1 The Center for Semiotics, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 School of Communication and Culture - Center for Semiotics, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University3 School of Communication and Culture - Center for Semiotics, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
This paper aims at establishing the origin of the narrative schema in the perception of intentional movements. The distinction between mechanical and intentional movements is vital for human beings, and the narrative schema, which is underpinned by this distinction, is therefore a basic cognitive principle of intelligibility. This is the reason why the narrative schema is by no means confined to the domain of the literary work of art. It is rather a major principle for the combination of partial significations in many other domains. The paper explores the role traditionally assigned to the narrative schema within continental semiotics, and through an interpretation of Heider & Simmel’s study on apparent behavior it establishes the cognitive import of the narrative schema and its origin in visual perception; finally it gives examples of the meaning organizing import of the narrative schema.