The Aesthetic Function Of The Word In Urban Communication Space (Coffee Naming)


This paper investigates metaphysical character of communication since the main difficulty in determining it lies in the way information passes from one subject to another without their direct interaction in a metaphysical way. Communication models developed by phenomenologists, behaviourists and postmodernists represent communication as subjectless and objective, thus depriving the participants of intelligibility. However, as argued in this paper, the participants in communication are intelligible. On this basis, we assert that any communication is not reproductive but creative in its primary origin for each participant in communication creates a certain ideal sign action (semiosis), so that the signal is a consequence of the semiosis of the speaker and the cause for the semiosis of the listener. Since semiosis is thought to be relation between the signifier and the signified and this relation cannot be represented either as a substance (inclusion), or as a process (implication) the only way to avoid accidentality of the components of semiosis following in the material form of time, is by introducing the ideal , which would connect them, and therefore make their relation necessary . It allows us to consider communication as relation of two semiosis combined by a signal. Following from it and from definitions of components of semiosis we give trascendentalistic definition of communication and create a diagram demonstarting its properties.

Keywords: Communicationcommunication schemeCh S Peircesemiosis


This paper has only sign communication as its subject, that is, one in which the states of the partners in the activity are connected and even interconnected, but change without their direct interaction, for example, mechanical. Actually, the main difficulty in determining communication lies in the way information passes from one subject to another without their direct interaction in a metaphysical way. It is the metaphysical nature of communication that this paper focuses on.

Problem Statement

It is not without reason to assert that modern communication models go back to the ideas of K. Bühller (1934), set forth in his work "Sprachtheorie. Die Darstellungsfunktion der Sprache". Appearing in the era of the confrontation between idealism in the form of phenomenology and materialism in the form of behaviorism, Bühller’s (1934) communication model rejects language as a communicative code from the addressee and addresser, depriving it of psychology and metaphysics, which were indicators of the unscientific for phenomenologists and behaviorists, and puts the language code in no less metaphysical place, outside the participants of communication. As a result, Bühller (1934) obtained a three-part communication model in which 1) the addressee, 2) the addresser and 3) the code (together with objects and situations) act as equal factors in communication presented as an unrecognized and therefore elusive process between the three (as cited in Raynaud, 2016).

Jakobson (1960) picked up this idea. In his work "Linguistics and Poetics", he gave a model of verbal communication, where he intended to define an array of possible functions of the language which are implemented in the art presented as the highest form of sign communication. Jakobson (1960) saw the addresser and the addressee as the terminal points of verbal communication, as the reason and the result of communication (Hutton, 2019). Because the addresser and the addressee are the terminal points, their internal mental acts appear to be outside the boundaries of communication. Instead, communication conditions are involved in communication - the context accessible to the participants of communication and the code inherent in both of them. The code and context, declared objective communication factors, transform the message, which manifests itself, according to Jakobson (1960), in deviations in communication, which allow demonstrating certain possible functions of the language.

It is in the objectification of the code and the context of communication that gives the phenomenological pathos to the concept of Jakobson (1960). This pathos was developed by U. Eco, who proposed influencing the communicants by changing the code, and which was so clearly pointed out by J. Baudrillard: Formalized most notably by Jakobsen (1981), its underlying unity is based on the following sequence: transmitter – message – receiver (encoder – message – decoder). The message itself is structured by the code and determined by the context" (p. 178). Note, that postmodernists went even further along the paths of K. Bühller and R. Jakobson, having removed the subject as a creative principle from communication and replaced it with the function of a combination of code fragments (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004), and therefore communication became completely subjectless and objective, turning into a mediation between two imaginary points.

In fact, the followers of R. Jakobson endow the conditions of communication with intelligibility, but deprive the participants of their intelligibility, and present communication itself as a process between its reduced participants.


Our point of view is directly opposite: we believe that the participants in communication are intelligible, and the conditions that affect them are intelligible in a limited way and only as much as it is available to participants in communication (Mossop, 2019). On this basis, we take the liberty of asserting that each participant in communication creates a certain ideal sign action, known since ancient times under the name of semiosis (Galen of Pergamon, Sextus Empiricus) (Uría, 2018), so that the signal is a consequence of the semiosis of the speaker and the cause for the semiosis of the listener.

