Phila Msimang
University of Stellenbosch
Vít Gvoždiak published a reconciliatory analysis of Searle’s social ontology with semiotics in Gvoždiak (2012). Without prior knowledge of his paper, an analysis of the same subject appeared in Msimang (2014). Even though Searle’s social ontology is a common point of reference in the formulation of semiotics in these papers, it also serves as a point of departure in their understanding of semiotics and its development. The semiotic theory expressed in Gvoždiak (2012) is an inherently linguistic (speech act centred) theory, whereas the semiotic theory presented in Msimang (2014) tends more towards a general theory of communicative systems in which social ontology, which follows from speech act theory, is an interesting part. It is my purpose in this note to contrast the two positions of semiotic theory as they appear in the aforementioned papers in reference to their appropriation of Searle’s social ontology.
Keywords ontology  searle  language  signalling  signs  biosemiotics  semiotics
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