- 情報学研究 : 学環 : 東京大学大学院情報学環紀要 (ISSN:1880697X)
- vol.96, pp.1-26, 2019-03-29
I have taught the course in“ Information Semiotics” since the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo was founded in 2000. This article is a review of nineteen-years of teaching and research in the chair "Information and Man" which I held until March 2019. I situated information semiotics at the interface of human sciences and informatics, formulating its problematic as follows: “While people participate in semiosis, machines participate in information processing”. The origin of this epistemological interface can be illustrated by comparing Saussure’s “speech circuit (le circuit de la parole)” with Claude Shannon’s communication schema. I inscribe information semiotics in a broader perspective for a semiotics of media. The media are part of the fundamental structure of the human being articulating three dimensions of civilization: technique (the hand), cognition (the brain) and the social (the face). The media involve writing (écriture) in the sense of grammatology and grammatization. With the end of the Gutenberg era, there has been a generalization of technological writing with graph technology and tele-technology in the 20th century. After the revolutions of the analogue and digital media, the semiotics of media studies the “life of signs in society (la vie de signes dans la société)” (Saussure) mediated by analogue and digital writing. The axes of teaching and research of information semiotics consist in: (1) An epistemology of information semiotics (2) An analysis of the “life of signs” in the media society: criticism of the industrialization of consciousness and analysis of modern capitalism. (3) A methodology of criticism through the use of cognitive technologies. Information semiotics addresses a problematic of civilizational and cultural therapeutics. Contemporary man lives his life on the basis of the technological unconscious, equipped with communication artifacts and in permanent connection with information networks: hence the malaise of civilization of the prosthetic man. Information semiotics is this prosthetic man’s science for life, the knowledge of his consciousness and unconscious. The most crucial matter at stake is the autonomy and freedom of the prosthetic man who cannot not communicate through information and signs.