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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2009, Issue 173


Semiotics as semioethics in the era of global communication

Susan Petrilli
Published Online: 2009-02-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/SEMI.2009.015


Semiotics has the merit of demonstrating that whatever is human involves signs. Indeed, it implies more than this: viewed from a global semiotic perspective we now know that whatever is simply alive involves signs. And this is as far as cognitive semiotics and global semiotics reach. But semioethics pushes this awareness even further by relating semiosis to values and by focusing on the question of responsibility, of radical, inescapable responsibility inscribed in our bodies insofar as we are ‘semiotic animals,’ on the human capacity for responsibility for life over the entire planet. Semioethics develops our awareness of the extension of the semiosic network in the direction of ethics; from a semioethic perspective the question of responsibility cannot be escaped at the most radical level (that of defining commitments and values).

Keywords:: human rights; ideology; otherness; responsibility; semioethics; semiotic animal

About the article

Published Online: 2009-02-12

Published in Print: 2009-02-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2009, Issue 173, Pages 343–367, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/SEMI.2009.015.

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