University of Oulu

Pikkarainen, E. (2018). Ontology of learning (and semiotics). In Semiotic Theory of Learning : New Perspectives in the Philosophy of Education (pp. 201-214). London: Routledge.

Ontology of learning (and semiotics)

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Author: Pikkarainen, Eetu1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education in University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-11-15


This chapter focuses on a theory of learning from the viewpoint of action theoretical semiotics. It explains the possible theoretical problem of the concepts of conditioning and habituation in relation to competence. It is a well-known and very fundamental phenomenon for semiotic understanding that the similar or same object/sign can lead to very different meanings and action consequences for different subjects and even for the same subject at different times and in different situations. The meaning of an object/sign naturally depends on the structure and features of that object. An essential part of Greimassian and other kinds of semiotic study is to analyse the internal structure of a meaningful discourse. In fact, the semiotic approach tries to analyse the meaning of a communicated discourse strictly from that discourse rather than from the intentions of the sending subject or the reactions of the receiving subject. The chapter discusses briefly the initially paradoxical relationship between the causing action and resulting learning.

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ISBN: 978-1-315-18243-8
ISBN Print: 978-1-138-74229-1
Pages: 201 - 214
DOI: 10.4324/9781315182438
Host publication: Semiotic theory of learning : new perspectives in the philosophy of education
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Semiotic theory of learning : new perspectives in the philosophy of education on 15 May 2018, available online: