SSA 40th Annual Meeting Call For Abstracts: Two Symposia Under Organization


  • The Semiosis of Pretense: Deception, Compliance, Novel Projection

Organizers: Donna E. West and Myrdene Anderson

This symposium will explore the emergence and ontogenesis of pretense in living systems (especially human), exploring: simple reiteration of false beliefs; acceptance of claims with meager evidence; novel extensions of conventional uses; misfeasance with intent to deceive. The two initial kinds of pretense often materialize as compliance with another’s belief wherein factors available to the agent are under-considered or simply ignored. Conversely, pretense consequent to deception ordinarily derives from more deliberate modes of convincing others of the truth of a false premise. The methods chosen to deceive depend largely upon the shared representational system of the producer and the receiver; and they can emerge as omissions or commissions, within a scenario in which receivers are assumed to interpret events in a prescribed way. More creative forums, namely, play, become indispensable toward manufacturing metaphoric, metonymic, and realities for children and adults. Nonetheless, without scenarios that encourage internally driven reconstitutions of slices of original reality, final interpretants could never hope to be uncovered. Such a static state of affairs, in which pretense is precluded/truncated, obscures/blocks the road to inquiry—against which Peirce adamantly cautions.

  • Engaging with the Senses (V): Once More, Toward Love, With Feeling

Organizers: Myrdene Anderson and Phyllis Passariello

Four previous symposia set sites as it were on the visual (our privileged sense), on hearing, on Secondness, and on to be “touched” (from sentiment to affect, wits to wisdom); we continue to explore phenomena peripheral to the senses, inclusive of Peirce’s notion of “evolutionary love”. While senses and emotions are classified for us by the various linguïcultures, the former are finite, perhaps even 7 plus-or-minus 2, while emotions (without organs, other than bright spots on brain images), are more nebulous. After sight and hearing, the lesser-specified and more-focused senses in English, for smell, taste, and touch, carry even more weight in their associations with emotion and with memory. Other senses beyond the basic five (or six) include balance, temperature, time, movement, and proprioception. Venturing beyond the outside-body monitoring tied to sense organs and the more ephemeral ambient and body-internal sensing that can show signs of contagion across bodies, one swerves toward full-blown but nonetheless culturally-shaped emotions themselves implicating cognition. Here, waves for light, sound, and aromatics combine with other media connecting outsides with insides, seeking to establish some of the quantum entanglements of sensation, perception, cognition, consciousness, kinds and degrees of awareness, mindfulness, feeling, emotion, memory, empathy, synesthesia…!

PLEASE SUBMIT to the co-organizers by Monday, MAY 25, 2015—your titled abstract (150-200 words in 12-point font), affiliation, up to six keywords, AND arrange membership and registration through SSA website, or, or 800-444-2419.

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About Farouk Seif

Professor Emeritus, Antioch University Seattle, Washington, a registered architect, an artist, a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute, and the former Executive Director of the Semiotic Society of America.