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Frederik Stjernfelt: On Diagrammatology.


Lecture Series and Workshop


Date: 25 to 29 May and 22 to 26 June 2009 Location: Graduiertenkolleg "Schriftbildlichkeit"
                Institut für Philosophie
                Habelschwerdter Allee 30, 14195 Berlin


Frederik Stjernfelt is professor at the Center for Semiotics at the University of Aarhus. His seminal book Diagrammatology. An Investigation on the Borderlines of Phenomenology, Ontology and Semiotics was published in 2007 (Springer).


Week I, 25-29 May 2009

Monday, 25 May, 6-8 p.m.

Lecture 1: What is a diagram?

The opening lecture provides an overview over Peirce's doctrine of diagrams, including its connections to various aspects of his thought: the doctrine of signs, the pragmatic maxim, continuity, "extreme" realism. This gives an idea of the centrality of diagrams to Peirce´s philosophy.The opening lecture will be followed by a reception.


Thursday, 28 May, 4-6 p.m.

Lecture 2: Iconicity

Iconicity has been a contested notion, both in the general history of science of the 20th century and in the history of semiotics in particular. In this lecture, Peirce's non-trivial iconicity definition is discussed and contrasted to anti-iconic stances in recent semiotics (Goodman, Eco).


Friday, 29 May, 10-12 a.m.

Lecture 3: What is diagrammatical reasoning?

A central corollary to Peirce's non-trivial iconicity definition is the ability of diagrammatical reasoning to make explicit aspects of the diagram which otherwise would remain implicit. This feature determines the wide extension of Peircean diagrams, comprising logic, algebra, reasoning with pictures and even aspects of linguistic grammar. A corollary of Peirce's diagrammatology is thus a new unifying perspective on reasoning, transcending traditional common-sense distinctions between symbolic and iconic representation.


Week II: 22 to 26 June

Monday, 22 June, 4-6 p.m.

Lecture 4: Moving pictures of thought

Diagrammatical reasoning allows to depict the reasoning process in moving pictures of thought, as Peirce says. This lecture takes the diagram type of maps as the example to show the diagrammatical reasoning process at work.


Thursday, 25 June, 4-6 p.m.

Lecture 5: Peirce and Husserl

Peirce's notion of diagrams plays a role in his mature work which holds surprising parallels to Husserl's simultaneous notion of kategoriale Anschauung from the Logische Untersuchungen. The lecture investigates these parallels and argues that diagrammatical structures furnish the epistemological access to the regional ontologies of the special sciences outlined in early phenomenology.


Friday, 26 June, 10-12 a.m.



All Lectures are public. Anyone interested in attending one or several of the lectures is very welcome. If you would like to participate in the workshop with Frederik Stjernfelt or have any questions concerning the lecture series or the workshop please contact Jan Wöpking (jan.woepking@fu-berlin.de).