Frederik Stjernfelt | 1 Sep 14:58 2014
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Natural Propositions

Why "Natural Propositions"?

 
The book "Natural Propositions" grew out of my investigation of Peirce's general notion of diagrams and diagrammatical reasoning in "Diagrammatology" (2007). If it is indeed the case that all deduction takes place by means of transformation of diagrams, implicitly or explicitly, it follows that a single diagram, before transformation, must depict a proposition, namely that stating the premiss of the argument. (Likewise, the post-transformation diagram will depict another proposition, that of the conclusion).

 
This observation made me take som interest in Peirce's notion of "proposition" -- or, as he renames it in the generalization of triads which he undertook in shaping his final semiotics from 1902-3 onwards -- "Dicisign". During a stay as visiting scholar in Berlin 2010 I began working on this and realized that Peirce's notion of proposition deviates considerably from the simultaneous conceptions of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and others. Peirce's semiotic and purely functional definition of proposition does not presuppose any specific formalism (like human language or special, formalized languages), neither does it presuppose accompaniment of conscious, intentional acts. Peirce simply said that a Dicisign is a sign which is involved twice with one and the same object: 1) it refers to the object (P's generalization of the Subject part of a proposition; 2) it describes that object (P's generalization of the Predicate).

 
This made me realize the revolutionary potential of such a definition: it is not confined to human beings and it is not confined to language. So this gives us the possibility of a semiotics which in a fluid way encompasses biological communication as well as non-linguistic human semiotics involving pictures, gestures, diagrams, etc. on a par with language.

 
One aspect of this definition -- the absence of conscious states of mind etc. in the definition -- seems to me deeply related to Peirce's antipsychologism, which made it natural to open the book with a chapter on that. Also, I think psychologism has emerged as a new threat after certain developments in cognitive science and the related turn to philosophy of mind in analytical philosophy.

 
In the chapters (4-7) following the large Dicisign chapter, I try to develop some possible consequences of the two extensions of propositions made possible by the Dicisign concept.

 
The latter part of the book is connected to the Dicisign argument in a more remote way, addressing further issues connected to diagrammatical reasoning: the issue of operational vs. optimal iconicity, the early Ms. 725 diagram experiments pertaining to natural kinds, the distinction between corollarial and theorematic reasoning.

 
The final chapter expresses an ongoing interest I have in the history of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, which is a booming field these years (Margaret Jacob, Jonathan Israel, Martin Mulsow et al.) -- I think there is reason to place Peirce in this ancestral tree rather than e.g. the poststructuralist one to which he has sometimes been connected.

 
I am happy that the Peirce and Biosemiotics lists have agreed to discuss my book and I look forward to all sorts of questions, comments, developments etc.

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Jon Awbrey | 1 Sep 16:34 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re:Frederik Stjernfelt
At:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825

Frederik,

One small point that I find myself making on a periodic basis:  I think it is better to describe 
Peirce's take on logic as "non-psychologism" rather than anti-psychologoism", the main thing being 
that logic is a normative rather than a descriptive science.  The use of "anti-psychologism" tends 
to drag in all sorts of implications that are alien to Peirce's perspective on the relation between 
the two.

On a related point, especially pertinent to the current run of the bi(o)semiotics literature, is 
whether "biologism" in logic be just as bad a diversion from the course of Peirce's semiotics and 
logic as "psychologism" ever was.  Or, to put it more positively, what would it take to place the 
biological and psychological implementations of sign relations and inquiry processes in their proper 
perspective?

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
> Why "Natural Propositions"?
> 
> The book "Natural Propositions" grew out of my investigation of Peirce's general notion of diagrams and
diagrammatical reasoning in "Diagrammatology" (2007). If it is indeed the case that all deduction takes
place by means of transformation of diagrams, implicitly or explicitly, it follows that a single
diagram, before transformation, must depict a proposition, namely that stating the premiss of the
argument. (Likewise, the post-transformation diagram will depict another proposition, that of the conclusion).
> 
> This observation made me take som interest in Peirce's notion of "proposition" -- or, as he renames it in
the generalization of triads which he undertook in shaping his final semiotics from 1902-3 onwards --
"Dicisign". During a stay as visiting scholar in Berlin 2010 I began working on this and realized that
Peirce's notion of proposition deviates considerably from the simultaneous conceptions of Frege,
Russell, Wittgenstein and others. Peirce's semiotic and purely functional definition of proposition
does not presuppose any specific formalism (like human language or special, formalized languages),
neither does it presuppose accompaniment of conscious, intentional acts. Peirce simply said that a
Dicisign is a sign which is involved twice with one and the same object: 1) it refers to the
  object (P's generalization of the Subject part of a proposition; 2) it describes that object (P's
generalization of the Predicate).
> 
> This made me realize the revolutionary potential of such a definition: it is not confined to human beings
and it is not confined to language. So this gives us the possibility of a semiotics which in a fluid way
encompasses biological communication as well as non-linguistic human semiotics involving pictures,
gestures, diagrams, etc. on a par with language.
> 
> One aspect of this definition -- the absence of conscious states of mind etc. in the definition -- seems to
me deeply related to Peirce's antipsychologism, which made it natural to open the book with a chapter on
that. Also, I think psychologism has emerged as a new threat after certain developments in cognitive
science and the related turn to philosophy of mind in analytical philosophy.
> 
> In the chapters (4-7) following the large Dicisign chapter, I try to develop some possible consequences
of the two extensions of propositions made possible by the Dicisign concept.
> 
> The latter part of the book is connected to the Dicisign argument in a more remote way, addressing further
issues connected to diagrammatical reasoning: the issue of operational vs. optimal iconicity, the
early Ms. 725 diagram experiments pertaining to natural kinds, the distinction between corollarial and
theorematic reasoning.
> 
> The final chapter expresses an ongoing interest I have in the history of the philosophy of the
Enlightenment, which is a booming field these years (Margaret Jacob, Jonathan Israel, Martin Mulsow et
al.) -- I think there is reason to place Peirce in this ancestral tree rather than e.g. the
poststructuralist one to which he has sometimes been connected.
> 
> I am happy that the Peirce and Biosemiotics lists have agreed to discuss my book and I look forward to all
sorts of questions, comments, developments etc.
> 

--

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Gary Fuhrman | 1 Sep 18:02 2014
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RE: Natural Propositions

Jon, I see what you mean, but I think "anti-psychologism" is accurate
enough, given Peirce's frequently vociferous statements that logic should
NOT draw principles from psychology. But maybe we should wait until next
week for that discussion, after Jeff Kasser leads off a new thread on
Chapter 2.

By the way, I should remind everyone that for automatic archiving purposes,
each thread needs to have its own subject line, and only posts with that
exact subject line will be included in the archive of that thread. Frederik
has started this thread with the subject line "Natural Propositions", which
is appropriate enough for an introductory thread which gives an overview of
the whole book. The subject line for Chapter 2 will need to be more
specific, as will all the others. That will also make it easier for all of
us to follow threads that we are particularly interested in.

One more general point: this seminar is meant to happen concurrently on two
lists (peirce and biosemiotics), so participants who are subscribed to both
lists will send their posts to both. If you are only subscribed to one, the
other list will not see your posts, unless someone copies them there
(embedded in a reply, for instance). Jon, your comment on "biologism" might
be of interest to those on the biosemiotics list, but again I think we might
wait for a later thread to get into it (Chapter 4 perhaps, which is about
"naturalization".

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 1-Sep-14 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: Natural Propositions

Re:Frederik Stjernfelt
At:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825

Frederik,

One small point that I find myself making on a periodic basis:  I think it
is better to describe Peirce's take on logic as "non-psychologism" rather
than anti-psychologoism", the main thing being that logic is a normative
rather than a descriptive science.  The use of "anti-psychologism" tends to
drag in all sorts of implications that are alien to Peirce's perspective on
the relation between the two.

On a related point, especially pertinent to the current run of the
bi(o)semiotics literature, is whether "biologism" in logic be just as bad a
diversion from the course of Peirce's semiotics and logic as "psychologism"
ever was.  Or, to put it more positively, what would it take to place the
biological and psychological implementations of sign relations and inquiry
processes in their proper perspective?

Regards,

Jon


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Jon Awbrey | 8 Sep 14:42 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Thread Patch:
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13826
JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13971
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13974

Peircers,

Those bracketed index numbers from the bi-semiotics list have the unhappy effect of breaking up the 
"Natural Threads" of this discussion, at least as I view them in my various scopes, so I will paste 
this little bit of fray back in the place where I am more likely to find it again.

Jon

Jeff & All,

With regard to "non-psychologism", it was a slip on my part to use that term.  I don't think I've 
ever used it before.  At any rate I will try to avoid using it again.  It may sound like a trivial 
difference but I think there is a significant point to using the adjective "non-psychological" in 
Peirce's "non-psychological conception of logic" as distinguished from all the dualing and dueling 
substantives of isms and anti-isms.  I sense that I've written about this many times before, so I 
will leave it at that.

A similar point applies to "relativism" of course, debates about which are as interminable as they 
are inconsequential, ever missing the whole idea of Peirce's relational perspective on everything.

Regards,

Jon

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Jon Awbrey | 8 Sep 17:05 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13977

Frederik,

In the 70s I read as almost as much Frege and Russell as I did Peirce and I think I grasped Frege's 
attitude fairly well, along with the mess Russell made of just about everything he touched.  It is 
not the simple anachronism of the term, of course we have to re-describe positions in contemporary 
language.  It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a thinker who protested the 
very idea of interpreting his position in that way.  And yes, that applies even to pragmat(ic)ism. 
Peirce's work has the power to lift our thinking off the plane of many old and pointless disputes. 
That is the attraction it always had for me, at any rate.  But the worst distortions of Peirce's 
thought come from trying to assimilate him to the very planes on which he is too, too solid to melt.

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
> Dear Jon, lists
> 
> "Psychologism", as a critical term, was invented in 1866 in Germany - referring to the idea that
> logic is a branch of psychology - and "anti-psychologism" came to denote  the opposite viewpoint.
> When Peirce began speaking about a "... thoroughly unpsychological view of logic"  the year
> before that, he could not know neither of these terms, and apparently he also did not learn about
> this terminology later. So the absence of these terms in Peirce seems not be be one of deliberate
> choice.
> 
> So, when I characterize Peirce's position as antipsychologism, it has two reasons
> 
> 1) his claim for the independence of logic from psychology is at least as strong if not stronger
> than those of Frege and Husserl - and it predates both of them. Peirce even attacked Husserl for
> psychologism (without using the word) in 1906 when he writes about German logicians, among them:
> "… the distinguished Husserl (Note: See, e.g. his Logische Untersuchung , Teil I, Kap. 3 (1900))
> after underscored protestations that their discourse shall be of logic exclusively and not by any
> means of psychology (almost all logicians protest that on file), forthwith become intent upon
> those elements of the process of thinking which seem to be special to a mind like that of the
> human race, as we find it, to too great neglect of those elements which must belong, as much to
> any one as to any other mode of embodying the same thought."
> 
> 2) I think it is important to make Peirce's position communicate with general issues in the
> history of philosophy where possible - actualizing Peirce requires a delicate balance between his
> own idiosyncratic terminology on the one hand and his possible contribution to problems also
> addressed by other thinkers on the other.
> 
> These issues point to the 2nd chapter of my book which deals with precisely (anti-)psychologism.
> 
> Best F
> 

--

-- 

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Gary Fuhrman | 8 Sep 18:05 2014
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RE: Natural Propositions

Jon, you are claiming that Peirce "protested the very idea of interpreting
his position" as a refusal to regard logic as a branch of psychology. Can
you produce any evidence to back that up?

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 8-Sep-14 11:05 AM

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13977

Frederik,

In the 70s I read as almost as much Frege and Russell as I did Peirce and I
think I grasped Frege's attitude fairly well, along with the mess Russell
made of just about everything he touched.  It is not the simple anachronism
of the term, of course we have to re-describe positions in contemporary
language.  It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a
thinker who protested the very idea of interpreting his position in that
way.  And yes, that applies even to pragmat(ic)ism. 
Peirce's work has the power to lift our thinking off the plane of many old
and pointless disputes. 
That is the attraction it always had for me, at any rate.  But the worst
distortions of Peirce's thought come from trying to assimilate him to the
very planes on which he is too, too solid to melt.

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
> Dear Jon, lists
> 
> "Psychologism", as a critical term, was invented in 1866 in Germany - 
> referring to the idea that logic is a branch of psychology - and
"anti-psychologism" came to denote  the opposite viewpoint.
> When Peirce began speaking about a "... thoroughly unpsychological 
> view of logic"  the year before that, he could not know neither of 
> these terms, and apparently he also did not learn about this 
> terminology later. So the absence of these terms in Peirce seems not be be
one of deliberate choice.
> 
> So, when I characterize Peirce's position as antipsychologism, it has 
> two reasons
> 
> 1) his claim for the independence of logic from psychology is at least 
> as strong if not stronger than those of Frege and Husserl - and it 
> predates both of them. Peirce even attacked Husserl for psychologism
(without using the word) in 1906 when he writes about German logicians,
among them:
> ". the distinguished Husserl (Note: See, e.g. his Logische 
> Untersuchung , Teil I, Kap. 3 (1900)) after underscored protestations 
> that their discourse shall be of logic exclusively and not by any 
> means of psychology (almost all logicians protest that on file), 
> forthwith become intent upon those elements of the process of thinking 
> which seem to be special to a mind like that of the human race, as we find
it, to too great neglect of those elements which must belong, as much to any
one as to any other mode of embodying the same thought."
> 
> 2) I think it is important to make Peirce's position communicate with 
> general issues in the history of philosophy where possible - 
> actualizing Peirce requires a delicate balance between his own 
> idiosyncratic terminology on the one hand and his possible contribution to
problems also addressed by other thinkers on the other.
> 
> These issues point to the 2nd chapter of my book which deals with
precisely (anti-)psychologism.
> 
> Best F
> 


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Jon Awbrey | 9 Sep 04:01 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Spindle of Necessity:
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13826
JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13971
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13974
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13975
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13977
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13979
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13980

Gary, List,

With regards to the following line of mine:

| It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a thinker
| who protested the very idea of interpreting his position in that way.

I see that it is possible to parse that sentence in a way that I did not think.
So let me rephrase it in a way that makes the antecedent of "that way" explicit.

| It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism
| on a thinker who protested the very idea of interpreting
| his position as a Weltanschauung or ism.

And there I have in mind a general attitude
that Peirce expresses on numerous occasions,
whether it be about any other ism or his own
declared pragmatic-ism, for instance, in his
gloss on the theme of pragmatism that I cite
as the sixth variation on the following page:

http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2008/08/07/pragmatic-maxim/

Regards,

Jon

Gary Fuhrman wrote:
> Jon, you are claiming that Peirce "protested the very idea of interpreting his position" as a
> refusal to regard logic as a branch of psychology. Can you produce any evidence to back that up?
> 
> gary f.
> 
> -----Original Message----- From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] Sent: 8-Sep-14 11:05 AM
> 
> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13977
> 
> Frederik,
> 
> In the 70s I read almost as much Frege and Russell as I did Peirce and I think I grasped Frege's
> attitude fairly well, along with the mess Russell made of just about everything he touched.  It
> is not the simple anachronism of the term, of course we have to re-describe positions in
> contemporary language.  It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a thinker who
> protested the very idea of interpreting his position in that way.  And yes, that applies even to
> pragmat(ic)ism.  Peirce's work has the power to lift our thinking off the plane of many old and
> pointless disputes.  That is the attraction it always had for me, at any rate.  But the worst
> distortions of Peirce's thought come from trying to assimilate him to the very planes on which he
> is too, too solid to melt.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon

--

-- 

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Jon Awbrey | 9 Sep 14:38 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Subthread:
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13826
JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13971
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13974
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13975
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13977
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13979
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13980
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13990

Peircers,

For ease of reference, here is a copy of the passage I mentioned:

“The study of philosophy consists, therefore, in reflexion, and pragmatism is that method of 
reflexion which is guided by constantly holding in view its purpose and the purpose of the ideas it 
analyzes, whether these ends be of the nature and uses of action or of thought. … It will be seen 
that pragmatism is not a Weltanschauung but is a method of reflexion having for its purpose to 
render ideas clear.”  (Peirce, CP 5.13 note 1, 1902).

☞http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2008/08/07/pragmatic-maxim/

Regards,

Jon

Jon Awbrey wrote:
> 
> Gary, List,
> 
> With regards to the following line of mine:
> 
> | It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a thinker
> | who protested the very idea of interpreting his position in that way.
> 
> I see that it is possible to parse that sentence in a way that I did not think.
> So let me rephrase it in a way that makes the antecedent of "that way" explicit.
> 
> | It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism
> | on a thinker who protested the very idea of interpreting
> | his position as a Weltanschauung or ism.
> 
> And there I have in mind a general attitude
> that Peirce expresses on numerous occasions,
> whether it be about any other ism or his own
> declared pragmatic-ism, for instance, in his
> gloss on the theme of pragmatism that I cite
> as the sixth variation on the following page:
> 
> http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2008/08/07/pragmatic-maxim/
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon

--

-- 

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Frederik Stjernfelt | 8 Sep 18:13 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Dear Jon, list

In the 70s I read as almost as much Frege and Russell as I did Peirce and I think I grasped Frege's attitude fairly well, along with the mess Russell made of just about everything he touched.

LOL!

 It is not the simple anachronism of the term, of course we have to re-describe positions in contemporary language.  It has to do with projecting any Weltanschauung or ism on a thinker who protested the very idea of interpreting his position in that way.

But I do not think anitpyschologism is a whole Weltanschauung. It is a fairly simple claim which can be put in six words: logic is not reducible to psychology. 

Of course, there are Marxism, liberalism, socialism and so on - but not all words with the suffix -ism necessarily refer to Weltanschauungen … 

 And yes, that applies even to pragmat(ic)ism. Peirce's work has the power to lift our thinking off the plane of many old and pointless disputes. That is the attraction it always had for me, at any rate.  

Certainly!

But the worst distortions of Peirce's thought come from trying to assimilate him to the very planes on which he is too, too solid to melt.

Agreed - In the next chapter I compare Peirce's antipsychologism with Husserl's in order to gauge similarities and differences - (the same thing could and should be done with P and Frege; I chose Husserl because I think his early work is an overlooked resource much like Peirce)

Best
F


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Michael Shapiro | 1 Sep 16:42 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Frederik, List,
The book's leitmotif of not limiting dicisigns to human language sounds right, and I look forward to finding out how you develop this part of your treatment as I continue reading the book. However, as your compatriot Louis Hjelmslev also insisted (successfully, in my opinion), human language is "the passkey semiotic," by which he meant that all other semiotic systems can be expressed in human language but not vice versa. Also, as in your earlier book "Diagrammatology," your conceptualization of language and linguistics seems not to take into account the work of linguists who have a neo-structuralist conception of their field that utilizes Peirce's semeiotic and this brings to bear his insight that explanation is tantamount to the "rationalized explication of variety [including historical change]."

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: Frederik Stjernfelt
Sent: Sep 1, 2014 8:58 AM
To: "PEIRCE-L <at> list.iupui.edu"
Cc: Gary Fuhrman , Gary Richmond , Benjamin Udell
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions

Why "Natural Propositions"?

 
The book "Natural Propositions" grew out of my investigation of Peirce's general notion of diagrams and diagrammatical reasoning in "Diagrammatology" (2007). If it is indeed the case that all deduction takes place by means of transformation of diagrams, implicitly or explicitly, it follows that a single diagram, before transformation, must depict a proposition, namely that stating the premiss of the argument. (Likewise, the post-transformation diagram will depict another proposition, that of the conclusion).

 
This observation made me take som interest in Peirce's notion of "proposition" -- or, as he renames it in the generalization of triads which he undertook in shaping his final semiotics from 1902-3 onwards -- "Dicisign". During a stay as visiting scholar in Berlin 2010 I began working on this and realized that Peirce's notion of proposition deviates considerably from the simultaneous conceptions of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and others. Peirce's semiotic and purely functional definition of proposition does not presuppose any specific formalism (like human language or special, formalized languages), neither does it presuppose accompaniment of conscious, intentional acts. Peirce simply said that a Dicisign is a sign which is involved twice with one and the same object: 1) it refers to the object (P's generalization of the Subject part of a proposition; 2) it describes that object (P's generalization of the Predicate).

 
This made me realize the revolutionary potential of such a definition: it is not confined to human beings and it is not confined to language. So this gives us the possibility of a semiotics which in a fluid way encompasses biological communication as well as non-linguistic human semiotics involving pictures, gestures, diagrams, etc. on a par with language.

 
One aspect of this definition -- the absence of conscious states of mind etc. in the definition -- seems to me deeply related to Peirce's antipsychologism, which made it natural to open the book with a chapter on that. Also, I think psychologism has emerged as a new threat after certain developments in cognitive science and the related turn to philosophy of mind in analytical philosophy.

 
In the chapters (4-7) following the large Dicisign chapter, I try to develop some possible consequences of the two extensions of propositions made possible by the Dicisign concept.

 
The latter part of the book is connected to the Dicisign argument in a more remote way, addressing further issues connected to diagrammatical reasoning: the issue of operational vs. optimal iconicity, the early Ms. 725 diagram experiments pertaining to natural kinds, the distinction between corollarial and theorematic reasoning.

 
The final chapter expresses an ongoing interest I have in the history of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, which is a booming field these years (Margaret Jacob, Jonathan Israel, Martin Mulsow et al.) -- I think there is reason to place Peirce in this ancestral tree rather than e.g. the poststructuralist one to which he has sometimes been connected.

 
I am happy that the Peirce and Biosemiotics lists have agreed to discuss my book and I look forward to all sorts of questions, comments, developments etc.
<at> nyc.rr.com> <at> gmail.com> <at> gnusystems.ca> <at> list.iupui.edu> <at> hum.ku.dk>

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Jon Awbrey | 3 Sep 16:54 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Peircers,

I am still reviewing the fray of yesterday,
looking for bits of possible re-adjustment.
Let me store here a list of "interactions",
and I'll try to get back to it later today.

Regards,

Jon

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

Peirce List -- Natural Propositions

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13825
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13826
MS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13827
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13829
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13838
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13839
ET:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13840
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13841
BU:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13842
ET:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13843
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13844
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13845
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13846
TG:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13847
MS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13849
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13853
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13854
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13855
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13856
ET:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13857
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13858
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13859
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13860
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13863
SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13864
JND:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13866
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13871
JND:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13872
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13876
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13877
ET:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13878
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13879
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13880

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
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Jon Awbrey | 3 Sep 22:16 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Gary Fuhrman
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13880

Gary,

That selection from W.S. McCulloch is one of several that I seem to find find myself citing on a 
periodic basis, most recently including it in a series of historical watershed statements that are 
widely misunderstood, or at least whose significance is widely missed.

One of the passages that I find so paradigm-shifting is here:

<quote>

In 1923 I gave up the attempt to write a logic of transitive verbs and began to see what I could do 
with the logic of propositions.  My object, as a psychologist, was to invent a kind of least psychic 
event, or “psychon”, that would have the following properties:  First, it was to be so simple an 
event that it either happened or else it did not happen.  Second, it was to happen only if its bound 
cause had happened — shades of Duns Scotus! — that is, it was to imply its temporal antecedent. 
Third, it was to propose this to subsequent psychons.  Fourth, these were to be compounded to 
produce the equivalents of more complicated propositions concerning their antecedents.

</quote>

Here we have a psychic embodiment or a neural representation of a logical proposition that implies 
its temporal antecedent.  That is to say, the logical arrow is going in the opposite direction from 
the causal or temporal arrow.

Now, no one has to buy WSM's model of an "embodied mind" any more than one has to buy CSP's model of 
a physio-logical syllogism, but a critical comparison of the two models sampled here does open up a 
wide field of possibilities beyond the knee-jerk view.

