The Sense of Change

Language As History

by Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro examines the problem of change in semiotic systems, such as language, and develops a theory of change that is shaped by Charles Sanders Peirce's conception of teleology and final causation. Central to Shapiro's argument is the idea that changes in language and culture always make sense to one or another extent, that they follow a natural logic such as the "logic-in-use" that Peirce argues all humans beings rely on in the conduct of their everyday lives. The semiotic investigation of language and culture in all their facets should correspondingly be an "instructive logic" that explicates and clarifies both the sense of grammar and the sense of change. Shapiro examines signs, semeiosis, and final causation as a general framework for an understanding of concrete examples of change.


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    Indiana University Press
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    Bloomington, Indiana USA
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    Copyright © Trustees of Indiana University
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    Indiana University Press
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