From semio-ethics to a semiotics of speech in music and musicology

Theoretical (and Utopian) projections 1

Authored by: Christine Esclapez

The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815376453
eBook ISBN: 9781351237536
Adobe ISBN:


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Situated in the domains of the philosophy of language, generalized linguistics and semiotics—and to some extent in the philosophy of science—semio-ethics is a field of research whose leading proponents are the Italian team of theorists, Susan Petrilli and Augusto Ponzio (2003; 2010). Numerous fields of study contributed to the creation of the theoretical foundations that gave rise to this vast field. Of note here are the linguistic and scientific writings of Charles Sanders Peirce, Thomas Sebeok, and Roland Barthes, as well as the philosophical research of Mikhaïl Bakhtin and Emmanuel Levinas. 2 Petrilli and Ponzio emphasize that semio-ethics does not represent a branch of semiotics; instead, it may be viewed as a philosophical attitude vis-à-vis the world of signs and signifiers that undergoes constant expansion and diversification. The texts, objects, habits, and social interactions that constitute the primary object of generalized semiotics are progressively superseded by diverse life-forms, collaborative projects, digital creations, cyber-networks, and immersive platforms that render our use of signs, and our interpretation of them, increasingly complex.

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