lgs raises the ante of the discussion of cinematic pietas in important but
disquieting ways when he says that
"When we make a theory of meaning however we retrospectively give all those
games (or practices) homogeneity and say that we have been doing the same
thing all along. We try to give, *ex post facto,* a set of rules to what we
were doing whereas those rules never crossed our minds when we were
interpreting films, reading books, etc. When we are engaged in a language
game we think of rules as little as we think of the grammar of our "native"
language when we speak it."
for if semiotics does NOT in fact describe what we already do when we make
meaning, but is simply a set of conventions that, like grammar in one of its
declensions, can be used to instruct the uninitiated in the proceudres of the
game, then why the hell do we need it . . .
when i teach comp i try to get my students to understand that while syntax is
an epistemic art, grammar is not . . . and if i have devoted lots of serious
thought to semiotics over the past decade or so, and very little to grammar,
it's only because i imagine the former as much more integral to making meaning
than the latter . . . but then again lgs admits as much in his [literally]
abysmal concluding observation
"The scandal of this is that it means that all
semiotics is historical."
. . . but i don't think i'm ready to give up the whole game yet . . .
is there, then, no way of describing or modeling in principle what WE ACTUALLY
DO when we make meaning??
well, is there????
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#90 27-FEB-1996 14:21:01.25
For more on these points see Ludwig Wittgenstein's *Philosophical
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