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language ● n. 1 the method of human communication either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.  any method of expression or communication: body language. 2 the system of communication used by a particular community or country.  the phraseology and vocabulary of a particular group.  Computing a system of symbols and rules for writing programs and algorithms. 3 the manner or style of a piece of writing or speech.  (usu. bad/foul/strong language) coarse or offensive language. - P HRASES speak the same language understand one another as a result of shared opinions or values - ORIGIN ME: from OFr.Gk. language, based on L. lingua ‘tongue’. cognition /kɒɡˈnɪʃ(ǝ)n/ ● n. the mental action or process

of acquiring knowledge through thought, experience, and the senses.  a perception, sensation, or intuition resulting from this - DERIVATIVES cognitional adj. - ORIGIN ME: from L. cognitio(-), from cognoscere ‘get to know’.


Figure 1.2


Figure 1.3


Figure 1.5


Figure 1.7


diagram /ˈdʌɪǝgram/ ● n. 1 a simplified drawing showing the appearance or structure of something. - DERIVATIVES diagrammatic

adj. diagrammatically adv.

C17: from L. diagramma, from Gk, from diagraphein ‘mark out of lines’.

- O RIGIN


UMBERTO ECO: KANT AND THE PLATAPUS Essays on Language and Cognition

a

b

c

d

A: THE REPRESENTED WORLD

f

a’

b’

g

c’

h

d’

A1 Where:

a’

b’

c’

d’

A2

a’

b’

d’

A3

a = PRETENTION

f = UNDERSTANDING

A 1 = WILL TO LIVE

b = NAME DROPPING

g = TIME

A2 = DESIRE TO STOP

c = LEXICAL FIELD

h = COMPREHENSION

A3 = CONFUSION

d = SYNTAX

c’

Figure 1.11


QUOTATIONS

NAME DROPPING

IMPREGNABLE LANGUAGE

PRETENTION

LEXICAL FIELD

SYNTAX

p

P Q

q

R

r

S

s

T

t

U

u

A

Where:

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

P = SEMANTICS

S = PEIRCEAN SENSE

Q = DYNAMICAL OBJECT

T = TERMINUS AD QUEM

R = IMMEDIATE OBJECT

U = TERMINUS A QUO

Figure 1.13


Figure 1.17


can vos agnosco

Figure 1.19


ENDNOTES Introduction 1. Booklet produced

as a response to Emberto Eco’s Kant and the Platypus a philosophic debate exploring how much our perception of things depends on our cognitive ability, and how much on our linguistic resources. 2. Ironically enough it would seem that my cognitive ability and linguistic resources were insufficient when faced with this deeply technical text. Eco uses excessively complex language and is not afraid to quote, reference and illustrate text without any explanation. As a result Eco has created a deeply impenetrable text that is virtually impossible for a layman to read. Consequently my perception of Eco’s book and response to it is that is fails as a piece communication as the text is so impenetrable that it is almost coded. Figure 1.2 The words on just one page of text that I didn’t understand blurred through repetition Figure 1.3 ‘Communication is vital’ translated into Morse Code Figure 1.5 Page of text from Kant and the Platypus interpreted as code based on words that could and could not be understood. Figure 1.7 ‘Communication failure’ translated into Binary Code Figure 1.11 Diagrammatic example of ‘similarity, motivated yet established according to rules’ translated into my understanding of the text and the consequential lack of motivation to continue reading Figure 1.13 Eco’s “pure icon” diagram representing that ‘every mother loves some child of hers’ reinterpreted with my love of this text Figure 1.17 ‘Can you understand’ text converted into Latin and then again into MS Reference Speciality font Figure 1.19 ‘Can you understand’ in the now ‘dead’ language of Latin Figure 1.23 ENDNOTES figure referencing sequence: PRIME NUMBERS Figure 1.23


Designed and produced by Suzanne Eland



book response