Questions about concepts from structuralism and phenomenology

I got a question from today’s lecture, and tried to answer them by myself, however, I don’t know if my understanding is correct or not, and hope someone, for example Jeff could help ^_^

about “Connotation”:

If connotation associates with emotional things and is “subjective”, what is the relationship between connotation and “horizons” in phenomenology? They both related or shaped by individual’s personal knowledge, feelings and experiences, aren’t they?

My answer to this question is that:

Because phenomenology is trying to understand the sender’s intention, so therefore the message sender’s horizon and life world is more important, if we share horizons with the sender, we could understand her piecework. In structuralism, the connotation shaped by the receivers’ horizons. Correct?


  1. Tyler Pace

    That’s how I see things. Connotative meanings are probably created within the intersubjective spaces of the lifeworlds of a linguistic community.

  2. jeffreybardzell

    Yes, I think this is right, or close enough for our purposes, anyway. So, connotation, as the associations that come to mind when we hear a word, surely has a social dimension. That is, many of us share in the connotations of a word. Otherwise, connotation would be entirely impressionistic and too chaotic to be useful.

    The question, once again, hinges on HOW a word gets connotations. Is it given those connotations by a community, which happens to think a certain way (that would be a phenomenological explanation); or do patterns of speech produce patterns of association, which in turn encourage people in a community to think in certain patterned ways (that would be a more structuralist explanation)? Either way, connotation and intersubjective lifeworlds seem to have lots in common.


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