Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Avoiding Conflation of Signifier With Signified By Understanding Why It Signifies

Seeing signifiers as the signified is, sadly, a widespread "cognitive pathology".

Understanding why the item may act as a signifier for the other item is a good way to avoid this problem. It makes you decouple the items from each other.

And since signification is invariably context-sensitive, understanding why the signification occurs allows you to appreciate that it isn't always the case and appreciate when it does and does not apply.

(I have a strong suspicion that always considering 'why' is the key to developing effective thinking skills, but that's an idea that I need to develop more).

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