NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number like: FA-57755-14

Query elapsed time: 0.047 sec

Page size:
 1 items in 1 pages
Page size:
 1 items in 1 pages
Iris Smith Fischer
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014

Charles Peirce and the Role of Aesthetic Expression in 19th-Century U.S. Philosophy and Semiotics

Why did the modern discipline of semiotics--the study of how phenomena come to have meaning--appear in US philosophy at the end of the 19th century? Which cultural contexts made it possible? This project is the first to present evidence that theatre practices putting the actor's craft on a scientific basis contributed crucially to early investigations in semiotic method. Philosopher Charles Peirce noted these practices' intellectual similarities to his own system of modern scientific inquiry. His semiotics might not have developed, though, if he had not engaged in theatrical activities that demonstrated the operations of performance in human cognition. Semiotic method assumes a material reality out of which meaning emerges in mediated forms. This study's greatest humanistic significance lies in revealing the role of performance in 19th-century models of inquiry and demonstrating that current work in the humanities on cognition is grounded in semiotic conceptions of embodied experience.