Cognitive Semiotics Workshop
language at sprynet.com
Sun Jul 11 23:48:20 UTC 2004
With all due respect I would like to be as helpful and constructive as
possible in encouraging you to publicize your upcoming conference, and for
that reason I would like to suggest that you post your message on any or all
of the following USENET groups:
and the following Yahoo discussion groups:
Which I suppose is a somewhat indirect way of suggesting that I for one do
not feel that your announcement has any deep kinship with linguistics,
intermittently considered to be the "science of language," and should
perhaps have been posted elsewhere rather than here.
I don't believe the study you propose can under any circumstances be
considered a science, much less an "evidence-based science" such as medicine
is now striving to become. What's more, its major premises appear to be
based on another highly dubious science, the MIT school of linguistics.
Which tends to make your undertaking _doubly_ not a science.
What's more, your proposed field of study follows directly in the footsteps
of several other "ultimate" theories of literature during recent decades:
the semanticist-based speculations of I.A. Richards, the "New Criticism" of
Empson, Brooks, & Warren, the multiple transmogrifications of the whole
pomo-decon-recon morass of Leman, Derrida, and others, and the more recent
meanderings of the meme-mongers.
You state in your announcement that "Recent work on cognitive poetics shows
that linguistic and aesthetic expressions and contents can be tracked back
to phenomenologically given patterns of meaning, which are further
analyzable in terms of cognitive schematisms, processes of mental
integration, and neuro-semiotic principles of aesthetic sense-making."
(your full announcement is appended)
In diverse but nonetheless related ways each of the other previous schools
held that they too possessed a methodology so solid and unassailable that
the deep inner meaning of literary works could be definitively ascertained
and described, even though that meaning might turn out to be different for
different readers. There is no convincing evidence that any of them truly
succeeded. Precisely why would your project turn out differently?
I noted this trend in the twenty-seventh reason of my "44 Reasons" piece a
few years ago, and I find no evidence in your announcement likely to change
what I wrote then. Despite an ingenious juggling of buzzwords, the
description you provide may possibly qualify as litcrit, but I don't really
see how it can pass scrutiny as linguistics.
with very best to all!
----- Original Message -----
From: <coulson at CogSci.ucsd.edu>
To: <emcl-l at cornell.edu>; <funknet at mailman.rice.edu>;
<cornell at blender.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 2:13 AM
Subject: [FUNKNET] Cognitive Semiotics Workshop
> Center for Semiotic Research, University of
> Aarhus, and the Aarhus Research School of
> Linguistics hereby announce the
> Second Summer School in Cognitive Semiotics
> Bornholm, Denmark
> 1 - 4 September 2004
> Perspectives on Poetics and Textual Analysis in Cognitive Semiotics
> PhD course and workshop by :
> Professor Christopher Collins (New York Univ.),
> Professor Mark Turner (CWRU, Cleveland),
> PhD Monica Gonzalez-Marquez (Cornell Univ.).
> Cognitive semiotics hereby offers an introduction
> to a remarkable development in contemporary
> poetics and text theory. Recent work on cognitive
> poetics shows that linguistic and aesthetic
> expressions and contents can be tracked back to
> phenomenologically given patterns of meaning,
> which are further analyzable in terms of
> cognitive schematisms, processes of mental
> integration, and neuro-semiotic principles of
> aesthetic sense-making. The production of
> meaning occurring in thought, speech, and
> literary writing - i.e. in texts - extends from
> mental imaging and grammatical constructivity to
> textual organization and the poetic creation of
> fictional or lyrical wholes; and these aesthetic
> compositions inversely determine the 'underlying'
> textual, grammatical, and mentally imaginal
> content formations. According to this view and
> approach, literature and grammar thus share
> substantial cognitive properties, and it is a
> fascinating and challenging task to develop
> models and conceptual tools for their text-based
> In cognitive semiotics, it is suggested that
> cognition and communication are essentially
> interrelated and intertwined. Communication can
> be studied as tendentially shared cognition, and
> cognition can, in certain respects, be seen as
> anticipated communication. Poetics and
> linguistics are therefore seen and developed as
> interrelated disciplines.
> Our invited teachers are prominent
> researchers in cognitive semantics and poetics.
> They will animate each day of the course by
> giving lectures, participating in subsequent
> critical debates, and commenting on student
> The PhD course will take place 1 - 4 September
> (10am - 6pm) at the following location:
> (Det regionale Erhvervshus)
> Gl. Rønnevej 17
> 3730 Neksø
> Please register for the course no later than July
> 25 at the following e-mail address:
> semtina at hum.au.dk
> The course is free of charge. However,
> participants are expected to cover their own
> travel and living expenses and to make their own
> travel arrangements to Neksø.
> (http://www.bornholmstrafikken.dk and
> http://www.bat.dk/) Living expenses will amount
> to approx. DKK 625 (incl. VAT) per day.
> We recommend participants arrive August 30 and depart September 5.
> Due to limited accommodation at the venue we can
> accommodate max. 25 participants
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