Information and Reflection: On some Problems of Cybernetics by Peter Paul Kirschenmann (auth.)

By Peter Paul Kirschenmann (auth.)

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Extra info for Information and Reflection: On some Problems of Cybernetics and how Contemporary Dialectical Materialism Copes with Them

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It is even less the case that these are signs. If one can speak of meaning in reference to them, it lies in their diacritical relevance 118 in the sound sequence of language; which simply means that the change of a phonem in a word produces another word (with another meaning) or a senseless entity. With regard to their extension, phonems are classes of sounds (graphems are classes of shapes) with the same diacritical relevance to certain meanings, and thereby to certain users of a language. u9 Thus, phonems are the lowest linguistic signs.

Natural signs can be further divided into: (a) an iconic 81 sign (signum formale), if there is a direct or indirect similarity between sign and designatum; (b) a symptomatic sign (signum instrumentale), if the relation is causal or other (non-iconic). (2) If the relation is not natural but artificially established, one speaks of an artificial or conventional sign (signum ad placitum). These modes are often mixed, and numerous simple typologies of signs can be established. There is another common classification which only partially corresponds to the above: (A) Indicational signs (Anzeichen) or 'signs of something', mainly symptomatic signs, and (B) Representational signs or 'signs for something', including the iconic and conventional.

SIGN AND SIGN SITUATION Every sign is in itself a sense-perceivable physical event, a material entity LANGUAGE AND INFORMATION 25 (sign vehicle), or a spatial temporal process (signal). This event by itself is not yet a sign. It plays the role of a sign only to the extent that it indicates, or stands for something else. This substituting for something else is expressed in the scholastic definition 'aliquid stat pro aliquo'. 76 What contributes to a sign situation and thereby constitutes the functions of a sign can differ significantly from case to case.

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