Regards,

Jon

Gary Fuhrman wrote:
 > Jon, Edwina, lists,
 >
 > Yes, I read McCullough a few decades ago and learned a lot from him, long
 > before I started reading Peirce). But I think part of the problem here is
 > that for Peirce, and I think for his contemporaries, "physiology" is closer
 > to "phenomenology" than it is to "physics". It is the study of forms and
 > sturctures generally, not only of physical forms and biological structures.
 > For instance, in his classification of sciences where he's discussing
 > phenomenology, esthetics and ethics, he writes:
 >
 > "The true principal purpose of these sciences is the Classification of
 > possible forms. But this must be founded on a study of the Physiology of
 > those forms, their general elements, parts, and mode of action. Thereupon
 > should follow the Classificatory part, including the general discussion of
 > what is good and what bad; and this should be followed up by a study of the
 > principles that govern the production of such forms" (EP2:272).
 >
 > The same applies to the usage of "physiology" in the 1883 quote I posted
 > today. Peirce is talking about the physiology of *logic* (i.e. of semiosis
 > as he would put it later on), not primarily about biology or physics or
 > psychology. That excerpt is about the connection of syllogistic logic with
 > primitive forms of *cognition*, but Edwina reads it pansemiotically as
 > applying to physical "organization of matter" all the way down to the
 > molecular (maybe the atomic?) level, and thus doesn't distinguish between
 > cognitive and physical processes. But for purposes of NP, we don't need to
 > engage in the endless debate over pansemiotics; primitive cognition is as
 > far down as we need to go in theorizing its continuity with reasoning.
 >
 > gary f.
 >
 > -----Original Message-----
 > From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net]
 > Sent: 3-Sep-14 9:18 AM
 > To: Gary Fuhrman
 > Cc: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
 > Subject: Re: Natural Propositions
 >
 > Gary,
 >
 > This "knee-jerk view" of logic and thought is one of many places where
 > Peirce makes interesting suggestions worth pursuing but where the pursuit
 > almost immediately runs into a host of problems.
 > These issues have been discussed, here and elsewhere, many times before, and
 > I cannot begin to sum it all up at this time, but here is one hint from a
 > modern fore-runner with a deep knowledge of Peirce's work and its potential
 > applications to AI, cognitive science, and neuroscience:
 >
 > http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2013/11/15/what-weve-got-here-is-a-failure-to-
 > communicate-6/
 >
 > Excerpt from Warren S. McCulloch,
 > “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a
 > Number?” (1960)
 >
 > <quote>
 >
 > Please remember that we are not now concerned with the physics and
 > chemistry, the anatomy and physiology, of man. They are my daily business.
 > They do not contribute to the logic of our problem.
 > Despite Ramon Lull’s combinatorial analysis of logic and all of his
 > followers, including Leibniz with his universal characteristic and his
 > persistent effort to build logical computing machines, from the death of
 > William of Ockham logic decayed. There were, of course, teachers of logic.
 > The forms of the syllogism and the logic of classes were taught, and we
 > shall use some of their devices, but there was a general recognition of
 > their inadequacy to the problems in hand. […] The difficulty is that they
 > had no knowledge of the logic of relations, and almost none of the logic of
 > propositions. These logics really began in the latter part of the last
 > century with Charles Peirce as their great pioneer. As with most pioneers,
 > many of the trails he blazed were not followed for a score of years. For
 > example, he discovered the amphecks — that is, “not both … and …” and
 > “neither … nor …”, which Sheffer rediscovered and are called by his name for
 > them, “stroke functions”.
 >
 > It was Peirce who broke the ice with his logic of relatives, from which
 > springs the pitiful beginnings of our logic of relations of two and more
 > than two arguments. So completely had the traditional Aristotelian logic
 > been lost that Peirce remarks that when he wrote the Century Dictionary he
 > was so confused concerning abduction, or apagoge, and induction that he
 > wrote nonsense. Thus Aristotelian logic, like the skeleton of Tom Paine, was
 > lost to us from the world it had engendered. Peirce had to go back to Duns
 > Scotus to start again the realistic logic of science.
 > Pragmatism took hold, despite its misinterpretation by William James. The
 > world was ripe for it.
 > Frege, Peano, Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, followed by a host of lesser
 > lights, but sparked by many a strange character like Schroeder, Sheffer,
 > Gödel, and company, gave us a working logic of propositions. By the time I
 > had sunk my teeth into these questions, the Polish school was well on its
 > way to glory.
 >
 > In 1923 I gave up the attempt to write a logic of transitive verbs and began
 > to see what I could do with the logic of propositions. My object, as a
 > psychologist, was to invent a kind of least psychic event, or “psychon”,
 > that would have the following properties: First, it was to be so simple an
 > event that it either happened or else it did not happen. Second, it was to
 > happen only if its bound cause had happened — shades of Duns Scotus! — that
 > is, it was to imply its temporal antecedent.
 > Third, it was to propose this to subsequent psychons. Fourth, these were to
 > be compounded to produce the equivalents of more complicated propositions
 > concerning their antecedents.
 >
 > In 1929 it dawned on me that these events might be regarded as the
 > all-or-none impulses of neurons, combined by convergence upon the next
 > neuron to yield complexes of propositional events. (McCulloch 1965, 7–9).
 >
 > </quote>
 >
 > Warren S. McCulloch, “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man,
 > that He May Know a Number?”, Ninth Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture,
 > General Semantics Bulletin, Numbers 26 and 27, Institute of General
 > Semantics, Lakeville, CT, 1961, pp. 7–18. Reprinted in Embodiments of Mind,
 > MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1965, pp. 1–18. Online.
 >
 > Regards,
 >
 > Jon
 >
 > Gary Fuhrman wrote:
 >> For those who haven't yet obtained the book or read the introduction,
 >> I'd like to present here a quotation from Peirce which shows that long
 >> before he developed the famous ten classes of signs (diagram EP2:296),
 >> he was already thinking (as Frederik put it yesterday) that "the main
 >> phenomenon is reasoning, the chain of arguments - and the whole of the
 >> semiotic machinery is developed to understand the physiology of
 >> reasoning - so icons, rhemes, etc. refer to specific aspects of the
 >> chain of reasoning." For Peirce, this "physiology of reasoning"
 >> extends from the formal syllogism all the way down to the most
 >> primitive forms of cognition, and NP p.5-6 quotes this example from 1883:
 >>
 >> The cognition of a rule is not necessarily conscious, but is of the
 >> nature of a habit, acquired or congenital. The cognition of a case is
 >> of the general nature of a sensation; that is to say, it is something
 >> which comes up into present consciousness. The cognition of a result
 >> is of the nature of a decision to act in a particular way on a given
 >> occasion. In point of fact, a syllogism in Barbara virtually takes
 >> place when we irritate the foot of a decapitated frog. The connection
 >> between the afferent and efferent nerve, whatever it may be,
 >> constitutes a nervous habit, a rule of action, which is the
 >> physiological analogue of the major premiss. The disturbance of the
 >> ganglionic equilibrium, owing to the irritation, is the physiological
 >> form of that which, psychologically considered, is a sensation; and,
 >> logically considered, is the occurrence of a case. The explosion
 >> through the efferent nerve is the physiological form of that which
 >> psychologically is a volition, and logically the inference of a
 >> result. When we pass from the lowest to the highest forms of
 >> inervation, the physiological equivalents escape our observation; but,
 >> psychologically, we still have, first, habit--which in its highest
 >> form is understanding, and which corresponds to the major premiss of
 >> Barbara; we have, second, feeling, or present consciousness,
 >> corresponding to the minor premiss of Barbara; and we have, third,
 >> volition, corresponding to the conclusion of the same mode of
 >> syllogism. Although these analogies, like all very broad
 >> generalizations, may seem very fanciful at first sight, yet the more
 >> the reader reflects upon them the more profoundly true I am confident
 >> they will appear. They give a significance to the ancient system of
 >> formal logic which no other can at all share. ("A Theory of Probable
 >> Inference", 1883, 2.711 )
 >>

--

-- 

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Stephen C. Rose | 3 Sep 22:42 2014
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Re: Re: Natural Propositions

Sound like when I resigned from my fraternity after it refused to consider a West Indian for membership, stimulating other resignations and a complex process which resulted in the end of the fraternity system at Williams College.



On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM, Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> att.net> wrote:
Re: Gary Fuhrman
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13880

Gary,

That selection from W.S. McCulloch is one of several that I seem to find find myself citing on a periodic basis, most recently including it in a series of historical watershed statements that are widely misunderstood, or at least whose significance is widely missed.

One of the passages that I find so paradigm-shifting is here:

<quote>

In 1923 I gave up the attempt to write a logic of transitive verbs and began to see what I could do with the logic of propositions.  My object, as a psychologist, was to invent a kind of least psychic event, or “psychon”, that would have the following properties:  First, it was to be so simple an event that it either happened or else it did not happen.  Second, it was to happen only if its bound cause had happened — shades of Duns Scotus! — that is, it was to imply its temporal antecedent. Third, it was to propose this to subsequent psychons.  Fourth, these were to be compounded to produce the equivalents of more complicated propositions concerning their antecedents.

</quote>

Here we have a psychic embodiment or a neural representation of a logical proposition that implies its temporal antecedent.  That is to say, the logical arrow is going in the opposite direction from the causal or temporal arrow.

Now, no one has to buy WSM's model of an "embodied mind" any more than one has to buy CSP's model of a physio-logical syllogism, but a critical comparison of the two models sampled here does open up a wide field of possibilities beyond the knee-jerk view.

Regards,

Jon


Gary Fuhrman wrote:
> Jon, Edwina, lists,
>
> Yes, I read McCullough a few decades ago and learned a lot from him, long
> before I started reading Peirce). But I think part of the problem here is
> that for Peirce, and I think for his contemporaries, "physiology" is closer
> to "phenomenology" than it is to "physics". It is the study of forms and
> sturctures generally, not only of physical forms and biological structures.
> For instance, in his classification of sciences where he's discussing
> phenomenology, esthetics and ethics, he writes:
>
> "The true principal purpose of these sciences is the Classification of
> possible forms. But this must be founded on a study of the Physiology of
> those forms, their general elements, parts, and mode of action. Thereupon
> should follow the Classificatory part, including the general discussion of
> what is good and what bad; and this should be followed up by a study of the
> principles that govern the production of such forms" (EP2:272).
>
> The same applies to the usage of "physiology" in the 1883 quote I posted
> today. Peirce is talking about the physiology of *logic* (i.e. of semiosis
> as he would put it later on), not primarily about biology or physics or
> psychology. That excerpt is about the connection of syllogistic logic with
> primitive forms of *cognition*, but Edwina reads it pansemiotically as
> applying to physical "organization of matter" all the way down to the
> molecular (maybe the atomic?) level, and thus doesn't distinguish between
> cognitive and physical processes. But for purposes of NP, we don't need to
> engage in the endless debate over pansemiotics; primitive cognition is as
> far down as we need to go in theorizing its continuity with reasoning.
>
> gary f.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net]
> Sent: 3-Sep-14 9:18 AM
> To: Gary Fuhrman
> Cc: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
> Subject: Re: Natural Propositions
>
> Gary,
>
> This "knee-jerk view" of logic and thought is one of many places where
> Peirce makes interesting suggestions worth pursuing but where the pursuit
> almost immediately runs into a host of problems.
> These issues have been discussed, here and elsewhere, many times before, and
> I cannot begin to sum it all up at this time, but here is one hint from a
> modern fore-runner with a deep knowledge of Peirce's work and its potential
> applications to AI, cognitive science, and neuroscience:
>
> http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2013/11/15/what-weve-got-here-is-a-failure-to-
> communicate-6/
>
> Excerpt from Warren S. McCulloch,
> “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a
> Number?” (1960)
>
> <quote>
>
> Please remember that we are not now concerned with the physics and
> chemistry, the anatomy and physiology, of man. They are my daily business.
> They do not contribute to the logic of our problem.
> Despite Ramon Lull’s combinatorial analysis of logic and all of his
> followers, including Leibniz with his universal characteristic and his
> persistent effort to build logical computing machines, from the death of
> William of Ockham logic decayed. There were, of course, teachers of logic.
> The forms of the syllogism and the logic of classes were taught, and we
> shall use some of their devices, but there was a general recognition of
> their inadequacy to the problems in hand. […] The difficulty is that they
> had no knowledge of the logic of relations, and almost none of the logic of
> propositions. These logics really began in the latter part of the last
> century with Charles Peirce as their great pioneer. As with most pioneers,
> many of the trails he blazed were not followed for a score of years. For
> example, he discovered the amphecks — that is, “not both … and …” and
> “neither … nor …”, which Sheffer rediscovered and are called by his name for
> them, “stroke functions”.
>
> It was Peirce who broke the ice with his logic of relatives, from which
> springs the pitiful beginnings of our logic of relations of two and more
> than two arguments. So completely had the traditional Aristotelian logic
> been lost that Peirce remarks that when he wrote the Century Dictionary he
> was so confused concerning abduction, or apagoge, and induction that he
> wrote nonsense. Thus Aristotelian logic, like the skeleton of Tom Paine, was
> lost to us from the world it had engendered. Peirce had to go back to Duns
> Scotus to start again the realistic logic of science.
> Pragmatism took hold, despite its misinterpretation by William James. The
> world was ripe for it.
> Frege, Peano, Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, followed by a host of lesser
> lights, but sparked by many a strange character like Schroeder, Sheffer,
> Gödel, and company, gave us a working logic of propositions. By the time I
> had sunk my teeth into these questions, the Polish school was well on its
> way to glory.
>
> In 1923 I gave up the attempt to write a logic of transitive verbs and began
> to see what I could do with the logic of propositions. My object, as a
> psychologist, was to invent a kind of least psychic event, or “psychon”,
> that would have the following properties: First, it was to be so simple an
> event that it either happened or else it did not happen. Second, it was to
> happen only if its bound cause had happened — shades of Duns Scotus! — that
> is, it was to imply its temporal antecedent.
> Third, it was to propose this to subsequent psychons. Fourth, these were to
> be compounded to produce the equivalents of more complicated propositions
> concerning their antecedents.
>
> In 1929 it dawned on me that these events might be regarded as the
> all-or-none impulses of neurons, combined by convergence upon the next
> neuron to yield complexes of propositional events. (McCulloch 1965, 7–9).
>
> </quote>
>
> Warren S. McCulloch, “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man,
> that He May Know a Number?”, Ninth Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture,
> General Semantics Bulletin, Numbers 26 and 27, Institute of General
> Semantics, Lakeville, CT, 1961, pp. 7–18. Reprinted in Embodiments of Mind,
> MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1965, pp. 1–18. Online.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jon
>
> Gary Fuhrman wrote:
>> For those who haven't yet obtained the book or read the introduction,
>> I'd like to present here a quotation from Peirce which shows that long
>> before he developed the famous ten classes of signs (diagram EP2:296),
>> he was already thinking (as Frederik put it yesterday) that "the main
>> phenomenon is reasoning, the chain of arguments - and the whole of the
>> semiotic machinery is developed to understand the physiology of
>> reasoning - so icons, rhemes, etc. refer to specific aspects of the
>> chain of reasoning." For Peirce, this "physiology of reasoning"
>> extends from the formal syllogism all the way down to the most
>> primitive forms of cognition, and NP p.5-6 quotes this example from 1883:
>>
>> The cognition of a rule is not necessarily conscious, but is of the
>> nature of a habit, acquired or congenital. The cognition of a case is
>> of the general nature of a sensation; that is to say, it is something
>> which comes up into present consciousness. The cognition of a result
>> is of the nature of a decision to act in a particular way on a given
>> occasion. In point of fact, a syllogism in Barbara virtually takes
>> place when we irritate the foot of a decapitated frog. The connection
>> between the afferent and efferent nerve, whatever it may be,
>> constitutes a nervous habit, a rule of action, which is the
>> physiological analogue of the major premiss. The disturbance of the
>> ganglionic equilibrium, owing to the irritation, is the physiological
>> form of that which, psychologically considered, is a sensation; and,
>> logically considered, is the occurrence of a case. The explosion
>> through the efferent nerve is the physiological form of that which
>> psychologically is a volition, and logically the inference of a
>> result. When we pass from the lowest to the highest forms of
>> inervation, the physiological equivalents escape our observation; but,
>> psychologically, we still have, first, habit--which in its highest
>> form is understanding, and which corresponds to the major premiss of
>> Barbara; we have, second, feeling, or present consciousness,
>> corresponding to the minor premiss of Barbara; and we have, third,
>> volition, corresponding to the conclusion of the same mode of
>> syllogism. Although these analogies, like all very broad
>> generalizations, may seem very fanciful at first sight, yet the more
>> the reader reflects upon them the more profoundly true I am confident
>> they will appear. They give a significance to the ancient system of
>> formal logic which no other can at all share. ("A Theory of Probable
>> Inference", 1883, 2.711 )
>>

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Jon Awbrey | 4 Sep 04:16 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13888

Re: "it may be expressed as the claim that all true triadic relations are signs
      vs. the claim that signs only comprise a subset of triadic relations."

Frederik & All,

People may speculate until the proverbial cows come home, but questions like these cannot be 
addressed, much less answered, without bringing consequential definitions of relations to bear.

I have made several efforts at basic expositions along these lines and will send links to them by 
separate posts.

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
 > Dear Gary, Edwina, list
 >
 > This is an recurrent discussion in P scholarship. It may be rephrased as pansemiotics versus
 > biosemiotics, or it may be expressed as the claim that all true triadic relations are signs vs.
 > the claim that signs only comprise a subset of triadic relations. Both tendencies are in Peirce
 > so the isssue can not be resolved by Peirce scholarship. Personally, I tend to side with the
 > latter of the two schools, based on the observation that the science of physics does not need
 > semiotics in the description of its subject matter (only in its theory of science) while biology,
 > on all levels, involves spontaneous semiotic concepts, from biochemistry to ecology and ethology
 > you'll find "genetic code", "Information", "signals", "cues" etc. which presumably form part of
 > the subject matter of biology. For that reason, I think pre-biological nature could be seen as a
 > sort of semiotic zero-case. Adding semiotic concepts to your description of physical events can
 > be done, but it does not really add to our understanding of them - while in our understanding of
 > biological events, semiotic concepts are always-already there. I do not discuss this deeply in
 > "Natural Propositons" but of course it forms the prerequisite to my discussing biological sign
 > processes but not purely physical events conceived as semiotics. But I think deciding pro or con
 > pansemiotics is no prerequisite for following the book's argument.
 >
 > Best F

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Gary Fuhrman | 4 Sep 12:53 2014
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RE: Re: Natural Propositions

Jon, you can make claims like this until the cows come home, but there is no
reason to accept them until you provide a consequential definition of
"consequential definition".

Semiotics (unlike mathematics) is a positive science dealing with real
relations, and no preformulated definition can furnish the collateral
observation of them required for meaningful propositions about them. (The
same goes for any other term naming a real entity.) Important as your work
may be, and generous as you are in making it available to us, you can't
reasonably propose it as a prerequisite for understanding what NP (or
Peirce) tells us about relations.

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 3-Sep-14 10:16 PM

Re: "it may be expressed as the claim that all true triadic relations are
signs
      vs. the claim that signs only comprise a subset of triadic relations."

Frederik & All,

People may speculate until the proverbial cows come home, but questions like
these cannot be addressed, much less answered, without bringing
consequential definitions of relations to bear.

I have made several efforts at basic expositions along these lines and will
send links to them by separate posts.

Regards,

Jon


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Jon Awbrey | 4 Sep 14:40 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Gary Fuhrman
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13894

Sorry, Dudes, I couldn't resist ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMko5LelBdA

More ... after coffee ...

Jon

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Gary Fuhrman | 4 Sep 19:26 2014
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RE: Re: Natural Propositions

Does this mean the cows are home now?
No more, please!

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 4-Sep-14 8:40 AM

Re: Gary Fuhrman
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13894

Sorry, Dudes, I couldn't resist ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMko5LelBdA

More ... after coffee ...

Jon


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Jon Awbrey | 4 Sep 19:40 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

No, it means that sometimes somebuddy's jes gotta go out and round up the cows ...

Head 'em up, Move 'em out, Rawhide ...

Jon

Gary Fuhrman wrote:
> Does this mean the cows are home now?
> No more, please!
> 
> gary f.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
> Sent: 4-Sep-14 8:40 AM
> 
> Re: Gary Fuhrman
> At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13894
> 
> Sorry, Dudes, I couldn't resist ...
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMko5LelBdA
> 
> More ... after coffee ...
> 
> Jon
> 
> 

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Jon Awbrey | 4 Sep 22:35 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Gary Fuhrman
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13894

Gary,

Classifications of the sciences have their utility in guiding inquiry, not as defences against it. 
I have used the adjective "consequential" merely to emphasize some of the things we look for in a 
good definition, one that serves inquiry into the matter at hand.  One property of a good definition 
is that we can draw consequences from it.  Peirce's definition of a sign relation, for example, when 
fleshed out by definitions of terms like "correspondence" and "determination" as Peirce elsewhere 
used them, allows us to draw both logical and practical consequences of being a sign relation, not 
too incidentally, all in accord with the pragmatic maxim.  Another property of a good definition is 
the definite information it gives us for deciding what does and what does not fall under it, and the 
most constructive of definitions will even instruct us, as it were, in how to construct concrete 
examples of the things it describes.

I hope that serves as a rough guide for telling definitions that are consequential from those that 
are inconsequential.

Regards,

Jon

Gary Fuhrman wrote:
> Jon, you can make claims like this until the cows come home, but there is 
> no reason to accept them until you provide a consequential definition of
> "consequential definition".
> 
> Semiotics (unlike mathematics) is a positive science dealing with real
> relations, and no preformulated definition can furnish the collateral
> observation of them required for meaningful propositions about them. 
> (The same goes for any other term naming a real entity.)  Important 
> as your work may be, and generous as you are in making it available 
> to us, you can't reasonably propose it as a prerequisite for 
> understanding what NP (or Peirce) tells us about relations.
> 
> gary f.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
> Sent: 3-Sep-14 10:16 PM
> 
> Re: "it may be expressed as the claim that all true triadic relations are
> signs vs. the claim that signs only comprise a subset of triadic relations."
>       
> 
> Frederik & All,
> 
> People may speculate until the proverbial cows come home, but questions 
> like these cannot be addressed, much less answered, without bringing
> consequential definitions of relations to bear.
> 
> I have made several efforts at basic expositions along these lines 
> and will send links to them by separate posts.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon
> 

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Jon Awbrey | 4 Sep 16:10 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886

Frederik,

Yes, the orthogonality or independence of descriptive and normative sciences is noted by McCulloch 
in his opening lines.  The thing that struck me like a lightning synapse when I first read that 
passage, long time passing, was the fact that he set the logical arrow opposite to the causal arrow, 
invoking the shade of Duns Scotus and bound causes, which I looked up once or twice but didn't 
exactly get clear about, but anyway it sets the mind to thinking that there is nothing terribly 
automatic or straightforward about the relation of logical consequence and temporal sequence. 
Realizing that possibility opens up a much wider field, and I dare say a more realistic field of 
investigation.

Et sic deinceps ...

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
 > Dear Jon, list
 >
 > Thanks for a great McCulloch quote. You are right that many of these issues have been discussed
 > before, but this is no reason to be tired or resigned like you sound in your intro to that quote.
 > It is a human condition that most important issues have been discussed before. This should not
 > prevent us from carrying on.
 >
 > McCulloch recapitulates how Peirce's theory of propositions prompted him early on to make a
 > theory of how those propositions are processed by psychological states -- giving him the idea that
 > neuronal interactions correspond to propositional events. This is a nice theory, fitting Peirce's
 > idea that all in semiotics and logic should be conceived of as the ongoing analyses of the basic
 > phenomenon which is the chain of reasoning. Charting how brains or psyches implement aspects of
 > that chain, however important this is, does not change the importance of P's insistence that
 > logic in the broad sense should be studied independently of how it may be realized in any
 > particular physical medium, be it in minds, machines or elsewhere.
 >
 > Best F
 >
 >> Gary,
 >>
 >> This "knee-jerk view" of logic and thought is one of many places where Peirce makes interesting
 >> suggestions worth pursuing but where the pursuit almost immediately runs into a host of
 >> problems. These issues have been discussed, here and elsewhere, many times before, and I cannot
 >> begin to sum it all up at this time, but here is one hint from a modern fore-runner with a deep
 >> knowledge of Peirce's work and its potential applications to AI, cognitive science, and
 >> neuroscience:
 >>
 >> http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2013/11/15/what-weve-got-here-is-a-failure-to-communicate-6/
 >>
 >> Excerpt from Warren S. McCulloch, “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He
 >> May Know a Number?” (1960)
 >>
 >> <quote>
 >>
 >> Please remember that we are not now concerned with the physics and chemistry, the anatomy and
 >> physiology, of man. They are my daily business. They do not contribute to the logic of our
 >> problem. Despite Ramon Lull’s combinatorial analysis of logic and all of his followers,
 >> including Leibniz with his universal characteristic and his persistent effort to build logical
 >> computing machines, from the death of William of Ockham logic decayed. There were, of course,
 >> teachers of logic. The forms of the syllogism and the logic of classes were taught, and we
 >> shall use some of their devices, but there was a general recognition of their inadequacy to the
 >> problems in hand. […] The difficulty is that they had no knowledge of the logic of relations,
 >> and almost none of the logic of propositions. These logics really began in the latter part of
 >> the last century with Charles Peirce as their great pioneer. As with most pioneers, many of the
 >> trails he blazed were not followed for a score of years. For example, he discovered the
 >> amphecks — that is, “not both … and …” and “neither … nor …”, which Sheffer
rediscovered and
 >> are called by his name for them, “stroke functions”.
 >>
 >> It was Peirce who broke the ice with his logic of relatives, from which springs the pitiful
 >> beginnings of our logic of relations of two and more than two arguments. So completely had the
 >> traditional Aristotelian logic been lost that Peirce remarks that when he wrote the Century
 >> Dictionary he was so confused concerning abduction, or apagoge, and induction that he wrote
 >> nonsense. Thus Aristotelian logic, like the skeleton of Tom Paine, was lost to us from the
 >> world it had engendered. Peirce had to go back to Duns Scotus to start again the realistic
 >> logic of science. Pragmatism took hold, despite its misinterpretation by William James. The
 >> world was ripe for it. Frege, Peano, Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, followed by a host of
 >> lesser lights, but sparked by many a strange character like Schroeder, Sheffer, Gödel, and
 >> company, gave us a working logic of propositions. By the time I had sunk my teeth into these
 >> questions, the Polish school was well on its way to glory.
 >>
 >> In 1923 I gave up the attempt to write a logic of transitive verbs and began to see what I
 >> could do with the logic of propositions. My object, as a psychologist, was to invent a kind of
 >> least psychic event, or “psychon”, that would have the following properties: First, it was to
 >> be so simple an event that it either happened or else it did not happen. Second, it was to
 >> happen only if its bound cause had happened — shades of Duns Scotus! — that is, it was to imply
 >> its temporal antecedent. Third, it was to propose this to subsequent psychons. Fourth, these
 >> were to be compounded to produce the equivalents of more complicated propositions concerning
 >> their antecedents.
 >>
 >> In 1929 it dawned on me that these events might be regarded as the all-or-none impulses of
 >> neurons, combined by convergence upon the next neuron to yield complexes of propositional
 >> events. (McCulloch 1965, 7–9).
 >>
 >> </quote>
 >>
 >> Warren S. McCulloch, “What Is a Number, that a Man May Know It, and a Man, that He May Know a
 >> Number?”, Ninth Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, General Semantics Bulletin, Numbers 26 and
 >> 27, Institute of General Semantics, Lakeville, CT, 1961, pp. 7–18. Reprinted in Embodiments of
 >> Mind, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1965, pp. 1–18. Online.
 >>
 >> Regards,
 >>
 >> Jon
 >>
 >> Gary Fuhrman wrote:
 >>> For those who haven't yet obtained the book or read the introduction, I'd like to present
 >>> here a quotation from Peirce which shows that long before he developed the famous ten classes
 >>> of signs (diagram EP2:296), he was already thinking (as Frederik put it yesterday) that "the
 >>> main phenomenon is reasoning, the chain of arguments - and the whole of the semiotic
 >>> machinery is developed to understand the physiology of reasoning - so icons, rhemes, etc.
 >>> refer to specific aspects of the chain of reasoning." For Peirce, this "physiology of
 >>> reasoning" extends from the formal syllogism all the way down to the most primitive forms of
 >>> cognition, and NP p.5-6 quotes this example from 1883: The cognition of a rule is not
 >>> necessarily conscious, but is of the nature of a habit, acquired or congenital. The cognition
 >>> of a case is of the general nature of a sensation; that is to say, it is something which
 >>> comes up into present consciousness. The cognition of a result is of the nature of a decision
 >>> to act in a particular way on a given occasion. In point of fact, a syllogism in Barbara
 >>> virtually takes place when we irritate the foot of a decapitated frog. The connection between
 >>> the afferent and efferent nerve, whatever it may be, constitutes a nervous habit, a rule of
 >>> action, which is the physiological analogue of the major premiss. The disturbance of the
 >>> ganglionic equilibrium, owing to the irritation, is the physiological form of that which,
 >>> psychologically considered, is a sensation; and, logically considered, is the occurrence of a
 >>> case. The explosion through the efferent nerve is the physiological form of that which
 >>> psychologically is a volition, and logically the inference of a result. When we pass from the
 >>> lowest to the highest forms of inervation, the physiological equivalents escape our
 >>> observation; but, psychologically, we still have, first, habit--which in its highest form is
 >>> understanding, and which corresponds to the major premiss of Barbara; we have, second,
 >>> feeling, or present consciousness, corresponding to the minor premiss of Barbara; and we
 >>> have, third, volition, corresponding to the conclusion of the same mode of syllogism.
 >>> Although these analogies, like all very broad generalizations, may seem very fanciful at
 >>> first sight, yet the more the reader reflects upon them the more profoundly true I am
 >>> confident they will appear. They give a significance to the ancient system of formal logic
 >>> which no other can at all share. ("A Theory of Probable Inference", 1883, 2.711 )
 >>

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Frederik Stjernfelt | 4 Sep 21:03 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Dear Jon, list - 
I also remarked that in McCulloch. 
You're right about the less than straightforward relation between logical consequence and temporal sequence … If the two were identical, mental processes probably would be unable to address contents different from those processes … 
Best
F

Den 04/09/2014 kl. 16.10 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>:

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886

Frederik,

Yes, the orthogonality or independence of descriptive and normative sciences is noted by McCulloch in his opening lines.  The thing that struck me like a lightning synapse when I first read that passage, long time passing, was the fact that he set the logical arrow opposite to the causal arrow, invoking the shade of Duns Scotus and bound causes, which I looked up once or twice but didn't exactly get clear about, but anyway it sets the mind to thinking that there is nothing terribly automatic or straightforward about the relation of logical consequence and temporal sequence. Realizing that possibility opens up a much wider field, and I dare say a more realistic field of investigation.

