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Metarepresentation, Self-Organization and Art

Wildgen, Wolfgang / Heusden, Barend van (eds.)

Metarepresentation, Self-Organization and Art

Series: European Semiotics / Sémiotiques Européennes - Volume 9

Year of Publication: 2009

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 298 pp., 18 ill., 62 tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-03911-684-3 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.500 kg, 1.102 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book is about the interrelationship between nature, semiosis, metarepresentation and (self-)consciousness, and the role played by metarepresentation in evolution.
Representations must have emerged via self-organization from non-representational systems (found in physics, chemistry and biology). Major steps have been the evolution of molecules, macromolecules, life, and finally cultural and symbolic systems. Representations and signs are therefore parts of a huge, possibly branching «ladder of beings». Metarepresentations – images representing images, language about language and language-use, thoughts about thoughts – constitute a fascinating theme within such diverse areas of research as philosophy, literature, theology, anthropology and history, neuroscience, psychology and linguistics.
The contributions to this book reflect this variety of different, but often interrelated perspectives on metarepresentation. They also exemplify the difficulties of a truly interdisciplinary discourse and show how one may start such a discourse in the field of semiotics, understood as a meta-discipline which brings together all scientific enterprises dealing with human mind and human culture.


Contents: Barend van Heusden/Wolfgang Wildgen: Introduction – Rik Peters: Torturing the Torturer, Interpretation of Evidence as Metarepresentation – Marcel Bax: Enthymematic Reasoning as a Meaning-making Strategy in Spoken Discourse – Peiling Cui: Metarepresentation in Linguistic Jokes – Michael Leyton: The Mathematical Structure of Pain – Todd Oakley/Per Aage Brandt: Hypotyposis: Metarepresentation, Mind-Reading, and Fictive Interaction – John Bateman: Film and Representation: Making Filmic Meaning – Ole Kühl: Musical Semantics: A Very Brief Introduction – Wolfgang Wildgen: Metarepresentation, Self-organization and Self-reference in the Visual Arts – Svend Østergaard: Imitation, Mirror Neurons, and Meta-cognition – Ulf Harendarski: A Pragmaticistic View on Metarepresentative Semiosis – András Kertész/Csilla Rákosi: On the Metascientific Representation of Inconsistency in Linguistic Theories – Peter Jörg Plath: Self-Organization and Identity - Links between Theories? – Boris Schapiro/Hella Schapiro: Metarepresentations and Paradigms.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Wolfgang Wildgen (1944) is professor of linguistics at the University of Bremen. His major books include: Catastrophe Theoretic Semantics (1982); Process, Image, and Meaning (1994); De la grammaire au discours (1999); The Evolution of Human Language (2004); Kognitive Grammatik (2008). He is the author of articles and book chapters.
Barend van Heusden (1957) is reader in semiotics of culture at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and has published widely on literary theory, semiotics of culture, cultural evolution, and on arts in culture. He is at present the coordinator of a national research project on culture education curriculum development.


European Semiotics: Language, Cognition, and Culture. Vol. 9
Edited by Per Aage Brandt, Wolfgang Wildgen and Barend van Heusden