What is semiotics?

What is semiotics?

It is the branch of the human sciences that deals with the study of the phenomenon that occurs between the signified and the signifier linked through a sign within the transmitter or receiver in the communication cycle. There are some authors who put semiotics on a plane of "science of sciences", competing strongly with epistemology, but this article does not delve in this sense.

The semiotics studies all sorts of symbols and signs, and especially the process by which man builds his life from them. With this understanding, semiotics premises that every object has a specific sense provided by the interpreter at any given time. Semiotics is also the name of the art of recognizing the signs of illness from the point of view of diagnosis, but this similarity relates directly to the general meaning of semiotics which, as we have said, concerns to the relationship between one symptom (sign) and what this means (meaning-significant).

How it works?

It was developed mainly by the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, who founded the pragmatic school which stands that the effects of practical significance that encloses the object of our conception, represents the whole concept of the object, which means that the meaning given to objects comes from the abstraction conducted by the human being itself.

What is it for?

Today semiotics is a science that allows knowing the process in which meaning is given to objects, signs, signals and symbols throughout a cultural convention so that it directly affects the communication of the community. The incidence of semiotics in human life is high as it is present in reality and abstraction, and knowledge of the human being. This is the reason that today we know many types of semiotics.

When talking about the semiotics of product, for example, it clearly speaks of the meaning that a specific community gives to a particular good or service. For example, when McDonald's introduced its burgers in Israel it was important to get into the semiotics of product and let know to the community that food had the kosher quality control.

In the same vein, we can define visual semiotics, which is responsible for the study of symbols and visual signals for the correct transmission of meanings according to the host communities; also we have the sound semiotics which will pay special attention to audible signs and symbols that enable the transmission of messages and so on.


Semiotics Model

Charles S. Peirce

We recommend:

PAUL LICATA, A Concise Introduction to Semiotics.

PETER LANG, Cognitive Semiotics.

JOHN DEELY, Basics of Semiotics.