I just had a quick nomenclatural/semantic question regarding the usage of the term "semiotics". Thought this would be a good place to ask it, so here I am. Anyways, my question has to do with using the term semiotics to refer the study of signs/signal processes vs. using the term to refer to a substantive system of signs and signal processes. In particular, I wanted to know whether the latter usage is generally considered "acceptable".
For example, consider a system of behavioral heuristics and situationally-dependent/adaptive rules of "right" conduct functioning in some hypothetical modern society. (Here I would point to F.A. Hayek's formulation of "culture" as particularly illustrative instantiation of this concept.) To the extent that such a system is based on:
-abstract signifiers (e.g., social-psychological schemata)
-signs (e.g., normatively salient social cues)
-signal processes (e.g., reciprocal, adaptive cue-based interaction(s))
...could one call this a "semiotics of social morality"? Or is this a grievous abuse of terminology?
Any feedback would be much appreciated.
(P.S. - I am aware that semantics is branch of semiotics, so this whole question is delightfully meta and such. Funny coincidence, but unintentional.)
(P.P.S. - Also, I know that my formulation of a system of behavioral heuristics/rules of conduct glosses over the fact that addressing ontological questions as to the nature of such a system and epistemological questions as to what can be said to be known about such a system necessarily implies (or presupposes) some form of "study". I suppose what I am trying to ask is whether the substantive "output" of such inquiry [i.e., "knowledge" of some extant system of signs and signal processes undergirding certain supervenient phenomena] can itself be called a "semiotics of phenomenon X".)