Semiotics 1980 pp 365-371 | Cite as

Interpretant and Interpretation

  • Joseph Oliva


We do not approach the work of the poet or musician in the same way that we would the geometer’s diagram or the philosopher’s proposition. But, as Peirce points out,

the work of the poet or novelist is not so utterly different from the scientific man. The artist introduces a fiction; but it is not an arbitrary one; it exhibits affinities to which the mind accords a certain approval in pronouncing it beautiful, which if it is not exactly the same as saying that the synthesis is true, is something of the same general kind. The geometer draws a diagram, which if not exactly a fiction, is at least a creation, and by means of observation of that diagram he is able to synthesize and show relations between elements which before seemed to have no necessary connection. (1.383)


Automatic Response Musical Score Minimal Unit Musical Structure Musical Sign 
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  1. Buchler, J., 1951, “Toward a General Theory of Human Judgement,” Columbia Univ. Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Osmond-Smith, D., 1972, The iconic process in musical communication, Versus, 3.2, Milano.Google Scholar
  3. Peirce, C. S., 1931–58, “Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce,” Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  4. Zeman, J., 1975, Peirce’s theory of signs, in: “A Perfusion of Signs,” T. A. Sebeok, ed., Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Oliva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishSUNY College at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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