Barthes, Deleuze and Peirce: Pragmatism in Pursuit of the Sign

This is my chapter from Deleuze and Pragmatism edited by Simone Bignall, Sean Bowden, Paul Patton

Abstract: In this chapter I will investigate three pragmatic approaches to the sign and three associated kinds of pragmatism. I aim to demonstrate that the disruptive nature of the encounter with the sign raises problems for its practical reception. The wider objective is to suggest critical points against Deleuze’s apprenticeship to signs and Peirce’s triadic defi nition of the sign. Barthes plays an important role in preparing for this critique for two reasons. First, his longstanding enquiry into signs and semiology allows my discussion to connect to the traditional structuralism of the sign Barthes departs from. Second, his hyperaesthetic and fragmentary practice presents an extreme kind of practice toward signs, perhaps no more so than in the late essays I will be studying here.

Draft version here