonsung Long's works, there are also analyzed psychological aspects of the formation of abstract names.
Two essential theses in semiotics, formulated by the French philosopher Descartes (1592- 1650), are presented and analyzed by Jerzy Kopania (pp. 209ff): (i) the thesis about the cognitive openness of the human mind; and (ii) the thesis about the closedness of nature. According to the first thesis, a philosophical analysis of the mind must "lead outside," because the intrinsic structure of mind calls for giving cause of its existence, and the mind as such does not contain principles explaining its nature. According to the second thesis, any philosophical explanation of nature cannot "lead outside" it, because nature as such does not call for giving cause of its existence (i.e. nature itself contains the principle explaining its character). 'This second thesis breaks away from established scholastic traditions.
Ding-fu Ni (pp. 231ff) treats the influence of the Chinese translation of System of Logic. Ratiocinative and Inductive, by the English logician, Mill (1806-73), on local studies of the Chinese language. Mill's interpreter, Fu Yen, used Mill's semantic ideas to analyze the symbolism of signs of the Chinese language. Chinese ideographic signs are void of inflection, and they do not belong to rigid grammatical categories. They join graphic form with meaning in a complicated (on account of their long evolution) and ambiguous way. Thanks to the transferring of Mill's ideas to Chinese ground, much progress in understanding the semantic features of the Chinese language has occurred.
It is a commonly held opinion, that de Saussure alone initiated semiology as a general, separate discipline — the study of systems of signs (Memoires sur le systéme primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européennes, 1879) placing linguistics (in his lectures from the years 1906-11 — published as Cours de linguistique générale, 1916), in a wider theoretical background. Edward Stankiewicz (pp. 253ff) takes note of a less-known fact: that a similar program was preached by another French linguist Bréal (1832-1915), the founder of the Société Linguistique de Paris, and de Saussure's predecessor (up to 1881 ) on the chair of the École des Hautes Études. The author discusses Bréal's views on the ground of his works, published in the years 1877-97. He especially stresses the diachronic, historical-sociological approach of Bréal in regard to linguistic research, and contrasts this approach with the more naturalistic approach of de Saussure and other scholars.
As many as four authors concentrate on the work of the American philosopher, Peirce (1839-1914).
Gérard Deledalle's paper (pp. 169ff) is an attempt to answer the question formulated by Professor Pelc in his work from 1993 — "Several Questions to Experts in Peirce's Theory of Signs." The author is convinced that Peirce's semiotic views create a well determined theory of signs. He appeals to Peirce's "phaneroscopy," according to which every proper relation is triadic. "A sign is something (A), what denotes any fact or object (B), for a certain interpreting thought (C)." In Peirce's work, ontology is identical with epistemology: i.e. their categories are coextensive — both of them are a continuation of biological evolution, the product of which is intelligence. Three categories (modes of being) are distinguished in the framework of this ontology: (i) qualitatively positive possibility; (ii) existence — i.e. being actual (fact); (iii) being law, which will govern in the area of future facts (mediation by law). After presenting a philosophical backdrop to Peirce's views, the author discusses Peirce's main semiotic notions: of representamen; of ground (of representamen) — the term occurring only in anterior works: of object, of interpretant, and of interpreter (quasi-mind).
The notion of interpretant is the object of Joëlle Réthoré's special interest (pp. 243ff). This notion began to play a great part in the pragmatist phase of development of Peirce's semiotic thought after 1900. It causes various interpretative problems. For there are many types of interpretants: immediate; dynamic; and final; as well as emotional; energetic; and normal or logical ones. The author tries to put these categories in order, taking sides with the first rather than second triad, because it occurs more often in Peirce's writing. She enumerates and characterizes ten heterogenic aspects of semiosis, representing a potential basis of classifying signs (grounded in three types of interpretant and two types of sign). Two of Peirce's examples of using signs are also analyzed in this paper, with the aid of the said categories of interpretant.
Janice Deledalle-Rhodes (pp.179ff) reads elements of the theory of translation into Peirce's writing between the years 1869-1908. Peirce wrote, in these years, book- reviews for the periodical The Nation. A critical selection of these reviews concerned works in foreign languages, as well as translations into English, and it led, in a natural way, to addressing the problems concerning translation. The author has compiled this material, isolating mentions concerning various aspects of translation (phonetic and historical aspects, creating neologisms, using technical terms etc.), and then drawn conclusions concerning Peirce's views (e.g., that a translated linguistic sign must not focus attention to the prejudice of the original sign and the designed object).
In Roberta Kevelson's paper (pp. 195ff), Peirce's notion of idea is discussed as a notion being the result of invention and a creatively developed thought. The author makes use of less known, and still unpublished manuscripts by Peirce. She indicates a correspondence between Peirce's intention of using semiotics for the creation of new ideas, and the changes arising in the last few years within the area of estimating such predicates as "paradox," "instability," "chaos," "catastrophe," and "indeterminism" — all of which had explicitly negative connotations in the past, and all of which have positive ones now. The author compares Locke's and Peirce's approaches to the problem of invention (and their respective approaches in the domains of literature and art). She pays special attention to the notion of complex system.
Robert E. Innis (pp.189ff), discusses some points in the scholarly production of Langer (1896-1985), the American philosopher of language. She is interested, namely, in clues, connected with problems of symbolization. In her book Feeling and Form ( 1953), Langer considers artistic symbols and works of art as symbolic transformations ("projections") of forms characterizing feelings. Works of art, through symbolically embodied acts of "abstraction," are to be symptoms of "logical forms" of sensibility. The author compares Langer's views with the standpoints of other scientists (Polanyi, Bühler, Bateson).
Finally, Irene Portis-Winner (pp. 235ff) deals with the heritage of the Russian semiotician, Lotman (1922-93). Her paper is devoted to the notion of semiosphere, taken from the Lotman work Universe of Mind. A Semiotic Theory of Culture (1990) — according to which "semiosphere" (an analogy to biosphere — i.e. "the whole semiotic space of a given culture," and not only a particular ethnic language) is a primitive unit of semiosis: the smallest functional semiotic mechanism. The author cites and interprets some of Lotman's views, concerning various cultures, their types (e.g. "oral" and "verbal"), phases of development etc., as they present themselves from the semiotic point of view.
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We would like to conclude this introduction — being a kind of outlook on the content of this volume — made using Professor Pelc's Prolegomena to Semiotics as a guidebook — with the words, placed at the end of his book. We would like to refer these words to our volume:
"We shall stop at the threshold, at the door, which has been slightly opened only for a moment, to look into the interior. We have succeeded in perceiving only the greatest and closer standing things. If this moment has made the conviction, that there are many more such things, and that they are worth contemplating, then this Prolegomena ... will serve its purpose."
And now, we invite the reader to visit the interior itself.

Jacek Juliusz Jadacki
Witold Strawinski


1. The remaining texts are published in the Polish volume of the Festschrift, entitled W swiecie znaków (In the World of Signs) (Warszawa 1996: Polskie Towarzystwo Filozoficzne).
2. Cf. J. Pelc, Wstep do semiotyki (Prolegomena to Semiotics). Warszawa 1984: Wiedza Powszechna.