Semiotics and interdisciplinarity: Lotman’s legacy

Laura Gherlone

Abstract


A particular aspect of Juri Lotman’s semiotic theory is, without a doubt, the acknowledgment of the impossibility of adopting a single scientific language for the comprehension of processes underlying cultural dynamics. In his last work, Unpredictable Mechanisms of Culture, Lotman underscores that natural sciences and humanities have to search for the unity of the incompatible through a profound meta-linguistic dialogue. Th is can happen only considering the reality in its antinomies, or as informed by a plurality of languages reciprocally aimed to express the real movement of objects – a heterogeneous and contradictory movement: hence, Lotman’s suggestion (which is also his ethical legacy) that the Aristotelian polyhedral unity of science be returned to. The aim of this paper is to retrace Lotman’s relationship with the ideas of science, scientificity and interdisciplinary method, stressing his last reflections concerning the urgency of returning to the Aristotelian unified structure of knowledge, or a form of knowledge in which different and never completely mutually translatable scientific languages coexist autonomously, while being in a dialogue.

Keywords


Juri Lotman; Gottfried Leibniz; scientific knowledge; oneness; interdisciplinarity; monad

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2013.41.4.01





SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia