A general introduction to the journal
We are pleased to present this very first issue of Cognitive Semiotics. The journal will publish two print issues a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Additionally, in December each year (starting 2010) a special issue of the Companion to Cognitive Semiotics, our free online complement to the printed journal, will be published on this website which also serves as a vital resource for the journal.
Issue #0 (Spring 2007) – click here for a full version of the cover
As a whole Cognitive Semiotics offers its readers the opportunity to engage with ideas from the European and American traditions of cognitive science and semiotics, and to follow developments in the study of meaning - both in a cognitive and in a semiotic sense – as they unfold internationally. The intention of the journal is to create and facilitate dialogue, debate, and collaboration among those interested both in human cognition and in human semiotic experiences and behavior.
This intention is inherited from its Danish antecedent, the journal Almen Semiotik, published by the Aarhus University Press (1990-2002). The initiative to create a transatlantically based journal comes from the Center for Cognition and Culture, at the department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, and from a group of researchers trained at the Center for Semiotics, in Denmark, and based in Aarhus and Copenhagen. These joint editors identify the present issue as issue number “0″ to signify its transitional status. We are happy that Cognitive Semiotics will be published by Peter Lang Publishing Group, where the book series European Semiotics, created in 1999, is also housed.
Let us briefly explain the general content of this journal, the field of thinking and research we name cognitive semiotics.
Human minds ‘cognize’ and ‘signify’ as complementary aspects of their capacity to think and feel. If we accept the metaphor of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ levels of cognition, and the idea of seeing the ‘higher levels of cognition’ as those responsible for abstraction, language, discourse, institutions, law, science, music, visual arts, and cultural practices in general, grounded in the use of conventionally established and intentionally used signs (often called symbols), then semiotics is the discipline committed to the study of these ‘higher levels’. Relying predominantly on expressionbased communication, the contents of these higher-level cognitive feats can be shared by expressive exchanges of signified meanings (GE: Bedeutungen; FR: sens).
These meanings, in turn, can be made the subject of inquiry, their semiotic structure and significance indicators of how minds cognize together, and of the cognitive mechanisms which make their production and comprehension possible in the first place.
The mental activities of thinking and communicating are importantly interrelated in our species. Human societies and cultures, and civilization at large, are the results of cooperating and conflicting minds, connected through cognitive-semiotic functions and processes. To gain scientific knowledge about these often still unexplored phenomena, found increasingly important by the scientific community, the journal is devoted to high quality research, integrating methods and theories developed in the disciplines of cognitive science with methods and theories developed in semiotics and the humanities, with the ultimate aim of providing new insights into the realm of human meaning production and the modalities of its embodiment and disembodiment.
Cognitive Semiotics (and Companion to Cognitive Semiotics) will publish peer-reviewed manuscripts according to a doubleblind protocol. We invite authors to submit manuscripts on the above-mentioned and related topics to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we encourage everyone to visit our website frequently for relevant updates and news, and to sign up for our electronic newsletter to be informed of the upcoming editions of the journal (you do so by sending your name and email address to email@example.com).
- The editorial board
PS: A free, electronic version of issue #0 is available for download and personal distribution. Just click on the link in the sidebar.