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The Human Condition: A Commentary on Originary Signification

Any functional sign must involve the following:

1) The possibility of being a lie (I borrow this from Umberto Eco’s A Theory of Semiotics). There are better ways of putting this, as “lie” presupposes a declarative, an assertion about something in the world independent of the […]

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Hunters and Craftsmen

I’ve just finished reading Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class. Obviously, I can’t claim that this puts me in the vanguard of anything, but I found his organization of economic analysis around the categories of, on one side, “invidious distinction,” and, on the other side, the “instinct of workmanship,” very […]

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Popular Culture

I take Eric Gans’ distinction between popular and high culture as axiomatic: in popular culture, the audience identifies with the lynch mob, while in high culture they identify with the victim. It seems to me, further, that this distinction manifests itself as one between two modes of reading, or “appropriation” or “consumption” […]

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