Principles of Corporeal Pragmatics


  • Horst Ruthrof English and Philosophy, Murdoch University



In response to recent findings in cognitive linguistics, the paper sums up the principles of ‘corporeal pragmatics’ as they have been developed so far. At the centre of the author’s perceptually oriented investigation of natural language stands the relation between natural language and perception. The paper charges the philosophy of language and linguistics with having for too long committed the sin of Wahrnehmungsvergessenheit, the forgetting of taking for ‘true’ what our senses tell us. The author proposes to redress this imbalance by an argument that linguistic meaning events rely essentially on the activation of empty linguistic schemata by conceptually regulated, iconic sign materials. Such a claim requires a redefinition of the Saussurean signified, the concept, reference and deixis and other terms in the vocabulary of the study of language. The paper concludes by suggesting that corporeal pragmatics has serious implications for disciplines well beyond philosophy, semiotics, and linguistics.




How to Cite

Ruthrof, H. (2007). Principles of Corporeal Pragmatics. Public Journal of Semiotics, 1(2), 12–30.