Modeling the Epistemological Multipolarity of Semiotic Objects

  • Zdzisław Wa̧sik
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 314)


For practitioners of semiotics the most controversial questions constitute the status and nature of the semiotic object equalized with the sign separated from its object(s) of reference or encompassing its object(s) reference, i.e., whether the sign is a unilateral entity or a plurilateral unit comprised of interrelated constituents, or a relation (a network of relations) between those constituents. Further questions refer to the manifestations of signs, namely, whether they appear in material or spiritual (corporeal or intelligible, physical or mental), concrete or abstract, real or ideal forms of being, being examined subjectively or objectively in their extraorganismic or intraorganismic manifestations. Accordingly, signs are approached either extra- or introspectively, through individual tokens or general types, occurring in the realm of man only; in the realm of all living systems, or in the universe of creatures, extraterrestrial and divine in nature. These varieties of sign conceptions exhibit not only differences in terminology but also in the formation of their visual presentations. Bearing in mind the need for their analysis and comparison, the practitioner of semiotic disciplines has to find a parameter or a matrix that would contain features and components characteristic for particular approaches to their forms of being and manifestation. Within the framework of this article, the adept readers will be provided with a theory-and-method related outlooks on the token and type relationships between the mental and concrete existence modes of semiotic objects and their objects of reference. Having reviewed all hitherto known sign conceptions, it will be demonstrated how their two main components, the signans and signatum, may be modeled with their collective and individual properties as oscillating between the possible four epistemological positions: logical positivism, rational empiricism, empirical rationalism, and absolute rationalism.


Ontological Status Cultural Object Epistemological Position Linguistic Sign Triadic Relation 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdzisław Wa̧sik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Linguistic Semiotics and Communicology, Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław, Kolegium Karkonoskie in Jelenia Góra and Department of Linguistic Semiotics, Adam Mickiewicz University in PoznańPoland

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