Signs, Science, Self-Subsuming Art(ifacts)
Scholars in all disciplines are slowly becoming aware that there never was any legitimate line of demarcation between society, science, and the arts and humanities. Everyday life and communication, discourse and rhetoric, science and rhetoric, artists and humanists and narrative and rhetoric: in whichever case, it always comes down to methods, modes, and styles of communication by means of whichever „logic“ or „reason“. All forms of communication liquidly swirl about and within one another, in a self-organizing semiotic universe of interdependent, interrelated interaction. No sign is absolutely autonomous of any other sign. All signs interdepend, interrelate, and interact within the semiotic stream we call „reality“, however incomplete, inconsistent, and paradoxical it may seem. If there is anything scientists, artists, and humanists can tell us, it is the message, reiterated often in „Science, Signs, Self-Subsuming Art(ifacts)“, that we are not alone, nor are we separated from our signs, nor our signs from themselves or the world. All is of the nature of life itself, tenderly fragile, yet pliably bending and yielding and hence persisting, along the flow of the universe. Floyd Merrell is Professor of Semiotic Theory, Latin American Cultures, and Spanish American Literature at Purdue University. He is the author of numerous books on semiotics.