Research Questions

Apriori characteristics of semiosis

Semiosis was the subject of speculation for many researchers (among them F.L.G. Frege, Ch. W. Morris, Ch. K. Ogden, I.A. Richards, and the works of the late L. J. J. Wittgenstein). The commonplace for these speculations was the representation of semiosis as mediated (by code, sence, meaning, concept, language or its unit) temporal relation between the sign (the name, the signifier) and the signified (denotation, referent). It is the temporal nature that turns the code as an invariant sign potentially mediating the relations between the signifier and the signified into semiosis. Note, that the majority of existing semitoc conceptions share these features of semiosis or a sign.

The temporal relationship between the sign and its signified in semiosis was obvious already for the ancients. According to Sextus Empiricus, the signifiers as entities implicitly correlated with the signified on the grounds of the reference to the time of observation are of three types " some are absolutely non- evident, some naturally non-evident, and some temporarily non-evident" (1935, p. 313). Temporarily non-evident" signifiers are associated with "indicative" signs, and "naturally non-evident" signifiers are associated with "commemorative" signs. It seems that the main step made by Peirce (1935) in comparison with Sextus Empiricus is an attempt to introduce a third sign into the system, a symbol that corresponds to

absolutely non-evident <…> things whose nature is never to be presented to human apprehension, as is the fact that the stars are even in number or odd, and that the grains of sand in Libya are of a certain definite number. (p. 315)

It is clear that it was precisely the pessimism of Sextus Empiricus that made him fundamentally distinguish once and for all the unknown "stars even in number" from the naturally non-evident "such as the intelligible pores" and the existence (maintained by certain physicists) of an infinite Void outside the universe (Peirce ,1935, p. 315). Many centuries later, Kant (2006) also maintained a similar position, according to which the signs in relation to the signified in time are already divided into three types: "the relation of sign to things signified, depending on time, is either demonstrative or rememorative or prognostic" (p. 96). We can very well accept the assumption on the temporal relation between the signifier and the signified.

Let’s consider the apriori consequences of such a generalized view of semiosis.

Semiosis is a relation negative in its content

The signified and the signifier in semiosis are heterogeneous, they neither contradict each other, nor must they be opposites, they must neither have common features, nor be necessarily deprived of them. Therefore, the signified and the signifier may have nothing in common.

The absence of a common part (common features) of the sign and the signified, on the one hand, excludes a categorical relation between them (the idea of them as parts of an immutable substance), since then one of them would include the other, which contradicts the idea of the sign as arbitrary associated with its signifier.

On the other hand, the signified and the signifier may not even have common features, because if they had, they could be represented as events connected by cause-effect relations, as components of one objective process (the idea of the relation of the signified and the signifier as a process). Note, that, according to the definition, the signifier and the signified in semiosis, are not in cause-and-effect relations.

Thus, the relation in semiosis between the signifier and the signified cannot be represented either as a substance (inclusion relation), for example, a system, or as a process (implication relation).

Relation of the signifier to the signified in time

The only positive component of semiosis is the formal relation between the signified and the signifier in time.

The relation of the signifier and the signified in time allows them to be correlated either as synchronical (categorical relation, inclusion), or as asynchronical (procedural relation, implication) so that the signifier either is simultaneous to the signified, or follows it in time.

This suggests that the relation of the signifier to its signified in time is accidental.

Code of semiosis

Under the conditions of the described exclusion of systemic and causal relations between the signified and the signifier, the only way to avoid accidentality of their following in the material form of time, is by introducing the ideal , which would connect them, and therefore make their relation necessary .

Relation between code and semiosis

Relation of the signifier and the signified as material components of semiosis to the ideal, which we prefer to call code , is also negative, but only in respect of time.

An ideal code, in whole or in its parts, correlates with the signified and the signifier of semiosis atemporally, since it can be applied not only to the previous, but also to the future, not yet existing, semiosis.

The positive component of the relation of the signifier and the signified to the code is that the code must have something in common with both the signifier and its signified. This common is of negative timeless character. In a specific semiosis, this common unfolds in time, possibly even in the form of a causal relationship.

Purpose of the Study

The aforesaid allows us to proceed to the consideration of communication as relation of two semiosis.

Since the only feature that somehow correlates the components of semiosis is time, we can turn to the question of the temporal structure of semiosis, for which we consider the backlog created by Ch. S. Peirce on this issue.

From the point of view of logic, as demonstrated by Ch. S. Peirce, semiosis, a sign action, is an indirect inference in which premises are connected not by the presence of common features (commonality of the " universe" ), but by the will of the subject of semiosis. Formally the sign is an erroneous inference, but in fact it is an arbitrary one, therefore, for a logician like Ch. S. Peirce, the sign can be considered only by its formal characteristics . It was the formal classification of signs that he proposed.

