Can semiotics become computational?

Webinar by Jean-Guy Meunier

Can semiotics become computational?  

Under what conditions can semiotics enter the digital age? Can there exist a computational semiotics? Should it be building a “semiotic theory” of computers and computing or a theory of computing in semiotics?    Contemporary philosophy of science offers heuristic answers to these questions. Science is not just formal theories. It is a complex epistemic practice that , on the objects under study, offers  different points of view or models  that are interrelated .

This allows seeing semiotics as an epistemic endeavour that offers a specific point of view to explain and understand semiotics artefacts and processes. And if a computer is to be integrated in its scientific practice, the formal and computational models will have to rely on the expert conceptual model that semiotics can build on these artefacts and processes.    

Our presentation will illustrate how a computational technology can assist the analysis of the component and dynamics of certain semiotic artefacts called in a Peircean paradigm, signal, icon and symbol and when instantiated in music, painting and texts.


Ken Foote (Storrs, Connecticut)

Marcia Schwartz (Berlin)

Michael Mair (Timaru)

Gabriele Aroni (Manchester)

Daria Arkhipova (Torino)

Hubert Kowalewski (Lublin)

Martin Uildriks (Providence RI)

Geoffrey Sykes  (Sydney)


Andrew Wardell (Lausanne)


Jean-Guy Meunier is a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, in the Doctoral programs of philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive Informatics. He is recognized as a pioneer in the Digital Humanities field. He received the Canadian Digital Humanities Prize for his career achievements in this field  and in which he published  over 100 articles . He is a member of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science. He recently published Computational Semiotics at Bloomsbury’s of London. 

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