Semiotics of ontological quanta

June 30, 2017 | Autor: Vasil Penchev | Categoria: Semiotics, Philosophy Of Language
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Semiotics of ontological quanta Highlights

Vasil Penchev • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge • [email protected]

13:30-14:00, May 16, 2015 Venues: University Conference Center (Kopcińskiego 16/18) and Faculty of Philology (Pomorska 171/173) In: PhiLang 2015 – Fourth International Conference on Philosophy of Language and Linguistics University of Łódź, Łódź, 14-16 May 2015

Key words: • Zadeh • Rieger • granular semiotics • ontological quanta • quantum semiotics

Granular semiotics: • A granular semiotics originating from L. Zadeh and B. Rieger is interpreted in terms of quantum complementarity: • “There are three basic concepts that underlie human cognition: granulation, organization and causation. Informally, granulation involves decomposition of whole into parts; organization involves integration of parts into whole; and causation involves association of causes with effects” (Zadeh 1997) • “Granulation of an object A leads to a collection of granules of A, with a granule being a clump of points (objects) drawn together by indistinguishability, similarity, proximity or functionality” (Zadeh 1997) • Here is presented an theoretical and abstract approach to be constructed the granules of meaning as signs in a non-Saussurian semiotic scheme

From the Saussure scheme to inseparable “granules” of meaning • It can be also obtained from the classical Saussure scheme if the signified and the signifier are complementary to each other • Here is how: The Saussure scheme supposed that the signified and signifier correspond to each other, being absolutely independent of each other, and their unity is just a sign. Thus the sign is their relation and thus derivative from them Granular semiotics postulates the sign as primary and furthermore as an separable unit of meaning Sign can be thought either as a signifier or as a signified, or even as some fuzzy unity of both, but never as a certain correspondence between them

The granules as quanta of being • That granular semiotics allows of an ontological interpretation directly: • The “twins” of language and reality are merged into a single ontology of quanta, which can be interpreted complementarily either as “words” (i.e. units of meanings in the language) or as “things” (i.e. units of reality) • This originates inherently from the identification of “sign” and “meaning” • One can say further that “sign” and “meaning” constitute the same kind of inseparable unity of “signifier” and “signified” therefore implying the unity of “thing” and “word” in any meaning

The model of granular semiotics in Hilbert space • That granular semiotics can be formalized by the formalism of quantum information in Hilbert spaces whether non-entangled (and thus equivalent to a single one) or entangled • Both granular semiotics and quantum mechanics can be considered as two interpretations of the one and the same mathematical formalism: that of Hilbert space • This allows of a very well developed theoretical language to be utilized, and the conjugate quantities and their values in turn to be interpreted as a kind of a numerical and quantitative version of granular semiotics

The language unifying human beings • One can compare the properties of the Saussure and granular semiotics to each other • The language in terms of ontological quanta abandons and darkens all dividing the human beings unlike the Saussure one. Here is why: • The latter suggests many languages as different sets of signifiers for ones and same signified and thus misunderstanding and disagreements, the tool of which is just language • Unlike this, the ontological quanta shape the map of reality only by their use as words: The words are things not less or more than the things are words

The quanta of language invariant to differences • Those quanta might be called invariant to the different intellect and experience of the humans • Indeed the artificial language for any scientific or theoretical area is quite complicated, sophisticated, and thus incomprehensible for the almost all people • On the contrary, real language has been being created for the communication of all people and thus does not excludes anybody in definition • Its model in terms of ontological quanta is able to recreate that property for words, which are not used often enough, cannot be being because language is immediately reality

The meaning in terms of quanta • The linguistic “atoms” are able to concentrate themselves only on a few unifying features of reality constituting a meaning • The numerous uses of words in fact create reality. Indeed if a word exists, this means that many, many people have been used it many, many times and only thus the word outlines a thing, which is granted as its meaning • However, the distinction between the word and thing at issue does not make much sense since the thing is a word used many enough times and this is nonsense to be divided and even opposed to the word itself as the Saussure semiotics does interpreting them as a signifier and another signified • That artificial opposition is impossible for granular semiotics as it considers the things and words as a whole speaking of ontology rather than of reality

A metaphor for linguistic quanta • Those linguistic units are “live beings” “fed” by consensus and therefore created to search for it and find its “deposits” • Indeed they exist just as the metaphors: only while they are used • The interpretation of that metaphor of “live beings” can be the following: • The ontological and linguistic quanta change their meaning, which seems as a motion on the map of reality, which represents in fact them as a whole • They move from a deposit of consensus to another just as the live beings move from a deposit of food to another • They are fed by the consensus of the people