Et sic deinceps ...

Jon


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Jon Awbrey | 6 Sep 04:40 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901

Exactly.

And this is one of those places where we have to watch out for the possibility of a backward step, 
where it is very tempting to fall back on the "Mirror Of Nature Theory Of Science" (MONTOS) and the 
"Iconic Doctrine Of Language" (IDOL).  ;)

The diagrammatic and dynamic qualities of Peirce's logic, as epitomized in the entitative and 
existential interpretations of his logical graphs, were chief among the features that drew me to 
explore his logical systems from the very beginning of my studies.  But analogies and icons all 
break in time, at one point or another, and it is only their embedding in a more fluid and robust 
symbolic matrix that makes it possible for us to use them where they fit and to set them aside when 
they fail.

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
> Dear Jon, list -
> I also remarked that in McCulloch.
> You're right about the less than straightforward relation between logical consequence and temporal
sequence … If the two were identical, mental processes probably would be unable to address contents
different from those processes …
> Best
> F
> 
> Den 04/09/2014 kl. 16.10 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET<mailto:jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>>:
> 
> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
> At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886
> 
> Frederik,
> 
> Yes, the orthogonality or independence of descriptive and normative sciences is noted by McCulloch in
his opening lines.  The thing that struck me like a lightning synapse when I first read that passage, long
time passing, was the fact that he set the logical arrow opposite to the causal arrow, invoking the shade of
Duns Scotus and bound causes, which I looked up once or twice but didn't exactly get clear about, but anyway
it sets the mind to thinking that there is nothing terribly automatic or straightforward about the
relation of logical consequence and temporal sequence. Realizing that possibility opens up a much wider
field, and I dare say a more realistic field of investigation.
> 
> Et sic deinceps ...
> 
> Jon
> 

--

-- 

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Sungchul Ji | 6 Sep 12:30 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions

Jon wrote:

"But analogies and icons all break in time, at one          (090614-1)
point or another, and it is only their embedding in a
more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
them aside when they fail."

By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in
contrast to diagrams ?

Sung

> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
> At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901
>
> Exactly.
>
> And this is one of those places where we have to watch out for the
> possibility of a backward step,
> where it is very tempting to fall back on the "Mirror Of Nature Theory Of
> Science" (MONTOS) and the
> "Iconic Doctrine Of Language" (IDOL).  ;)
>
> The diagrammatic and dynamic qualities of Peirce's logic, as epitomized in
> the entitative and
> existential interpretations of his logical graphs, were chief among the
> features that drew me to
> explore his logical systems from the very beginning of my studies.  But
> analogies and icons all
> break in time, at one point or another, and it is only their embedding in
> a more fluid and robust
> symbolic matrix that makes it possible for us to use them where they fit
> and to set them aside when
> they fail.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jon
>
> Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
>> Dear Jon, list -
>> I also remarked that in McCulloch.
>> You're right about the less than straightforward relation between
>> logical consequence and temporal sequence … If the two were identical,
>> mental processes probably would be unable to address contents different
>> from those processes …
>> Best
>> F
>>
>> Den 04/09/2014 kl. 16.10 skrev Jon Awbrey
>> <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET<mailto:jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>>:
>>
>> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
>> At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886
>>
>> Frederik,
>>
>> Yes, the orthogonality or independence of descriptive and normative
>> sciences is noted by McCulloch in his opening lines.  The thing that
>> struck me like a lightning synapse when I first read that passage, long
>> time passing, was the fact that he set the logical arrow opposite to the
>> causal arrow, invoking the shade of Duns Scotus and bound causes, which
>> I looked up once or twice but didn't exactly get clear about, but anyway
>> it sets the mind to thinking that there is nothing terribly automatic or
>> straightforward about the relation of logical consequence and temporal
>> sequence. Realizing that possibility opens up a much wider field, and I
>> dare say a more realistic field of investigation.
>>
>> Et sic deinceps ...
>>
>> Jon
>>
>
> --
>
> academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
> my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
> inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
> isw: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/JLA
> oeiswiki: http://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
> facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JonnyCache
>


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Jon Awbrey | 6 Sep 15:48 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Thread on The Great Chain of Reasoning:
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13876
ET:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13878
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13879
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13880
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13885
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886
SR:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13887
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13888
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13890
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13894
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13896
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13897
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13898
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13899
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13906
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13937
SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13938

Sung & All,

Here I was using "matrix" in its more native and pregnant sense of "something within which
something else originates or develops" (Webster), always bearing chemical and geological
images in mind of a mother liquor out of which crystals precipitate or "the natural material in
which a fossil, metal, gem, crystal, or pebble [read "calculus"] is embedded" (Webster).

I was really just trying to vary idiom in order to avoid saying "sign relation" every other phrase.
More prosaically, I might have said "sign relation perfused with genuine symbols" or "sign relation
glued together (glia?) and greased to the gills with genuine symbols".

Regards,

Jon

Sungchul Ji wrote:
> Jon wrote:
> 
> "But analogies and icons all break in time, at one point or another, and it is only their 
> embedding in a more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it possible for us to use them 
> where they fit and to set them aside when they fail."
> 
> By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in contrast to diagrams ?
> 
> Sung
> 
> 
>> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901
>> 
>> Exactly.
>> 
>> And this is one of those places where we have to watch out for the possibility of a backward 
>> step, where it is very tempting to fall back on the "Mirror Of Nature Theory Of Science" 
>> (MONTOS) and the "Iconic Doctrine Of Language" (IDOL).  ;)
>> 
>> The diagrammatic and dynamic qualities of Peirce's logic, as epitomized in the entitative and 
>> existential interpretations of his logical graphs, were chief among the features that drew me 
>> to explore his logical systems from the very beginning of my studies.  But analogies and icons
>>  all break in time, at one point or another, and it is only their embedding in a more fluid and
>>  robust symbolic matrix that makes it possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
>> them aside when they fail.
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> Jon
>> 
>> Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
>>> Dear Jon, list - I also remarked that in McCulloch. You're right about the less than 
>>> straightforward relation between logical consequence and temporal sequence … If the two were
>>>  identical, mental processes probably would be unable to address contents different from
>>> those processes … Best F
>>> 
>>> Den 04/09/2014 kl. 16.10 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET<mailto:jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>>:
>>> 
>>> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13886
>>> 
>>> Frederik,
>>> 
>>> Yes, the orthogonality or independence of descriptive and normative sciences is noted by 
>>> McCulloch in his opening lines.  The thing that struck me like a lightning synapse when I 
>>> first read that passage, long time passing, was the fact that he set the logical arrow 
>>> opposite to the causal arrow, invoking the shade of Duns Scotus and bound causes, which I 
>>> looked up once or twice but didn't exactly get clear about, but anyway it sets the mind to 
>>> thinking that there is nothing terribly automatic or straightforward about the relation of 
>>> logical consequence and temporal sequence. Realizing that possibility opens up a much wider 
>>> field, and I dare say a more realistic field of investigation.
>>> 
>>> Et sic deinceps ...
>>> 
>>> Jon
>>> 

--

-- 

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Tom Gollier | 6 Sep 17:27 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions

 If propositions are diagrams, dependent on analogy, logic and "symbolic matrices" are surely diagrams as well.  Formal logic suffers from a certain sterility, I think, precisely because it focuses exclusively on the logical diagram itself, forgetting the analogies at it's base and not worrying all that much about it's experiential consequences.

Tom


On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Sungchul Ji <sji <at> rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:
Jon wrote:

"But analogies and icons all break in time, at one          (090614-1)
point or another, and it is only their embedding in a
more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
them aside when they fail."

By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in
contrast to diagrams ?
Sung


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efeb@coqui.net | 6 Sep 18:53 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions

Tom, Sung, list:
I might be wrong or naive, but I have always given for granted that, according to Peirce: diagrams, algebra, language itself, etc, were icinic  due to the category of Relation rather than simply Analogy, which is only a sort of relation, ratio, logos (kata-analogon means just that: according to a proportional relation) and likewise.
Perhaps my misunderstanding derives from the importance that Whitehead and Russell gave to relations (internal, external).  I stand to be coorected with gratitude.
However, in Peirce's New List, as I recall, secondness is defined as Relation and, likewise, the three categories are themselves described/defined as correlates.  There is a privileged trichotomic involvement, if not implied entailment, for diagrams; a kind of virtuous  circularity in which semiosis allows for Rhematic iconic legisigns as diagrams as well as for natural and artificial languages in accordance to their relevant trichotomies.
If Relation is pervasive (both in analogies and icons considered as relations) I beleive that there is a timeless quality and a categorial Firstenss inherent to it.
Best,
Eduardo Forastieri-Braschi 
On Sep 6, 2014, at 11:27 AM, Tom Gollier wrote:

 If propositions are diagrams, dependent on analogy, logic and "symbolic matrices" are surely diagrams as well.  Formal logic suffers from a certain sterility, I think, precisely because it focuses exclusively on the logical diagram itself, forgetting the analogies at it's base and not worrying all that much about it's experiential consequences.

Tom


On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Sungchul Ji <sji <at> rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:
Jon wrote:

"But analogies and icons all break in time, at one          (090614-1)
point or another, and it is only their embedding in a
more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
them aside when they fail."

By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in
contrast to diagrams ?
Sung


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Jon Awbrey | 6 Sep 19:48 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Thread (cont.)
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13937
SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13938
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13939
TG:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13940

Tom,

I'm guessing you hadn't read my reply to Sung before replying to his, so let me explain that my use 
of the phrase "symbolic matrix" was simply a rhetorical variant for "sign relation that happens to 
be rife with signs of the symbolic type".

You may know me well enough by now to recognize that I always use "sign relation" to mean a set (or 
a collection) of ordered triples of the form (o, s, i) — or any other of the 6 possible orders that 
happens to be convenient in a given context.

Sometimes we think of the collection of triples in a sign relation as being very numerous and very 
indefinite.  Here we imagine the set of triples to encompass the entire "setting" of our discussion 
and thought and we may well regard this "matrix" more in the sense of Dewey's "existential matrix".

When we want to analyze an example of a sign relation with any degree of thoroughness — as we might 
analyze the genome of a flatworm or roundworm down to the last drop of DNA — we reign in the triples 
of the target sign relation to a definite, definable collection, often but not always rather small.

Hope that clears a few things up ...

Jon

Tom Gollier wrote:
>  If propositions are diagrams, dependent on analogy, logic and "symbolic
> matrices" are surely diagrams as well.  Formal logic suffers from a certain
> sterility, I think, precisely because it focuses exclusively on the logical
> diagram itself, forgetting the analogies at it's base and not worrying all
> that much about it's experiential consequences.
> 
> Tom
> 
> 
> On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Sungchul Ji <sji <at> rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:
> 
>> Jon wrote:
>>
>> "But analogies and icons all break in time, at one          (090614-1)
>> point or another, and it is only their embedding in a
>> more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
>> possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
>> them aside when they fail."
>>
>> By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in
>> contrast to diagrams ?
>> Sung
>>
>>
> 

--

-- 

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Tom Gollier | 7 Sep 02:34 2014
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Jon,

You've got me there. When the discussion moves toward "sets of ordered triples" I tend to move on.

But my point here is that if we're going to discussion anything — be it propositions, logics, or complex sign relations — diagrammatically, then we need to see that thing as an "icon or diagram the relations of whose parts shall present a complete analogy with those of the parts of the object of reasoning …" [CP3.363]  It would not be the proposition, logic, or sign relation, as a diagram, which is the "object of reasoning."  It would be what it's "parts" are analogous to; what it is we hope to understand by correctly applying the diagram to some thing or another.

Tom


On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM, Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> att.net> wrote:
Thread (cont.)
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13937
SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13938
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13939
TG:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13940

Tom,

I'm guessing you hadn't read my reply to Sung before replying to his, so let me explain that my use of the phrase "symbolic matrix" was simply a rhetorical variant for "sign relation that happens to be rife with signs of the symbolic type".

You may know me well enough by now to recognize that I always use "sign relation" to mean a set (or a collection) of ordered triples of the form (o, s, i) — or any other of the 6 possible orders that happens to be convenient in a given context.

Sometimes we think of the collection of triples in a sign relation as being very numerous and very indefinite.  Here we imagine the set of triples to encompass the entire "setting" of our discussion and thought and we may well regard this "matrix" more in the sense of Dewey's "existential matrix".

When we want to analyze an example of a sign relation with any degree of thoroughness — as we might analyze the genome of a flatworm or roundworm down to the last drop of DNA — we reign in the triples of the target sign relation to a definite, definable collection, often but not always rather small.

Hope that clears a few things up ...

Jon



Tom Gollier wrote:
 If propositions are diagrams, dependent on analogy, logic and "symbolic
matrices" are surely diagrams as well.  Formal logic suffers from a certain
sterility, I think, precisely because it focuses exclusively on the logical
diagram itself, forgetting the analogies at it's base and not worrying all
that much about it's experiential consequences.

Tom


On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Sungchul Ji <sji <at> rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:

Jon wrote:

"But analogies and icons all break in time, at one          (090614-1)
point or another, and it is only their embedding in a
more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
possible for us to use them where they fit and to set
them aside when they fail."

By "symbolic matrix" do you mean algebraic and formal expressions in
contrast to diagrams ?
Sung







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Frederik Stjernfelt | 7 Sep 14:09 2014
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Dear Jon, list
I think we mostly agree here. 
To a certain degree, Peirce's doctrine of propositions is a version of IDOL as you call it, and a strong one at that. Peirce exactly celebrated his Existential Graphs for their iconic properties. 
But it is very local version of IDOL only - an icon only goes as far as it goes, as you indicate. And no icon gets us anywere without the accompaniment of indices and symbols. 
Best
F

Den 06/09/2014 kl. 04.40 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>:

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901

Exactly.

And this is one of those places where we have to watch out for the possibility of a backward step, where it is very tempting to fall back on the "Mirror Of Nature Theory Of Science" (MONTOS) and the "Iconic Doctrine Of Language" (IDOL).  ;)

The diagrammatic and dynamic qualities of Peirce's logic, as epitomized in the entitative and existential interpretations of his logical graphs, were chief among the features that drew me to explore his logical systems from the very beginning of my studies.  But analogies and icons all break in time, at one point or another, and it is only their embedding in a more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it possible for us to use them where they fit and to set them aside when they fail.

Regards,

Jon


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Jon Awbrey | 7 Sep 16:14 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13959

Dear Frederik,

On that note of partial congruity I think I'll give us both a well-deserved day of rest.  I hope you 
won't exhaust all yours trying to cure the Saussure Syndrome on the bi-semiotics list, but maybe you 
are stronger than I for a' that.

Das Beste,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
> Dear Jon, list
> I think we mostly agree here.
> To a certain degree, Peirce's doctrine of propositions is a version of IDOL as you call it, and a strong one
at that. Peirce exactly celebrated his Existential Graphs for their iconic properties.
> But it is very local version of IDOL only - an icon only goes as far as it goes, as you indicate. And no icon gets
us anywere without the accompaniment of indices and symbols.
> Best
> F
> 
> Den 06/09/2014 kl. 04.40 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET<mailto:jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>>:
> 
> Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
> At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13901
> 
> Exactly.
> 
> And this is one of those places where we have to watch out for the possibility of a backward step, where it is
very tempting to fall back on the "Mirror Of Nature Theory Of Science" (MONTOS) and the "Iconic Doctrine Of
Language" (IDOL).  ;)
> 
> The diagrammatic and dynamic qualities of Peirce's logic, as epitomized in the entitative and
existential interpretations of his logical graphs, were chief among the features that drew me to explore
his logical systems from the very beginning of my studies.  But analogies and icons all break in time, at one
point or another, and it is only their embedding in a more fluid and robust symbolic matrix that makes it
possible for us to use them where they fit and to set them aside when they fail.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon
> 

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Jon Awbrey | 7 Sep 05:44 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Re: Howard Pattee
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13948

Peircers,

Let me just say "I told you so" and let Howard's remarks stand as an example of the kinds of futile 
discussions I have known to arise in the past from using the word "antipsychologism" to describe 
what Peirce more aptly called his "non-psychological conception of logic".

☞http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2012/06/01/c-s-peirce-%E2%80%A2-on-the-definition-of-logic/

I doubt if I can trace all the sources of confusion that stem from that misbegotten root "anti-" but 
it may be that some of them are due to the way it makes the relation between logic and psychology 
sound like a border dispute invested on the descriptive plane as opposed to a difference between 
normative and descriptive angles for viewing what are largely overlapping domains of phenomena.

Regards,

Jon

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Jon Awbrey | 7 Sep 06:36 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions

Peircers,

Since the subject keeps coming up, here is the first of the old posts
Google threw up when I did the search linked in my reply to FS below:

 > [Arisbe] Re: Critique of Short — News Flash — The N.O.N.-Psychological
 > Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
 > Sat Jan 22 11:08:16 CST 2005
 >
 > Previous message: [peirce-l] Re: Critique of Short — News Flash — The Ineffables
 > Next message: [Arisbe] Critique of Short: Significance of MS 148
 >
 > o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
 >
 > Kirsti,
 >
 > Strictly speaking, Peirce advises a non-psychological approach
 > to logic, which he defines as formal semiotic, using "formal"
 > to mean "quasi-necessary", which is the moral equivalent of
 > "normative" to us.  I have mentioned before that the prefix,
 > "non" frequently serves as a generalizing functor in math,
 > as in the study of non-associative algebras, which includes
 > those algebras that do satisfy the associative axiom along
 > with those that do not.  It is just as if "non" was really
 > an acronym for "not of necessity".  I have also argued that
 > semiotics in general has room for a descriptive semiotics,
 > under which would fall many applications to the descriptive,
 > or non-therapeutic, side of psychology, in which Peirce was
 > evidently rather interested, of course.
 >
 > But there is nothing about cardinality, causality, cognition, or continuity
 > in the barest unpsychological definitions of sign relations, and so if we
 > find those considerations coming into our discussions of sign relations,
 > it is either because we have explicitly added some additional axioms and
 > definitions, or else because we are treading on unexpressed assumptions,
 > which being non-conscious, are likely to vary widely from participant to
 > participant in the discussion.  Of course, much diversion lies that way.
 >
 > Jon Awbrey
 >
 > o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

Jon Awbrey wrote:
 > Re: Frederik Stjernfelt
 > At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/13859
 >
 > Dear Frederik,
 >
 > Have you read my 1 or 3 citations of Peirce's "non-psychological"
 > definition of logic?
 >
 > https://www.google.com/search?q=%22non-psychological%22+%22Jon+Awbrey%22&num=100&as_qdr=all&filter=0
 >
 >
 > Well, then you'd know that this topic is hardly a novel one here or
 > elsewhere on the web.
 >
 > All kidding aside, there are important things and less important
 > things.  We appear to agree on the substance of Peirce's position and on
 > its importance.  More incidental is the question of describing his view
 > in terms that are less likely to be misunderstood by wider communities
 > of interpretation. All I tried to do here is to share my experience that
 > folks in logic and math tend to read certain connotations into
 > "anti-psychologism", folks in cognitive science tend to import other
 > connotations, and all those extraneous meanings tend to lead people
 > astray.  FWIW, as the saying goes.
 >
 > Regards,
 >
 > Jon
 >
 > Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
 >> Dear Jon -
 >>
 >> Did you read my chapter on anti-psychologism? I am flattered that some
 >> participants are so anxious to debate the themes of my book that they
 >> jump ahead in the discussion!
 >> As early as 1865, Peirce said: "But I will go a step further and say
 >> that we ought to adopt a thoroughly unpsychological view of logic . .
 >> .  (W1 164)." I think P never wavered from that point of view. That
 >> does not imply P regarded psychology as such as irrelevant, quite on
 >> the contrary, he was a pioneer in expermental psychology. He also
 >> thought psychology might investigate issues pertaining to how e.g. the
 >> human mind processes logic and reasoning, cf. its speed, attention
 >> span, concentration, etc.
 >> But as to logic itself - even taking P's broad definition comprizing
 >> semiotics and the theory of science he called methodeutics - it should
 >> be thoroughly unpsychological. I do not think anti-psychologism is a
 >> misnomer for that position.
 >>
 >> Best
 >> F
 >>
 >>
 >> Den 02/09/2014 kl. 21.00 skrev Jon Awbrey
 >> <jawbrey <at> att.net<mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net>>
 >> :
 >>
 >> Frederik,
 >>
 >> Yes, I know that Frege was strongly "anti-" but Peirce's position is
 >> more nuanced than that, and the adjective "non-psychological" has the
 >> benefit of being one that Peirce actually used to describe his
 >> definition of logic.  I made that suggestion in the hopes of avoiding
 >> some futile discussions, the likes of which I was pained to experience
 >> in cognitive sci circles all through the 80s.  So nuff said on that.
 >>
 >> Jon
 >>

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Jon Awbrey | 24 Sep 16:10 2014
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Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

As I read, read again, and scan ahead through Frederik's book, I find the issues 
it raises very stimulating and its overall perspective very "amen"-able, if you 
will, from my customary spot in the amen corner.  If I appear too often or only 
critical, it is probably because I don't normally find I have anything pressing 
to add until we come to a point of divergence from the overall accord.

At this point in our reading, I can already see "the garden of forking paths", 
normally such delight to ramble through, threatening to overgrow our sight of 
the end-in-view we wandered into these woods to reach.

One thing that helps me in situations like that is to copy out selected passages 
from the source text, the ones that seem to light up as I read them the first 
time, before my vision is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought and too 
much bandying of words about.

So I'm going to set aside this thread for that.  Don't worry if a lot of the 
passages I collect here come from different points in the book than we happen to 
be discussing at any given time, or from other sources that may come to mind. 
There is no need to bother with them until such time as their bearing on present 
business becomes evident.

Regards,

Jon

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Jon Awbrey | 24 Sep 19:36 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

Here is the first passage I wanted to single out for further reflection, from 
“3.2. The Extension of the Dicisign Concept”.  I have broken out the separate 
points of the long paragraph to facilitate study and discussion.  As always, 
please let me know if you find any typos in my transcription from the book.

<quote>

This more general doctrine of Dicisigns has several important merits.

First, it allows for the consideration of the role played by Dicisigns in 
pre-human cognition and communication in biology — and thus to envisage an 
evolutionary account for the development of propositions from very simple 
biological versions of quasi-propositions and to the much more explicit, 
articulated, nested, and varied propositions in human cognition and communication.

Second, it allows for the investigation of a broad range of human Dicisigns 
which do not involve language — or which only partially involve language.  This 
makes possible the study of how pictures, diagrams, gestures, movies, etc. may 
constitute propositions or participate in propositions — highlighting how 
non-linguistic signs may facilitate reasoning and appear in speech acts taken in 
a wider sense, including what could be called picture acts.

Third, it connects propositions closely to perception, cf. Peirce's doctrine of 
“perceptual judgments” realized in the act of perception.

Fourth, Peirce's functional definition of Dicisigns liberates them from the idea 
that conscious intentions, “propositional stances”, and the like form an 
indispensable presupposition for propositions to appear.

And fifth, it embeds Dicisigns and their development in a social setting, Peirce 
taking the step from proposition to proposition in thought to be dialogical and 
to presuppose the knowledge of a Universe of Discourse shared among dialogue 
participants.

This further allows for a plasticity of interpretation of Dicisigns, relative to 
the Universe of Discourse in which they partake.

This radical extension of Dicisigns, embracing animal sign use on the one hand 
and non-linguistic human semiotics, perception and dialogical reasoning on the 
other, does not come without problems, though.  The Dicisigns at stake here may 
appear more implicit, indirect, and vague as compared to the explicitness of 
declarative sentences in the indicative, expressed in human language, ordinary 
or formalized, and thus form a notion of propositions which is, in important 
respects, deflated.

</quote> (Frederik Stjernfelt, ''Natural Propositions'', p. 52)

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Gary Fuhrman | 25 Sep 16:32 2014
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RE: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Jon, I think it would be better if you would combine the quotes from NP and
your comments in a single message. It would also be better if you (and
everyone) would send posts only to the list(s), i.e. delete the addresses of
individuals from your address field before you send, as that would avoid
unnecessary duplication to those individuals, who will all get the post from
the list(s) anyway.

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 24-Sep-14 1:36 PM
To: Frederik Stjernfelt
Cc: PEIRCE-L <at> list.iupui.edu; Gary Fuhrman; Gary Richmond; Benjamin Udell
Subject: Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Peircers,

Here is the first passage I wanted to single out for further reflection,
from "3.2. The Extension of the Dicisign Concept".  I have broken out the
separate points of the long paragraph to facilitate study and discussion.
As always, please let me know if you find any typos in my transcription from
the book.

<quote>

This more general doctrine of Dicisigns has several important merits.

First, it allows for the consideration of the role played by Dicisigns in
pre-human cognition and communication in biology - and thus to envisage an
evolutionary account for the development of propositions from very simple
biological versions of quasi-propositions and to the much more explicit,
articulated, nested, and varied propositions in human cognition and
communication.

Second, it allows for the investigation of a broad range of human Dicisigns
which do not involve language - or which only partially involve language.
This makes possible the study of how pictures, diagrams, gestures, movies,
etc. may constitute propositions or participate in propositions -
highlighting how non-linguistic signs may facilitate reasoning and appear in
speech acts taken in a wider sense, including what could be called picture
acts.

Third, it connects propositions closely to perception, cf. Peirce's doctrine
of "perceptual judgments" realized in the act of perception.

Fourth, Peirce's functional definition of Dicisigns liberates them from the
idea that conscious intentions, "propositional stances", and the like form
an indispensable presupposition for propositions to appear.

And fifth, it embeds Dicisigns and their development in a social setting,
Peirce taking the step from proposition to proposition in thought to be
dialogical and to presuppose the knowledge of a Universe of Discourse shared
among dialogue participants.

This further allows for a plasticity of interpretation of Dicisigns,
relative to the Universe of Discourse in which they partake.

This radical extension of Dicisigns, embracing animal sign use on the one
hand and non-linguistic human semiotics, perception and dialogical reasoning
on the other, does not come without problems, though.  The Dicisigns at
stake here may appear more implicit, indirect, and vague as compared to the
explicitness of declarative sentences in the indicative, expressed in human
language, ordinary or formalized, and thus form a notion of propositions
which is, in important respects, deflated.

</quote> (Frederik Stjernfelt, ''Natural Propositions'', p. 52)

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Jon Awbrey | 27 Sep 03:16 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

A passage from “3.3. Dicisigns: Signs Separately Indicating Their Object”.

