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Panel: Lifeworld, Relevance, Encyclopedia

Thessaloníki, 30 August- 3 September 2022

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How to build a Lifeworld: In-between Relevance and the Encyclopaedia
Panel at the 15th World Congress of Semiotics (IASS-AIS), August 30 – September 3, 2022 (duration of the conference) in Thessaloniki, Greece

Panel abstract
Acts of meaning-making and communication can only succeed because they can rely on a background of things taken for granted. Some of these presuppositions are part of the invariant structure of the Lifeworld, as Edmund Husserl has observed, while others characterize particular socio-cultural lifeworlds, and yet others form part of the singular situation in which a particular act occurs. While such resources allow acts of meaning-making to happen and take shape, they are reproduced and changed in turn by those acts. There have been various, partly overlapping, propositions to account for these different kinds of meaning resources antecedent to the act, as well as resulting from it: Examples, within the phenomenological tradition, include Husserl’s notions of sedimentation and passive synthesis and Alfred Schutz’ systems of relevance and schemes of interpretation, and, in a spirit closer to analytical philosophy and cognitive science, Dan Sperber’s and Deidre Wilson’s relevance theory, as well as the notion of Encyclopaedia conceived in a rhizomatic form within the semiotic theory of Umberto Eco. All these proposals seem to be guided by a common endeavour to present the resources at the disposal of the speaker-hearer, or, more generally, the addresser-addressee of any semiotic act, as being something much more complex and dynamic than a lexicon. The aim of the present panel is to consider these different proposals and perhaps others, and thus to determine to what extent they can be combined, or whether one of them better accounts for the patterns and aspects of meaning pre-existing to the act which are then modified and enriched by it.

Panel convenors
Göran Sonesson, Lund University, Sweden
Jan Strassheim, University of Hildesheim, Germany

Submission procedure
Please send a file with the title of your proposed paper, the names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses of all participants, an abstract of 200-250 words and up to 5 keywords to both panel convenors ( and by March 31, 2022.