“Text of Culture” as a Category of Cultural Philosophy: from Semiotic Theory to Research Practice

Introduction. Culture manifests itself in texts, one “reads” them, communicates with them. This communication takes place with varying degrees of competence; a high degree of competence is a necessary requirement for “reading” a cultural text in research practice. The article presents a metatheoretical construction on the basis of the analysis of the semiotic theory of the “text of culture” of the Tartu-Moscow school. The aim of the analysis is to develop a cultural-philosophical research practice. The author addresses the following tasks: justification of the necessity of metatheoretical constructions around Lotman's semiotics of culture; categorisation of the “text of culture”; characterisation of the semiosis of the “text of culture” as the necessary generation of the metatext; outlining the principles of research "reading" of the “text of culture”. The article is of a theoretical and methodological character. Methodology and sources. The methodological basis of the research is the traditions of Russian cultural semiotics and the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school. The main parameters for the selection of scientific publications: the degree of semiotic problematization of the cultural text; the possibility of explicating the concepts being sought; the perspective of meta-theoretical constructions. Results and discussion. The study allows us to formulate theoretical and methodological conclusions. The necessity of developing semiotics of culture in the Tartu-Moscow school is justified by the increasing complexity of modern culture as an open dynamic system, and by the un-realized methodological purpose of the institution. The “text of culture” is the most important notion of cultural-philosophical research. Its necessary categorization opens perspectives for the development of procedures of semiotic analysis of artifact as the “text of culture”, and for the interpretation of its semiosis, taking into account the mechanisms of functioning of immanent structures. The most important direction of cultural-philosophical analysis of the cultural text is its semiosis, which is treated as the sign functioning of the artifact-text within the boundaries of an open system that is culture as “one”. Conclusion. Principle aspects of the proposed cultural-philosophical practice: 1) the categorical system of semiotics of culture has to include the position of “text of culture” which fixes genetic relationship of text and culture; 2) “semiosis” of artifact as “text of culture” naturally generates metatextual space of culture as a result of systems openness within the borders of culture as “the one”.

Authors: Elena N. Shatova

Direction: Philosophy

Keywords: philosophy of culture, Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics, Yu.M. Lotman, “text of culture”, semiosis

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