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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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Volume 2017, Issue 215


The “unknown voice” in Western history since Socrates

Aarne Ruben
Published Online: 2017-01-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0032


Socrates remains one of the most prominent paternal figures of Western dialogism and phonocentric paradigm; the man who stirred up the dialectic imaginations of his days. In Plato’s Socratic dialogues, his inner voice (daimonion) sounds as a last-instance statement to cast the light on the final solution of the conversation. In the context of antiquity and following cultural tradition, Socrates was the only hearer of warning signals from inside. The rest of the voices were urging (voices of the imaginable cursed souls, saints, angels, etc.). There was no need for a “personal” dictating voice when a divine dictation was already present. According to Charles Peirce’s classification, a “voice without evident source” or a voice from the head is a dicent indexical legisign.

Keywords: Western tradition; philosophy; polyphonism; universal; voice


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-01-26

Published in Print: 2017-03-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2017, Issue 215, Pages 269–280, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0032.

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