Project

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Differential Archaeology of the Linguistic Sign (SEMAINO)

Applicant Cesalli Laurent
Number 164070
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de Philosophie Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Romance languages and literature
Start/End 01.03.2016 - 30.04.2020
Approved amount 268'477.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Romance languages and literature
Philosophy

Keywords (6)

philosophie du langage; sémantique; histoire de la philosophie; philosophie antique; philosophie médiévale; philosophie moderne et contemporaine

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
SÊMAINÔ a pour objectif de répondre aux questions suivantes : quelle est la raison d’être des signes linguistiques ? Quelle est la nature de signes linguistiques et que signifient-ils ? De quelle manière fonctionne la communication réalisée au moyen de signes linguistiques ? Deux équipes de recherche en histoire de la philosophie, l’une basée à Lille 3 (Leone Gazziero, Claudio Majolino UMR 8163) et l’autre à Genève (Laurent Cesalli, Janette Friedrich) vont s’atteler à la tâche en considérant plus précisément trois exemples paradigmatiques choisis au fil de l’histoire de la philosophie : Aristote pour l’Antiquité, Roger Bacon pour le Moyen Âge, Edmund Husserl pour la philosophie contemporaine.
Lay summary
SÊMAINÔ a pour objectif de répondre aux questions suivantes : quelle est la raison d’être des signes linguistiques ? Quelle est la nature de signes linguistiques et que signifient-ils ? De quelle manière fonctionne la communication réalisée au moyen de signes linguistiques ? Deux équipes de recherche en histoire de la philosophie, l’une basée à Lille 3 (Leone Gazziero, Claudio Majolino UMR 8163) et l’autre à Genève (Laurent Cesalli, Janette Friedrich) vont s’atteler à la tâche en considérant plus précisément trois exemples paradigmatiques choisis au fil de l’histoire de la philosophie : Aristote pour l’Antiquité, Roger Bacon pour le Moyen Âge, Edmund Husserl pour la philosophie contemporaine. Au cours des âges, on constate que la question générale du sens des expressions linguistiques a été abordées par les philosophes selon différentes perspectives privilégiant tantôt la logique, tantôt la sémantique, mais aussi, pour ce qui est le cas des philosophes médiévaux, la théologie. L’un des objectifs du projet est de développer un « filtre heuristique »—c’est-à-dire un schème conceptuel historiquement neutre et pouvant de ce fait fonctionner comme tertium comparationis—permettant de confronter les différentes approches historiques et de mesurer leurs points communs et leurs différences. Plusieurs doctorants et post-doctorants seront engagés dans des travaux de recherche couvrant ces trois moments clés de l’histoire de la philosophie du langage (Antiquité, Moyen Âge, période contemporaine), et une série de rencontres scientifiques (ateliers et colloques) seront organisées tant à Lille qu’à Genève dans le but de partager les résultats des travaux effectués, mais aussi d’esquisser de futures lignes de recherche.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.12.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Early Modern Semiotics
Leblanc Hélène (2020), Early Modern Semiotics, in Jalobeanu Dana, Wolfe Charles T. (ed.), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 1.
Grammar in the Early Modern Period
Leblanc Hélène (2020), Grammar in the Early Modern Period, in Jalobeanu Dana, Wolfe Charles T. (ed.), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 1.
De quibus est logica ? La position de Gauthier Burley dans le débat médiéval
Cesalli Laurent (2020), De quibus est logica ? La position de Gauthier Burley dans le débat médiéval, in Germann Nadja (ed.), Brepols, Turnhout, 213-243.
The Semiotic Foundation of Ingarden’s Analysis of Music
Leblanc Hélène (2020), The Semiotic Foundation of Ingarden’s Analysis of Music, Wydawnictwo Akademickie, Warsaw, 173-189.
Anton Marty and Contemporary Philosophy
Bacigalupo Giuliano, Leblanc Hélène (ed.) (2019), Anton Marty and Contemporary Philosophy, Springer International Publishing, Cham.
