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Agent, Person, Subject, SelfA Theory of Ontology, Interaction, and Infrastructure$
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Paul Kockelman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926985

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926985.001.0001

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Semiotic Ontologies

Semiotic Ontologies

(p.1) 1 Semiotic Ontologies
Agent, Person, Subject, Self

Paul Kockelman

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the concept of ontologies, loosely understood as ensembles of assumptions regarding the underlying constitution of, or salient patterns in, the world. It argues that such ontologies are both an outcome of meaningful interaction and a condition for meaningful interaction. That is, just as one interprets in light of an ontology, one ontologizes in light of an interpretation. It shows that the agents that have ontologies include not just people, but also things, and anything outside or in-between. And it shows that ontologies may be embedded and embodied as they are articulated or enminded. In part, it is meant to introduce some of the overarching categories and commitments of this book (focusing on the relation between ontology, interaction, and infrastructure). And, in part, it is meant to reflexively frame this project in terms of its own categories and commitments (and thereby critically attend to its own conditions of possibility).

Keywords:   ontology, inference, interaction, infrastructure, kind, index

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