Peirce's Theory Of Semiotics

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Semiotics, in its simplest form is the study of signs and what they mean. For the purpose of this essay I want to keep the ideas that I will be discussing relatively simple compared to the complexity that I could potentially delve in to within this subject. Semiotics began with two main theorists, Charles Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure. For this essay Peirce’s “triadic, irreducible, and unceasing process” (Smith, P.4) works better as a starting point for my discussion in semiotics. Peirce’s idea of a sign centres on the triadic connection of the object, representamen and interpretant. The role of the interpretant is what, to some, makes Pierce’s theory more viable when analysing advertisements. In contrast Saussure’s theory is based on the dyadic “association of the signifier with the signified” (Saussure, 1979, P.67). For SSE, being able to understand the sign reading process and role the spectator plays is a vital step in the creation of these advertisements. Peirce’s theory provides the basis for the study of the role of the interpreter in this process and an ideology can begin to be developed based upon this knowledge. Developed from Pierces idea of the interpretant is the theory of encoding and decoding. Both Umberto Eco and Stuart Hall have presented viable ideas and theories around this subject. The theories of Hall and Eco both suggest that the decoder of the advertising message plays a large and significant role in the development of meaning within a text. To Eco

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