Cognitive Semiotics Seminar: "The Cultural Semiotics of Jingshen and Cognitive Homeostasis" (Prof. Hongbing Yu, Toronto Metropolitan University)
In this guest seminar, to be held on a link from Toronto, Prof. Yu aims to broaden our view of semiotics (and perhaps also of cognitive semiotics) as an "engaging intellectual/spiritual endeavour". Perhaps we will be able to link this to the ongoing "meaning crisis" that we are discussing, and to paths of overcoming it. Welcome the zoom link, with cameras on. THIS WILL BE AN ONLINE EVENT ONLY
The cultural semiotics of Jingshen, (Zhang & Yu 2020) is an inquiry that seeks a cogent fusion of “revelatory embodied cognition” and “cognition via knowledge/abstraction.” Viewed in this light, the purpose or function of semiotics is not limited to understanding signs and sign relations or uncovering laws governing the evolution of semiosis, but more importantly it embraces the improvement of mental capacity, the expansion of cognitive space, and the liberation of human thinking. Therefore, semiotics (semeiotic) is more of an interdisciplinary methodology or a form of philosophical contemplation than a discipline.
When a semiotician, as the so-called "subject", engages in the process of researching meaning activities as the so-called "object", the whole process of researching per se is already an instance of meaning-making. Semiotic inquiry is thus an engaging spiritual/intellectual endeavor (cf. Deely 2005) and can be regarded as a form of art of thinking that has the potential to maintain cognitive homeostasis. This approach to semiotics is not commonly found in the contemporary Western semiotic tradition. However, it aligns and resonates well with some representative ideas from classical Chinese philosophy, such as Zhuangzi and Zen Buddhism. Exploring this aspect can contribute to expanding the conceptual space for understanding semiotic inquiry, human cognition, and resilience.