Signs, Perception and Consciousness

A quote from Frederik Stjernfelt, Natural Propositions: The Actuality of Peirce’s Doctrine of Dicisigns

p. 4 “Dicisigns, like other signs, are conceived of as independent of the particular mental, psychological or other apparatus supporting them. Thus, Peirce’s position shares a fundamental anti-psychologism with Frege and Husserl. But unlike them, his is an anti-psychologism without the linguistic turn. It is not (only) to language that we should turn in order to find logic and cognitive structure not psychologistically – it is to signs and as vehicles for thoughts in general. Thus, signs are not analyzed as derivatives of more primary perceptions, like the narrow, phenomenological notion of signs found e.g. in Husserl and much philosophy of mind. Rather, many signs are indeed simpler that perceptions, as evidenced particularly by the biosemiotic signs use in simple animals without full perceptual field, sensory integration, central nervous systems, etc. Perception and consciousness are rather to be seen as evolutionary later, more complicated phenomena, probably evolved so as to scaffold and enhance cognitive semiotic processes already functioning.”

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