Professor James Williams
Honorary Professor of Philosophy

The Alfred Deakin Institute for
Citizenship and Globalisation,
Deakin University



This website is designed to accompany my current research projects and collect together some of my earlier work. You will find material from my research project on the process philosophy of signs, research on Deleuze and on Lyotard, and various essays and reviews. Soon, I will add material from my research on the idea of an egalitarian philosophy of the sublime and studies around a new method of 'microcritique', designed to accompany my process philosophies.

For many years now, I have been puzzled by the lack of a full process definition of the sign. My interest was generated by work on Deleuze and Whitehead, but it can be traced back to broader currents in post-structuralism.

It seems to me that a radical approach to the critical and creative role of signs can be attained if we do not define them as momentarily fixed relations between identified terms ('Red means stop') but instead see them as varying intensities in many directions ('Increased redness and increased intensity of stopping'). A survey of cities around the world shows red does not reliably indicate stopping, but rather various degrees of halting, slowing and accelerating. It is a mistake to assume red definitely means 'stop' when you arrive in a new city. The sign is only validly represented as fixed if we ignore ongoing and multiple processes. We do so at peril of forgetting that life is process and not fixity.

If you want a simple version of the process definition of signs and its method you can read it here Process semiology defined simply In the process philosophy, instead of the structures of correspondences from traditional approaches to signs, different diagrams express processes for each process sign. Here is a simple explanation of how this works How to diagram a process sign

My new book on the process philosophy of signs was published at the beginning of 2016 by Edinburgh University Press:

My Edinburgh University Press webpage with earlier books is here:

Process semiologies

James Williams
February 2017

© James Williams. All rights reserved.