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Additional info for Anthropologies of Medicine: A Colloquium on West European and North American Perspectives
To say that bodily processes get their symbolic meaning from social experience is only half of the story. Our languages are full of metaphors which are deeply rooted in bodily sensations and take their meanings from these sensations (Lakoff and Johnson 1980). The contempt of the social sciences for biology, for the somatic body, its changes and symptoms, and the refusal of biomedicine to deal with culture are but two sides of the same coin: They are deeply rooted in the hubris of man who views himself as different from and superior to nature.
232) Modem semiotic theory is concerned with the signs of communication. It differentiates between the syntactics (the actual signs and their combinations). the semantics (the meaning and interpretation of the signs). and the pragmatics (the clues for action or non-action). Von UexkUll and Wesiack (1988: 131) argue that "semiotics is of importance for the physician insofar as it helps to overcome the dichotomy of mind and body and the impeding rupture of language into different systems of language.
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