Process, Image, and Meaning
A realistic model of the meaning of sentences and narrative texts
The general topic of this book is the development of a “realistic” model of meaning; it has to account for the ecological basis of meaning in perception, action, and interaction, and is realistic in the sense of “scientific realism”, i.e. it is based on the most successful paradigm of modern science: dynamical systems theory.<br />In Part One a model of sentences is put forward. The first chapter outlines the philosophical background of a theory of meaning. Chapter 2 gives a very short summary of recent proposals for a semantic model which considers image-like schemata. In Chapter 3 a realistic model of valence and basic predication is developed in detail. Chapter 4 treats multistability in meaning and the application of chaos theory and dissipative structures in semantics. Chapter 5 outlines the global framework of a stratified universe of meanings, and Chapter 6 prepares the way for Part Two: the analysis of narrative texts. Oral narratives of personal experience are the prototypical form in which experienced events are organized with the aim of remaking a piece of reality. In Chapter 7 a discrete grammar based on vectorial schemata is developed. Chapters 8 and 9 elaborate the “syntax of narratives” in Chapter 7. Chapter 10 progress to conversational dynamics.