Victoria Lady Welby
Enrichment Reading, by Zach Tomaszewski
for CIS 702, Fall 2004, taught by Dr. Martha Crosby
Victoria A M L Stuart-Wortley, afterwards Lady Welby-Gregory (1837-1912)
- Published little but corresponded much.
- Started the significs movement, which was a forerunner of semiotics, semiology, and semantics. The precise position of significs, which was not particularily signficiant at the time, is still a matter of discussion.
- Was once in the Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Best remembered now as a correspondent of C.S. Pierce.
(See the book Semiotic and Significs: The Correspondence of Charles S Peirce and
Victoria Lady Welby).
- Also corresponded with many other intellectuals, including William James, Bertrand Russell, and C.K. Ogden.
- Strove to render expression as precise as possible, but not to excessively limit the ambiguity of words nor to embrace technicalism. Focused on common, everyday speech.
- Writings have been described as "proto-feminist".
- Had 3 children and also known for her needlework interests.
- A reference (sign) has three factors: a) Sense or signification, b) Meaning or intention, and c) Significance or worth.
- Four levels of Sense: 1) literal meaning 2) metaphysical or literal work 3) contextual and 4) import of the text
- When evaluating significance or worth, we face questions of moral signficance, emotional force, social value, or appeal of the sign.
- Darwinism -- language, civilization, and people are evolving.
- Development of a "linguistic conscience". Welby advocated using the tools of significs to personally improve everyday language.
- Technicalism -- finding a term to describe your field of thought or approach and no other.
- Cross-cultural studies -- noting differences in language, thought, and ideals between societies.
"Victoria, Lady Welby." <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria%2C_Lady_Welby> Last Accessed: 08 Oct 2004.
"Significs." <http://80.1911encyclopedia.org/S/SI/SIGNIFICS.htm> Last Accessed: 08 Oct 2004.
"[Problems of Language in Welby's Significs.]" < http://digilander.libero.it/dplat/testi/sign/swelby.htm> Last Accessed: 08 Oct 2004.
"Early Women Philosophers." <http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Metro/3936/WMPHIL.htm> Last Accessed: 08 Oct 2004.
"[Lady Welby -- An apparent Paradox in Mental Evolution]." <http://www.mugu.com/browse/galton/search/essays/pages/galton-1891-jaigi-welby-remarks_20.htm> Last Accessed: 08 Oct 2004.