The language as a “map of consensus” • Consequently the language is a map of “treasures” of consensus elaborated by living linguistic “cells” • First of all, this means that reality is a result of the action of ontological quanta and the agreement between the people • Reality can be consider as a particular case of ontology: namely that ontology, which is both old enough and static enough so that it can be represented as a map with immovable outlines • Representation is the way for a map including the kind of “map of reality” to exist • Being too dynamical in general, ontology sees the representations of reality rather as movable metaphors

The ontological quanta and the map of consensus • The ontological quanta are those “living words” “fed” by consensus and creating the map of reality as the locations of its deposits • The locations of consensus frame both map of reality and the understanding of human beings • The change of language, e.g. in the course of history, results into the change of reality • Speaking of “language as ontology”, one is concentrated on its dynamics, change, variability • Ontological quanta are a possible theoretical instrument for language as ontology to be described both in a relevant, even metaphorical way and by an explicit mathematical model, that of Hilbert space

The uncertainty of any meaning • Any meaning consists in the optimal proportion between its unclearness and exactness • The Saussure semantics generates an alleged ideal of absolute transparency: Language interpreted as a collection of signifiers should be only an exact image of reality • However real language is rather opaque: It maintains some fruitful unclearness • That uncertainty of language is not at all some deficiency or disadvantage, which the artificial language of science overcomes • Its unclearness is very fruitful in searching of consensus: Ontological quanta help for the constitutive uncertainty of language

The principle of granular “picture” • The existence of ontological quanta forces the picture to be granular as a principle • This means, that if one tries to represent the ontology of quanta in terms or usual metaphors of reality such as “picture” or “image”, they will seem to be granular, consisting of granules, sells, quanta, ... • However in terms of ontology, this granular picture, furthermore even movable, is the reality itself, which cannot be divided from language • Language is the space and way, by which reality exists • Ontology in turn can be understood as all realities, which language can create

The indivisibility of ontological quanta • The indivisibility of the ontological quanta is the condition for them to behavior as “living” and searching for “deposits” of consensus • The classical division of sign into two absolutely independent parts of signifier and signified guarantees for it to be “dead”: immovable • On the contrary, the words of real language are movable. What moves them is their use and dependence on the context of use • The frequency use allows of probabilities to be associated to different ways for them to be connected to each other in the frame of their understanding in language • In turn, this allows of a wave function, i.e. of a vector or a point in Hilbert space, to be assigned to the meaning and thus to any ontological quantum

Granularity and visibility • The ontological quanta are bigger, the “picture” is grainier, but the attraction between the quanta is stronger and the “deposits” of consensus are more visible • Thus there is a certain optimal proportion of the degrees of consensus and exactness of that “picture”: The uses of terms in science tend to the pole of exactness. On the contrary, those in everyday language tend to consensus but not to certainty • The model by wave functions allows of to be quantitatively described the attraction and mutual restriction in their use, as entanglement • The bigger granules correspond to higher degree of entanglement

The dynamics of language • The ontological quanta are “living” and “moving” thus re-outlining new “deposits” of consensus, i.e. new meanings • The granules are elementary units of meaning by themselves. They constitute complex meanings as well as complex signs grouping and organizing themselves • The constituted complex meaning can be considered in turn as a whole and thus represented by a single wave function, which refers to the system consisting of entangled subsystems • Though the ontological quanta seem to be re-configured and reoutlined outside they conserve one and the same internal structure of a single wave function corresponding to a set of entangled wave function of each separated ontological quanta

Conclusions: • Granular semiotics can be obtained from the Saussure one considering both signifier and signified as complementary to each other and each of them equivalent to the sign as a whole as well • The indivisible unity of sign can be interpreted as the indivisible unity ontological quantum being both “word” and “thing” • A model in Hilbert space corresponding to that of quantum mechanics can be assigned to granular semiotics • Granular semiotic outlines much better a series of properties of real language: partial uncertainty, addressing the consensus and communication of people, granularity of meaning, and a series of others

References: • Lotfi A. Zadeh, Toward a theory of fuzzy information granulation and its centrality in human reasoning and fuzzy logic. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 90(1997), 111-127. • Burghard B. Rieger: Computing Fuzzy Semantic Granules from Natural Language Texts. A computational semiotics approach to understanding word meanings, in: Hamza, M.H. (ed.): Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing, Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference, Anaheim/ Calgary/ Zürich (IASTED/ Acta Press) 1999, 475–479.

Thank you for your kind attention looking forward to your comments or questions!

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