Symbols that Stand for Themselves

Roy Wagner

Symbols that Stand for Themselves
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Roy Wagner

157 pages | 22 line drawings | 5-1/2 x 8 | © 1986
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226869292 Published May 1989
This important new work by Roy Wagner is about the autonomy of symbols and their role in creating culture. Its argument, anticipated in the author's previous book, The Invention of Culture, is at once symbolic, philosophical, and evolutionary: meaning is a form of perception to which human beings are physically and mentally adapted. Using examples from his many years of research among the Daribi people of New Guinea as well as from Western culture, Wagner approaches the question of the creation of meaning by examining the nonreferential qualities of symbols—such as their aesthetic and formal properties—that enable symbols to stand for themselves.
Contents
Preface
1. Introduction
2. Too Definite for Words
3. Metaphor Spread Out: The Holography of Meaning
4. Death on the Skin: Mortality and Figure-Ground Reversal
5. Epoch: Real and Unreal Time
6. The Western Core Symbol
7. Conclusion: Third-order Trope and the Human Condition
References
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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