Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense: Language, Perception, Technics by Robert E. InnisPragmatism and the Forms of Sense: Language, Perception, Technics by Robert E. Innis

Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense: Language, Perception, Technics

byRobert E. Innis

Paperback | May 8, 2008

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Making sense of the world around us is a process involving both semiotic and material mediation—the use of signs and sign systems (preeminently language) and various kinds of tools (technics). As we use them, we experience them subjectively as extensions of our bodily selves and objectively as instruments for accessing the world with which we interact. Emphasizing this bipolar nature of language and technics, understood as intertwined "forms of sense," Robert Innis studies the multiple ways in which they are rooted in and transform human perceptual structures in both their individual and social dimensions.

The book foregrounds and is organized around the notion of "semiotic embodiment." Language and technics are viewed as "probes" upon which we rely, in which we are embodied, and that themselves embody and structure our primary modes of encountering the world. While making an important substantive contribution to present debates about the "biasing" of perception by language and technics, Innis also seeks to provide a methodological model of how complementary analytical resources from American pragmatist and various European traditions can be deployed fruitfully in the pursuit of new insights into the phenomenon of meaning-making.

Robert E. Innis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Robert E. Innis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Title:Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense: Language, Perception, TechnicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.63 inPublished:May 8, 2008Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271028394

ISBN - 13:9780271028392

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense

Part 1: Framing Language

1. Perceptual Consciousness and the Structures of Meaning: Peirce and Polanyi

2. From Indication to Predication: Situating Language with Bühler, Gardiner, and Wegener

3. Pragmatism and the Analysis of Meaning: Lessons from Giovanni Vailati

Part 2: The Senses of Technics

4. Technics and the Bias of Perception: Polanyi and the Forms of Embodied Meaning

5. Pragmatist Aesthetics and the Critique of Technology

6. Form and Technics: Scope and Nature of Cassirer’s Semiotic Analysis of Technology

Conclusion: Matrices of Meaning



Editorial Reviews

“This is a work of first-rate scholarship and deep-cutting philosophy, replete with important insights and fruitful suggestions. The author brings into sharp focus, above all else, language and what he calls (following Ernst Cassirer) technics by drawing upon diverse traditions—principally the pragmatism of Peirce and Dewey, the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty, the work of Cassirer and Langer in the philosophy of symbolism, and that of Bühler and others in linguistics. He shows how these and related phenomena (for example, perception, action, agency, and consciousness) are at once fully embodied and irreducibly symbolic. His explorations of linguistic and other forms of sense ought to be of interest to a wide audience.”—Vincent Colapietro, Penn State University