<quote>

True to Peirce's general way of investigating sign types, he describes Dicisigns 
compositionally, functionally, and systematically.  As Hilpinen (1992) says, 
Peirce's recurrent and “standard” definition of Dicisigns is given in the 
following italicized passage from “Kaina stoicheia”:

“It is remarkable that while neither a pure icon or a pure index can assert 
anything, an index which forces something to be an icon, as a weathercock does, 
or which forces us to regard it as an icon, as the legend under the portrait 
does, does make an assertion, and forms a proposition.  This suggests a true 
definition of a proposition, which is a question in much dispute at the moment. 
  ''A proposition is a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its 
object.''”  (EP2, 307, emphasis Hilpinen's)

</quote>(Frederik Stjernfelt, ''Natural Propositions'', 53–54)

Points and questions that come to mind on reading this selection:

Assertion.  Brings to mind my first university course in logic (Stoll, perhaps). 
  Based on what I later learned was a tradition extending from Frege to Quine, 
the text made a distinction between considering or contemplating a proposition 
and actually asserting it.  This was invoked, for example, to explain the 
difference between a conditional (→) and an implication (⇒).  I would eventually 
find more sensible ways of understanding this.

Force.  Seriously, experience has forced me to realize that nothing can truly 
force anything to be an icon or force anyone to regard anything as an icon.

Independently and Separately.  These concepts require definition.  As a rule, 
logicians and mathematicians do not define them the same way normal people do.

Regards,

Jon

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Jon Awbrey | 27 Sep 05:00 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

I think it helps to reflect on the previous excerpt
from "Kaina Stoicheia" in a somewhat larger context:

http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2005-November/003187.html

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

KS.  Note 7

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

| The other form of degenerate sign is to be termed an 'index'.
| It is defined as a sign which is fit to serve as such by
| virtue of being in a real reaction with its object.
|
| For example, a weather-cock is such a sign.  It is fit to
| be taken as an index of the wind for the reason that it is
| physically connected with the wind.  A weather-cock conveys
| information;  but this it does because in facing the very
| quarter from which the wind blows, it resembles the wind
| in this respect, and thus has an icon connected with it.
| In this respect it is not a pure index.
|
| A pure index simply forces attention to the object
| with which it reacts and puts the interpreter into
| mediate reaction with that object, but conveys no
| information.
|
| As an example, take an exclamation "Oh!"
|
| The letters attached to a geometrical figure are another case.
|
| Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms must not be expected.
| All that is possible is to give examples which tend sufficiently in towards
| those forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.
|
| It is remarkable that while neither a pure icon nor a pure index
| can assert anything, an index which forces something to be an 'icon',
| as a weather-cock does, or which forces us to regard it as an 'icon',
| as the legend under a portrait does, does make an assertion, and forms
| a 'proposition'.  This suggests the true definition of a proposition,
| which is a question in much dispute at this moment.  A proposition
| is a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its object.
|
| No 'index', however, can be an 'argumentation'.  It may be what many
| writers call an 'argument;  that is, a basis of argumentation;  but an
| argument in the sense of a sign which separately shows what interpretant
| it is intended to determine it cannot be.
|
| C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], NEM 4, 242
|
| C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], MS 517 (1904), pp. 235-263 in:
| Carolyn Eisele (ed.), 'The New Elements of Mathematics by
| Charles S. Peirce, Volume 4, Mathematical Philosophy',
| Mouton, The Hague, 1976.
|
| Cf. "New Elements", pp. 300-324 in 'The Essential Peirce,
| Volume 2 (1893-1913)', Peirce Edition Project (eds.),
| Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1998.

o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o

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Jon Awbrey | 27 Sep 06:00 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351

Peircers,

I forgot to mention a couple of other questions that come to mind in connection 
with that last selection, to wit:

Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?

Peirce more or less finesses the first two questions with his statement that:

 > | Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms
 > | must not be expected.  All that is possible is to give
 > | examples which tend sufficiently in towards those
 > | forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.

That may work for the specious signs but does it apply to the genus of symbols?

Regards,

Jon

Jon Awbrey wrote:
> Peircers,
> 
> I think it helps to reflect on the previous excerpt
> from "Kaina Stoicheia" in a somewhat larger context:
> 
> http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2005-November/003187.html
> 
> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
> 
> KS.  Note 7
> 
> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
> 
> | The other form of degenerate sign is to be termed an 'index'.
> | It is defined as a sign which is fit to serve as such by
> | virtue of being in a real reaction with its object.
> |
> | For example, a weather-cock is such a sign.  It is fit to
> | be taken as an index of the wind for the reason that it is
> | physically connected with the wind.  A weather-cock conveys
> | information;  but this it does because in facing the very
> | quarter from which the wind blows, it resembles the wind
> | in this respect, and thus has an icon connected with it.
> | In this respect it is not a pure index.
> |
> | A pure index simply forces attention to the object
> | with which it reacts and puts the interpreter into
> | mediate reaction with that object, but conveys no
> | information.
> |
> | As an example, take an exclamation "Oh!"
> |
> | The letters attached to a geometrical figure are another case.
> |
> | Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms 
> | must not be expected.  All that is possible is to give 
> | examples which tend sufficiently in towards those 
> | forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.
> |
> | It is remarkable that while neither a pure icon nor a pure index
> | can assert anything, an index which forces something to be an 'icon',
> | as a weather-cock does, or which forces us to regard it as an 'icon',
> | as the legend under a portrait does, does make an assertion, and forms
> | a 'proposition'.  This suggests the true definition of a proposition,
> | which is a question in much dispute at this moment.  A proposition
> | is a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its object.
> |
> | No 'index', however, can be an 'argumentation'.  It may be what many
> | writers call an 'argument;  that is, a basis of argumentation;  but an
> | argument in the sense of a sign which separately shows what interpretant
> | it is intended to determine it cannot be.
> |
> | C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], NEM 4, 242
> |
> | C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], MS 517 (1904), pp. 235-263 in:
> | Carolyn Eisele (ed.), 'The New Elements of Mathematics by
> | Charles S. Peirce, Volume 4, Mathematical Philosophy',
> | Mouton, The Hague, 1976.
> |
> | Cf. "New Elements", pp. 300-324 in 'The Essential Peirce,
> | Volume 2 (1893-1913)', Peirce Edition Project (eds.),
> | Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1998.
> 
> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
> 

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Jerry LR Chandler | 30 Sep 18:27 2014

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

List, Jon:

On Sep 26, 2014, at 11:00 PM, Jon Awbrey wrote:

> Peircers,
> 
> I forgot to mention a couple of other questions that come to mind in connection with that last selection, to wit:
> 
> Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
> And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
> And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?
> 
> Peirce more or less finesses the first two questions with his statement that:
> 
> > | Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms
> > | must not be expected.  All that is possible is to give
> > | examples which tend sufficiently in towards those
> > | forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.
> 
> That may work for the specious signs but does it apply to the genus of symbols?
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon

These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these extentions? 

These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as illustrated by the triadic triad:

qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
icon, index, symbol,
rhema, dicisign, argument.

If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences, is it necessary that the terms themselves,
under different situations and constraints, be impure?  (That is, have more than one qualitative or
quantitative meaning?)

Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...

In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the differences between pure and impure
indices, such as the indices between chains and branched chains of inferences? 

On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start with Lavoisier's principle of purity
which is necessary for all exact (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?

Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?

Cheers

Jerry

> 
> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>> Peircers,
>> I think it helps to reflect on the previous excerpt
>> from "Kaina Stoicheia" in a somewhat larger context:
>> http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2005-November/003187.html
>> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
>> KS.  Note 7
>> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
>> | The other form of degenerate sign is to be termed an 'index'.
>> | It is defined as a sign which is fit to serve as such by
>> | virtue of being in a real reaction with its object.
>> |
>> | For example, a weather-cock is such a sign.  It is fit to
>> | be taken as an index of the wind for the reason that it is
>> | physically connected with the wind.  A weather-cock conveys
>> | information;  but this it does because in facing the very
>> | quarter from which the wind blows, it resembles the wind
>> | in this respect, and thus has an icon connected with it.
>> | In this respect it is not a pure index.
>> |
>> | A pure index simply forces attention to the object
>> | with which it reacts and puts the interpreter into
>> | mediate reaction with that object, but conveys no
>> | information.
>> |
>> | As an example, take an exclamation "Oh!"
>> |
>> | The letters attached to a geometrical figure are another case.
>> |
>> | Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms | must not be expected.  All that is possible
is to give | examples which tend sufficiently in towards those | forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.
>> |
>> | It is remarkable that while neither a pure icon nor a pure index
>> | can assert anything, an index which forces something to be an 'icon',
>> | as a weather-cock does, or which forces us to regard it as an 'icon',
>> | as the legend under a portrait does, does make an assertion, and forms
>> | a 'proposition'.  This suggests the true definition of a proposition,
>> | which is a question in much dispute at this moment.  A proposition
>> | is a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its object.
>> |
>> | No 'index', however, can be an 'argumentation'.  It may be what many
>> | writers call an 'argument;  that is, a basis of argumentation;  but an
>> | argument in the sense of a sign which separately shows what interpretant
>> | it is intended to determine it cannot be.
>> |
>> | C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], NEM 4, 242
>> |
>> | C.S. Peirce, ["Kaina Stoicheia"], MS 517 (1904), pp. 235-263 in:
>> | Carolyn Eisele (ed.), 'The New Elements of Mathematics by
>> | Charles S. Peirce, Volume 4, Mathematical Philosophy',
>> | Mouton, The Hague, 1976.
>> |
>> | Cf. "New Elements", pp. 300-324 in 'The Essential Peirce,
>> | Volume 2 (1893-1913)', Peirce Edition Project (eds.),
>> | Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1998.
>> o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~o
> 
> academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
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> 
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> 
> 
> 
> 


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Jon Awbrey | 30 Sep 22:36 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388

Jerry,

Thanks for addressing the substance ...

The object I had in mind for this thread appears to have gotten lost in the 
intervening fray, so let me go back and repeat what I said in the beginning:

> As I read, read again, and scan ahead through Frederik's book, I find the issues 
> it raises very stimulating and its overall perspective very "amen"-able, if you 
> will, from my customary spot in the amen corner.  If I appear too often or only 
> critical, it is probably because I don't normally find I have anything pressing 
> to add until we come to a point of divergence from the overall accord.
> 
> At this point in our reading, I can already see "the garden of forking paths", 
> normally such delight to ramble through, threatening to overgrow our sight of 
> the end-in-view we wandered into these woods to reach.
> 
> One thing that helps me in situations like that is to copy out selected passages 
> from the source text, the ones that seem to light up as I read them the first 
> time, before my vision is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought and too 
> much bandying of words about.
> 
> So I'm going to set aside this thread for that.  Don't worry if a lot of the 
> passages I collect here come from different points in the book than we happen to 
> be discussing at any given time, or from other sources that may come to mind. 
> There is no need to bother with them until such time as their bearing on present 
> business becomes evident.

It had been my wish to go through the issues in a careful, critical, methodical, 
and even plodding manner if that's what it takes to resolve them even a little. 
     But maybe the time is not ripe for that yet, and I have in the meantime 
been drawn into other, equally engaging, engagements.  So let me just make a few 
off-the-cuff remarks that come to mind.

As I recall, I began with Frederik's citation of Hilpinen's citation of Peirce:

• http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350

To which I added the following thoughts:

> Points and questions that come to mind on reading this selection:
> 
> Assertion.  Brings to mind my first university course in logic (Stoll, perhaps). 
> Based on what I later learned was a tradition extending from Frege to Quine, 
> the text made a distinction between considering or contemplating a proposition 
> and actually asserting it.  This was invoked, for example, to explain the 
> difference between a conditional (→) and an implication (⇒).  I would eventually 
> find more sensible ways of understanding this.
> 
> Force.  Seriously, experience has forced me to realize that nothing can truly 
> force anything to be an icon or force anyone to regard anything as an icon.
> 
> Independently and Separately.  These concepts require definition.  As a rule, 
> logicians and mathematicians do not define them the same way normal people do.

In puzzling over the paragraph that FS quoted from KS I thought it might help to 
examine a bit more context.  So I went back to my NEM copy of KS and there it 
was already lined in the margin. So I reckoned that I had probably already put 
it on line sometime.  As it turned out I had already done that back in 2005. 
For my part, having a parsed-out copy on hand by link with the full context in 
which we had been discussing it before is one part of what I need to figure out 
what is going on there.

So I posted the link and text:

• http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2005-November/003187.html

The reason I keep using these links is not just for the sake of one bit of text 
or another, but because they link into a context of quotations, commentary, and 
discussion from a time when I had far more time for these particular inquiries 
than I am ever likely to have again and when I was far more deeply immersed in 
the issues that I can afford at present.  So I must continue to beg indulgence 
for that and I suggest it's just possible that others may derive good gain from 
my recycling efforts.

Springing from this text, the following questions came to mind:

• http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352

> Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
> And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
> And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?
> 
> Peirce more or less finesses the first two questions with his statement that:
> 
>  > | Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms
>  > | must not be expected.  All that is possible is to give
>  > | examples which tend sufficiently in towards those
>  > | forms to make the mean suggest what is meant.
> 
> That may work for the specious signs but does it apply to the genus of symbols?

With that da capo and recap I can now restore the context and continuity of the 
present point in space-time-&-mind.

Regards,

Jon

Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
> List, Jon:
> 
 > These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these extentions?
 >
 > These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
 > illustrated by the triadic triad:
 >
 > qualisign, sinsign, legisign, icon, index, symbol, rhema, dicisign, argument.
 >
 >
 > If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences, is it necessary
 > that the terms themselves, under different situations and constraints, be
 > impure?  (That is, have more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
 >
 > Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
 >
 > In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
 > differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices between
 > chains and branched chains of inferences?
 >
 > On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start with
 > Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact (pragmatic)
 > logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
 >
 > Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use of the
 > terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
 >
 > Cheers
 >
 > Jerry
 >

--

-- 

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Jon Awbrey | 1 Oct 06:05 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394

Jerry, List,

If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly easy to 
understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to understand what he says 
if we do not understand what he's talking about.

That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
it is only a clue to the role of collateral
acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.

I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...

Jon

> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>> List, Jon:
>>
>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
>> extentions?
>>
>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
>>
>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>> icon, index, symbol,
>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>>
>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>>
>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
>>
>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices between
>> chains and branched chains of inferences?
>>
>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
>>
>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Jerry
>>

Jon Awbrey wrote:
> 
> As I recall, I began with Frederik's citation of Hilpinen's citation 
> of Peirce:
> 
> • http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
> 
> To which I added the following thoughts:
> 
>> Points and questions that come to mind on reading this selection:
>> 
>> *Assertion*.  Brings to mind my first university course in logic (Stoll, 
>> perhaps). Based on what I later learned was a tradition extending from 
>> Frege to Quine, the text made a distinction between considering or 
>> contemplating a proposition and actually asserting it.  This was invoked,
>> for example, to explain the difference between a conditional (→) and an
>> implication (⇒).  I would eventually find more sensible ways of
>> understanding this.
>> 
>> *Force*.  Seriously, experience has forced me to realize that nothing can
>> truly force anything to be an icon or force anyone to regard anything as an
>> icon.
>> 
>> *Independently and Separately*.  These concepts require definition.  As a
>> rule, logicians and mathematicians do not define them the same way normal
>> people do.
> 
> In puzzling over the paragraph that FS quoted from KS I thought it might help
> to examine a bit more context.  So I went back to my NEM copy of KS and there
> it was already lined in the margin. So I reckoned that I had probably already
> put it on line sometime.  As it turned out I had already done that back in
> 2005. For my part, having a parsed-out copy on hand by link with the full
> context in which we had been discussing it before is one part of what I 
> need to figure out what is going on there.
> 
> So I posted the link and text:
> 
> • http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351 
> • http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2005-November/003187.html
> 
> The reason I keep using these links is not just for the sake of one bit 
> of text or another, but because they link into a context of quotations, 
> commentary, and discussion from a time when I had far more time for these
> particular inquiries than I am ever likely to have again and when I was far
> more deeply immersed in the issues that I can afford at present.  So I must
> continue to beg indulgence for that and I suggest it's just possible that
> others may derive good gain from my recycling efforts.
> 
> Springing from this text, the following questions came to mind:
> 
> • http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
> 
>> *Pure Icon and Pure Index*.  What in the world could those be? And how could
>> a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything? And while we're at it, must
>> there also be pure symbols, too?
>> 
>> Peirce more or less finesses the first two questions with his statement
>> that:
>> 
>>> "Absolutely unexceptionable examples of degenerate forms must not 
>>> be expected.  All that is possible is to give examples which tend
>>> sufficiently in towards those forms to make the mean suggest what 
>>> is meant."
>> 
>> That may work for the specious signs but does it apply to the genus 
>> of symbols?
> 
> With that da capo and recap I can now restore the context and continuity 
> of the present point in space-time-&-mind.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jon
> 

--

-- 

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Jon Awbrey | 2 Oct 15:04 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Theme:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14433
JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14434
BU:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14435
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14436
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14437
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14444

Dear Frederik,

That accords with my understanding.  In this usage, "generic" and "genuine" are 
near synonyms, so a generic sign is a genuine sign, and that is simply a symbol. 
  A symbol is that which satisfies the bare definition of sign in a sign 
relation, with no adornments or added axioms, or if it has additional properties 
they are not relevant to its role as a symbol pure and simple.

Not too coincidentally, this bears on the caution that mathematicians are taught 
to exercise with regard to diagrams, meaning initially the concrete pictures of 
mathematical objects that we construct in various media but extending also to 
any orders of representation that are more concrete than the intended object.

When we set out to prove theorems that are true of all triangles, for example, 
we need to show what follows logically from the relevant axioms and definitions. 
  We naturally tend to reason by way of examples and so we draw an illustrative 
figure that is "representative", and that in a double sense, being an icon of a 
particular mathematical object that is "elected" or selected to represent its 
"constituency", the general population of all triangles at large.  Elections 
have consequences, or so they say.  If our representative, for all its obvious 
charisma, is too beholden to special interests, then we find ourselves at risk 
for much deception and self-deception in the consequences of our choice.

The point of the New Elements is that all the same considerations and cautions 
apply to the prospective theory of signs as applied to the established theories 
of geometries.

Regards,

Jon

Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:
 > Dear Jon, lists, Peirce use the concept "degenerate" in his sign theory in
 > analogy to the geometric sense of the term.  Referring to conic sections,
 > certain sections are generic (hyperbolas, ellipses) while other sections are
 > degenerate because corresponding to non-generic cases where one or more
 > variables vanish (parabolas, circles, crossing lines, point).  Thus,
 > degenerate cases only exist as limit cases of generic ones - (but there is
 > nothing "impure" in being a circle …).  Thus, isolated icons and indices
 > exist, but only as limit cases of symbols - of which full, general
 > propositions constitute the center category (this is paraphrasing
 > the Kaina Stoikheia from memory). Best F
 >
 > Den 27/09/2014 kl. 06.00 skrev Jon Awbrey:
 >
 > Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
 > And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
 > And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?
 >

--

-- 

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Frederik Stjernfelt | 2 Oct 14:07 2014
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Dear Jon, lists
Peirce use the concept "degenerate" in his sign theory in analogy to the geometric sense of the term.. Referring to conic sections, certain sections are generic (hyperbolas, ellipses) while other sections are degenerate because corresponding to non-generic cases where one or more variables vanish (parabolas, circles, crossing lines, point). Thus, degenerate cases only exist as limit cases of generic ones - (but there is nothing "impure" in being a circle …). Thus, isolated icons and indices exist, but only as limit cases of symbols - of which full, general propositions constitute the center category (this is paraphrasing the Kaina Stoikheia from memory).
Best
F

Den 27/09/2014 kl. 06.00 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>:

Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?


-----------------------------
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Jerry LR Chandler | 5 Oct 03:15 2014

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

List, Frederik, Jon:

Pure Index?
Pure Icon?

Mysterious to me outside of the legisign commitment.
Within the domain of chemistry, Lavoisier's Principle asserts a legisign concerning the concept of purity that CSP was certainly aware of.  It is the starting point for the natural propositions of chemical sciences. 

Frederik reference to the conic section is pure Peircian.

Make no sense at all to me, other than to call to mind that a cut of an mathematical object depends on how one chooses to place the cut with respect to totality of the geometry of the object - leading to various geometric objects.

Nothing intrinsically impure about a circle, an ellipse, a parabola, .... or any other geometric object, is there?

From the view of the definitions, triad and trichotomy differ in meaning by the distinction between counting (1,2 and 3) and the mental action of separating a whole into exactly three identical parts.  

From a logical perspective, that is, of propositions, counting is 
applicable to any list of indices while the action of separating a list into a trichotomy is possible if and only if the list is composed of exactly 3n objects.

The origin of Frederik's assertion:

Thus, isolated icons and indices exist, but only as limit cases of symbols -

remains mathematically curious to me.

Cheers 

Jerry



On Oct 2, 2014, at 7:07 AM, Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:

Dear Jon, lists
Peirce use the concept "degenerate" in his sign theory in analogy to the geometric sense of the term.. Referring to conic sections, certain sections are generic (hyperbolas, ellipses) while other sections are degenerate because corresponding to non-generic cases where one or more variables vanish (parabolas, circles, crossing lines, point). Thus, degenerate cases only exist as limit cases of generic ones - (but there is nothing "impure" in being a circle …). Thus, isolated icons and indices exist, but only as limit cases of symbols - of which full, general propositions constitute the center category (this is paraphrasing the Kaina Stoikheia from memory).
Best
F

Den 27/09/2014 kl. 06.00 skrev Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> ATT.NET>:

Pure Icon and Pure Index.  What in the world could those be?
And how could a "degenerate" something be a "pure" anything?
And while we're at it, must there also be pure symbols, too?


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Jon Awbrey | 28 Sep 05:08 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Gary F, Gary R, List,

It has long been my practice to maintain a separation between original source 
texts and their various interpretant texts and I continue to believe that this 
is the better practice from the standpoint of both scholarship and encouraging 
critical thinking than dicing and slicing a source text and commingling it with 
one own interpretations to the point where readers have difficulty disentangling 
the mix.  That is the way I work through a text when I take it seriously and it 
has been my desire to take Frederik's work and the issues it raises seriously.

I have never understood why anyone would object such a practice but since one or 
two have done so I made several tries over the course of the day to re-organize 
the selections so far on my blog.  That attempt has proven to be unworkable for 
all sorts of reasons and so I have abandoned it.  If I can't think of another 
way to proceed in the next couple days I will beg off and go do other work.

Regards,

Jon

--

-- 

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Gary Fuhrman | 30 Sep 17:20 2014
Picon

RE: Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Jon, you wrote,
"It has long been my practice to maintain a separation between original
source texts and their various interpretant texts and I continue to believe
that this is the better practice from the standpoint of both scholarship and
encouraging critical thinking than dicing and slicing a source text and
commingling it with one own interpretations to the point where readers have
difficulty disentangling the mix."

This doesn't explain why there's any point to your practice of posting, on a
public forum, slices of a source text, when the *whole* text is already
available to participants in that forum. By doing so, you are yourself
slicing and dicing the source text, removing it from its context. What's the
use of flagging some slice as important without giving any indication of
*why* you consider it important?

If you want to keep a notebook of such slices (in order to revisit them
later for your own purposes), that's fine, I do that all the time. But I
don't post such things on a public forum (until I have something to say
about them), because the selection is made for my own purposes, and serves
no purpose in anyone else's inbox except to take up spacetime.

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net] 
Sent: 27-Sep-14 11:09 PM
To: Frederik Stjernfelt
Cc: PEIRCE-L <at> list.iupui.edu; Gary Fuhrman; Gary Richmond; Benjamin Udell
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Gary F, Gary R, List,

It has long been my practice to maintain a separation between original
source texts and their various interpretant texts and I continue to believe
that this is the better practice from the standpoint of both scholarship and
encouraging critical thinking than dicing and slicing a source text and
commingling it with one own interpretations to the point where readers have
difficulty disentangling the mix.  That is the way I work through a text
when I take it seriously and it has been my desire to take Frederik's work
and the issues it raises seriously.

I have never understood why anyone would object such a practice but since
one or two have done so I made several tries over the course of the day to
re-organize the selections so far on my blog.  That attempt has proven to be
unworkable for all sorts of reasons and so I have abandoned it.  If I can't
think of another way to proceed in the next couple days I will beg off and
go do other work.

Regards,

Jon


-----------------------------
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Jon Awbrey | 1 Oct 20:56 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409

Jerry, List,

Re:"CSP's rhetorical stance"

Somewhere in the classical part of my education I picked up the notion that 
rhetoric is an inquiry into the forms of argument, discussion, and reasoning 
that "consider the audience", in other words, that take the nurture and the 
nature of the interpreter into account.

But considering the interpreter, putting the interpreter back into the process 
of interpretation, is the very thing that sets Peirce's account of information, 
inquiry, logic, signs, and pragmatic thinking in general apart from the run of 
logical systems that had been developed to any significant technical degree up 
to his time and even long after it.

The Horror! The Horror! A Spectre Is Haunting Logic — The Spectre Of Relativism!

Well, no, not really, but you'd think it from the ter-roar that dyad-in-the-wool 
flatlanders raise at the very idea of moving logic into the 3rd dimension.

To be continued ...

Jon

Jon Awbrey wrote:
 > Jerry, List,
 >
 > If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly
 > easy to understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to
 > understand what he says if we do not understand what he's talking about.
 >
 > That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
 > it is only a clue to the role of collateral
 > acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.
 >
 > I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...
 >
 > Jon
 >
 >> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
 >>> List, Jon:
 >>>
 >>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
 >>> extentions?
 >>>
 >>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
 >>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
 >>>
 >>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
 >>> icon, index, symbol,
 >>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
 >>>
 >>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
 >>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
 >>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
 >>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
 >>>
 >>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
 >>>
 >>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
 >>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices between
 >>> chains and branched chains of inferences?
 >>>
 >>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
 >>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
 >>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
 >>>
 >>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
 >>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
 >>>
 >>> Cheers
 >>>
 >>> Jerry
 >>>

--

-- 

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inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
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Jon Awbrey | 2 Oct 04:44 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422

JLRC: These questions penetrate to the heart of
 >>>>> CSP's rhetorical stance as illustrated by
 >>>>> the triadic triad:
 >>>>>
 >>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
 >>>>> icon, index, symbol,
 >>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
 >>>>>
 >>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
 >>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
 >>>>> situations and constraints, be impure? (That is, have
 >>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)

Jerry, List,

There is something that needs to be said about the proper use of categories and 
classifications in Peirce's work and what I regard as their mis-use in a great 
number of contemporary discussions.

One of the first issues I can remember pointing out when I joined the Peirce 
List was the distinction between "triadicities" and "trichotomies", the first 
relating to properties of triadic relations and the second relating to mutually 
exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.  Although one can form what is 
known in mathematics as a "projective" relation between the two structures, the 
trichotomies remain pale reflections of the richer triadicities, distorting and 
reducing much of their information.  Trying to comprehend triadic relations by 
means of their projective trichotomies is a project ultimately doomed to fail.

To be continued ...

