The Quest for Meaning: A Guide to Semiotic Theory and Practice, Second Edition
Published: September 2020© 2020
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 216 Pages
Illustrations: 16 figures
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
216 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 16 figures
Ebook - PDF
Dating back to antiquity, semiotics is both a "technique" and a "science" that aims to understand the nature of meaning. An academic discipline in its own right, semiotics uses signs, such as words and symbols, to think, communicate, reflect, transmit, and preserve knowledge.
Since the initial publication of The Quest for Meaning in 2007, the world has changed dramatically with the advent of online culture, new technologies, and new ways of making signs and symbols. Updated to reflect these many changes, the second edition includes a comprehensive chapter on the use of semiotics in the Internet age. Written in a student-friendly style, featuring examples from everyday life, the book explains what semiotics is all about and why it is so important for gaining insights into our elusive and mysterious human nature.
1. What Is Semiotics?
1.2 Historical Sketch
1.3 The Science of Meaning
1.4 Two Fundamental Models of the Sign
1.5 The Current Practice of Semiotics
1.6 Semiotics in the Global Village
1.7 Further Reading
2.2 Defining the Sign
2.3 Symptoms and Signals
2.8 Body, Mind, and Culture
2.9 Further Reading
3.2 Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Structure
3.3 Associative Structure
3.4 Structural Economy
3.7 Further Reading
4.2 What Is a Code?
4.3 Opposition and Markedness
4.4 Types of Codes
4.5 Codes and Perception
4.6 Further Reading
5.2 What Is a Text?
5.3 Narrative Texts
5.4 Visual Texts
5.5 Digital Texts
5.7 Texts, Mind, and Culture
5.8 Further Reading
6.2 What Is Representation?
6.3 Representation and Myth
6.4 Online Knowledge Representation
6.5 Representation and Reality
6.5 Further Reading
7. Semiotics in the Internet Era
7.2 The Simulacrum
7.5 The Global Brain
7.7 Further Reading
8.4 Visual Rhetoric
8.5 The Quest for Meaning
8.6 Further Reading
Glossary of Technical Terms
"The second edition of The Quest for Meaning is remarkably accessible without sacrificing the necessary challenge posed by questions of knowledge-making and meaning. The book establishes a sound and ample historical foundation that deftly navigates around rabbit holes."Peter Vandenberg, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse, DePaul University
"The role of semiotics in digital humanities is a major contribution to the second edition. The Quest for Meaning aptly implements semiotic theory and practice to areas of artificial intelligence, modeling structure, and digital text."Jelena Jovicic, Department of Languages and World Literatures, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Related Blog Posts
Semiotics: The Study of Meaning (Part 3)
In the third and final installment of a three-part blog series on semiotics, Marcel Danesi looks at how semiotics is applied today.
Semiotics: The Study of Meaning (Part 2)
In the second installment of a three-part blog series on semiotics, Marcel Danesi explores the question, “what is meaning?” A word with many connotations, he investigates how meaning is created and how it is communicated.
Semiotics: The Study of Meaning (Part 1)
In a new three-part blog series, Marcel Danesi explores what semiotics is all about, why it is so important for gaining insights into our elusive and mysterious human nature, and how semiotics is applied today.