Per una semiotica della testimonianza

  • Valentina Pisanty

Abstract

The article hinges on the particular semiotic statute of testimony in History. The core question is: what is a historical testimony an unequivocal Sign of? If you think about it, the only event of which a piece of testimony is in itself a symptom or trace is the mental activity of the subject making it. In principle there is no grounded relationship between the historical Representamen and the event to which it indirectly refers, considering the former is composed of words, Symbols par excellence, and constitutively suited to lies and deception. Yet the illocutionary, rhetorical and indiciary power of testimony rests precisely in its capacity to set itself up as an Index not merely and not only of the mental activity of the person emitting it, but of the historical event it represents. What semiotic device makes this transmutation of Symbols into Indexes possible? How scientific (in Peirce’s sense) is it to adhere to the linguistic convention that a piece of testimony stipulates with the community of interpreters? Under what conditions, and through which procedures, can the pact be rescinded?

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Published
2015-09-29
How to Cite
Pisanty, V. (2015) “Per una semiotica della testimonianza”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 0(2). Available at: http://www.rifl.unical.it/index.php/rifl/article/view/315 (Accessed: 6August2021).