Jon

Jon Awbrey wrote:

> Jerry, List,
> 
> Re: "CSP's rhetorical stance"
> 
> Somewhere in the classical part of my education I picked up the notion 
> that rhetoric is an inquiry into the forms of argument, discussion, and 
> reasoning that "consider the audience", in other words, that take the 
> nurture and the nature of the interpreter into account.
> 
> But considering the interpreter, putting the interpreter back into the 
> process of interpretation, is the very thing that sets Peirce's account 
> of information, inquiry, logic, signs, and pragmatic thinking in general 
> apart from the run of logical systems that had been developed to any 
> significant technical degree up to his time and even long after it.
> 
> The Horror! The Horror! A Spectre Is Haunting Logic — The Spectre Of 
> Relativism!
> 
> Well, no, not really, but you'd think it from the ter-roar that 
> dyad-in-the-wool flatlanders raise at the very idea of moving 
> logic into the 3rd dimension.
> 
> To be continued ...
> 
> Jon
> 
> 
> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>> Jerry, List,
>>
>> If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly
>> easy to understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to
>> understand what he says if we do not understand what he's talking about.
>>
>> That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
>> it is only a clue to the role of collateral
>> acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.
>>
>> I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...
>>
>> Jon
>>
>>> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>>>> List, Jon:
>>>>
>>>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
>>>> extentions?
>>>>
>>>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
>>>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
>>>>
>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>>>> icon, index, symbol,
>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>>>>
>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>>>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>>>>
>>>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
>>>>
>>>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
>>>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices 
>>>> between chains and branched chains of inferences?
>>>>
>>>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
>>>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
>>>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
>>>>
>>>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
>>>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>>
>>>> Jerry
>>>>

--

-- 

academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
isw: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/JLA
oeiswiki: http://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
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-----------------------------
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posts should go to peirce-L <at> list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to
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http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .

Jeffrey Brian Downard | 2 Oct 05:10 2014

RE: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Hello Jon,

If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between "triadicities" and
"trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition to being interested in distinction you are making,
I'd like to read more about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations onto the
mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.  

In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of the conceptions of the
restrictions and limitations that apply to a given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of
the partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some arguments Peirce develops in "How to
Make Our Ideas Clear." 

Thanks,

Jeff 

Jeff Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
NAU
(o) 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
To: Peirce List 1
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422

JLRC: These questions penetrate to the heart of
 >>>>> CSP's rhetorical stance as illustrated by
 >>>>> the triadic triad:
 >>>>>
 >>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
 >>>>> icon, index, symbol,
 >>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
 >>>>>
 >>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
 >>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
 >>>>> situations and constraints, be impure? (That is, have
 >>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)

Jerry, List,

There is something that needs to be said about the proper use of categories and
classifications in Peirce's work and what I regard as their mis-use in a great
number of contemporary discussions.

One of the first issues I can remember pointing out when I joined the Peirce
List was the distinction between "triadicities" and "trichotomies", the first
relating to properties of triadic relations and the second relating to mutually
exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.  Although one can form what is
known in mathematics as a "projective" relation between the two structures, the
trichotomies remain pale reflections of the richer triadicities, distorting and
reducing much of their information.  Trying to comprehend triadic relations by
means of their projective trichotomies is a project ultimately doomed to fail.

To be continued ...

Jon

Jon Awbrey wrote:

> Jerry, List,
>
> Re: "CSP's rhetorical stance"
>
> Somewhere in the classical part of my education I picked up the notion
> that rhetoric is an inquiry into the forms of argument, discussion, and
> reasoning that "consider the audience", in other words, that take the
> nurture and the nature of the interpreter into account.
>
> But considering the interpreter, putting the interpreter back into the
> process of interpretation, is the very thing that sets Peirce's account
> of information, inquiry, logic, signs, and pragmatic thinking in general
> apart from the run of logical systems that had been developed to any
> significant technical degree up to his time and even long after it.
>
> The Horror! The Horror! A Spectre Is Haunting Logic — The Spectre Of
> Relativism!
>
> Well, no, not really, but you'd think it from the ter-roar that
> dyad-in-the-wool flatlanders raise at the very idea of moving
> logic into the 3rd dimension.
>
> To be continued ...
>
> Jon
>
>
> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>> Jerry, List,
>>
>> If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly
>> easy to understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to
>> understand what he says if we do not understand what he's talking about.
>>
>> That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
>> it is only a clue to the role of collateral
>> acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.
>>
>> I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...
>>
>> Jon
>>
>>> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>>>> List, Jon:
>>>>
>>>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
>>>> extentions?
>>>>
>>>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
>>>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
>>>>
>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>>>> icon, index, symbol,
>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>>>>
>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>>>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>>>>
>>>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
>>>>
>>>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
>>>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices
>>>> between chains and branched chains of inferences?
>>>>
>>>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
>>>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
>>>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
>>>>
>>>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
>>>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>>
>>>> Jerry
>>>>

--

academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
isw: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/JLA
oeiswiki: http://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JonnyCache

-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
posts should go to peirce-L <at> list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to
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http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .

Benjamin Udell | 2 Oct 05:33 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Jeff D., Jon,

I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies 
is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over the 
years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and 
others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign, 
object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely 
triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications, 
especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign, 
legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which 
Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that 
make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy' 
distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many 
times. A separate issue is the one about whether the 
sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated trichotomy.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:

> Hello Jon,
>
> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between "triadicities" and
"trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition to being interested in distinction you are making,
I'd like to read more about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations onto the
mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>
> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of the conceptions of the
restrictions and limitations that apply to a given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of
the partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some arguments Peirce develops in "How to
Make Our Ideas Clear."
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jeff
>
> Jeff Downard
> Associate Professor
> Department of Philosophy
> NAU
> (o) 523-8354
> ________________________________________
> From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
> To: Peirce List 1
> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

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Sungchul Ji | 3 Oct 20:04 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists,

1)  Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one
defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a
mathematical category ?

2) "Triad" is a system of three entities, while "trichotomy" is the
process of dividing a system into three parts, either physically or
mentally, the latter case of which is called "prescinding" by Peirce.

With all the best.

Sung
__________________________________________________
Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers University
Piscataway, N.J. 08855
732-445-4701

www.conformon.net

> Jeff D., Jon,
>
> I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies
> is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over the
> years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and
> others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign,
> object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely
> triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications,
> especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign,
> legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which
> Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that
> make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy'
> distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many
> times. A separate issue is the one about whether the
> sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated trichotomy.
>
> Best, Ben
>
> On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
>
>> Hello Jon,
>>
>> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between
>> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition
>> to being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read more
>> about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations
>> onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>>
>> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of
>> the conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a
>> given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the
>> partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some
>> arguments Peirce develops in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear."
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Jeff
>>
>> Jeff Downard
>> Associate Professor
>> Department of Philosophy
>> NAU
>> (o) 523-8354
>> ________________________________________
>> From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
>> To: Peirce List 1
>> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages
>


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Benjamin Udell | 3 Oct 20:20 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Sungchul, list

I know next to nothing about category theory.

Most generally a triad is a trio.  A predicate is called triadic if it is predicated of three objects like so: Pxyz.  In Peirce's system a genuine triad is one involving irreducibly triadic action, called semiosis, among three correlates: sign, object, and interpretant.  Trichotomy is three-way division, whether as process or as result.

Best, Ben

On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:

Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists, 1) Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a mathematical category ? 2) "Triad" is a system of three entities, while "trichotomy" is the process of dividing a system into three parts, either physically or mentally, the latter case of which is called "prescinding" by Peirce. With all the best. Sung __________________________________________________ Sungchul Ji, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Rutgers University Piscataway, N.J. 08855 732-445-4701 www.conformon.net
Jeff D., Jon, I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over the years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign, object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications, especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign, legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy' distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many times. A separate issue is the one about whether the sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated trichotomy. Best, Ben On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
Hello Jon, If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look. In addition to being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read more about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain. In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of the conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a given domain of inquiry. I'd like to see how your account of the partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some arguments Peirce develops in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear." Thanks, Jeff Jeff Downard Associate Professor Department of Philosophy NAU (o) 523-8354 ________________________________________ From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net] Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM To: Peirce List 1 Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages


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Clark Goble | 3 Oct 20:57 2014

Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages


On Oct 3, 2014, at 12:20 PM, Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com> wrote:

On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:

Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists, 1) Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a mathematical category ?

Category theory is one of those things I’ve always wanted to learn and never have had time. I can’t say much about it. However I did have this in my notes. It’s from *way* back on May 1st, 2006 here on Peirce-L. It’s from John Sowa whom I suspect most of us are familiar with. This is him replying on connections between category theory and Peirce.

I would say that the description of category theory by
Irving A. is a reasonable explanation of the subject.

But category theory wasn't invented until about 40 years
after Peirce died.  Therefore, he wasn't aware of it.

On the other hand, I don't think that there's much point in
arguing "whether it can be connected to any part of the work
of Peirce in any significant way?"   He probably would have
approved of it, but so what?

There are other developments, such as DNA and Heisenberg's
uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which are much
closer to themes that Peirce had discussed.  Those could be
considered support for his positions, but I'd put category
theory into an area that is compatible with Peirce's views,
but not directly supportive of anything he said in particular.


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Benjamin Udell | 3 Oct 21:15 2014
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Clark, list,

Sowa's note was forwarded to peirce-l by Gary Richmond as a comment on Anellis's earlier peirce-l post on April 30, 2006 http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/709 which said the following:

[Quote Anellis]
I had earlier noted that, in going back to Herrlich & Strecker's _Category Theory_, I was reminded that category theory permits comparison of classes of any abstract mathematical structures with any other class of abstract mathematical structure, e.g. the class of  all groups and their homomorphisms with the class of all topological spaces and their continuous functions, and the comparison of these with other classes of structured sets and structure-preserving functions. A _category_ is the class of all members of some kind of abstract mathematical entity (sets, groups, rings, fields topological spaces, etc.) and all the functions that hold between the class  mathematical entity or structure being studied.

Whether this has any implications or significance for philosophers -- other than perhaps philosophers of mathematics, I suggest that it can be understood as a further development of Felix Klein's effort in the Erlanger Programme to classify geometries according to their algebraic groups, and CSP's contemporaneous work, in the appendix to his father's work on Linear Nonassociative Algebra, to classify those algebras in terms of his algebra of relatives, and followed by Whitehead's efforts in the _Treatise on Universal Algebra_ at the end of the nineteenth century, to bring together Boolean algebra, linear and multilinear algebras, and Hermann Grassmann's Ausdehnungslehre into a unified system. (It may not be amiss to remind everyone that Whitehead's initial conception of the _Principia Mathematica_ when he first joined forces with Russell to write the latter, was as a second volume to his _Treatise_.) It is also true that a number of mathematicians have seriously considered using, and begun to develop, category theory as a foundation of mathematics more felicitous than the discarded logicism of Frege, Dedekind, and the Russell of the _Principles of Mathematics_ and the _Principia_.

Irving H. Anellis
[End quote]

On 10/3/2014 2:57 PM, Clark Goble wrote:


On Oct 3, 2014, at 12:20 PM, Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com> wrote:

On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:

Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists, 1) Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a mathematical category ?

Category theory is one of those things I’ve always wanted to learn and never have had time. I can’t say much about it. However I did have this in my notes. It’s from *way* back on May 1st, 2006 here on Peirce-L. It’s from John Sowa whom I suspect most of us are familiar with. This is him replying on connections between category theory and Peirce.

I would say that the description of category theory by
Irving A. is a reasonable explanation of the subject.

But category theory wasn't invented until about 40 years
after Peirce died.  Therefore, he wasn't aware of it.

On the other hand, I don't think that there's much point in
arguing "whether it can be connected to any part of the work
of Peirce in any significant way?"   He probably would have
approved of it, but so what?

There are other developments, such as DNA and Heisenberg's
uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which are much
closer to themes that Peirce had discussed.  Those could be
considered support for his positions, but I'd put category
theory into an area that is compatible with Peirce's views,
but not directly supportive of anything he said in particular.


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Sungchul Ji | 4 Oct 01:39 2014
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

(Sorry if the figure gets distorted.)

Clark quoted Sowa as having said that

"There are other developments, such as DNA and Heisenberg's        (100314-1)
uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which are much
closer to themes that Peirce had discussed.  Those could be
considered support for his positions, but I'd put category
theory into an area that is compatible with Peirce's views,
but not directly supportive of anything he said in particular."

I wonder if Sowa read the following quote of Peirce
(http://www.iupui.edu/~arisbe/rsources/76DEFS/76defs.HTM), which clearly
indicates to me that the Peircean sign is a mathematical category which I
often represent as:

             f                 g
    Object ------ >   Sign -------> Interpretent
      |                                  ^
      |                                  |
      |__________________________________|
                        h

where the three structure-preserving mappings, f, g and h corresponds to
the relations Þ, µ the following quote from Peirce. with the third mapping
missing (as far as I can tell):

Peirce wrote:

"A "sign" is anything, A, which,

(1) in addition to other characters of its own,

(2) stands in a dyadic relation Þ, to a purely active correlate, B,

(3) and is also in a triadic relation to B for a purely passive correlate,
C, this triadic relation being such as to determine C to be in a dyadic
relation, µ, to B, the relation µ corresponding in a recognized way to the
relation Þ."

With all the best.

Sung
__________________________________________________
Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers University
Piscataway, N.J. 08855
732-445-4701

www.conformon.net

>
>> On Oct 3, 2014, at 12:20 PM, Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>>
>> On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:
>>
>>> Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists,
>>>
>>> 1)  Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one
>>> defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a
>>> mathematical category ?
>
> Category theory is one of those things I’ve always wanted to learn and
> never have had time. I can’t say much about it. However I did have this
> in my notes. It’s from *way* back on May 1st, 2006 here on Peirce-L.
> It’s from John Sowa whom I suspect most of us are familiar with. This is
> him replying on connections between category theory and Peirce.
>
> I would say that the description of category theory by
> Irving A. is a reasonable explanation of the subject.
>
> But category theory wasn't invented until about 40 years
> after Peirce died.  Therefore, he wasn't aware of it.
>
> On the other hand, I don't think that there's much point in
> arguing "whether it can be connected to any part of the work
> of Peirce in any significant way?"   He probably would have
> approved of it, but so what?
>
> There are other developments, such as DNA and Heisenberg's
> uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which are much
> closer to themes that Peirce had discussed.  Those could be
> considered support for his positions, but I'd put category
> theory into an area that is compatible with Peirce's views,
> but not directly supportive of anything he said in particular.
>
>


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Sungchul Ji | 4 Oct 01:07 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

Ben, list,

It is my understanding that the mathematical category is another name for
semiosis.  In other words, a category is to mathematicians hat semiosis is
to semioticians.

To quote Peirce from http://www.iupui.edu/~arisbe/rsources/76DEFS/76defs.HTM:

A "sign" is anything, A, which,

(1) in addition to other characters of its own,

(2) stands in a dyadic relation Þ, to a purely active correlate, B,

(3) and is also in a triadic relation to B for a purely passive correlate,
C, this triadic relation being such as to determine C to be in a dyadic
relation, µ, to B, the relation µ corresponding in a recognized way to the
relation Þ."

I believe that this definition of a sign is isomorphic with the
mathematical definition of a category.

With all the best.

Sung

> Sungchul, list
>
> I know next to nothing about category theory.
>
> Most generally a triad is a trio.  A predicate is called triadic if it
> is predicated of three objects like so: /Pxyz/. In Peirce's system a
> genuine triad is one involving irreducibly triadic action, called
> semiosis, among three correlates: sign, object, and interpretant.
> Trichotomy is three-way division, whether as process or as result.
>
> Best, Ben
>
> On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:
>
>> Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists,
>>
>> 1)  Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one
>> defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a
>> mathematical category ?
>>
>> 2) "Triad" is a system of three entities, while "trichotomy" is the
>> process of dividing a system into three parts, either physically or
>> mentally, the latter case of which is called "prescinding" by Peirce.
>>
>> With all the best.
>>
>> Sung
>> __________________________________________________
>> Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
>> Rutgers University
>> Piscataway, N.J. 08855
>> 732-445-4701
>>
>> www.conformon.net
>>
>>
>>
>>> Jeff D., Jon,
>>>
>>> I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies
>>> is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over
>>> the
>>> years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and
>>> others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign,
>>> object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely
>>> triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications,
>>> especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign,
>>> legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which
>>> Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that
>>> make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy'
>>> distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many
>>> times. A separate issue is the one about whether the
>>> sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated
>>> trichotomy.
>>>
>>> Best, Ben
>>>
>>> On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello Jon,
>>>>
>>>> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction
>>>> between
>>>> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In
>>>> addition
>>>> to being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read
>>>> more
>>>> about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic
>>>> relations
>>>> onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>>>>
>>>> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of
>>>> the conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a
>>>> given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the
>>>> partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some
>>>> arguments Peirce develops in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear."
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> Jeff
>>>>
>>>> Jeff Downard
>>>> Associate Professor
>>>> Department of Philosophy
>>>> NAU
>>>> (o) 523-8354
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
>>>> To: Peirce List 1
>>>> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages
>>
>>
>
>


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Sungchul Ji | 4 Oct 21:58 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions . Selected Passages

(The undistorted figure is attached.)

Ben wrote:

                                                             (100414-1)
“Most generally a triad is a trio.  A predicate is called triadic if it is
predicated of three objects like so: Pxyz.  In Peirce's system a genuine
triad is one involving irreducibly triadic action, called semiosis, among
three correlates: sign, object, and interpretant.  Trichotomy is three-way
division, whether as process or as result.”

I thikn there are at least two kinds of triads – an irreducible triad,
that may be denoted as A-B-C-A, such as Peirce’s semiosis, which can be
represented diagrammatically as a mathematical category as shown in Figure
1,  and a “dyadic” triad consisting of a linear combination of two
“dyadic” relations, denoted as  A-B-C, without the third relation
connecting these two relations as in A-B-C-A.  In other words, Peirces’
irreducible triad is characterized by the tree mappings, f, g and h, that
form a closed loop, whereas a “dyadic” triad lacks a closure, which is
equivalent to saying that it does not satisfy the composition condition of
the mathematical category.

              f                g
    Object ------ >  Sign   ------>  Intperpteretant
      |                                     ^
      |                                     |
      |_____________________________________|
                       h

Figure 1.  Semiosis as a mathematical category.  Sign determines
interpretant (see g) in such a way that interpretant ends up having the
same relation  with object (see h) that the sign itself has with the
object (see f).  This is equivalent to saying that the composition
condition is satisfied, i.e.,
f x g = h.

With all the best,

Sung
__________________________________________________
Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers University
Piscataway, N.J. 08855
732-445-4701

> Sungchul, list
>
> I know next to nothing about category theory.
>
> Most generally a triad is a trio.  A predicate is called triadic if it
> is predicated of three objects like so: /Pxyz/. In Peirce's system a
> genuine triad is one involving irreducibly triadic action, called
> semiosis, among three correlates: sign, object, and interpretant.
> Trichotomy is three-way division, whether as process or as result.
>
> Best, Ben
>
> On 10/3/2014 2:04 PM, Sungchul Ji wrote:
>
>> Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists,
>>
>> 1)  Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one
>> defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a
>> mathematical category ?
>>
>> 2) "Triad" is a system of three entities, while "trichotomy" is the
>> process of dividing a system into three parts, either physically or
>> mentally, the latter case of which is called "prescinding" by Peirce.
>>
>> With all the best.
>>
>> Sung
>> __________________________________________________
>> Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
>> Rutgers University
>> Piscataway, N.J. 08855
>> 732-445-4701
>>
>> www.conformon.net
>>
>>
>>
>>> Jeff D., Jon,
>>>
>>> I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies
>>> is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over
>>> the
>>> years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and
>>> others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign,
>>> object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely
>>> triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications,
>>> especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign,
>>> legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which
>>> Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that
>>> make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy'
>>> distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many
>>> times. A separate issue is the one about whether the
>>> sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated
>>> trichotomy.
>>>
>>> Best, Ben
>>>
>>> On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello Jon,
>>>>
>>>> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction
>>>> between
>>>> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In
>>>> addition
>>>> to being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read
>>>> more
>>>> about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic
>>>> relations
>>>> onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>>>>
>>>> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of
>>>> the conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a
>>>> given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the
>>>> partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some
>>>> arguments Peirce develops in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear."
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> Jeff
>>>>
>>>> Jeff Downard
>>>> Associate Professor
>>>> Department of Philosophy
>>>> NAU
>>>> (o) 523-8354
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
>>>> To: Peirce List 1
>>>> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages
>>
>>
>
>

Attachment (Ben_10042014.pdf): application/pdf, 135 KiB

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Jon Awbrey | 3 Oct 21:45 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Sung, List,

Maybe it would help if you told me whether you wish to have:
(1) a mathematical discussion about mathematical categories or
(2) a philosophical discussion about mathematical categories.

In Case 1, I can only say what I always say when you bring up
this subject, to wit, that it would be necessary to learn the
definitions of mathematical categories and sign relations
in order to study their potential relationships.

In Case 2, I always find that actually being a veteran of the
relevant courses in mathematics, much less many, many graduate
level courses and seminars, pretty much disqualifies a person
from being heard in philosophical discussions on those subjects,
so blather on, Dudes ...

TGIF❢

Jon

Sungchul Ji wrote:
> Ben, Jeff, Jon, lists,
> 
> 1)  Can we say that there can be many triads, depending one how one
> defines them, but the Peircean triad is special and identical with a
> mathematical category ?
> 
> 2) "Triad" is a system of three entities, while "trichotomy" is the
> process of dividing a system into three parts, either physically or
> mentally, the latter case of which is called "prescinding" by Peirce.
> 
> With all the best.
> 
> Sung
> __________________________________________________
> Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
> Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
> Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
> Rutgers University
> Piscataway, N.J. 08855
> 732-445-4701
> 
> www.conformon.net
> 
> 
> 
>> Jeff D., Jon,
>>
>> I'd just like to note that the questions of triads versus trichotomies
>> is something that we've discussed a number of times at peirce-l over the
>> years. For my part, I like using those words in the way that Jon and
>> others have recommended - 'triad' for the triadically related sign,
>> object, interpretant, which are involved as the correlates in genuinely
>> triadic action, and 'trichotomy' for three-fold classifications,
>> especially categorially correlated ones such as qualisign, sinsign,
>> legisign. However, it should be noted that there are passages in which
>> Peirce calls trichotomies 'triads', and other passages by Peirce that
>> make no sense unless one follows the 'triad'-versus-'trichotomy'
>> distinction. I don't have the quotes handy but we've been over it many
>> times. A separate issue is the one about whether the
>> sign-object-interpretant triad is also categorially correlated trichotomy.
>>
>> Best, Ben
>>
>> On 10/1/2014 11:10 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
>>
>>> Hello Jon,
>>>
>>> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between
>>> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition
>>> to being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read more
>>> about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations
>>> onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>>>
>>> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of
>>> the conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a
>>> given domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the
>>> partitions of the domain compares to his reconstruction of some
>>> arguments Peirce develops in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear."
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Jeff
>>>
>>> Jeff Downard
>>> Associate Professor
>>> Department of Philosophy
>>> NAU
>>> (o) 523-8354
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: Jon Awbrey [jawbrey <at> att.net]
>>> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:44 PM
>>> To: Peirce List 1
>>> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

--

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Jon Awbrey | 2 Oct 05:40 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Jeff,

The earliest such discussions go back to the turn of the millennium and the 
Texas Tech server and might not be possible to find anymore, but I probably 
posted various renditions to other lists and archives that are still around. 
Given time and a little thought I could probably reconstruct their substance.

Will get on that in a day or two ...

Jon

Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
> Hello Jon,
> 
> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between
> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition to
> being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read more about
> how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations onto the
> mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
> 
> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of the
> conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a given domain
> of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the partitions of the domain
> compares to his reconstruction of some arguments Peirce develops in "How to
> Make Our Ideas Clear."
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Jeff
> 
> Jeff Downard Associate Professor Department of Philosophy NAU (o) 523-8354

--

-- 

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Jon Awbrey | 5 Oct 05:21 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Re: Jeffrey Brian Downard
At: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14434

Jeff, List,

I had a faint memory of discussing the relation between k-adic and k-tomic with 
Tom Gollier in my early days on the Peirce List, and for once my memory serves 
me well.  I found this link to a later discussion in which I recycled parts of 
that discussion, in relation to 2-adic versus 2-tomic thinking and the problem 
of integration in Susan Haack's ''Evidence and Inquiry'.

http://stderr.org/pipermail/arisbe/2001-August/000878.html

¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~ARCHIVE~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤

Subj:  Re: Dyads
Date:  Fri, 08 Dec 2000 00:48:18 -0500
From:  Jon Awbrey <jawbrey <at> oakland.edu>
   To:  Stand Up Ontology <standard-upper-ontology <at> ieee.org>

Jon Awbrey wrote (JA):
Tom Gollier wrote (TG):

JA: I think that we also need to distinguish "dichotomous thinking" (DT)
     from "dyadic thinking" (DT).  In spite of my acronymaniac confusion,
     there is yet a "difference that makes a difference" between the DT's --
     one has to do with the number of values, {0, 1}, {F, T}, {evil, good},
     and so on, that one imposes on the cosmos, the other has to do with
     the number of dimensions that a persona puts on the face of the deep,
     that is to say, the number of independent axes in the frame of reverence
     that one projects on the scene or otherwise puts up to put the cosmos on.

TG: Your transmission [above] kind of faded out after the "number of values",
     but do you mean a difference between, say, two values of truth and falsity
     on the one hand, and all things being divided into subjects and predicates,
     functions and arguments, and such as that on the other?  If so, I'd like
     to second the notion, as not only are the two values much less odious,
     if no less rigorous, in their applications, but they're often maligned
     as naive or simplistic by arguments which actually should be applied
     to the idea, naive and simplistic in the extreme, that there are
     only two kinds of things.

JA: There may be a connection -- I will have to think about it --
     but "trichotomic", "dichotomic", "monocotyledonic", whatever,
     refer to a number of values, 3, 2, 1, whatever, as in the range
     of a function.  In contrast, "triadic", "dyadic", "monadic",
     as a series, refer to the number of independent dimensions that
     are involved in a relation, which you could represent as axes
     of a coordinate frame or as columns in a data table.  As the
     appearance of the word "independent" should clue you in,
     this will be one of those parti-colored woods in which
     the interpretive paths of mathematicians and normal
     folks are likely to diverge.

JA: There is a typical sort of phenomenon of misunderstanding that often
     arises when people imbued in the different ways of thinking try to
     communicate with each other.  Just to illustrate the situation for
     the case where n = 2, let me draw the following picture:

|     Dyadic Span of Dimensions
|        ^                 ^
|         \               /
|          \             /
|           o           o
|           |\         /|
|           | \       / |
|           |  \     /  |
|           |   \   /   |
|           v    \ /    v
|     <-----o-----o-----o----->
|   Dichotomic Spectrum of Values

JA: This is supposed to show how the "number of values" (NOV) thinker
     will project the indications of the "number of axes" (NOA) thinker
     onto the straight-line spectrum of admitted directions, oppositions,
     or values, tending to reduce the mutually complementing dimensions
     into a tug-of-war of strife-torn exclusions and polarizations.