Ch. S. Peirce endowed the sign as a form of human experience with 1) relation to time, 2) modality (relation to the source of knowledge) and 3) relation to the ideal, that is, to cognitive ability (interpretant).

We posit that in the conception of Peirce (1931) the relation of the signifier-sign (Note, that Ch. S. Peirce consistently equated the terms sign and representamen and used them as synonyms (the latter, according to Peirce (1931), represents the signified through its relation to it): "I confine the word representation to the operation of a sign or its relation to the object for the interpreter of the representation. The concrete subject that represents I call a sign or a representamen" (1931, paragraph 540). " Possibly there may be Representamens that are not Signs" (Peirce, 1998, p. 272). "It is the science of what is quasi-necessarily true of the representamina of any scientific intelligence in order that they may hold good of any object, that is, may be true" (Peirce, 1931, paragraph 229). To the signified lays the foundation for classification of signs into the icons (the signified is simultaneous to the signifier and coincides with the sign in the time of its existence) and indices (the signified precedes in the time of its existence to the signifier-sign and therefore the sign follows the signifier in time). Consequently icons are similar to the signified in the time of the subject and the indices are dissimilar, but affect the subject.

Similarly, the relation of the sign (signifier) to the source of knowledge , we are convinced, is put into the division of signs on the qualisigns (the sign-signifier is correlated with the subject of knowledge, with his ability of imagination, and therefore possible by modality; apparently, Peirce (1998) called such signifiers in this way, due to the very fact of their positive presence in experience as qualities, they are associated with the positive signified) and sinsigns (sign-signifier is correlated with reality and highlighted in it, acting as a signal affecting the subject of semiosis, and therefore valid ).

And finally, in relation to cognitive ability, a sign can be either rheme as spontaneous direct relation , or dicent as deterministic direct relation of the signifier to the signified. (We deliberately and intentionally avoid mentioning and interpreting the third elements of the triadic series of terms of Ch. S. Pierce in this work, since their interpretation requires the introduction of intermediate provisions that go very far beyond the scope of this work. At the same time, we note that the synthesis of pairs of concepts gives a third element of the triad (such interpretation of Ch. S. Pierce’s conception is grounded in the paper (Sytko & Kuzina, 2019). It is in these meanings that the terms are used in the communication scheme given in Table 1 .

Table 1 -
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Research Methods

This paper is the product of theoretical speculation;


From the hypothetical definition of communication as the relation of two semiosis combined by a signal and the given definitions of components of semiosis, we can construct a diagram demonstrating the properties of communication as it is described above.

Communication is carried out by the addressee with the addresser , with both the addressee and the addresser being intelligent and subjective, according to the definition, but not with the intelligible world of objects as things-in-themselves (Holvoet, 2020). Therefore we do not agree with either structuralists (for example, with R. Jakobson, who objectified the subject of communication ("The death of the author" means that artistic communication is quasicommunication and autocommunication of the addresser with an imaginary addressee. This case is extremely important for determining the communicative processes within the subject between his imaginary internal communicative roles, but the present work does not set such a goal. ) ), or with postmodernists for example, Deleuze and Guattari (2004), who eliminate the idea of the subject from their systems). Thus, we consider any communication creative in its primary origin but not reproductive. Communication as a process is unidirectional in time of the addressee, and mutual communication is a special case, which we present in this work below (Zolyan, 2020).

6.1. The intelligibility of the addressee and the addresser allows to assign them internal organization.

6.2. The addresser and the addressee by virtue of the provisions on their internal organization can be represented as an arbitrary (not causal) ideally mediated relation of the content plane to the expression plane.

6.3. The organization of the addresser and the addressee is twofold: in the form of space and in the form of time (By space and time we understand the basic forms of experience as they are described in the "Critique of Pure Reason" by I. Kant.) .

6.3.1. The organization in the form of time is a unidirectional continuum (in tables it is displayed by the direction from the stub column to the right and represents a successive change of elements of experience, and in this table it represents elements of semiosis).

6.3.2. The organization in the form of space is a multidirectional continuum between the ideal and the material like poles of experience (in the table it is displayed in the vertical direction from the ideal (above) to the material (below), which are titled in the stub column " code" and " plane of expression" , symbolizing the ideal and material poles of experience).

6.4. The synthesis of the material and the ideal makes up the area between them (in the stub column it is titled as a "content plan"). It is worth noting that the content plan of the addresser in the framework of communication is non-deterministic, although it is obvious that in a wider perspective, in experience in general, it can and should be determined.

