The Fetishism of Signs

In Eugene Rochberg-Halton & Eugene (eds.), Semiotics 1984. pp. 409-418 (1984)
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The tendency in semiotics toward unnecessary abstractionism and antinaturalism is criticized. More broadly, a transformation is proposed from abstractionism, with its fetishism of signs, to an animism of signs in which the imagination and the signs it gives birth to not only reconnect with the biocultural heritage, but also animate an idea of culture as involving living purpose, not simply inert code. See the revised version of this chapter in my book, Meaning and Modernity.

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Eugene Halton
University of Notre Dame


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