JA: And even when the "tomic" thinker tries to achieve a balance,
     a form of equilibrium, or a compromising harmony, whatever,
     the distortion that is due to this manner of projection
     will always render the resulting system untenable.

JA: Probably my bias is evident.

JA: But I think that it is safe to say, for whatever else
     it might be good, tomic thinking is of limited use in
     trying to understand Peirce's thought.

JA: Just to mention one of the settings where this theme
     has arisen in my studies recently, you may enjoy the
     exercise of reading, in the light of this projective
     template, Susan Haack's 'Evidence & Inquiry', where
     she strives to achieve a balance or a compromise
     between foundationalism and coherentism, that is,
     more or less, objectivism and relativism, and
     with some attempt to incorporate the insights
     of Peirce's POV.  But a tomic thinker, per se,
     will not be able to comprehend what the heck
     Peirce was talking about.

¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~EVIHCRA~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤

Jon Awbrey wrote:
> Jeff,
> 
> The earliest such discussions go back to the turn of the millennium and the
> Texas Tech server and might not be possible to find anymore, but I probably
> posted various renditions to other lists and archives that are still around.
> Given time and a little thought I could probably reconstruct their substance.
> 
> 
> Will get on that in a day or two ...
> 
> Jon
> 
> Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:
>> Hello Jon,
>> 
>> If you have links to the earlier discussions of the distinction between 
>> "triadicities" and "trichotomies", I'd like to take a look.  In addition to
>>  being interested in distinction you are making, I'd like to read more 
>> about how you are thinking about the projection of the triadic relations 
>> onto the mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.
>> 
>> In his monograph <Reading Peirce Reading>, Richard Smyth makes much of the 
>> conceptions of the restrictions and limitations that apply to a given 
>> domain of inquiry.  I'd like to see how your account of the partitions of
>> the domain compares to his reconstruction of some arguments Peirce develops
>> in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear."
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> 
>> Jeff
>> 
>> Jeff Downard Associate Professor Department of Philosophy NAU (o) 523-8354
> 

--

-- 

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Jerry LR Chandler | 2 Oct 06:06 2014

Re: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Jon, List:

It appears to me that your distinction is one that needs to carefully examined.

Please cite the reference texts.

Clearly, the triadic triad is not a mathematical partition.  Period. Full Stop. End of Narrative.
Why anyone would thin so is beyond my comprehension.

Your concerns about trichotomies in CSP texts does deserve another look.
In other words, I concur with Jeff's post.

Cheers

Jerry

 
On Oct 1, 2014, at 9:44 PM, Jon Awbrey wrote:

> Thread:
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
> JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422
> 
> JLRC: These questions penetrate to the heart of
> >>>>> CSP's rhetorical stance as illustrated by
> >>>>> the triadic triad:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
> >>>>> icon, index, symbol,
> >>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
> >>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
> >>>>> situations and constraints, be impure? (That is, have
> >>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
> 
> Jerry, List,
> 
> There is something that needs to be said about the proper use of categories and classifications in
Peirce's work and what I regard as their mis-use in a great number of contemporary discussions.
> 
> One of the first issues I can remember pointing out when I joined the Peirce List was the distinction
between "triadicities" and "trichotomies", the first relating to properties of triadic relations and
the second relating to mutually exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.  Although one can form
what is known in mathematics as a "projective" relation between the two structures, the trichotomies
remain pale reflections of the richer triadicities, distorting and reducing much of their information. 
Trying to comprehend triadic relations by means of their projective trichotomies is a project
ultimately doomed to fail.
> 
> To be continued ...
> 
> Jon
> 
> 
> Jon Awbrey wrote:
> 
>> Jerry, List,
>> Re: "CSP's rhetorical stance"
>> Somewhere in the classical part of my education I picked up the notion that rhetoric is an inquiry into the
forms of argument, discussion, and reasoning that "consider the audience", in other words, that take the
nurture and the nature of the interpreter into account.
>> But considering the interpreter, putting the interpreter back into the process of interpretation, is
the very thing that sets Peirce's account of information, inquiry, logic, signs, and pragmatic thinking
in general apart from the run of logical systems that had been developed to any significant technical
degree up to his time and even long after it.
>> The Horror! The Horror! A Spectre Is Haunting Logic — The Spectre Of Relativism!
>> Well, no, not really, but you'd think it from the ter-roar that dyad-in-the-wool flatlanders raise at
the very idea of moving logic into the 3rd dimension.
>> To be continued ...
>> Jon
>> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>>> Jerry, List,
>>> 
>>> If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly
>>> easy to understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to
>>> understand what he says if we do not understand what he's talking about.
>>> 
>>> That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
>>> it is only a clue to the role of collateral
>>> acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.
>>> 
>>> I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...
>>> 
>>> Jon
>>> 
>>>> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>>>>> List, Jon:
>>>>> 
>>>>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
>>>>> extentions?
>>>>> 
>>>>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
>>>>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
>>>>> 
>>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>>>>> icon, index, symbol,
>>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>>>>> 
>>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>>>>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
>>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>>>>> 
>>>>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
>>>>> 
>>>>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
>>>>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices between chains and branched chains
of inferences?
>>>>> 
>>>>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
>>>>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
>>>>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
>>>>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Cheers
>>>>> 
>>>>> Jerry
>>>>> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
> my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
> inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
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> 
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> 
> 
> 
> 


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Sungchul Ji | 3 Oct 19:48 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Jon

"Trying to comprehend triadic relations by
means of their projective trichotomies is a project
ultimately doomed to fail."

A couple of concrete examples would help in understanding what you mean by
the doomed failure you are referring to.

With all the best.

Sung
_________________________________________________
Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers University
Piscataway, N.J. 08855
732-445-4701

www.conformon.net

> Thread:
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
> JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422
>
> JLRC: These questions penetrate to the heart of
>  >>>>> CSP's rhetorical stance as illustrated by
>  >>>>> the triadic triad:
>  >>>>>
>  >>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>  >>>>> icon, index, symbol,
>  >>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>  >>>>>
>  >>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>  >>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>  >>>>> situations and constraints, be impure? (That is, have
>  >>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>
> Jerry, List,
>
> There is something that needs to be said about the proper use of
> categories and
> classifications in Peirce's work and what I regard as their mis-use in a
> great
> number of contemporary discussions.
>
> One of the first issues I can remember pointing out when I joined the
> Peirce
> List was the distinction between "triadicities" and "trichotomies", the
> first
> relating to properties of triadic relations and the second relating to
> mutually
> exclusive and exhaustive partitions of a domain.  Although one can form
> what is
> known in mathematics as a "projective" relation between the two
> structures, the
> trichotomies remain pale reflections of the richer triadicities,
> distorting and
> reducing much of their information.  Trying to comprehend triadic
> relations by
> means of their projective trichotomies is a project ultimately doomed to
> fail.
>
> To be continued ...
>
> Jon
>
>
> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>
>> Jerry, List,
>>
>> Re: "CSP's rhetorical stance"
>>
>> Somewhere in the classical part of my education I picked up the notion
>> that rhetoric is an inquiry into the forms of argument, discussion, and
>> reasoning that "consider the audience", in other words, that take the
>> nurture and the nature of the interpreter into account.
>>
>> But considering the interpreter, putting the interpreter back into the
>> process of interpretation, is the very thing that sets Peirce's account
>> of information, inquiry, logic, signs, and pragmatic thinking in general
>> apart from the run of logical systems that had been developed to any
>> significant technical degree up to his time and even long after it.
>>
>> The Horror! The Horror! A Spectre Is Haunting Logic — The Spectre Of
>> Relativism!
>>
>> Well, no, not really, but you'd think it from the ter-roar that
>> dyad-in-the-wool flatlanders raise at the very idea of moving
>> logic into the 3rd dimension.
>>
>> To be continued ...
>>
>> Jon
>>
>>
>> Jon Awbrey wrote:
>>> Jerry, List,
>>>
>>> If we understand what Peirce is talking about then it's usually fairly
>>> easy to understand what he says, but it's almost impossible to
>>> understand what he says if we do not understand what he's talking
>>> about.
>>>
>>> That is not a paraphrase of the Meno paradox —
>>> it is only a clue to the role of collateral
>>> acquaintance in escaping the Meno paradox.
>>>
>>> I'll try address your questions more directly tomorrow ...
>>>
>>> Jon
>>>
>>>> Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>>>>> List, Jon:
>>>>>
>>>>> These are excellent questions!  What do you think about these
>>>>> extentions?
>>>>>
>>>>> These questions penetrate to the heart of CSP's rhetorical stance as
>>>>> illustrated by the triadic triad:
>>>>>
>>>>> qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
>>>>> icon, index, symbol,
>>>>> rhema, dicisign, argument.
>>>>>
>>>>> If these terms are to form a coherent pattern of inferences,
>>>>> is it necessary that the terms themselves, under different
>>>>> situations and constraints, be  impure? (That is, have
>>>>> more than one qualitative or quantitative meaning?)
>>>>>
>>>>> Further questions about the purity of thought arise readily...
>>>>>
>>>>> In particular, does the concept of a decisign emerge because of the
>>>>> differences between pure and impure indices, such as the indices
>>>>> between chains and branched chains of inferences?
>>>>>
>>>>> On a technical note, often CSP's chains of inferences appear to start
>>>>> with Lavoisier's principle of purity which is necessary for all exact
>>>>> (pragmatic) logic of chemistry and molecular biology?
>>>>>
>>>>> Does Lavoisier's principle of purity have any influence on CSP's use
>>>>> of the terms, Pure Icon and Pure Index?
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers
>>>>>
>>>>> Jerry
>>>>>
>
> --
>
> academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
> my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
> inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
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Jon Awbrey | 3 Oct 20:56 2014
Picon
Picon

Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Thread:
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14433
JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14434
BU:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14435
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14436
JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14437
FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14444
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14445
JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14448
SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14476

Sung, List,

Working on a TGIF deadline to get some other business done,
so only time for a few words & an "Exercise for the Reader".

It is common to speak of icon/index/symbol as forming a "trichotomy",
but in truth its genealogy is that of a genus and two of its species.
Symbols are the generic examples of what it takes to be a sign in an
(object, sign, interpretant) triple in a triadic sign relation, while
icons and indices are less generic, more specialized, "nearly dyadic"
in the sense that their dyadic denotation relations figure saliently
in their use while the virtues whereby they denote their objects and
receive their interpretants recede into the ground of their gestalts.

But icons and indices are still signs of the Peircean brand,
and as such components of elements of triadic sign relations.
Icons are icons only because they are interpreted as icons and
indices are indices only because they are interpreted as indices.
The interpretive character of the genus is visited on the species.

But we constantly see that even these taxons intermingle and overlap —
they are not the slices of a pie but the aspects or facets of a gem.

Regards,

Jon

Sungchul Ji wrote:
> Jon
> 
> "Trying to comprehend triadic relations by
> means of their projective trichotomies is a project
> ultimately doomed to fail."
> 
> A couple of concrete examples would help in understanding what you mean by
> the doomed failure you are referring to.
> 
> With all the best.
> 
> Sung
> _________________________________________________
> Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
> Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
> Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
> Rutgers University
> Piscataway, N.J. 08855
> 732-445-4701
> 
> www.conformon.net
> 

--

-- 

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Sungchul Ji | 4 Oct 01:21 2014
Picon

Re: Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Jon,

I am afraid your answer is as incomprehensible to me as was your original
remark that prompted my question.

With all the best.

Sung

> Thread:
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14286
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14290
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14313
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14350
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14351
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14352
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14359
> GF:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14383
> JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14388
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14394
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14409
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14422
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14433
> JBD:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14434
> BU:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14435
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14436
> JLRC:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14437
> FS:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14444
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14445
> JA:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14448
> SJ:http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14476
>
> Sung, List,
>
> Working on a TGIF deadline to get some other business done,
> so only time for a few words & an "Exercise for the Reader".
>
> It is common to speak of icon/index/symbol as forming a "trichotomy",
> but in truth its genealogy is that of a genus and two of its species.
> Symbols are the generic examples of what it takes to be a sign in an
> (object, sign, interpretant) triple in a triadic sign relation, while
> icons and indices are less generic, more specialized, "nearly dyadic"
> in the sense that their dyadic denotation relations figure saliently
> in their use while the virtues whereby they denote their objects and
> receive their interpretants recede into the ground of their gestalts.
>
> But icons and indices are still signs of the Peircean brand,
> and as such components of elements of triadic sign relations.
> Icons are icons only because they are interpreted as icons and
> indices are indices only because they are interpreted as indices.
> The interpretive character of the genus is visited on the species.
>
> But we constantly see that even these taxons intermingle and overlap —
> they are not the slices of a pie but the aspects or facets of a gem.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jon
>
> Sungchul Ji wrote:
>> Jon
>>
>> "Trying to comprehend triadic relations by
>> means of their projective trichotomies is a project
>> ultimately doomed to fail."
>>
>> A couple of concrete examples would help in understanding what you mean
>> by
>> the doomed failure you are referring to.
>>
>> With all the best.
>>
>> Sung
>> _________________________________________________
>> Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
>> Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
>> Rutgers University
>> Piscataway, N.J. 08855
>> 732-445-4701
>>
>> www.conformon.net
>>
>
> --
>
> academia: http://independent.academia.edu/JonAwbrey
> my word press blog: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/
> inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
> isw: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/JLA
> oeiswiki: http://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey
> facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JonnyCache
>


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Jon Awbrey | 2 Oct 20:44 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

Another passage from ''Natural Propositions'' that appeared to light up before 
my mind's eye — I'm guessing because of all the time I whiled away wrestling 
with divergent views of assertion when I first began studying the history of 
logic — is this selection from Chapter 3.

<quote>

3.4.  The Double Function of the Dicisign

The function of expressing truth or falsity is possible only by means of the 
Dicisign having a particular double structure which Peirce describes in various 
ways, already in the early nineties:

"Every assertion is an assertion that two different signs have the same object." 
  ("Short Logic", 1893, CP 2.437).

An assertion is the speech act of claiming that a proposition is true.  As a 
sign, the proposition must involve those two different signs:  it must, at the 
same time, fulfill two functions connecting it in two different ways to the same 
object, the index and the icon mentioned above.  This is the reason why many 
propositions possess an internal structure composed from two separate parts, 
each fulfilling its specific function.  Oftentimes, Peirce generalizes the 
classical notions of subject and predicate to account for these two aspects of 
Dicisigns: ...

</quote> (Frederik Stjernfelt, ''Natural Propositions'', p. 55)

At this point Frederik quotes a passage from the 1903 ''Syllabus'' that is found 
in CP 2.312 and EP2 p. 277.  By way of providing additional context that I found 
to be helpful, I will supply a slightly more generous sample of that text in my 
next post.

Regards,

Jon

--

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Jon Awbrey | 4 Oct 06:27 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions • Selected Passages

Peircers,

The more I pondered the first two quotations from the Syllabus that Frederik 
cited in Chapter 3.4, the more I felt compelled to study that part of the text 
in detail, and I eventually copied out a longer extract from EP 2, 275–277, 
taking that over the comparable but editorially altered text in CP 2.309–313.

As I often do, I split the long paragraphs up as I saw fit to aid the digestion.

C.S. Peirce • Syllabus • Selection 2
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2014/10/04/c-s-peirce-%e2%80%a2-syllabus-%e2%80%a2-selection-2/

Regards,

Jon

--

-- 

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Jeffrey Brian Downard | 25 Sep 18:05 2014

Re: Natural Propositions

Frederik, Lists,

You say:  "Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose resting points were propositions."

For the sake of sorting through some of the disagreements that have been voiced about what kinds of signs or
representamens may be found in the physical, chemical, biological or social parts of nature, let me try to
provide a quick summary of the position that is established in the normative sciences:

Peirce establishes this much in the speculative grammar and critical logic:
1) thought is an end directed inference chain whose resting points are decisions; 
2) conscious thought is realized in greater degrees when the inferences are self controlled argument and
argumentation chains directed towards ends that are held to be good for their own sake (e.g., towards the
truth), where the resting points are dicisigns that take symbolic forms and are called propositions. 
Those inference chains that appear to embody final causes that are held by the mind that interprets them to
be good for their own sake are argument and argumentation chains because the mind that does the
interpretation is able to consciously evaluate those arguments by examining the degree to which they
serve the larger aims.  The highest levels of self-control involve the evaluation and criticism of the
leading principles of inquiry and the larger ideals that animate those principles.

Based on this understanding of inference and argument, we have reason to adopt the following as regulative
ideas in our methodeutic: 
3) all regularities—wherever they are found--may be conceived as inference chains.  Those inference
chains that are no longer evolving in their embodied regularities no longer appear to be changing towards
some end and may, at that point in time, be conceived simply as mechanical causes.  They can be thought of as
mechanical because the inferences all seem to have a demonstrative form and the synthetic inferences
that involve continued growth do not appear to be present.  Those regularities that are still evolving may
reasonably be supposed to involve something like an end (more or less determinate), where the end is one of
the things that may be undergoing evolution.  Those processes that are merely finious, but not entirely
final, may be conceived as inference chains where the resting points are representamens that may have a
structure that is similar in some respects to a dicisign.  Those inference chains that appear to embody
final causes may be conceived as thoughts that are directed towards some natural end, where the resting
points of the chains are dicisigns.  When the interpretants of this process involve only the lower degrees
of self-control, we may reasonably suppose that there is a quasi-mind that serves as interpreter. 
Consequently, we may conceive of all regularities as inference chains where the evolution of those
regularities involve greater and lesser degrees of control over the processes that are involved in the
modification and adaptation of those regularities in relation to ends that are more or less determinate,
where those ends themselves have something like a life history—some are dying or are dead, and some are
alive are growing.

These regulative ideas are put to use in metaphysics as Peirce tries to articulate the assumptions we
should adopt as we seek to explain all of the basic kinds of things that call out for explanation in the
special sciences.  The goal is to keep the door of inquiry open by avoiding any explanatory move that will
make it impossible to explain what needs to be explained.

--Jeff

Jeff Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
NAU
(o) 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Frederik Stjernfelt [stjern <at> hum.ku.dk]
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:48 AM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: [biosemiotics:6952] Re: Natural Propositions

Dear John, lists,
I think you're right - Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose resting points were propositions.
Best
F

Den 22/09/2014 kl. 18.46 skrev John Collier <collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>>
:

At 01:41 PM 2014-09-13, Frederik wrote:
Dear Sung, lists -
To take thought to be but the result of thinking is an idea that may lead us astray - especially if you take
thinking in all its aspects to be a psychological process only.
Thought is not determined by thinking only but, importantly, by the object of thought and the structure of
sound reasoning.
So, you might as well say that thought is the result of the norms of reasoning and the features of the object
thought about. Thinking then is the process combining these - but not the process producing thought as
such. Just like the TV-series you watch is not the product of the printing of the DVD only. Or the meal you
prepare in your casserole is not only the product of the cooking process - but also of the objects you add to
the casserole and the recipe you follow.
Best
F

I agree with what you say here, but I was wondering if it does not go further. Frege used "thought" to refer to
propositions, as I understand him, and I am not clear whether Peirce did the same. (I studied with a number
of Frege experts, but never had a Peirce expert on my committee, though my thesis does make homage to
Peirce.) I am thinking in particular of a peculiar passage that Vinicius Romanini brought to my attention:

() if, for example, there be a certain fossil fish, certain observations upon which, made by a skilled
paleontologist, and taken in connection with chemical analyses of the bones and of the rock in which they
were embedded, will one day furnish that paleontologist with the keystone of an argumentative arch upon
which he will securely erect a solid proof of a conclusion of great importance, then, in my view, in the true
logical sense, that thought has already all the reality it ever will have, although as yet the quarries
have not been opened that will enable human minds to perform that reasoning. For the fish is there, and the
actual composition of  the stone already in fact determines what the chemist and the paleontologists will
one day read in them. () It is, therefore, true, in the logicians sense of the words, although not in that of
the psychologists, that the thought is already expressed there (EP2: 455).

This passage makes much more sense to me, and fits much better my information based ontology, if "thought"
means what I would mean by "proposition".

John

Frederik wrote:

"Thinking, in this sense, may be the object of,            (6729-1)
psychology thought not so ."

Can you separate thinking and thought?  Isn't the latter the result of the
former?  If so, why can't the latter be the object of psychology as well ?

With all the best.

Sung

________________________________
John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
Http://web.ncf.ca/collier
<http://web.ncf.ca/collier>

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Gary Fuhrman | 30 Sep 16:03 2014
Picon

RE: Re: Natural Propositions

Jeff, I was leaving it to Frederik to comment on this, but he seems to be
out of the loop for the moment ... anyway I think it's a superb summary of
how Peirce can take us from logic to biosemiotics. Especially in the way you
show how degrees of consciousness are aligned with the continuum of
intentionality (if I may call it that).

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Brian Downard [mailto:Jeffrey.Downard <at> nau.edu] 
Sent: 25-Sep-14 12:05 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions

Frederik, Lists,

You say:  "Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose resting points were
propositions."

For the sake of sorting through some of the disagreements that have been
voiced about what kinds of signs or representamens may be found in the
physical, chemical, biological or social parts of nature, let me try to
provide a quick summary of the position that is established in the normative
sciences:

Peirce establishes this much in the speculative grammar and critical logic:
1) thought is an end directed inference chain whose resting points are
decisions;
2) conscious thought is realized in greater degrees when the inferences are
self controlled argument and argumentation chains directed towards ends that
are held to be good for their own sake (e.g., towards the truth), where the
resting points are dicisigns that take symbolic forms and are called
propositions.  Those inference chains that appear to embody final causes
that are held by the mind that interprets them to be good for their own sake
are argument and argumentation chains because the mind that does the
interpretation is able to consciously evaluate those arguments by examining
the degree to which they serve the larger aims.  The highest levels of
self-control involve the evaluation and criticism of the leading principles
of inquiry and the larger ideals that animate those principles.

Based on this understanding of inference and argument, we have reason to
adopt the following as regulative ideas in our methodeutic: 
3) all regularities-wherever they are found--may be conceived as inference
chains.  Those inference chains that are no longer evolving in their
embodied regularities no longer appear to be changing towards some end and
may, at that point in time, be conceived simply as mechanical causes.  They
can be thought of as mechanical because the inferences all seem to have a
demonstrative form and the synthetic inferences that involve continued
growth do not appear to be present.  Those regularities that are still
evolving may reasonably be supposed to involve something like an end (more
or less determinate), where the end is one of the things that may be
undergoing evolution.  Those processes that are merely finious, but not
entirely final, may be conceived as inference chains where the resting
points are representamens that may have a structure that is similar in some
respects to a dicisign.  Those inference chains that appear to embody final
causes may be conceived as thoughts that are directed towards some natural
end, where the resting points of the chains are dicisigns.  When the
interpretants of this process involve only the lower degrees of
self-control, we may reasonably suppose that there is a quasi-mind that
serves as interpreter.  Consequently, we may conceive of all regularities as
inference chains where the evolution of those regularities involve greater
and lesser degrees of control over the processes that are involved in the
modification and adaptation of those regularities in relation to ends that
are more or less determinate, where those ends themselves have something
like a life history-some are dying or are dead, and some are alive are
growing.

These regulative ideas are put to use in metaphysics as Peirce tries to
articulate the assumptions we should adopt as we seek to explain all of the
basic kinds of things that call out for explanation in the special sciences.
The goal is to keep the door of inquiry open by avoiding any explanatory
move that will make it impossible to explain what needs to be explained.

--Jeff

Jeff Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
NAU
(o) 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Frederik Stjernfelt [stjern <at> hum.ku.dk]
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:48 AM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: [biosemiotics:6952] Re: Natural Propositions

Dear John, lists,
I think you're right - Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose resting
points were propositions.
Best
F

Den 22/09/2014 kl. 18.46 skrev John Collier
<collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>>
:

At 01:41 PM 2014-09-13, Frederik wrote:
Dear Sung, lists -
To take thought to be but the result of thinking is an idea that may lead us
astray - especially if you take thinking in all its aspects to be a
psychological process only.
Thought is not determined by thinking only but, importantly, by the object
of thought and the structure of sound reasoning.
So, you might as well say that thought is the result of the norms of
reasoning and the features of the object thought about. Thinking then is the
process combining these - but not the process producing thought as such.
Just like the TV-series you watch is not the product of the printing of the
DVD only. Or the meal you prepare in your casserole is not only the product
of the cooking process - but also of the objects you add to the casserole
and the recipe you follow.
Best
F

I agree with what you say here, but I was wondering if it does not go
further. Frege used "thought" to refer to propositions, as I understand him,
and I am not clear whether Peirce did the same. (I studied with a number of
Frege experts, but never had a Peirce expert on my committee, though my
thesis does make homage to Peirce.) I am thinking in particular of a
peculiar passage that Vinicius Romanini brought to my attention:

() if, for example, there be a certain fossil fish, certain observations
upon which, made by a skilled paleontologist, and taken in connection with
chemical analyses of the bones and of the rock in which they were embedded,
will one day furnish that paleontologist with the keystone of an
argumentative arch upon which he will securely erect a solid proof of a
conclusion of great importance, then, in my view, in the true logical sense,
that thought has already all the reality it ever will have, although as yet
the quarries have not been opened that will enable human minds to perform
that reasoning. For the fish is there, and the actual composition of  the
stone already in fact determines what the chemist and the paleontologists
will one day read in them. () It is, therefore, true, in the logicians sense
of the words, although not in that of the psychologists, that the thought is
already expressed there (EP2: 455).

This passage makes much more sense to me, and fits much better my
information based ontology, if "thought" means what I would mean by
"proposition".

John

Frederik wrote:

"Thinking, in this sense, may be the object of,            (6729-1)
psychology thought not so ."

Can you separate thinking and thought?  Isn't the latter the result of the
former?  If so, why can't the latter be the object of psychology as well ?

With all the best.

Sung

________________________________
John Collier
collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
Http://web.ncf.ca/collier
<http://web.ncf.ca/collier>


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Edwina Taborsky | 30 Sep 16:35 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7030] RE: Re: Natural Propositions

Jeff wrote: "all regularities-wherever they are found--may be conceived as 
inference
> chains.  Those inference chains that are no longer evolving in their
> embodied regularities no longer appear to be changing towards some end and
> may, at that point in time, be conceived simply as mechanical causes. "

1) This does not mean that these 'inference chains' are not semiosic 
processes. I understand the above 'mechanical' chains as operating within 
the physico-chemical realm and their lack of evolution provides a general 
and universal base of stability within which the biological realm can 
explode in niche-dependent and highly flexible diversity.

2) The end state or goal is multi-leveled. At one level it is a goal for the 
'best morphological form' in that environment. At a more general level, it 
is a goal to generate as many diverse forms, in a complex adaptive network, 
as possible, to ensure that matter does not dissipate to its LCD.

3) The issue of 'control' is interesting, for a key aspect of diversity is 
its acceptance of the lack of total control with the acknowledgement of 
freedom or chance, which can introduce novel morphologies into the niche and 
also, destroy other forms.