6.4.1. Between the addresser and the world of things in itself, including the addressee, there lies transcensus, the transition from the subjective to the objective, exit from the sphere of consciousness into the sphere of the objective world, as the limit of (humanitarian) cognition (in the table it is represented by a double bold vertical line). One can note that the content plane of the addresser should be limited both in time (cause) and, in certain cases, by transcensus, which is difficult to depict in the table. However, such a limitation extends beyond the limits of the semiosis and leads to the experience in general.

6.4.2. The relation of the addresser’s content plane to the expression plane is such that the content plane includes, during its existence, the expression plane, therefore the content plane acts as a substance in relation to the expression plane. Therefore, we can present the content plane as an object constant in time of the addressee, and the expression plane as an event limited by the time limit of the addresser. At the same time, it should be understood that the plane of content and the plane of expression are directly connected only by relations in time and nothing more. We equate this " simultaneity" of existence with the iconicity of Ch. S. Peirce.

6.4.3. The relation between the content plane and the expression plane is mediated by the ideal entity, which Ch. S. Peirce called the interpretant, F. de Saussure termed it as the language sign, and we refer to it as the code (Haßler, 2019). It follows from this that the vertical direction on the diagram depicts the ideal mediation of the components of the semiosis and can be considered as the degree of their ideality/ materiality.

6.5. The sign of the addresser acts as a form of expression of the signified, and therefore is endowed by the addresser with the property of being, of qualitative correspondence to the signified, which in terms of Ch. S. Peirce corresponds to qualisigns.

6.5.1. The result of the addresser designating his ideas is the sign , which is simultaneous to these ideas in the subjective time of the addresser and is the directly causating signal, which is based on the communicative hypothesis.

6.5.2. The condition for communication is communicative hypothesis , the assumption and belief of the addresser that the addressee exists, that he is similar to the addresser (communicative hypothesis, cf. communicative theory of the mind by Habermas 1984).

6.6. From the communicative hypothesis, the addresser assumes that the addressee has the same code and the same transcensus (in the table it is shown with a double vertical bar).

6.6.1. In the communication process the addressee and the addresser carry out two mutually opposite actions for establishing the correspondence of the material form to the ideal meaning: the addresser embodies the ideal meaning (content) in the material form, and the addressee transforms the material form into the ideal content.

6.6.2. The addressee uses the signal as the signified in a communicative situation created by himself, in which the code mediates the relation between the signified and the sign. Such an action of the addressee is understanding.

6.6.3. The result of understanding (signifying as decoding) a material signal is its individual single meaning, which is the sign of the signal that causated the signified of the addresser.

Relations of simultaneity (iconicity) can be admitted between the signified and the sign of the addresser however, the signal and the sign of the addressee follow in time, therefore the sign is the index of the signal pointing to it, but at the same time differing in the way of its existence for the addressee (the sign does not express, but is a product of understanding ).

6.7. The starting point of communication should be recognized as the idea presented in our scheme as a signified of the addresser, with the end point of communication being the sign of the addressee, the result of his individual understanding. And the signified of the addresser and the sign of the addressee correspond to the content plane of communication.

6.8. The plane of expression in communication is implemented accordingly as an iconic sign of the addresser and as an indexable signified of the addressee. Both of them, despite the difference in their semiotic status, are adjacent in the experience to the signal and to some extent correlate with it (the definition of the parameters of these relations, we think, can be understood as the final goal of neuroscience).

6.9. The code in communication as a metaphysical entity mediating the sign and the signified of a semiotic situation is, as it can be seen from the table, symmetric. Therefore, it can be assumed that in the situation of auto-communication , the code can work both in the direction of expression and in the direction of understanding the signified.


These theoretical speculations have lead us to a novel approach to definition of communication, in which both the addresser and the addressee create a certain ideal sign action. Previous approaches define communication as subjectless and objective, deprive it of psychology and metaphysics and represent it in a reproductive aspect. Endowing not the world of objects as things-in-themselves but the addresser and the addressee with intelligibility provides the grounds to consider communication to be creative but not reproductive. Such approach allows us to define communication as relation of two semiosis created by both participants in communication, so that the signal is a consequence of the semiosis of the speaker and the cause for the semiosis of the listener.


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Remchukova, E., & Sokolova, T. (2021). The Aesthetic Function Of The Word In Urban Communication Space (Coffee Naming). In E. V. Toropova, E. F. Zhukova, S. A. Malenko, T. L. Kaminskaya, N. V. Salonikov, V. I. Makarov, A. V. Batulina, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, & A. M. Grinev (Eds.), Man, Society, Communication, vol 108. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 300-307). European Publisher.