La notion de vérité dans la philosophie médiévale
CesalliLaurent, GoubierFrédéric (2019), La notion de vérité dans la philosophie médiévale, in Rivenc François (ed.), ISTE, Paris, 2.
Wyclif on Collectives
Cesalli Laurent (2019), Wyclif on Collectives, in Amerini Fabrizio (ed.), Edizioni della Normale, Pisa, 297-311.
Anton Marty on Naming (Nennen) and Meaning (Bedeuten). A Comparison with Medieval Supposition Theory
CesalliLaurent, GoubierFrédéric (2018), Anton Marty on Naming (Nennen) and Meaning (Bedeuten). A Comparison with Medieval Supposition Theory, in Kann Christoph (ed.), Peeters, Leuven, 29-54.
L’araignée et le camembert. Une fable méta-sophismatique
GoubierFrédéric (2018), L’araignée et le camembert. Une fable méta-sophismatique, in Cesalli Laurent, Brenet Jean-Baptiste (ed.), Vrin, Paris, 7.
Les actes de parole et la tradition austro-allemande
CesalliLaurent, FriedrichJanette, MajolinoClaudio (2018), Les actes de parole et la tradition austro-allemande, ISTE, London, 83-114.
Signum est in praedicamento relationis. Roger Bacon’s Semantics Revisited in the Light of His Relational Theory of the Sign
CesalliLaurent, Rosier-CatachIrène (2018), Signum est in praedicamento relationis. Roger Bacon’s Semantics Revisited in the Light of His Relational Theory of the Sign, in Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, 6, 62-99.
Transfert d’auctoritates du sémantique à l’indiciaire au XVIIe siècle : Gassendi et Hobbes
Leblanc Hélène (2018), Transfert d’auctoritates du sémantique à l’indiciaire au XVIIe siècle : Gassendi et Hobbes, in Cygne noir, 5.
The Role of the Speaker in Roger Bacon And William of Ockham’s Supposition Theories: A Contrast
Goubier Frédéric (2017), The Role of the Speaker in Roger Bacon And William of Ockham’s Supposition Theories: A Contrast, in Pelletier Jeanine (ed.), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 169-182.
Brentano and Marty
CesalliLaurent, MulliganKevin (2017), Brentano and Marty, in Kriegel Uriah (ed.), Routledge, London, 251-263.
Instants of Change
Roques Magali, Goubier Frédéric (ed.) (2017), Instants of Change, Brill, Leiden.
L’universalité. De quoi parlons-nous exactement ? Quelques réflexions médiévales à partir des positions en présence au 14e siècle
CesalliLaurent (2017), L’universalité. De quoi parlons-nous exactement ? Quelques réflexions médiévales à partir des positions en présence au 14e siècle, in Grellard Christophe (ed.), Vrin, Paris, 13-33.
Pseudo-Campsall and Richard Brinkley on Universals
CesalliLaurent (2017), Pseudo-Campsall and Richard Brinkley on Universals, in Cesalli Laurent, Amerini Fabrizio (ed.), Edizioni della Normale, Pisa, 225-240.
Grammaire, logique et psychologie chez Anton Marty
CesalliLaurent (2016), Grammaire, logique et psychologie chez Anton Marty, in Bulletin d’analyse phénoménologique , 12, 121-138.
Mentalism without Psychologism. Abelard’s Dicta as Mental, Objective Entities
Cesalli Laurent, Mentalism without Psychologism. Abelard’s Dicta as Mental, Objective Entities, in Medioevo, 44, 17-37.
Ontological Commitment in Medieval Logic
Cesalli Laurent, Roques Magali, Emamzadah Parwana, Goubier Frédéric (ed.), Ontological Commitment in Medieval Logic, Medioevo, Padova.
Roger Bacon. De signis. Traduction et Commentaire.
CesalliLaurent, GoubierFrédéric, LiberaAlain de, Rosier-CatachIrène, Roger Bacon. De signis. Traduction et Commentaire., Vrin, Paris.
Sémantique, pragmatique et sémiotique de l’eucharistie chez John Wyclif
GoubierFrédéric, Sémantique, pragmatique et sémiotique de l’eucharistie chez John Wyclif, in Chukurian Aurélien, Zhand Ueli, Grandjean Michel (ed.), Vrin, Paris, 4.
Sign and Language in Anton Marty: before and after Brentano
Leblanc Hélène, Sign and Language in Anton Marty: before and after Brentano, in Dewalque , Richard , Gauvry (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, sl, 1.
Signification et usage dans la philosophie médiévale du langage
Goubier Frédéric, Signification et usage dans la philosophie médiévale du langage, in Laugier Sandra (ed.), ISTE, Paris, 3.
Théories sémiotiques à l'Age classique
Leblanc Hélène, Théories sémiotiques à l'Age classique, Vrin, Paris.
Trivium
