In medieval times, the Seven Liberal Arts offered a canonical way of depicting the realms of higher learning. The Liberal Arts were divided into the Trivium ("the three roads") and the Quadrivium ("the four roads"). The Trivium consisted of: Grammar Rhetoric Logic The Quadrivium consisted of: Arithmetic -- Number in itself Geometry -- Number in space Music, Harmonics, or Tuning Theory -- Number in time Astronomy or Cosmology -- Number in space and time The medival Quadrivium thus followed the division of mathematics made by the Pythagoreans. Recently, mathematics has been defined as "the study of patterns in space and time," which very much resembles the ancient Pythagorean understanding of mathematics.
We, at Wilvon, use this notion of Liberal Arts and the concepts belonging to it. But in slightly different ways, like with almost everything. Since we have our own opinions about sciences and also because we adjust the several insights of science to our own business and customer demands. Which is why we are mainly interested in what was called the "Trivium" in former times. What is very interesting to us, also because of philosophical reasons and practicality, are the textual driven insights belonging to the Liberal Arts. Like the insights of for instance Rhetoric. About Rhetoric more will be mentioned on this site in short notice.
Semiotics is the study of signs. We at Wilvon regard both semiotics and rhetoric (the art of convincing) as very usefull for both personal development and deeper understanding of the world surrounding us. This can, among others, offer lots of tools for understanding and improvement. Especially in current times where changes in the social area are implemented more and more quickly and society is, however still rather slowly, moving towards a free society.
Regarding semiotics, we have to admit that we are still in a kind of orientation phase. Being well aware that sky could be the limit in many respects when getting a thorough understanding of signs and texts through semiotics and rhetoric. Although we are in the orientation phase, we currently already have a lot of new insights that can get business and management to higher levels. Practical applications of it can be executed in our change and consulting services, enabling us to offer you the best.
Although Semiotics is quite a young branche of Science, there are some excellent past and present intellectuals with very interesting discourses. Among them are people like Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Sanders Peirce, Umberto Eco and Jacques Derrida.
Saussure has been one of the pioneers for the linguistic turn, the emphasis on language in philosophy. Actually he was the one who laid the foundation stone of semiology. He coined the term (which he developed from the Greek word for 'sign'). He used the word to describe a new science which he saw as 'a science which studies the life of signs at the heart of social life'. (Saussure (1971(p.33))). But, to us he is not that much of interest. The main reasons for this is that Sausure was mainly a structuralist and his theories are mainly dyadic in nature.
Peirce on the other hand, is rather interesting to us. Although his emphasis is still bit too structural in our point of view, he offers some very good theories and starting points for understanding signs and language. Besides, his understandings of semiotics incorporate more triadic and broad points of view.
Besides Peirce, other people we regard true semiotic masters are Umberto Eco and Jacques Derrida. Jacques Derrida is far less structural then Peirce, which is also because his greater emphasis and understanding of philosophy. He was more a philosophist then a semiotics professional. But still had some brilliant insights in signs, sign productions and discourses in general. Which is why we prefer Derrida above Peirce or any other currently known semiotics master.
The book "a theory of semiotics" written by Umberto Eco is excellent.