Lotman’s scientific investigatory boldness: The semiosphere as a critical theory of communication in culture

Irene Machado

Abstract


The main focus of this article is the analysis of the concept of semiosphereas it has emerged from the conception of culture as information — instead of describing the transmission of messages from A to B, it is based on the general process of meaning generation. Following Lotman’s criticism on the paradoxes in communication and its theoretical domain, the article confronts the paradoxical concepts on: (1) the concept of message transmission from the addresser to addressee; (2) the notion of isolated processing systems; (3) the idea that culture speaks a unique language. From the standpoint of the semiosphere, the new object for studying such controversies could be found in the concept of text. When text is taken at the centre of the analysis of culture, nothing appears in an isolated  fashion. Lotman’s thinking does not fear the new hypothesis in proposing the conceptual domain of semiosphere to the scientific study of culture.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2011.39.1.03





SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia