МЕТОД: Московский ежегодник трудов из обществоведческих дисциплин
The introductory article clarifies the title of the current issue of «METHOD» and explicates the purpose of the entire publication. It explains slight but telling differences between the Russian, English and German phrasings that expound the meaning of the title and purpose of the yearbook. Subtle but indicative differences between languages and modes of speech and thought highlight a major issue of knowledge transfer. The yearbook departs from knowledge transfer to a more incentive issue of convergence and divergence of cognitive skills. Introduction focuses on transdisciplinary organons. They derive from our basic cognitive abilities. The initial one is the faculty to tell relative degrees of our sensations (bigger - smaller, warmer - colder etc.) and then to rate sizes of things and intensity of processes. The following one is pattern recognition or our ability to single out certain ‘rated’ entities from their environment. The subsequent one is our capacity to assign meaning to the ‘recognized’ figures and forms of the world around. It further supplements with the gift to use words and images to grasp sense and to convey it. Each of the three fundamental cognitive abilities diverge into further generations of abundant skills and proficiencies. Elaborate methods of scientific research outreach to thresholds of our knowledge. Right there they intertwine with each other. Interdisciplinary linkages develop. Transdisciplinary prospects loom. We conceive imminent convergence of our methodological skills into three transdisciplinary organons congenial to the three cognitive abilities. The first one is metretics or the higher technique of measurement and calculus. It resides in mathematical and statistical studies. The next one is morphetics or the expertise of exploring forms, shapes and figures. It resides in all kinds of morphological, comparative, configurative and evolutionary research. The last one is semiotics or the art of processing sense and reference. It resides in still budding semiologies, cognitive arts and still rudimentary humanities.
The article is an attempt to provide fundamental semiotic definition of the notion of the image of state. General semiotic model of image is proposed and then developed into the politically saturated version, aimed at the study of representations of states. The proposed models are based on Peirce’s notions of iconic sign and metaphor. Image is defined as a complex two-level sign with a first level sign ( primary sign ) playing the role of a sign vehicle and with all fragments of actuality ( facts ), similar to that primary sig n, playing the role of an object. This complex semiotic entity functions iconically, as the secondary interpretant emerges from the similarity between the primary sign and the facts that it refers to. Working this way, the image is capable of accumulation of acts of semiosis. Thus, image of a state is able to accumulate specific discourses about that state.