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Accountability from a semiotic perspective
Accountability from a semiotic perspective

Author(s): Jonathan Grant Griffin
Subject(s): Semiotics / Semiology, Semiology, Ethics / Practical Philosophy
Published by: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus
Keywords: accountability; semioethics; John Deely; sign relation; responsibility;

Summary/Abstract: Accountability in the common usage often implies something like ‘responsibility’ or a kind of judicial accounting imposed from the outside. Here our semiotic approach focuses more on the -ability part. This is more in accordance with the etymological building blocks of the term. We consider the aspect of semiosis that makes it able to be accounted for – if the full conditions for such are present. That is, what is proper to not only semiosis but to the sign relation (proper to and fundamental for semiosis) is not temporal but logical in a sense that does not depend upon the arrow of time. So if one can fix the interpretant at the appropriate angles, one can find out the “semiotic truth of the matter” in the present or in retrospect. And the only thing keeping one from being able to establish this truthful relation would be access to the interpretant in whatever domain needed. That is, we may not have current access to some domain (like someone’s internal thought life), but what keeps us from establishing the truth of the sign relation is not on the semiotic side. If we can find a way to access the relevant domain, the sign relation will “give itself up” to view. It has no agenda to collude with us in our purposes to obscure the reality of our past (or present) semiosis.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 91-104
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English