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Ontogenetic Development of Symbolicity

Authors
  • Ebbesen, Denis K.1
  • Olsen, Jeppe1
  • 1 University of Copenhagen, Department of Psychology, Copenhagen, Denmark , Copenhagen (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human Arenas
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Jun 11, 2018
Volume
2
Issue
2
Pages
99–128
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s42087-018-0024-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

In this article, we investigate the development of symbolicity from a semiotic point of view. We kick-start this investigation by drawing some fundamental parallels between the re-configurations of inner-outer exchange relations dealt with in biosemiotics (symbolicity) and general psychology (sentience) respectively. In constructing a developmental account of the emergence of symbolicity, we adopt the scenario methodology from general psychology and apply the semiotic vocabulary from Peirce as an analytical strategy. With this synthesis in mind, we visit the scientific field of multisensory perception that deals specifically with understanding the developmental interrelations of the modalities and, more specifically, the phenomenon of perceptual narrowing. Next, we visit certain parts of theoretical biology, more specifically the theory of code-duality, as this theory offers nuanced understandings of temporality that are underdeveloped within psychology. Thus, an overarching theoretical mission of the article is to eclectically combine psychological development with semiotics, so as to initiate the construction of a theoretical framework that links sentience and symbolicity. Through this investigation, we attempt to show how the digital, in its supervenience on the analogue, temporally modifies the subject’s ability to transit from the initial agency of sense-experience of firstness to the symbolic mental representing of thirdness, thus explaining the phenomenon of perceptual narrowing.

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