72528 - Semiotics of Perception and of the Body (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The classes will provide elements of theoretical reflection and critical reading of the various philosophical and psychological positions on the themes of corporeality and perception that have direct connection with a semiotic approach. Specific methodological tools will be developed to deal with texts of different kinds (arts, science, philosophy, media, etc.), which require the taking in of the perceptive and bodily levels for their analysis.

Course contents

This year's classes aim at answering the question "what is a cognitive semiotics?" and intends to do so by drawing inspiration from the works of Charles Sanders Peirce and Umberto Eco.

The classes will be structured in two parts. The first part will deal with the main semiotic theories that take into account perception and corporeality, introducing the various approaches to perceptual processes and a semiophilosophy of the body, with a particular focus to the interaction between evolution and culture. In the second part, the connections between certain semiotic reflections and some contemporary trends within the "cognitive sciences" will be illustrated. We will deal with the Extended Mind Theory (Clark), Distributed Cognition (Hutchins), Enactivism (Varela, Gallagher, Hutto) and Material Engagement Theory (Malafouris).

Students will be free to choose some texts among those indicated, according to their interests.


- U. Eco, Kant e l'ornitorinco, Bompiani, Milano, capitoli 2 e 6.
- C. Paolucci, Strutturalismo e interpretazione, Bompiani, Milano, capitoli 2 e 4.

- U. Eco, “La soglia e l'infinito”, in Dall'albero al labirinto, Bompiani, Milano, pp. 463-484.
- - C. Paolucci, "Che cos'è una semiotica cognitiva?", in Sistemi Intelligenti, Anno XXXIII, numero 2, Agosto 2021: pp. 281-304.
- P. Violi, "Nuove forme di narratività". in Lorusso, Paolucci, Violi (eds.),Narratività. Problemi, analisi, prospettive, Bologna, BUP, 2012: pp. 105-132.

A book among these:


- C. S. Peirce, Semiotica, Torino, Einaudi.
- J. Fontanille, Figure del corpo, Roma, Meltemi.

- C. Paolucci, Cognitive Semiotics. Integrating Signs, Minds, Meaning and Cognition, Cham, Springer.
- Fusaroli, R., Granelli, T. e Paolucci, C. (eds.), The External Mind. Perspectives on Semiosis, Distribution and Situation in Cognition, numero monografico 112-3 di VS-Versus, Milano, Bompiani
- A. Clark, Supersizing the mind, Oxford University Press.
- E. Hutchins, Cognition in the wild, Harvard, MIT Press.
- A. Bondì (a cura di), Percezione, semiosi e socialità del senso, Roma, Mimesis.
- Merleau-Ponty, M., Fenomenologia della percezione, Milano, Bompiani: parte prima, fino a "Il mondo percepito" escluso.
- Basso Fossali, P., La tenuta del senso. Per una semiotica della percezione, Roma, Aracne: pp. 1-229.
- S. Gallagher e D. Zahavi, La mente fenomenologica, Milano, Cortina.
- P. Bozzi, Vedere come, Milano, Guerini e associati.
- J. C. Coquet, Le istanze enuncianti. Fenomenologia e semiotica, Milano, Bruno Mondadori.
- G. Lakoff e M. Johnson, Metafora e vita quotidiana, Milano, Bompiani.
- M. Marraffa e A. Paternoster, Persone, menti, cervelli. Storia, metodi e modelli delle scienze della mente, Milano, Mondadori Università.

- G. Matteucci, Estetica e natura umana. La mente estesa tra percezione, emozione ed espressione, Roma, Carocci.

- Lambros Malafouris, How Things Shape the Mind, Harvard, MIT Press.

- Di Paolo, E., Cuffari, E., De Jaegher, H., Linguistic Bodies. The Continuity Between Life and Mind, Harvard, MIT Press.

- M. Ferraris, Documanità. Filosofia del mondo nuovo, Roma-Bari, Laterza.

Teaching methods

Classes by the teacher and seminars together with PhD students.

Assessment methods

Oral questions about the texts and the books listed above

Teaching tools

Digital and audio-visual supports

Office hours

See the website of Claudio Paolucci