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Logique du Sens

  • "We call 'signifier' [signifiant] any sign which presents in itself an aspect of sense [sens]; we call 'signified' [signifié], on the contrary, that which serves as the correlative to this aspect of sense, that is, that which is defined in a duality relative to this aspect. What is signified is never sense in itself." (p. 36)
    • signifier is ideal logical attribute in state of affairs
    • signified is state of affairs together with qualities and real realtions
  • "These portmanteau words are themselves esoteric words of a new kind. They are defined by their function of contracting several words and of enveloping several senses... almost all esoteric words may thus be interpreted." (pg 44)
    • frumious = fuming +furious
    • slithy = lithe slimy
    • jabberwockey = wocer or wocor (Lewis Carroll: offspring or fruit) + jabber (chatter)
  • "It seems then that the portmanteau word [mots-valise] is grounded upon a strict disjunctive synthesis... [ex:] "if your thoughts incline ever so little toward 'fuming'' then you would say 'fuming-furious;' if they turn by even a hair's breadth towards 'furious,' you will say 'furious-fuming'; but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say frumious. " (p. 47)
  • Levi-Straus's paradox: "Two series being given, one signifying and the other signified, the first presents an excess and the other a lack... the series refer to each other in eternal disequalibrium and perpetual displacement." (p. 48)
  • "sense is not to be determined as signification; it is rather what is attributed in such a way that it determines both the signifyer and signified as such." (53)
  • "We know that the normal law governing all names endowed with sense is precisely that their sense may be denoted only by another name (n1-> n2- > n3...) [signifier -> signified, ad infinitum] The name saying its own sense can only be nonsense... sense and nonsense have a specific relation that cannot copy that of true and false, that is, which cannot be concieved simply on the basis of exclusion... What would be the point of rising above the domain of truth to the domain of sense, if it were only to find between sense and nonsense a relation analogous to that of the true and the false?... [it is instead] a mode of co-presence...[:] Nonsense is a word that says its own sense. " (68)
  • Inside the series, each term has sense only by virtue of its position relative to every other term. But this relative position itself depends on the absolute position of each term relative to the instance=X. The latter [x?] is determined as nonsense and circulates endlessly throughout the series. Sense is actually produced by this circulation as sense which affects both signifier and signified. In short, sense is always an effect... not only causal... a surface effect, a position effect, and a language effect. (70)
  • ..."Authors referred to as 'structuralists' by recent practice may have no essential point in common other than this: sense, regarded not at all as appearance, but as surface effect and position effect, and produced by the circulation of the empty square [floating signifier] in the structural series... Structure is in fact a machine for the production of incorporeal sense... structuralism shows in this manner that sense is produced by nonsense and its perpetual displacement, and that it is born of the respective position of elements which are not themselves 'signifying...'" (71)
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