Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):132-165 (2021)

Piotr Konderak
Maria Curie-Sklodowska University
Meaning-making processes, understood hierarchically, in line with the Semiotic Hierarchy framework, change on various timescales. To account for and predict these changes, one can take a cognitive view on semiosis. I adopt an interdis-ciplinary approach combining semiotic studies and cognitive studies in an attempt to account for meaning-making activity and to predict the course of semiosis. In this context, I consider meaning-making activity as shaped by both “external” (to a semiotic system) as well as “internal” factors. I also show how both the “external” and “internal” sources of the dynamicity of meaning-making should be framed in terms of studies on cognition.I start with a non-standard, 4e approach to meaning-making. According to this framework, meaning-making processes are constituted by (and not just depen-dent on) environmental and bodily factors. The dynamicity of semiosis can be accounted for in terms of an experiencing, embodied subject (agent) enacting her/his/its own domain of meaningful phenomena. As I argue, this perspective on meaning-making is the cognitive foundation of the first two levels of the Semiotic Hierarchy. In the following sections I present the Peircean view on signs and semiosis, according to which semiosis is a result of the very nature of a sign and a sign system. In this view, the dynamicity of semiosis has primarily “internal” sources: it stems from the unavoidable fallibility of interpretation and synechism of signs. As I show, this aspect of semiosis can be addressed by means of standard (cognitivist) cognitive science and by means of cognitive modelling. Ultimately, I sketch a proposal of an attempt to develop a uniform cognitive framework allowing for integration of the above-mentioned aspects of semiosis – a framework based on Rowlands’ idea of the Amalgamated Mind.
Keywords cognitive semiotics  meaning-making  cognitivism  enactivism  embodiment  the Amalgamated Mind approach  Peircean semiotics
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Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.

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