Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

A semiotic of movement and time conceived through reading Peirce and Deleuze through Nursing (#38)

Miriam Bender 1
  1. University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States

For Peirce the world "is perfused with signs, if it is not composed exclusively of signs" and evolves via their interpretation qua mediation of connections that emerge from feeling; i.e. a semiotic of movement. Peirce struggled to account for "emergence" however. He understood “esthetics and logic seem, at first blush, to belong to different universes … [yet] logic needs the help of esthetics.” Esthetics are required for the transformation of feeling into signs, yet this remained unclarified in Peirce's philosophy. 

Deleuze's semiotic of time makes visible what the semiotic of movement hides, that "time has to be anterior to the controlled flow of every action, there must be 'a birth of the world that is not completely restricted to the experience of our motivity'." The semiotic of time comprises "the regime of the tear" that involves "an aesthetic," a will to dissociation for the generation of temporal series, not successions, and that has not to do with relation/association but "absolute contact between the non-totalizable" which "creates the event." 

A semiotic of movement, in nursing for example the work of bringing disparate signs (vital signs, a patient's pallor, family concerns, diverse treatment options) into a reasoned plan for action, can easily "jam or break" in that one can no longer react in accordance with the requirements of movement. Deleuze's semiotic affords a "method of between" that resonates deeply with nursing as esthetic inquiry focused on "what is there to see" rather than "what are we going to see ... next?" This multi-dimensional semiotic of movement AND time affords resources for developing a 'logic' of nursing articulating its unique efficacy in constituting and/or mobilizing series of befores and afters that reimagine or bring forth new "categories" of/for/in health.