Goubier Frédéric, Rosier-Catach Irène, Trivium, in Cesalli Laurent (ed.), Schwabe, Bâle, Berlin, 1031-1079.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
UMR 8163, STL, Université de Lille France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Philosophie scolastique dans la tradition austro-allemande. Talk given at a conference Après Marty, Thomas d’Aquin ? 10.12.2019 Université de Genève, Switzerland Cesalli Laurent; Leblanc Hélène;
Aristotle on Grounding, Definition, Explanation, Essence Talk given at a conference Sign and Language in Anton Marty 11.09.2019 Ligerz, Switzerland Leblanc Hélène;
Scholasticism in Medieval and Early Modern History Talk given at a conference Coimbra Style : The Use of Classical Literary Exemples in Late Scholastic Philosophy 05.09.2019 St John’s College. Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Leblanc Hélène;
Imagination Talk given at a conference Imaginatio dans les lexiques philosophiques de Micraelius et Chauvin 07.05.2019 UCLouvain, Belgium Leblanc Hélène;
Séminaire Schol'Art GEMCA Individual talk ‘Si les signes vous faschent, ô quant vous fascheront les choses signifiées’ : la dispute du signe formel dans la scolastique tardive 24.04.2019 UCLouvain, Belgium Leblanc Hélène;
Seminario di Semantica di Savina Raynaud. Dipartimento di Filosofia - avec G Bacigalupo Talk given at a conference O Gioventù! Anton Marty sulle teorie dell’astrazione prima del suo incontro con Brentano 29.03.2019 Università Cattolica di Milano, Italy Leblanc Hélène;
SÊMAINÔ V. Phénoménologies des signes : paroles, symboles et indices Talk given at a conference Signe et langage chez le jeune Anton Marty 03.12.2018 Université de Lille, France Gazziero Leone; Leblanc Hélène; Cesalli Laurent;
Roman Ingarden and His Times Talk given at a conference The score as a sign. Semiotic sources of Ingarden’s Aesthetics 27.10.2018 Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland Leblanc Hélène;
First Boulder Colloquium of Medieval Philosophy Talk given at a conference Medieval and Austro-German Philosophies. A (Promising?) Field of Comparative Studies 04.04.2018 Boulder, United States of America Cesalli Laurent; Goubier Frédéric; Leblanc Hélène;
Seminar of the Center for Logic, Language, and Cognition. Individual talk Beauty and Meaning in Bolzano 14.12.2017 Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy Leblanc Hélène;
Homo-Natura-Mundus: Human Beings and Their Relationships (XIVth Congress of the SIEMP) Talk given at a conference Speaker’s Freedom and Semantic Constraints in Supposition Theory: The Case of Roger Bacon 24.07.2017 Porto Alegre, Brazil Goubier Frédéric;
Homo-Natura-Mundus: Human Beings and Their Relationships (XIVth Congress of the SIEMP) Talk given at a conference A Differential Archaeology of Linguistic Signs 24.07.2017 Porto Alegre, Brazil Cesalli Laurent; Goubier Frédéric;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Intentionality 27.01.2020 université de Genève, Switzerland
Réalismes. Une topographie de l'ontologie médiévale (Conférences Pierre Abélard 2019) 03.10.2019 Paris, France
Logique et Grammaire dans la Modernité Philosophique 13.06.2019 Université de Genève, Switzerland
For an Austro-German Aristotle 03.04.2019 Université de Genève, Switzerland
Philosophie scolastique dans la tradition austro-allemande 10.01.2019 Université de Genève, Switzerland
SÊMAINÔ V. Phénoménologies des signes : paroles, symboles et indices 03.12.2018 Université de Lille, France
Que veut dire ‘signifier’? Quelques réponses modernes et contemporaines 13.04.2018 Université de Genève, Switzerland
Logique et grammaire chez deux Antoine (Arnauld et Marty) 22.02.2018 Genève, Switzerland
Ontological Commitment in Medieval Logic 13.12.2016 Genève, Switzerland
Théorie du langage et de la signification dans la philosophie antique 20.10.2016 Genève (Fondation Hardt), Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Séminaire de philosophie à l'intention des enseignants du secondaire Talk 28.04.2017 St Gallen, Switzerland Cesalli Laurent; Goubier Frédéric;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Théories scolastiques du signe M. Kristanek (ed.), l’Encyclopédie philosophique International 2020

