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Fiction

(810 words)

Author(s): Vetter, Martin | Nißlmüller, Thomas
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Literature I. Philosophy of Religion Fiction, from Latin fingere, “to configure, imagine, make up,” refers, in modern philosophy, first to that class of signs which – differing from descriptive accounts of natural or cultural “facts” – denote nothing and – in contrast with illusion – deals expressly with this reference function. To this class belong aesthetic creatures (unicorn), literary figures (Don Quixote), and also the so-called entia rationis (I. Kant's concept of the pure intellect, cf. Critique …

Semiotics

(3,339 words)

Author(s): Grasmück, Oliver | Macho, Thomas | Alkier, Stefan | Kober, Michael | Vetter, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Semiotics, a discipline inaugurated primarily by C.S. Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure (see II and IV below), is the systematic analysis of signs (Gk σημεῖον/ sēmeíon) and the way the human mind perceives and understands them. A sign in the sense of semiotics can be any present physical or mental entity that is in a position to stand for an entity not present. A sign is constituted by the conjunction of two elements, the signifier and the signified. In religious studies, semiotics examin…

Pragmatics

(561 words)

Author(s): Vetter, Martin | Grube, Dirk-Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology In modern philosophy, the term pragmatics (from Gk τὸ πρᾶγμα/ tó prágma, “action, act, thing”) denotes both purposive and object-oriented cognition and action. Departing from the usage of I. Kant, who understood the adjective pragmatisch instrumentally (e.g. Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781, B 834f.; ET: Critique of Pure Reason, 1881), semiotics follows in the footsteps of C.S. Peirce’s triadic theory of signs, relating it to the interpretation of signs (interpretant). Peirce’s point…