DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2021-7-3-0-1

Semiotics of symbol according to the data of the Russian scientific discourse

Based on the publications of Russian scientists, the notions of the symbol in the humanities are studied. The problem of the nature, essence and purpose of a symbol, raised back in Antiquity, remains quite relevant at the present time. n Russian linguistics, the "symbolic" theme occupies one of the leading places, but a clear and unambiguous definition of the symbol is still missing. It is established that a symbol is an umbrella semantic formation, covering the subject areas of several scientific disciplines, outside the context of a specific scientific field or theory, it is a pro-term and can act as a generic name for any semiotic unit. The symbolism of the exact sciences and most of the linguistic signs falls into the category of conventional signs, in which the correspondence of the plans of expression and content is arbitrary, the symbolism of the exact sciences and most of the linguistic signs, while the symbolism of all other areas of knowledge falls into the category of motivated semiotic units, in which the plan of expression is one way or another connected with the content plan, and this connection is conditioned by similarity, contiguity, or in some other way. Endowing a motivated sign with a name leads to a “doubling” of the semantic structure of a new formation, when the signifier of this sign – an image or a generalized representation – turns into a signified, sending to another signified, in relation to which it acts as a signifier. A symbol in its most general form is a sign in which the primary content is used as an exponent of another, more abstract and culturally valuable content. The list of specific characteristics of a symbol, both obligatory and optional, compiled according to scientific discourse, includes: “vector” – the direction of symbolization from the concrete to the abstract; transcendence – going beyond the limits of real existence; vagueness and fragility of semantic boundaries, layering and depth; interpretation – the need for active work of thought and imagination to comprehend the symbolized meaning; coded deep meaning, mystery and mysticism; “passwordness”, intended for the initiated; intuitiveness; emotiogenicity, mobilizing force; axiology and ideology. The optional properties of a symbol are aesthetic appeal, emphasizing its socio-cultural significance, and, for ancient symbols, “archetypeness” as belonging to the number of primary ideas and images. The functions of the symbol include: generally semiotic – informative and communicative; specific – epistemological, axiological, emotive-affective, social, cultural-unifying, representative, and in some of the symbols – aesthetic and mobilizing.

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