Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (CCS)

The Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (CCS)

Program description

In order to understand what is specific to humanity, we need to consider the process, which is both biological and historical in nature, by means of which human beings became different from other animal species. Scholars within philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, cognitive science, human ecology, architecture, and the study of theatre and music have here been united under one theoretical umbrella, Cognitive Semiotics, having the purpose to integrate the theoretical and empirical results of both cognitive science and semiotics (the study of meaning), at the same time as it profits from ideas coming from the traditional humanities. Two general hypotheses are central for our research environment: (1) that the specificity of mankind is not found in verbal language alone, but in the means of conveying meaning more generally; and (2) that part of this specificity has emerged in historical time, without the need for any special biological adaptations. We divide research within CCS into 5 themes:

Theme 1: Evolution of cognition and semiosis (“meaning-making”)

Theme 2: Ontogenetic development of cognition and semiosis

Theme 3: Historical development of cognition and semiosis

Theme 4: Cognitive-semiotic typology 

Theme 5: Experimental semiotics 

Specific theoretical and empirical studies, on the basis of the systematic collection of empirical data, connect the themes.