Edwina

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gary Fuhrman" <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca>
To: <biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee>; "'Peirce List'" <PEIRCE-L <at> list.iupui.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:03 AM
Subject: [biosemiotics:7030] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions

> Jeff, I was leaving it to Frederik to comment on this, but he seems to be
> out of the loop for the moment ... anyway I think it's a superb summary of
> how Peirce can take us from logic to biosemiotics. Especially in the way 
> you
> show how degrees of consciousness are aligned with the continuum of
> intentionality (if I may call it that).
>
> gary f.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey Brian Downard [mailto:Jeffrey.Downard <at> nau.edu]
> Sent: 25-Sep-14 12:05 PM
> To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: Natural Propositions
>
> Frederik, Lists,
>
> You say:  "Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose resting points 
> were
> propositions."
>
> For the sake of sorting through some of the disagreements that have been
> voiced about what kinds of signs or representamens may be found in the
> physical, chemical, biological or social parts of nature, let me try to
> provide a quick summary of the position that is established in the 
> normative
> sciences:
>
> Peirce establishes this much in the speculative grammar and critical 
> logic:
> 1) thought is an end directed inference chain whose resting points are
> decisions;
> 2) conscious thought is realized in greater degrees when the inferences 
> are
> self controlled argument and argumentation chains directed towards ends 
> that
> are held to be good for their own sake (e.g., towards the truth), where 
> the
> resting points are dicisigns that take symbolic forms and are called
> propositions.  Those inference chains that appear to embody final causes
> that are held by the mind that interprets them to be good for their own 
> sake
> are argument and argumentation chains because the mind that does the
> interpretation is able to consciously evaluate those arguments by 
> examining
> the degree to which they serve the larger aims.  The highest levels of
> self-control involve the evaluation and criticism of the leading 
> principles
> of inquiry and the larger ideals that animate those principles.
>
> Based on this understanding of inference and argument, we have reason to
> adopt the following as regulative ideas in our methodeutic:
> 3) all regularities-wherever they are found--may be conceived as inference
> chains.  Those inference chains that are no longer evolving in their
> embodied regularities no longer appear to be changing towards some end and
> may, at that point in time, be conceived simply as mechanical causes. 
> They
> can be thought of as mechanical because the inferences all seem to have a
> demonstrative form and the synthetic inferences that involve continued
> growth do not appear to be present.  Those regularities that are still
> evolving may reasonably be supposed to involve something like an end (more
> or less determinate), where the end is one of the things that may be
> undergoing evolution.  Those processes that are merely finious, but not
> entirely final, may be conceived as inference chains where the resting
> points are representamens that may have a structure that is similar in 
> some
> respects to a dicisign.  Those inference chains that appear to embody 
> final
> causes may be conceived as thoughts that are directed towards some natural
> end, where the resting points of the chains are dicisigns.  When the
> interpretants of this process involve only the lower degrees of
> self-control, we may reasonably suppose that there is a quasi-mind that
> serves as interpreter.  Consequently, we may conceive of all regularities 
> as
> inference chains where the evolution of those regularities involve greater
> and lesser degrees of control over the processes that are involved in the
> modification and adaptation of those regularities in relation to ends that
> are more or less determinate, where those ends themselves have something
> like a life history-some are dying or are dead, and some are alive are
> growing.
>
> These regulative ideas are put to use in metaphysics as Peirce tries to
> articulate the assumptions we should adopt as we seek to explain all of 
> the
> basic kinds of things that call out for explanation in the special 
> sciences.
> The goal is to keep the door of inquiry open by avoiding any explanatory
> move that will make it impossible to explain what needs to be explained.
>
> --Jeff
>
>
>
> Jeff Downard
> Associate Professor
> Department of Philosophy
> NAU
> (o) 523-8354
> ________________________________________
> From: Frederik Stjernfelt [stjern <at> hum.ku.dk]
> Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:48 AM
> To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
> Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Re: [biosemiotics:6952] Re: Natural Propositions
>
> Dear John, lists,
> I think you're right - Peirce saw thought as an argument chain whose 
> resting
> points were propositions.
> Best
> F
>
> Den 22/09/2014 kl. 18.46 skrev John Collier
> <collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>>
> :
>
> At 01:41 PM 2014-09-13, Frederik wrote:
> Dear Sung, lists -
> To take thought to be but the result of thinking is an idea that may lead 
> us
> astray - especially if you take thinking in all its aspects to be a
> psychological process only.
> Thought is not determined by thinking only but, importantly, by the object
> of thought and the structure of sound reasoning.
> So, you might as well say that thought is the result of the norms of
> reasoning and the features of the object thought about. Thinking then is 
> the
> process combining these - but not the process producing thought as such.
> Just like the TV-series you watch is not the product of the printing of 
> the
> DVD only. Or the meal you prepare in your casserole is not only the 
> product
> of the cooking process - but also of the objects you add to the casserole
> and the recipe you follow.
> Best
> F
>
> I agree with what you say here, but I was wondering if it does not go
> further. Frege used "thought" to refer to propositions, as I understand 
> him,
> and I am not clear whether Peirce did the same. (I studied with a number 
> of
> Frege experts, but never had a Peirce expert on my committee, though my
> thesis does make homage to Peirce.) I am thinking in particular of a
> peculiar passage that Vinicius Romanini brought to my attention:
>
> () if, for example, there be a certain fossil fish, certain observations
> upon which, made by a skilled paleontologist, and taken in connection with
> chemical analyses of the bones and of the rock in which they were 
> embedded,
> will one day furnish that paleontologist with the keystone of an
> argumentative arch upon which he will securely erect a solid proof of a
> conclusion of great importance, then, in my view, in the true logical 
> sense,
> that thought has already all the reality it ever will have, although as 
> yet
> the quarries have not been opened that will enable human minds to perform
> that reasoning. For the fish is there, and the actual composition of  the
> stone already in fact determines what the chemist and the paleontologists
> will one day read in them. () It is, therefore, true, in the logicians 
> sense
> of the words, although not in that of the psychologists, that the thought 
> is
> already expressed there (EP2: 455).
>
> This passage makes much more sense to me, and fits much better my
> information based ontology, if "thought" means what I would mean by
> "proposition".
>
> John
>
> Frederik wrote:
>
> "Thinking, in this sense, may be the object of,            (6729-1)
> psychology thought not so ."
>
>
> Can you separate thinking and thought?  Isn't the latter the result of the
> former?  If so, why can't the latter be the object of psychology as well ?
>
> With all the best.
>
> Sung
>
> ________________________________
> John Collier
> collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za<mailto:collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>
> Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
> T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
> Http://web.ncf.ca/collier
> <http://web.ncf.ca/collier>
>
>
> 


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Jerry LR Chandler | 30 Sep 18:00 2014

Re: Natural Propositions

List, Jeff:

(NB: This message contains technical arguments that may be incomprehensible to non-technical readers.)

Your paragraph (see below) is mathematically precise, well almost so because of the profound restriction that is placed on the rhetorical space of its applicability may exclude/obscure some of CSP's meanings.  It has taken a few days to parse the meaning of your arguments in relation to CSP writings. 

The restriction becomes profound when you limit the nature of antecedent chains to "ALL regularities".

CSP does NOT restrict the triadic triad,

qualisign, sinsign, legisign,
icon, index, symbol,
rhema, dicisign, argument,

to regularity of inference chains.

A mathematic chain, (as either a short exact chain or a long exact chain as used in topology), defines a linear sequence of points/symbols/ numbers.  
The meaning of mathematical term "chain" is an analogy because the visual images of a real (mechanical, visible) chains with increasing number of links is an appropriate analogy.
The extension from "chains" to "inference chains" is problematic for the natural sciences, which differ from mathematics.

The natural sciences differ from mathematics by the intrinsic irregularities (that is, non-regular) of form.

CSP's "triadic triad" does not demand "regular chains".
The distinction between regularity and irregularity is clear from the sub-triad "indices, rhema and dicisign." as well as CSP's beta-graphs, which do not require the concept of chains.

Is it possible that CSP's definitions were framed to account for both regular and irregular chains?

Two facts suggest that this possibility exists.
One fact is the well-known phenomena of many possible branches of chemical isomers where the number of possible isomers depends on the length of the chains of each branch (as well as the quantities of valences of each atom).  CSP used this fact in his development of the rhetoric linking icons to rhema and rhema to indices.

The second fact is less well known but was well known to CSP.  This is fact that the "handedness" of molecules (measurable by the relations of light to matter) is a function of the icon of the molecule.  These relations are highly irregular, not predictable, and dependent on the branching of the irregular chains of indices of the atoms.  

So, Jeff, my question to you is:

How do these facts influence your beliefs about the relationships between mathematics and CSP notion of inferences?

Cheers

Jerry

Postscript: By the way, Jeff, these arguments are related to logical problems in solving higher-order polynomials.



On Sep 25, 2014, at 11:05 AM, Jeffrey Brian Downard wrote:

Based on this understanding of inference and argument, we have reason to adopt the following as regulative ideas in our methodeutic: 
3) all regularities—wherever they are found--may be conceived as inference chains.  Those inference chains that are no longer evolving in their embodied regularities no longer appear to be changing towards some end and may, at that point in time, be conceived simply as mechanical causes.  They can be thought of as mechanical because the inferences all seem to have a demonstrative form and the synthetic inferences that involve continued growth do not appear to be present.  Those regularities that are still evolving may reasonably be supposed to involve something like an end (more or less determinate), where the end is one of the things that may be undergoing evolution.  Those processes that are merely finious, but not entirely final, may be conceived as inference chains where the resting points are representamens that may have a structure that is similar in some respects to a dicisign.  Those inference chains that appear to embody final causes may be conceived as thoughts that are directed towards some natural end, where the resting points of the chains are dicisigns.  When the interpretants of this process involve only the lower degrees of self-control, we may reasonably suppose that there is a quasi-mind that serves as interpreter. Consequently, we may conceive of all regularities as inference chains where the evolution of those regularities involve greater and lesser degrees of control over the processes that are involved in the modification and adaptation of those regularities in relation to ends that are more or less determinate, where those ends themselves have something like a life history—some are dying or are dead, and some are alive are growing.

These regulative ideas are put to use in metaphysics as Peirce tries to articulate the assumptions we should adopt as we seek to explain all of the basic kinds of things that call out for explanation in the special sciences.  The goal is to keep the door of inquiry open by avoiding any explanatory move that will make it impossible to explain what needs to be explained.


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Gary Fuhrman | 26 Sep 13:21 2014
Picon

RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

On to the third section of NP Chapter 3:

 

Here we come to the intension (depth), i.e. the definition, of the dicisign — first in the definition of “proposition” (from “Kaina Stoicheia”) as “a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its object.” Separately from what? From the rest of the sign. In a verbal replica of a proposition, the part which indicates the object is called the subject. Like all words, it is symbolic — but this is not definitive of its function in the proposition. What is definitive is not the symbolic but the indexical function. Thus the definition applies equally well to a sign which is not verbal or symbolic.

 

An index alone, though, would indicate the object without giving us any information about it. The part of a verbal proposition which does tell us something about its object is called the predicate. But here too, the symbolicity of the predicate part is not definitive of its function; what’s definitive of that function is the iconicity of the sign. Thus “the vital spark of every proposition, the peculiar propositional element of the proposition, is an indexical proposition; an index involving an icon” (EP2:310). Hence the name dicisign or dicent sign for a sign that combines these indexical and iconic functions (whether it does so by symbolic means or not). This is the core of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

This still leaves open the question I posed earlier about “Kaina Stoicheia”, which may be reworded thus: if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign? To clarify this question, we should note Peirce’s definition of “symbol”, in KS and in the Syllabus, as “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307). Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

This will probably be my last post for a few days, as I’ll be away from home and fully occupied all weekend. I trust that the seminar will carry on in my absence.

 

gary f.

 

 

 


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Gary Richmond | 26 Sep 21:50 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary F., lists,

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).
      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o
f
 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now
near
proverbial
"
sunflower"
has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump
in
certain cases, the idea of 
the genuine sign
, which is to say the sign
completed in
its
being interpreted, that is, the symbol.
So, as the following quote concludes, "
take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign
,
"
and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.


     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:
A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

Best,

Gary


Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745

On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 7:21 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

On to the third section of NP Chapter 3:

 

Here we come to the intension (depth), i.e. the definition, of the dicisign — first in the definition of “proposition” (from “Kaina Stoicheia”) as “a sign which separately, or independently, indicates its object.” Separately from what? From the rest of the sign. In a verbal replica of a proposition, the part which indicates the object is called the subject. Like all words, it is symbolic — but this is not definitive of its function in the proposition. What is definitive is not the symbolic but the indexical function. Thus the definition applies equally well to a sign which is not verbal or symbolic.

 

An index alone, though, would indicate the object without giving us any information about it. The part of a verbal proposition which does tell us something about its object is called the predicate. But here too, the symbolicity of the predicate part is not definitive of its function; what’s definitive of that function is the iconicity of the sign. Thus “the vital spark of every proposition, the peculiar propositional element of the proposition, is an indexical proposition; an index involving an icon” (EP2:310). Hence the name dicisign or dicent sign for a sign that combines these indexical and iconic functions (whether it does so by symbolic means or not). This is the core of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

This still leaves open the question I posed earlier about “Kaina Stoicheia”, which may be reworded thus: if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign? To clarify this question, we should note Peirce’s definition of “symbol”, in KS and in the Syllabus, as “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307). Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

This will probably be my last post for a few days, as I’ll be away from home and fully occupied all weekend. I trust that the seminar will carry on in my absence.

 

gary f.

 

 

 



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Gary Fuhrman | 29 Sep 20:53 2014
Picon

RE: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 


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Gary Richmond | 1 Oct 01:10 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7028] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary, lists,

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

Best,

Gary  



Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 



-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
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Gary Fuhrman | 1 Oct 17:31 2014
Picon

RE: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

718 482-5690

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 


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Gary Richmond | 1 Oct 19:04 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7041] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. 

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293 


I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:


Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294


I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here. 


Best,


Gary R



Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 



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Benjamin Udell | 1 Oct 20:00 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7041] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:


-----------------------------
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Benjamin Udell | 1 Oct 23:04 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7045] Re: Natural Propositions,

Gary R, Gary F., lists,

There seemed some inconsistency here, especially because of the date "November 1903" appearing with the subindex quote, but date is for the start of the lecture series and isn't date of the MS itself. EP Headnotes indicate that CP 2.292-4 (including the hyposemes) is from:

MS 478 [The third and longest section of the 1903 Syllabus, this text was not printed in the pamphlet for the audience. The subsection entitled "Speculative Grammar" was published in large part in CP 2.274-77, 283-84, 292-94, and 309-31.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 20, "Sundry Logical Conceptions", 267  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#20 ]

The tenfold classification, including the indexical legisign is from

MS 540. [This is the fifth section of 1903 Syllabus, first published in CP 2.233-72.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 21, "Nomenclature and Divisions of Triadic Relations, as Far as They Are Determined", 289  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#21

The "dimly remembered passage" that I mentioned was, I now realize, the very one quoted about Singular Symbols in this thread. I remember years ago putting the passages together in my mind. Peirce said that subindexes are not indices, so what are they? I doubted that they could be icons, so I figured that they must be symbols. And then I found the passage on Singular Symbols, and put two and two together, so to speak.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:



-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
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Benjamin Udell | 1 Oct 23:12 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7045] Re: Natural Propositions,

Correction, sorry, the subindex quote was from CP 2.274, but that also was from MS 478 (the third section of "Syllabus") just like the passage with the Singular Symbol in CP 2.293. - Best Ben

Gary R, Gary F., lists,

There seemed some inconsistency here, especially because of the date "November 1903" appearing with the subindex quote, but date is for the start of the lecture series and isn't date of the MS itself. EP Headnotes indicate that CP 2.292-4 (including the hyposemes) is from:

MS 478 [The third and longest section of the 1903 Syllabus, this text was not printed in the pamphlet for the audience. The subsection entitled "Speculative Grammar" was published in large part in CP 2.274-77, 283-84, 292-94, and 309-31.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 20, "Sundry Logical Conceptions", 267  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#20 ]

The tenfold classification, including the indexical legisign is from

MS 540. [This is the fifth section of 1903 Syllabus, first published in CP 2.233-72.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 21, "Nomenclature and Divisions of Triadic Relations, as Far as They Are Determined", 289  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#21

The "dimly remembered passage" that I mentioned was, I now realize, the very one quoted about Singular Symbols in this thread. I remember years ago putting the passages together in my mind. Peirce said that subindexes are not indices, so what are they? I doubted that they could be icons, so I figured that they must be symbols. And then I found the passage on Singular Symbols, and put two and two together, so to speak.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices _ or _hyposemes _ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se . For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:




-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
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Gary Fuhrman | 2 Oct 15:19 2014
Picon

RE: [biosemiotics:7048] Re: Natural Propositions,

Just a bibliographic note here: I think that all references to or quotations from the Syllabus should just give the EP2 page number, unless it’s a reference to the “Nomenclature and Divisions of Dyadic Relations” (CP 3.571ff.). Except for that part, the Syllabus is complete and together in EP2, while in CP it’s scattered around, parts are missing, and parts are mistakenly dated as “c. 1902”. Since the chronological order is important here, I think that would clarify many of the terminological issues to use EP2 for citations.

 

gary f.

 

From: Benjamin Udell [mailto:budell <at> nyc.rr.com]
Sent: 1-Oct-14 5:13 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7048] Re: Natural Propositions,

 

Correction, sorry, the subindex quote was from CP 2.274, but that also was from MS 478 (the third section of "Syllabus") just like the passage with the Singular Symbol in CP 2.293. - Best Ben

Gary R, Gary F., lists,

There seemed some inconsistency here, especially because of the date "November 1903" appearing with the subindex quote, but date is for the start of the lecture series and isn't date of the MS itself. EP Headnotes indicate that CP 2.292-4 (including the hyposemes) is from:

MS 478 [The third and longest section of the 1903 Syllabus, this text was not printed in the pamphlet for the audience. The subsection entitled "Speculative Grammar" was published in large part in CP 2.274-77, 283-84, 292-94, and 309-31.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 20, "Sundry Logical Conceptions", 267  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#20 ]

The tenfold classification, including the indexical legisign is from

MS 540. [This is the fifth section of 1903 Syllabus, first published in CP 2.233-72.]
[From the Headnote for EP 2 ch. 21, "Nomenclature and Divisions of Triadic Relations, as Far as They Are Determined", 289  http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep2/headers/ep2heads.htm#21

The "dimly remembered passage" that I mentioned was, I now realize, the very one quoted about Singular Symbols in this thread. I remember years ago putting the passages together in my mind. Peirce said that subindexes are not indices, so what are they? I doubted that they could be icons, so I figured that they must be symbols. And then I found the passage on Singular Symbols, and put two and two together, so to speak.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices _ or _hyposemes _ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se . For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

 


-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
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Gary Richmond | 1 Oct 23:41 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7045] Re: Natural Propositions,

Ben, Gary F, lists,

So, putting your posts together, Ben, I think that you're saying that the *Singular Symbol* is better understood as the "Subindex" (you earlier remarked that Peirce didn't stick with the Singular Symbol notion)? Or are they equivalent terms?

And what do you make of the "Abstract Symbol" in the same sentence in which the "Singular Symbol" occurs?

Here are the Subindices quote followed by the Singular/Abstract Symbol quote again for ready reference for whomever may be interested in this analysis.

Subindices or Hyposemes are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual. CP 2.284

There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

Best,

Gary



Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com> wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:



-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
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Benjamin Udell | 2 Oct 00:48 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7045] Re: Natural Propositions,

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

Yes, I think that the subindex is the singular symbol. Well, I can't say, for example, that Peirce didn't have in mind more than one kind of singular symbol, but I found no textual evidence for that. Anyway the singular symbol is a sign for an individual thing, and is singular in the same sense as a name like 'Socrates' is said in standard logic to be a singular term - not because the symbol or term itself is a singular object, but instead because it refers to a singular object. It really seems like the subindex, which, Peirce said, is not an individual. The simplest explanation is that the subindex is the singular symbol. I remember years ago looking very hard for a passage where comes out and says so, but I didn't find one.

Personal names, demonstratives, designations, etc., things that Peirce had customarily classified as indices but then classified instead as subindices in MS 478 (third section of "syllabus" - "Sundry Logical Conceptions"), are once again classified as indices in his writings after MS 478. So he quite seems to have dropped the non-index subindex.

I said that I wasn't sure that he stuck with the idea of the singular symbol. If he flatly identified it as the subindex, then I'd say that he dropped it. I don't know what he did with the abstract symbol, which I take to include abstract terms like 'redness'. Peirce was very likely aware of a traditional division of terms in logic into singular and general and into concrete and abstract, and he gets into the concrete/abstract thing in his ten sign-trichotomies.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 5:41 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Ben, Gary F, lists,

So, putting your posts together, Ben, I think that you're saying that the *Singular Symbol* is better understood as the "Subindex" (you earlier remarked that Peirce didn't stick with the Singular Symbol notion)? Or are they equivalent terms?

And what do you make of the "Abstract Symbol" in the same sentence in which the "Singular Symbol" occurs?

Here are the Subindices quote followed by the Singular/Abstract Symbol quote again for ready reference for whomever may be interested in this analysis.

Subindices or Hyposemes are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual. CP 2.284

There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

Best,

Gary

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:


-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
posts should go to peirce-L <at> list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to
list <at> list.iupui.edu with the line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at
http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .

Benjamin Udell | 2 Oct 19:25 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7050] Re: Natural Propositions,

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

A little more on what happened to the abstract and singular symbols.

The singular symbol / the subindex designates, names, or says 'this' or 'that', etc. Earlier Peirce had accounted those functions as indexical. In 1885 he said that demonstrative and relative pronouns and some other things that he later called subindexes are nearly pure indices:

The index asserts nothing; it only says "There!" It takes hold of our eyes, as it were, and forcibly directs them to a particular object, and there it stops. Demonstrative and relative pronouns are nearly pure indices, because they denote things without describing them; so are the letters on a geometrical diagram, and the subscript numbers which in algebra distinguish one value from another without saying what those values are.
('On the Algebra of Logic: A Contribution to the Philosophy of Notation', W 5:162-3, 1885 https://web.archive.org/web/20130301083318/http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/dictionary.html (Commens's new site is temporarily down for maintenance)

In "Sundry Logical Conceptions" (1903) in EP 2, he introduces ideas of the singular symbol and the subindex, which seem to be the same thing. According to that text, the symbol is always a general, the index is always an individual. In "Nomenclature" (1903) in EP 2, he introduces the idea of the indexical legisign, which will let us use the type-token (legisign-sinsign) division with indices like 'this'.

In the Dec. 24 1908 draft letter to Lady Welby on the ten trichotomies, Peirce has a trichotomy consisting of (1) the descriptive sign, (2) the designative/denominative sign, and (3) the copulant/distributive sign. To keep a long story short, that alone tells you that the classification will result either in iconic and indexical designatives, or in indexical and symbolic designatives. According to Peirce's tentative co-classifications in that letter, the result is iconic and indexical designatives, and no symbolic designatives. Of course, Peirce did not complete the ten trichotomies to his own satisfaction, so far as we now. Here's an image http://lyris.ttu.edu/read/attachment/2204107/2/10ad5.GIF of some of Peirce's co-classifications in the Dec. 24, 1908 letter, consisting of, first, an illustration of his famous co-classifications of the members of the three sign-trichotomies in "Nomenclature" (1903); second, an illustration of his expanded co-classification including the old three now numbered 1st, 4th, and 9th, by Peirce, along two new trichotomies numbered 2nd & 3rd by Peirce, in which I stick to the numbering of the trichotomies; and, finally, an illustration of those same co-classifications by Peirce but with the trichotomies re-ordered (3, 2, 1, 4, ...9) so that the lines indicating Peirce's co-classifications follow the pattern of the standard three trichotomies.

As to what happened to the abstract symbol: In a previous post, I mentioned that Peirce got into the abstract/concrete issue in the ten trichotomies. The sign trichotomy abstractive-concretive-collective consists in signs classified by the mode of being (phenomenological category) of their object. (The abstractive sign is a sign of a quality or possibility, the concretive sign is the sign of an individual, a fact, etc., and so on.). According to Peirce's tentative co-classifications in the Dec. 24, 1908 letter, an abstractive sign is always a descriptive qualisign icon. So, there's no getting an abstract symbol by that route. Yet obviously a word like 'redness' is a symbol and refers to an abstraction of a quality. I guess the real question in terms of "Sundry Logical Conceptions" (in "Syllabus", 1903), is, if the singular and abstract symbols were both degenerate symbols, what about afterward, when the idea of the singular symbol seems to have absorbed back into the idea of the index via the idea of the indexical legisign? Well, I don't know.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 6:48 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

Yes, I think that the subindex is the singular symbol. Well, I can't say, for example, that Peirce didn't have in mind more than one kind of singular symbol, but I found no textual evidence for that. Anyway the singular symbol is a sign for an individual thing, and is singular in the same sense as a name like 'Socrates' is said in standard logic to be a singular term - not because the symbol or term itself is a singular object, but instead because it refers to a singular object. It really seems like the subindex, which, Peirce said, is not an individual. The simplest explanation is that the subindex is the singular symbol. I remember years ago looking very hard for a passage where comes out and says so, but I didn't find one.

Personal names, demonstratives, designations, etc., things that Peirce had customarily classified as indices but then classified instead as subindices in MS 478 (third section of "syllabus" - "Sundry Logical Conceptions"), are once again classified as indices in his writings after MS 478. So he quite seems to have dropped the non-index subindex.

I said that I wasn't sure that he stuck with the idea of the singular symbol. If he flatly identified it as the subindex, then I'd say that he dropped it. I don't know what he did with the abstract symbol, which I take to include abstract terms like 'redness'. Peirce was very likely aware of a traditional division of terms in logic into singular and general and into concrete and abstract, and he gets into the concrete/abstract thing in his ten sign-trichotomies.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 5:41 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Ben, Gary F, lists,

So, putting your posts together, Ben, I think that you're saying that the *Singular Symbol* is better understood as the "Subindex" (you earlier remarked that Peirce didn't stick with the Singular Symbol notion)? Or are they equivalent terms?

And what do you make of the "Abstract Symbol" in the same sentence in which the "Singular Symbol" occurs?

Here are the Subindices quote followed by the Singular/Abstract Symbol quote again for ready reference for whomever may be interested in this analysis.

Subindices or Hyposemes are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual. CP 2.284

There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

Best,

Gary

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:



-----------------------------
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L
posts should go to peirce-L <at> list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to
list <at> list.iupui.edu with the line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at
http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .

Gary Richmond | 2 Oct 21:14 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7050] Re: Natural Propositions,

Ben, lists,

Thanks for this excellent work, even if I'm left with the same question you had concerning the fate of the singular symbol.

I'm about to be traveling again--btw, I understand Frederik is as well from an off-list email message today saying he's traveling to Paris to give an address--but this time I'm taking NS with me and hoping I have good internet connections during my travels. I'll be back in NYC by Monday and hope to rejoin the conversation then if, perhaps, I can't connect on the road.

