Ex Post Facto : Peirce and the Living Signs of the Dead
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 43, Number 2, Spring 2007
- pp. 345-371
- Additional Information
The hypothesis of this paper is that we maintain a relationship with the dead precisely in their death, and this relationship is best understood in terms of Peirce's semiotics and its influence on the work of Jacques Derrida. Roland Barthes' theory of photography illustrates this semiotics of death. The subsistent and continuous reality of the non-extant, absent and silent being of the dead individual is manifested—and continues to communicate—through indexical signs, i.e., any traces left behind by the dead individual (such as photos, clothes, glasses, writings, recordings).