American Journal of Semiotics 36 (1):77-94 (2020)

Vincent Colapietro
Pennsylvania State University
Gestures are arguably the most pervasive, primordial, and generative of signs. This partly explains why the failure or refusal to gesture in certain ways, in certain circumstances, carries more weight than would seem otherwise comprehensible. Stanley Cavell attends to not only the importance of acknowledgment but also how our failures to acknowledge others amount to nothing less than an “annihilation of the other”. What account of gestures would begin to do justice to the power of such failures to wound humans so deeply? Of course, it is possible to argue that those who are wounded by such slights are hypersensitive. But, given the weight of our experience, this goes only a very short distance toward illuminating the phenomena under consideration. Drawing upon Peirce’s theory of signs, this paper offers a sketch of gestures of acknowledgment, paying close attention to why our failures or refusals to acknowledge others are so powerful.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Language and Literature  Semiotics
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DOI 10.5840/ajs2020361/267
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References found in this work BETA

Gestures Historical and Incomplete, Critical yet Friendly.Vincent Colapietro - 2016 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 8 (1).
The Grand Vision.John Deely - 1994 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 30 (2):371 - 400.

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