Segno, simbolo, diritto: tra semiotica e semantica. Argomenti per un’ipotesi di lavoro

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Sign, symbol, law: between semiotics and semantics. Arguments for a working hypothesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The sign-symbol polarity connotes many profiles of the conceptualization in a modern key of the juridical. The inauguration of this conceptual couple can be traced back, in large part, to the Hobbesian perspective, however, also marking significant moments of coexistence-overlap between the two dimensions. As a first approximation on the semiotic level the binomial sign-symbol, at least in some moments of its constitution in the modern sphere, can be re-expressed using respectively the concepts of coded / indexed one-sidedness and cognitive complexity (or epistemic scope). With the first expression we intend to signal the constitutive articulation of the notion of "sign" within a code (or system of signs), as well as its essentially referential-indexical function (or sensu denotative side: in relation, that is, to a meaning and not as a direct relationship sign -reality), where the concept of "symbol" shows a semiotically more articulated nature: to some extent it refers to a whole and claims to constitute, even in its many iconic projections, an autonomous epistemic-cognitive channel. It is also the case to underline how this approach is presented here as a mere working hypothesis and, therefore, as a possible conceptual tool in relation to the analysis proposed below. In other words, no absolute scope is conferred on it nor, therefore, does it exclude that there may be other interpretations or re-interpretations of the binomial sign-symbol. In this direction the basic idea around which the contribution revolves: sign and symbol both operate within the law, fulfilling two distinct but complementary functions and responding to different epistemic levels although intertwined. More precisely, the "sign" dimension tends to refer to the sphere that can be defined as denotative-expressive and intrasystemic (the internal syntax of a political-juridical structure), while the symbolic sphere has a founding-legitimating function and, in this sense, an extra-systemic one (what appears attributable to the semantics of a socio-juridical model as emerges in particular in historical-epochal transitions).
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Sign, symbol, law: between semiotics and semantics. Arguments for a working hypothesis
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationStudies on Argumentation & Legal Philosophy / 3 Multimodal Argumentation, Pluralism and Images in Law
EditorsM Manzin, F Puppo, S Tomasi
Number of pages61
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series



  • Segno, simbolo, diritto, semiotica, semantica
  • Sign, Simbol, Law, Semyotics, Semantics


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