Read e-book online Agent, Person, Subject, Self: A Theory of Ontology, PDF

By Paul Kockelman

This e-book bargains either a naturalistic and demanding idea of indicators, minds, and meaning-in-the-world. It presents a reconstructive instead of deconstructive concept of the person, one that either analytically separates and theoretically synthesizes a number colleges which are frequently stressed and conflated: employer (understood as a causal capacity), subjectivity (understood as a representational capacity), selfhood (understood as a reflexive capacity), and personhood (understood as a sociopolitical capability attendant on being an agent, topic, or self). It argues that those amenities are most sensible understood from a semiotic stance that supersedes the standard intentional stance. And, in so doing, it bargains a pragmatism-grounded method of which means and mediation that's basic adequate to account for techniques which are as embodied and embedded as they're articulated and enminded. specifically, whereas this idea is concentrated on human-specific modes of which means, it additionally bargains a normal thought of which means, such that the brokers, topics and selves in query needn't regularly, or perhaps often, map onto people. And whereas this idea foregrounds brokers, folks, matters and selves, it does this via theorizing strategies that frequently stay within the history of such (often erroneously) individuated figures: ontologies (akin to tradition, yet generalized throughout agentive collectivities), interplay (not basically among humans, but in addition among humans and issues, and something outdoor or in-between), and infrastructure (akin to context, yet generalized to incorporate mediation at any measure of remove).

Paul Kockelman, affiliate Professor of Anthropology, Barnard university and Columbia college.

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And take the agent (A) to be an individual (or group of individuals) who are interested in transforming the genotype of the population over a series of generations. This agent senses aspects of the phenotype, which are signs (S) of the genotype, being reliably correlated with it by causal processes of development. ), which are essentially interpretants (I) of those signs: on the one hand, they point to the genome (by causal processes of inheritance and reproduction) as reliably as the phenotype; on the other hand, they make sense in the context of the signs (and the objects these index) given the interests of the agents.

We may examine the animal danger call from several perspectives. First, what is crucial about this example is that both interpretation and signification were selected for. That is, not only was A1’s interpretation of S1 (as well as A2’s interpretation of S2) selected for, but also A1’s expression of S2. 8 While the predator’s giving off signs of itself to the prey was not selected for (in the case of the bear example, above), one prey’s giving out signs of a predator to another prey was selected for.

Indd 25 7/23/2012 9:25:28 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST-PROOF, 07/23/12, NEWGEN 26 Agent, Person, Subject, Self stance of an observer (themselves both selecting agents caught up in significant objects). In particular, what is a sign-component in one frame may be an interpretant-component in another frame (giving rise to a future-oriented versus a past-oriented perspective). What is an object-component in one frame may be a sign-component in another frame (lower-order versus higher-order perspective).

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