Jump to: navigation, search


830 bytes added, 20:26, 26 June 2006
no edit summary
In the typology of signs devised by Charles S Perice, the North American semiotician, the index is a sign whih has an "existential relationship" to the object it represents.
(The index is always spatially or temporally contiguous with the object).
Lacan thus conceives the index as a 'natural' sign, one in which there is a fixed, bi-univocal correspondence between sign and object (unlike the signifier, which has no fixed link with any one signified).
This opposition between index and signifier underpins the following distinctions in Lacan's work.
===The psychoanalytic and medical concepts of the symptom===
Whereas in medicine, the symptom is regarded as an index of the disease, in psychoanalysis the symptom is not an index but a signifier.<ref>{{E}} p.129</ref>
Hence in psychoanalysis there is no one-to-one fixed link between pathological phenomena and the underlying structure.
===Codes (animal) and language (human)===
COdes are composed of indices, whereas language is composed of signifiers.
This explains why codes lack the most important feature of language: its potential for ambiguity and equivocation.
The opposition between signifier and index is complicated by the existence of certain signifiers whch also function as indices; these are called [[shifters]].

Navigation menu