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Artefacts as Signs, Signs as Artefacts

Some research proposals from a materialistic-semiotic approach

Giorgio Borrelli
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

The category of “artefact” has been analyzed by different semiotic theories and methods. Starting from the Marxian theory of the dialectical relation between production and use (or consumption), Ferruccio Rossi-Landi (1921–1985) maintained the possibility of considering every “artefact” – or use-value – as a crossroads between material and linguistic production, i.e., as a crossroads between labor and language. This paper proposes a comparison – and a dialogue – between Rossi-Landi’s materialistic sign-theory and other semiotic approaches. From such a perspective, the concept of “artefact” could be considered as an analytical starting point for the study of further social and economic meaning-making processes.

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Published Online: 2020-08-19
Published in Print: 2020-08-26

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