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Communication-production and the right to non-functionality

Augusto Ponzio
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


The right to non-functionality, that is, the right to be taken into consideration, to be loved for nothing is not included in the sphere of human rights. The right to life has no consistency whatsoever if it is not accompanied by the right to non-functionality. In today’s world there are widespread situations where we could say that this life is not life. All communities thus far are based on a recognition of the other insofar as one is useful, functional, and productive. We now look forward to extra-communitarian communities where each single individual is welcomed independently from one's usefulness.


This essay in dedicated to Professor Jie Zhang, a noteworthy scholar who has the merit of having opened the way to cultural dialogue between China and the rest of the world, with a special contribution to the study of signs and the possibility of sharing cultural resources. This paper is the English translation by Susan Petrilli of the Italian original previously published as Ponzio (2006b).


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Published Online: 2016-6-9
Published in Print: 2016-5-1

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