Publication details [#9914]

Shanon, Benny. 1990. The knot in the handkerchief. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 5 (2) : 109–114. 6 pp.


This article focuses on one everyday phenomenon - the knot in the handkerchief serving as a memory aid. It is argued that, while on first glance the case of the knot may seem to be marginal and idiosyncratic, in point of fact, it bears significant similarities to that of standard symbols. Given that the two instances raise similar problems, the two might also be explicated in a similar way. Specifically, it is suggested that both the memory aid of the knot and the semantic function of symbols take place by virtue of their being grounded in the context of one's action in the world. This suggestion is taken as one indication against the representational-computational view of mind. (Benny Shanon)