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
169282 "Ce que disent les propositions" : dictum et eventus chez Abélard 01.12.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

« Why do we need linguistic signs ? » « What is a linguistic sign and how does it mean what it means ? »« What effects do linguistic signs have and what precautions are called for when we avail ourselves of them in order to convey our thoughts and feelings, argue with other people or try to influence their behaviour in some way ? »This complex set of issues, whose roots go back at least as far as Plato and Aristotle, is still of paramount importance today, insofar as it governs the most fundamental questions we ask about language, its meaning and its uses. Through debates whose emphasis has shifted hence and forth between logic, grammar, theology, as well as rhetoric and literature, our understanding of what it takes for a linguistic expressions to be meaningful has come in a variety of ways. In order to make sense of this diversity, it is not enough to consider recent results in linguistics, cognitive sciences and information sciences. Although 20th century analytic and continental philosophy of language have certainly proven themselves able to address many of these issues, one could nevertheless ask whether the different answers provided can be soundly considered as variants of more general patterns, already sketched and/or fully instantiated in other historical periods, schools and authors. In order to answer such questions, what is thus required first and foremost is a second-order model allowing us to catalogue, classify and differentially analyse theoretical patterns that have been implemented throughout history in order to account for the complex phenomenon of meaning as a property of linguistic expressions, as a correlate to contents of thought, or else as a product of communication practices. The SÊMAINÔ research project is meant to develop such a methodological device by way of historical comparison between relevant authors and theories. Used as a heuristic filter, it will help us discover and assess (filter “in” and “out”) differences and similarities between them. These as well as other elements of continuity and discontinuity, whose charting is one of the project’s priorities, will be instrumental in identifying both past patterns and margins for future development. OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME. Through preparatory works carried out both in Lille and Geneva , a view emerged from oft-repeated observations, namely that philosophical inquiries into how language works and what signification is have much to gain from comparative description and mapping of transformations. Both are distinctive features of historical approaches which range from archaeological investigation to questions and answers oriented analysis. Together with a micrological reading of sources , all these methods of diachronic analysis will be discussed as such and eventually combined in order to organise a research field whose complexity lies no less in the vast array of data to process than in their relative uniformity, which makes them all the more difficult to assess precisely. In fact, rather than aiming to provide an answer to the questions mentioned above, what characterises the SÊMAINÔ project in the first place is (1) its focus on methodological-historical issues and (2) its attempt to chart and systematize the set of options that have been historically, i.e. factually formulated, as to show their mutual links and (3) to highlight and identify some counter-factual options that could or might still be developed. As a matter of fact, a close look to the history of our topic shows quite a complex picture. On the one hand, we are confronted with a wide variety of theories which differ one from another by the emphasis they place on different aspects, be it physical (linguistic signs have a materiality and a physiology of their own), semantic (meaning, reference and everything that falls between), psychological (the actual handling of signs in its intellectual and affective dimension) or pragmatic (usage situations of linguistic expressions, both successful and biased). On the other hand, for all their differences and peculiarities, linguistic and semantic theories are rooted in conceptual networks whose divergences often boil down to differences in detail and local calibration. As a matter of fact, a number of different authors, who all have their own historical contexts, have been asking time and again similar questions about what are, in fact, linguistic signs, how can they be lent significance and what precautions are required when we make use of them. Having a map of such positions is going to help us to show, for instance, the relationship between the formulation of a question, its historical background, the set of problems in which it is framed with its specific commitments and constraints etc., and the kind of answers that have been given. Since an historical inquiry into language and meaning as philosophical problems must take into account a number of variables - the two most important ones being: i) their object, namely the language facts linguistic theories are about; ii) each complex of questions and answers through which linguistic theories define, gather and cope with relevant data in their own institutional, disciplinary and intellectual framework - the SÊMAINÔ project will set out to meet four main objectives : 1.The study of linguistic theories, from Antiquity to the present day, is to lead to the discovery of underlying patterns whose recurrent features have a structuring effect on the various ways philosophers have understood what linguistic signs are and how they are to be used. At this stage, it will be our priority to identify in each case and analyse the first-order model explaining the complex phenomenon of linguistic expressions’ behaviour. 2.Through point-in-time comparisons, these first-order models are to be superimposed in order to show the extent of their isomorphism while restoring as much as possible the historical singularity of each as a result of the contextual factors which influence and limit their respective scopes (such as assumptions, disciplinary constraints, available corpus).3.The comparative assessment of first-order models will enable us to construct a second-order model (or heuristic filter ) whose aim is to draw a chart of language and signification’s theories outlining, in each case, which elements are being highlighted and which ones are left in the background. It is of paramount importance to stress that the result will not be an average model. This is precisely what a “heuristic filter” is meant to avoid in so far as it functions as an exhaustive grid allowing for differential readings. 4.The application of such a meta-model or “heuristic filter” to historical information is not only likely to revisit the history of philosophy of language in a rather new perspective, but it will also help clarify contemporary debates by, on one hand, reinstating today’s ideas about language in the long tradition they belong to, while, on the other hand, suggesting avenues for future research.
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