Lecture Drucken

Armen Avanessian, Anke Hennig

Poesis and Linguistics

9:00-12:00Haus der Kulturen der WeltJohn-Foster-Dulles-Allee 1010557 Berlin
Poesis and Linguistics

Our point of departure is the attempt to read Brandom's theory of inferentialism in a semiotic manner. We focus upon the concept of language as a symbolical (not indexical) system to be understood via a triadic semiotics (instead of a dyadic one). Accordingly the ontology of language is relational, implies wholes, and generates inferences. In order to avoid reducing pragmatics to a simple semantic or discursive register and thereby compromising the holistic project, it is necessary to refer to a Peircean pragmatics.

The inferentialist theory as developed so far cannot explain, how something "explicit" also has reference in the first place. After entering the inferential universe of discourse why cannot one not just leave it without consequences (since the post-representational "explicits" represent no given reference)? And of course this also can't explain why one should commit oneself to something that does not have reference, that does not represent anything yet.

At this point where its expressivist theory of language is under-developed the inferentialist project closes the gap with the world by invoking a normative nominalism. In order to avoid such a traditional universalist concept of normativity we suggest an alternative to this somewhat autonomist project wherein one remains within the language game for its own sake. We suggest a poetonomic approach where one's ethical task is to provide the explicit with a referent. Such a referent has the quality of an "interpretant" (Peirce's 'subject of semiotics') since only a subject can advocate for it.