Spring 1947 • Vol. IX No. 2 Book Reviews |

The Semiotic of Charles Morris

Signs, Language And Behavior by Charles Morris. Prentice-Hall. $5.00 Unlike those "semanticists" who have created the biggest public splash, Charles Morris makes modest claims for the theory of signs. He conceives it not as a panacea, but as a very young study which is still uncertain of its foundations. Its basic principles are too shaky to supply a magic touchstone which unaided will dispel nonsense, or exorcize metaphysics, or cure insanity, or banish confusion in political and social thinking. Instead, he offers the guarded hope that the development of semiotic a term which he prefers to "semantics"—will provide an instrument to improve "our understanding of, and effective participation in, the whole of our contemporary intellectual, cultural, personal and social problems." Although the concluding chapters make such applications in a very tentative way, the greater part of the book is concerned with spade work, and particularly with finding a terminology for the analysis o

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