Introduction – Semiotics and the senses

Gregory Paschalidis

Punctum, 3(1): 5-11, 2017
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2017.0002

By devoting this issue of Punctum to the semiotics of our current shifting sensorium we signal to the cross-fertilization of two scientific traditions founded almost simultaneously, in the final years of le belle epoque: Georg Simmel’s sensory sociology and Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiology. The former, first intimated in Simmel’s apprehension of metropolitan modernity as an over-stimulation of the senses (1903) and succinctly outlined in his ‘Sociology of the Senses’ (1907), stipulates the study of the senses as a way to become aware of the ‘delicate, invisible threads’ of social interaction, as a means to achieve a more accurate understanding of the ‘web of society’ as we experience it rather as an abstract set of ‘major organizational systems’ acting upon people […]

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