Things/Signs, Languages/Communication, Culture and the Costs of Consciousness: On Bottom-Up Construction of Cultural Values and New Humanism


  • Emil Volek Arizona State University, Tempe



politics of theory, communication, “thing theory”, semiotics, ostension, culture, humanism


AbstractThis transdisciplinary study (involving humanities, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy) contrasts the reductionist ideological “top-down” focus on the construction of our cultural “world” with the meandering technical “bottom-up” approach, searching for forgotten or usually omitted aspects in current studies of culture. The discovery goes from the cultural “thing theory” to semiotics, to communication, and to the emergence of human language from the biosemiotic and zoosemiotic processes of communication, in order to examine the impact of these processes on human culture and cultural theories. Finally, based on “heretical ideas” of Jan Pato?ka and Martin Heidegger, some philosophical implications for the new humanism and for humanities are outlined.Keywords: politics of theory, communication, “thing theory,” semiotics, ostension, culture, and humanism.

Author Biography

Emil Volek, Arizona State University, Tempe



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