Symbols that Stand for Themselves

This important new work by Roy Wagner is about the autonomy of symbols and their role in creating culture.

Author: Roy Wagner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226869292

Category: Social Science

Page: 150

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This important new work by Roy Wagner is about the autonomy of symbols and their role in creating culture. Its argument, anticipated in the author's previous book, The Invention of Culture, is at once symbolic, philosophical, and evolutionary: meaning is a form of perception to which human beings are physically and mentally adapted. Using examples from his many years of research among the Daribi people of New Guinea as well as from Western culture, Wagner approaches the question of the creation of meaning by examining the nonreferential qualities of symbols—such as their aesthetic and formal properties—that enable symbols to stand for themselves.

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