A meaning does not necessarily reflects some (so-called) "objective" reality.
I. SEMETSKY observes that, for Ch. S. PEIRCE, the american founder of semiotics: "The object to which the sign refers may not have a solely physical existence but may as well be a thought, a dream, or an imaginary entity"(2001, p. 112)
A good example is the red cross. This sign was created by inverting the colors of the swiss flag and was then given a meaning: "medical help available". This meaning was progressively transmitted and accepted by more and more people.
It thus acquired the status of significant symbol and is now universally known.
But the meaning it conveys could as well have been represented by a green star with five spikes or by two intersecting circles (one red and one blue), or by a stylized heart, or any other easy to read.
This shows that any sign is a sign only through
a) a psychic invention of an individual creator
b) conversational communication among various individuals
c) by transmission in the time dimension to new bearers
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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