From Semiotics to Philosophy: Daring to Ask the Obvious

Authors

  • David Z. Saltz University of Georgia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1124

Abstract

From the late 1960s through the 1980s a steadily-expanding group of international scholars joined forces to develop a comprehensive and unified semiotic theory of theatre. The semiotic wave had largely subsided by the early 1990s, leaving in its wake a profound, and largely justified, scepticism about universal, essentialist, and ahistorical theoretical models. It is possible, however, to ask basic philosophical questions about the ‘nature’ of theatre and performance without falling into the trap of universalizing or essentializing what are, in fact, historically and/or culturally specific practices and biases. In this essay, I advocate an open-ended and dialogic process that characterizes the work of many contemporary philosophers, in both the analytic and continental traditions, and in particular those who have been inspired by the late-Wittgensteinian notion of philosophy as a kind of conceptual therapy.

Author Biography

David Z. Saltz, University of Georgia

[email protected]

David Saltz is Head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies and Executive Director of Ideas for Creative Exploration at the University of Georgia. He is co-editor, with David Krasner, of Staging Philosophy: Intersections of Theater, Performance, and Philosophy, and has published numerous essays in the philosophy of theatre and performance in journals includingThe Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Performance Research, the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Theatre Research International. His latest book, Performance and Media: Taxonomies for an Changing Field, co-authored with Sarah Bay-Cheng and Jennifer Parker-Starbuck, is forthcoming for the University of Michigan Press.

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Published

10-04-2015

How to Cite

Saltz, D. Z. (2015). From Semiotics to Philosophy: Daring to Ask the Obvious. Performance Philosophy, 1(1), 95–105. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1124

Issue

Section

Performance Philosophy - Pasts, Presents, Futures