From Sprachtheorie to semantics and cybernetics: Karl Bühler’s “Pocketbook on practical semantics”

Semiotica 2023 (251):39-54 (2023)
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Among the many Central European scholars and intellectuals driven into exile across the Atlantic in the 1930s was the prominent Vienna psychologist Karl Bühler (1879–1963). Bühler had great difficulty establishing himself in his new home of the United States, despite his attempts to adapt his ideas to the American scene. In this paper, we look at one such attempt at adaptation, the unpublished manuscript of Bühler’s “Pocketbook on Practical Semantics,” an effort to turn the Sprachtheorie of his Vienna period into a contribution to the applied semiotics and communications research popular in America at the time. Our paper represents the first detailed examination of the “Pocketbook” manuscript that places it in its context in the history of semiotics.



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Die Krise der Psychologie.Karl Bühler - 1926 - Kant Studien 31 (1-3):455-526.
Die axiomatik der sprachwissenschaften.Karl Bühler - 1933 - Kant Studien 38 (1-2):19-90.

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