This study begins with a meditation on Michel Foucault’s small book on René Magritte’s painting,
Ceci n’est pas une pipe (1926). It then proceeds to a critique of the notion of textuality and the twentieth century obsession with language. This critique evolves from Charles S. Peirce’s concept of the sign, certain aspects of oriental thought and contemporary science, works by Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, and the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Michael Polanyi, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. A broad view of the
codependent, interrelative, interactive nature of all signs, verbal and nonverbal alike, and indeed, of ourselves as signs, eventually surfaces, in contrast to postmodern and poststructuralist postures that place undue emphasis on linguistic signs.