Best,

Gary



Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM, Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com> wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

A little more on what happened to the abstract and singular symbols.

The singular symbol / the subindex designates, names, or says 'this' or 'that', etc. Earlier Peirce had accounted those functions as indexical. In 1885 he said that demonstrative and relative pronouns and some other things that he later called subindexes are nearly pure indices:

The index asserts nothing; it only says "There!" It takes hold of our eyes, as it were, and forcibly directs them to a particular object, and there it stops. Demonstrative and relative pronouns are nearly pure indices, because they denote things without describing them; so are the letters on a geometrical diagram, and the subscript numbers which in algebra distinguish one value from another without saying what those values are.
('On the Algebra of Logic: A Contribution to the Philosophy of Notation', W 5:162-3, 1885 https://web.archive.org/web/20130301083318/http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/dictionary.html (Commens's new site is temporarily down for maintenance)

In "Sundry Logical Conceptions" (1903) in EP 2, he introduces ideas of the singular symbol and the subindex, which seem to be the same thing. According to that text, the symbol is always a general, the index is always an individual. In "Nomenclature" (1903) in EP 2, he introduces the idea of the indexical legisign, which will let us use the type-token (legisign-sinsign) division with indices like 'this'.

In the Dec. 24 1908 draft letter to Lady Welby on the ten trichotomies, Peirce has a trichotomy consisting of (1) the descriptive sign, (2) the designative/denominative sign, and (3) the copulant/distributive sign. To keep a long story short, that alone tells you that the classification will result either in iconic and indexical designatives, or in indexical and symbolic designatives. According to Peirce's tentative co-classifications in that letter, the result is iconic and indexical designatives, and no symbolic designatives. Of course, Peirce did not complete the ten trichotomies to his own satisfaction, so far as we now. Here's an image http://lyris.ttu.edu/read/attachment/2204107/2/10ad5.GIF of some of Peirce's co-classifications in the Dec. 24, 1908 letter, consisting of, first, an illustration of his famous co-classifications of the members of the three sign-trichotomies in "Nomenclature" (1903); second, an illustration of his expanded co-classification including the old three now numbered 1st, 4th, and 9th, by Peirce, along two new trichotomies numbered 2nd & 3rd by Peirce, in which I stick to the numbering of the trichotomies; and, finally, an illustration of those same co-classifications by Peirce but with the trichotomies re-ordered (3, 2, 1, 4, ...9) so that the lines indicating Peirce's co-classifications follow the pattern of the standard three trichotomies.

As to what happened to the abstract symbol: In a previous post, I mentioned that Peirce got into the abstract/concrete issue in the ten trichotomies. The sign trichotomy abstractive-concretive-collective consists in signs classified by the mode of being (phenomenological category) of their object. (The abstractive sign is a sign of a quality or possibility, the concretive sign is the sign of an individual, a fact, etc., and so on.). According to Peirce's tentative co-classifications in the Dec. 24, 1908 letter, an abstractive sign is always a descriptive qualisign icon. So, there's no getting an abstract symbol by that route. Yet obviously a word like 'redness' is a symbol and refers to an abstraction of a quality. I guess the real question in terms of "Sundry Logical Conceptions" (in "Syllabus", 1903), is, if the singular and abstract symbols were both degenerate symbols, what about afterward, when the idea of the singular symbol seems to have absorbed back into the idea of the index via the idea of the indexical legisign? Well, I don't know.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 6:48 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

Yes, I think that the subindex is the singular symbol. Well, I can't say, for example, that Peirce didn't have in mind more than one kind of singular symbol, but I found no textual evidence for that. Anyway the singular symbol is a sign for an individual thing, and is singular in the same sense as a name like 'Socrates' is said in standard logic to be a singular term - not because the symbol or term itself is a singular object, but instead because it refers to a singular object. It really seems like the subindex, which, Peirce said, is not an individual. The simplest explanation is that the subindex is the singular symbol. I remember years ago looking very hard for a passage where comes out and says so, but I didn't find one.

Personal names, demonstratives, designations, etc., things that Peirce had customarily classified as indices but then classified instead as subindices in MS 478 (third section of "syllabus" - "Sundry Logical Conceptions"), are once again classified as indices in his writings after MS 478. So he quite seems to have dropped the non-index subindex.

I said that I wasn't sure that he stuck with the idea of the singular symbol. If he flatly identified it as the subindex, then I'd say that he dropped it. I don't know what he did with the abstract symbol, which I take to include abstract terms like 'redness'. Peirce was very likely aware of a traditional division of terms in logic into singular and general and into concrete and abstract, and he gets into the concrete/abstract thing in his ten sign-trichotomies.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 5:41 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Ben, Gary F, lists,

So, putting your posts together, Ben, I think that you're saying that the *Singular Symbol* is better understood as the "Subindex" (you earlier remarked that Peirce didn't stick with the Singular Symbol notion)? Or are they equivalent terms?

And what do you make of the "Abstract Symbol" in the same sentence in which the "Singular Symbol" occurs?

Here are the Subindices quote followed by the Singular/Abstract Symbol quote again for ready reference for whomever may be interested in this analysis.

Subindices or Hyposemes are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual. CP 2.284

There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

Best,

Gary

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Gary R., Gary F., lists,

I'm not sure that Peirce stuck with his idea of a Singular Symbol. CP 2.293-4 is from the "Syllabus" (circa 1902, according to the CP editors). In a "Syllabus" passage - the one on subindices a.k.a. hyposemes, dated 1903, he said that indices are individuals - he had not embraced the idea of the indexical legisign yet.

[Quote]
_Subindices_ or _hyposemes_ are signs which are rendered such principally by an actual connection with their objects. Thus a proper name, [a] personal demonstrative, or relative pronoun or the letter attached to a diagram, denotes what it does owing to a real connection with its object but none of these is an Index, since it is not an individual.
[1903 | Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic | EP 2:274]

I dimly remember another passage touching on this issue in "Syllabus" but it's been years and years.

Best, Ben

On 10/1/2014 1:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine.

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument.

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here.

Best,

Gary R

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:




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Jerry LR Chandler | 2 Oct 01:07 2014

List:

(N.B. 1: This message contains technical arguments that may be incomprehensible to non-technical readers.)
(N.B. 2: This message also contains Peircian coinages that may be incomprehensible to non-Peircian readers.)

The scientific origins of the meaning of the unique CSP-created logic terms "decisign" and "legisign" has puzzled me for over a decade. I have a sought to identify the mathematical and scientific concepts which motivated CSP to coin these terms. 

A recent post  searching to find the meaning of the critical CSP coinage, decisign, in a mere crossword puzzle struck me as being unsound as pragmatism is scientifically and mathematically grounded and crossword puzzles are not. 

 Crossword puzzles are linguistically grounded. Knowledge of mathematics is NOT essential to solving a crossword puzzle. 

 So, how do the terms "decisign and legisigns" relate to science and mathematics?  Surely, if we understand the deep philosophical tensions underlying the genesis of these two terms, we could apply that understanding to other aspects of CSP's metaphysics, philosophies and their relations to other Peircian coinages.

The reasoning (necessary to show that the concept of a crossword puzzle is unsound) motivated a comparison of the three similarities of the associative logics of the indices, rhemata and icons of three sorts of puzzles- the crossword puzzles, the Sudoku puzzles and the chemical puzzles. The arguments used here are constructed about a triadically triadic triad of terms, which could be identified as a sinsign.  A Peician 9-fold way?   :-)  :-)  :-)

The metaphor of a "cross-word puzzle" for a triadic triad is grossly inadequate because a cross word puzzle only allows one letter in each rhematic blank box.  The combinatorial solution of a crossword puzzle, given a clue for the number of letters and the length of each word, is constrained to the choice of any one of 26 letter (symbols) for each open box. The solution of a crossword puzzle depends on a correspondence relations among a large set of correspondence relations among the individual rhematic blanks AND a global coherence for all the choices for rhematic blanks SUCH THAT the entire puzzle is a perfect match between rhematic blanks such that a medad is created. Thus, the crossword puzzle is, from a mathematical perspective (e.g., iconic) a combinatorial puzzle with constraints among the symbol system being restricted to alphabetic symbol system. 

 The count of the combinatorial possibilities for a correct solution of a cross word puzzle is mathematically simple because the number of rhematic blanks is countable and the number of possible symbols for each rhematic blank is countable, that is, 26 in English. 

A stronger metaphor (at least stronger than the crossword puzzle) for the triadic triad is the Sudoku puzzle.  The Sudoku is a stronger metaphor because it is formed (created, generates) by indexes and entails containment of boxes within boxes, such that the puzzle solver must attempt to identify potentially emergent mathematical propositions about number sequences. In summary, a Sudoku puzzle is a problem in combinatorial sequences.

 The largest box is one object.  
The 9-subboxes are clearly separate and distinct objects, meeting the Descartian constraint on concept formation. The arrangement of the intermediate size boxes constitute a Peircian triadic triad with three rows and three columns. The solution of Sudoku puzzle requires both coherence among the three rows and three columns.
The smallest objects are triadic triads of the intermediate boxes, that is, each of the smallest boxes contains three rows and three columns.  The Sudoku puzzle is hierarchical in structure.   

Thus, in Peircian logical terms, the Sudoku puzzle is a triadically triadic triad which corresponds with the single box of the object as a whole, an intermediate size set of boxes that correspond with the number three squared and the smallest boxes corresponding with the number three cubed.  (Thus, the structure of a Sudoku puzzle consists of starting with a single box and partitioning it into smaller boxes and a second partitioning of it into even smaller boxes such that the total number of boxes is extended from 1 to 9 and then to 81.) 

The puzzle requires coherence and correspondence for each of the 9 smallest boxes such that the coherence and correspondence for the intermediate size boxes and the global box are consistent with the sequences (and sums) of the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.  The solution of a Sudoku puzzle must necessary emerge from the bottom up; each entry in to a box must satisfy mathematical propositions related to fundamental constraints of arranging partitions of number sequences of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.

Several similarities exist between these two forms of combinatorial puzzles.

Analogously, the puzzle solver is given a number of clues that provide the logical propositions for solving either puzzle.

 Like the cross-word, the puzzle solver, the number of clues varies from puzzle to puzzle, thereby creating the potential for an almost unbound number of possible puzzles and possible solutions.  But the clues are expressed in different symbol systems.

Like the cross word puzzle, the Sudoku puzzle is solved by identifying the propositional clues with a symbol for one or more  of the rhematic boxes. But the clues are expressed in different symbol systems, alphabet symbols or numerical symbols.   

The logical operations for the intrinsic propositions of a crossword puzzle require an interpretation of words as both meaning and letters.  In other words, the correct choice of terms are always based on substitution of one meaning for another meaning, in the sense of mathematical substitution of terms.

 The logical operations for solving the propositions of the Sudoku puzzle are deductive. The medad of every row and every column is the same. The clues are arranged such that each medad of deductive propositions is possible. The number of clues for a Sudoku puzzle is usually from  40 to 15.  Given that 81 boxes exist, the solution requires that the puzzle solver need to find a range of mathematical proposition to solve the puzzle, usually from  41 (since 40 +41 = 81)  to 66 (since 15 + 66 =81).

The Peircian triadic triad can be used as a metaphor for solving the puzzle of the relationships between physical atoms and physical molecules and the vastly more difficult puzzle of the relations between chemical molecules and living cells. 

The clues for solving the chemical problems are the physical facts related to one-another by physical laws and chemical indices.  The mathematical clues are crucial triad, indices, medads as rhemata, and icons and the associated logic of the mathematical symbols.  (The concept of an icon associates the visual images of mathematical graphs and chemical graphs.)

The crucial clue for the scientific grounding of the chemical puzzle is the physical existence of electrical patterns among chemical indices - a source of both qualisigns and relatonomics.

As I noted several months ago on this list, the logic/metaphysical/scientific origins of the triadic triad was successfully resolved.  I discussed portions of resolution in my papers (on the logics of the perplex number system) given in Baden-Baden last August. The foundational logic for solving chemical puzzles was previously published in a well-respected mathematics journal (as Ben noted) and was given the name synductive logic to associate with the puzzles of  chemical synthesis. 

Open questions:

Are the following hypotheses true or false?

"CSP used his knowledge of chemical phenomena to seed the logic of the triadic triad as the foundation for his philosophy of pragmatism."

and:

 "The inquiry into the signs, signals and representations emerging from living systems is grounded in the physics of electricity." 


Cheers

Jerry

















On Oct 1, 2014, at 12:04 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. 

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293 

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here. 

Best,

Gary R


Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 



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Frederik Stjernfelt | 11 Oct 20:58 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Dear Jerry, lists - 

I think you are right chemistry played a central role in Peirce's dicisign conception. He saw both the predicate part and the subject parts as atoms with valencies which fit each other when forming the molecule of the dicisign. He even compared the two with halogens and alkali metals in the periodic table of the elements (corresponding, of course, to one-slot predicates only) - I quote this in Natural Propositions. 
As to the wording, you write "decisigns" - I have never seen that spelling but it would not surprise me to find it in P's unpublished pages. "Dicisigns" is one among several terminological proposals for the naming of generalized propositions - others include Dicent Signs and Phemes. "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

Best
F

Den 01/10/2014 kl. 19.04 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. 

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293 

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here. 

Best,

Gary R


Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 




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Gary Richmond | 11 Oct 21:46 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7201] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Frederik, lists,

So glad to learn that your health is improved, Frederik. It's terrific having you active again in the seminar. 

Here's a little chart showing the terminological variations Peirce experimented with on the traditional triad: term/proposition/argument which I gleaned from NP 3.9. 

(1903) Rheme

Dicisign

Argument

(1903) Sumisign

Dicisign

Suadisign

(1903) Single sign (substitutive sign)

Double sign (informational sign, or, "quasi-proposition")

Triple sign (rationally persuasive sign, or, "argument")

(1903) Rhema

Proposition

Argument

(1906) Seme

Pheme

Delome


I found the third column of particular interest, especially his referring to the Rheme as a 'substitutive sign' (or what we'd call today a 'propositional function').

Gary




Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM, Frederik Stjernfelt <stjern <at> hum.ku.dk> wrote:
Dear Jerry, lists - 

I think you are right chemistry played a central role in Peirce's dicisign conception. He saw both the predicate part and the subject parts as atoms with valencies which fit each other when forming the molecule of the dicisign. He even compared the two with halogens and alkali metals in the periodic table of the elements (corresponding, of course, to one-slot predicates only) - I quote this in Natural Propositions. 
As to the wording, you write "decisigns" - I have never seen that spelling but it would not surprise me to find it in P's unpublished pages. "Dicisigns" is one among several terminological proposals for the naming of generalized propositions - others include Dicent Signs and Phemes. "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

Best
F

Den 01/10/2014 kl. 19.04 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. 

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293 

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here. 

Best,

Gary R


Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 





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Frederik Stjernfelt | 11 Oct 21:49 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7208] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

thanks, that is a helpful overview!
F

Den 11/10/2014 kl. 21.46 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Frederik, lists,

So glad to learn that your health is improved, Frederik. It's terrific having you active again in the seminar. 

Here's a little chart showing the terminological variations Peirce experimented with on the traditional triad: term/proposition/argument which I gleaned from NP 3.9. 

(1903) Rheme

Dicisign

Argument

(1903) Sumisign

Dicisign

Suadisign

(1903) Single sign (substitutive sign)

Double sign (informational sign, or, "quasi-proposition")

Triple sign (rationally persuasive sign, or, "argument")

(1903) Rhema

Proposition

Argument

(1906) Seme

Pheme

Delome


I found the third column of particular interest, especially his referring to the Rheme as a 'substitutive sign' (or what we'd call today a 'propositional function').

Gary



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Gary Richmond | 11 Oct 22:40 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7208] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Lists,

It was pointed out to me off-list that in my final sentence positioned below the chart I posted today that where I wrote "I found the third column of particular interest, especially his referring to the Rheme as a 'substitutive sign' (or what we'd call today a 'propositional function') I meant 'row', not 'column', of course. 

This affords me the opportunity to note as well that the terms in the third row of the chart occur in the same passage as the second row and, indeed, the expressions are juxtaposed.

Best,

Gary




Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM, Frederik Stjernfelt <stjern <at> hum.ku.dk> wrote:
thanks, that is a helpful overview!
F

Den 11/10/2014 kl. 21.46 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Frederik, lists,

So glad to learn that your health is improved, Frederik. It's terrific having you active again in the seminar. 

Here's a little chart showing the terminological variations Peirce experimented with on the traditional triad: term/proposition/argument which I gleaned from NP 3.9. 

(1903) Rheme

Dicisign

Argument

(1903) Sumisign

Dicisign

Suadisign

(1903) Single sign (substitutive sign)

Double sign (informational sign, or, "quasi-proposition")

Triple sign (rationally persuasive sign, or, "argument")

(1903) Rhema

Proposition

Argument

(1906) Seme

Pheme

Delome


I found the third column of particular interest, especially his referring to the Rheme as a 'substitutive sign' (or what we'd call today a 'propositional function').

Gary




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Jerry LR Chandler | 13 Oct 05:10 2014

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Frederik:

The origen of the root of the term "decisign" is of substantial interest to me.
 "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

My limited search yielded nothing.

Could you expand on your beliefs about this interpretation?

Does anayone else use a different root term for this "ill-defined" concept?

(It is of critical importance from a chemical perspective of the logic of the triadic triad in relation to the S.O.P. of chemical methodology for "proof of structure" and logical closure.) 

Cheers

Jerry


On Oct 11, 2014, at 1:58 PM, Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:

Dear Jerry, lists - 

I think you are right chemistry played a central role in Peirce's dicisign conception. He saw both the predicate part and the subject parts as atoms with valencies which fit each other when forming the molecule of the dicisign. He even compared the two with halogens and alkali metals in the periodic table of the elements (corresponding, of course, to one-slot predicates only) - I quote this in Natural Propositions. 
As to the wording, you write "decisigns" - I have never seen that spelling but it would not surprise me to find it in P's unpublished pages. "Dicisigns" is one among several terminological proposals for the naming of generalized propositions - others include Dicent Signs and Phemes. "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

Best
F

Den 01/10/2014 kl. 19.04 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Gary F, lists,

Gary wrote that in rereading the Speculative Grammar part of the Syllabus that this struck him:

GF: that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. 

I think that your rewording is helpful (but then see the CP 2.293-4 quoted below which tends to complicate the matter for me); and, further, that your notion that the reason that Peirce did so much self-rewording was "to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was . . . a piece of the Truth" and not a more (mere) personal expression of it, makes good sense. I'm not sure that his re-wordings always made his thinking more transparent, but often enough they did.

You also asked why I thought that Peirce's comment that "A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism"

GR: . . . is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument

First, would you say that a 'proof' is but a species of genuine argument? While it makes a kind of sense to me to say that the dicisign is degenerate relative to the argument, I wonder if this isn't straining Peirce's terminology a bit. Perhaps I was thinking that Peirce speaks in places of degenerate symbols per se. For example:

. . . while the complete object of a symbol, that is to say, its meaning, is of the nature of a law, it must denote an individual, and must signify a character. A genuine symbol is a symbol that has a general meaning. There are two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular Symbol whose Object is an existent individual, and which signifies only such characters as that individual may realize; and the Abstract Symbol, whose only Object is a character. CP 2.293 

I think the meaning here is fairly clear, that there is one kind of genuine symbol (one having a "general meaning"--but that would seem to apply to symbols other than the 'proof' would it not?) and two kinds of degenerate symbols, the Singular (its object being an individual) and the Abstract (its object being a character). But in speaking of" the immediate interpretant of an index," Peirce goes on to say:

Although the immediate Interpretant of an Index must be an Index, yet since its Object may be the Object of an Individual [Singular] Symbol, the Index may have such a Symbol for its indirect Interpretant. Even a genuine Symbol may be an imperfect Interpretant of it. So an icon may have a degenerate Index, or an Abstract Symbol, for an indirect Interpretant, and a genuine Index or Symbol for an imperfect Interpretant. CP 2.294

I'm having considerable difficulty parsing this second paragraph, especially as to how he's using the terms 'imperfect' and 'indirect' (as opposed to 'intended'?) But it seems to me that it might be important--especially in getting at the concept of "genuine"--to try to grasp Peirce's meaning here. 

Best,

Gary R


Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R,

 

Yes, that quote at the end of your post (CP2.231, also EP2:282-3) is worth reflecting on in this context; but then that’s true of the whole Speculative Grammar section of the Syllabus. Every time I read part of it, it seems that another word in the crossword puzzle gets filled in, because of clues I’ve picked up since the previous reading. This time around, what comes to the fore is that the interpretant of a dicisign or proposition represents the sign itself as well as its object, and represents it as an index — which, strictly speaking, lacks the generality which makes the argument a symbol and thus more genuine. I’m not making it any more clear than Peirce did, just rewording it, but that seems to help make the words more transparent, so that we can see through them to what we’re talking about. Maybe that’s why Peirce did so much rewording of his own thought — to get through to the real, general, genuine Thought that was not merely his, and not merely his momentary brain activity, but a piece of the Truth …

 

But then I must be missing something too, because I don’t see why Peirce’s remark that “A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism” is in any way incompatible with the notion that the dicisign might be described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument. Can you maybe reword that part of your message?

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 7:11 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary, lists,

 

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on its existential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

 

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

 

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

 

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

 

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

 

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

 

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

 

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

 

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

 

Best,

 

Gary  

 


 

Gary Richmond

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Communication Studies

LaGuardia College of the City University of New York

C 745

 

On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

Gary R, lists,

 

This is an extremely helpful post, Gary, and I’m still in the process of following up on it, but thought I’d better (rather than wait any longer) mention some of the considerations it inspires with particular reference to dicisigns.

 

First, your quote from CP 2.275-276 is originally from the “Speculative Grammar” section of the Syllabus (EP2:272-3) immediately preceding Peirce’s introduction of the Dicisign as part of the “second trichotomy of representamens” (EP2:275). Your next quote, CP 1.539, is from the Lowell Lectures which the Syllabus was intended to accompany. But your third, CP 1.480 (about “genuine triads”), is from the “Logic of Mathematics” paper c.1896. It occurs to me that Peirce’s concept of a fact, or his usage of the word, may have shifted somewhat during the intervening years.

 

In “Kaina Stoicheia” (1904?), Peirce wrote that “What we call a “fact” is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself.” Earlier on, he wrote that representation is necessarily triadic because “it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living” (CP 1.480, emphasis altered). This seems to imply that a “matter of fact” lacks the generality of “thought”, as if the universe of which it is “supposed to be an element” is only the universe of existence, i.e. of Secondness. By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.

 

But I’m not sure how much sense this makes, yet … I think it’s related to a some other pieces of the puzzle of the “genuine” which turn up in this neighborhood. One is that although in KS the index is a degnerate sign, relative to the symbol, it also seems to be true that the linguistic symbol at least, if related to its object mainly by reference, involves a degenerate index: the Index is a “Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate” (EP2:274). This shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

 

The more we take the concept of “degeneracy” back to its purely mathematical roots, the less disparaging it appears. For instance, we could describe a circle as a degenerate ellipse, which only means that it is simpler than an ellipse. I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

 

It’s difficult to hold all these pieces of the puzzle in mind long enough to see how it all fits together, and there’s much in the latter part of your post that I haven’t dealt with here. But I think the joint effort should be helpful toward a deeper and more exact understanding of Peirce’s doctrine of the Dicisign.

 

gary f.

From: Gary Richmond [mailto:gary.richmond <at> gmail.com]
Sent: 26-Sep-14 3:51 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee
Cc: Peirce List
Subject: Re: [biosemiotics:7008] RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

 

Gary F., lists,

 

This is a very helpful outline of this section, Gary, which, along with the next, 3.4, seems to me to be at the heart of this chapter, perhaps even at the heart of NP itself. I've nothing to add or emend to what you've written, and so I'll move immediately to your now twice asked and doubly vexing question: 

 

GF: "if a genuine dicisign or “indexical proposition” does not have to be symbolic in order to fulfill its function of conveying information, why does Peirce identify the symbol with the genuine sign?" 

 

You conclude the substantive part of your post by giving Peirce's late definition of a symbol as  “a sign which is fit to serve as such simply because it will be so interpreted” (EP2:307) then commenting:

 

GF: "Now, the icon/index/symbol trichotomy is supposed to be the list of possible relations between sign (representamen) and object. Yet this definition of symbol, on the face of it, seems to be more about the sign’s relation with its interpretant than with its object. No wonder the relation between dicisign and symbol seems so complex.

 

Now as to the symbol seeming "to be more about the sign's relations with its interpretant than with its object," I find the following quotation suggestive (and, in consideration of the representamen, increasingly so as I proceed down the ensuing group of quotes):

 

. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object (emphasis added).

      An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) [emphasis added CP 2.275-276] 

 

So the first hint here is that a representamen, while not actually functioning as such, is indeed one "as soon as it is fully capable of [determining an interpretant]. So, an icon is serving as a representamen when it merely may substitute for something which it's like, AND the idea of substitution involves that of purpose, "and thus of genuine thirdness."

 

But stepping back a bit from signs to categorial thirdness itself, Peirce writes something telling here in suggesting that logic perhaps "ought to be the science of Thridness in general":

 

     Now it may be that logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general. But as I have studied it, it is simply the science of what must be and ought to be true representation, so far as representation can be known without any gathering of special facts beyond our ordinary daily life. It is, in short, the philosophy of representation (CP 1.539).

 

But philosophy is the work of human minds. Yet, since thirdness involves secondness and firstness, and since anything which involves the idea of "purpose" (even the icon as the likeness of something) expresses "genuine thirdness" (CP2.276), it would seem that to the extent that the dicisign expresses purpose (which I think it clearly does) it expresses thirdness even when it is not the symbolic variety of that sign.

 

Peirce also comments on "genuine triads" in a way which might be pertinent to this inquiry. He begins the next passage with language seemingly contradicting that which he used directly above--but note the conclusion of the passage). 

 

     Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living (CP 1.480, emphasis added).

 

So, every genuine triad "[involving] a sign, or representamen, o

f

 some kind, outward or inward" (even the now near proverbial sunflower") has the potential to become a living thought (see CP 2.276 above). So the idea of genuine thirdness, the genuine triad, may trump , in certain cases, the idea of the genuine sign, which is to say the sign completed in its being interpreted, that is, the symbol.

So, as the following quote concludes, "take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign,” and 'philosophy' as such has nothing to do with it.

 

 

     Now in genuine Thirdness, the first, the second, and the third are all three of the nature of thirds, or thought, while in respect to one another they are first, second, and third. The first is thought in its capacity as mere possibility; that is, mere mind capable of thinking, or a mere vague idea. The second is thought playing the role of a Secondness, or event. That is, it is of the general nature of experience or information. The third is thought in its role as governing Secondness. It brings the information into the mind, or determines the idea and gives it body. It is informing thought, or cognition. But take away the psychological or accidental human element, and in this genuine Thirdness we see the operation of a sign (CP1.537).

 

So, whether or not it is possible that "logic ought to be the science of Thirdness in general," for me the dicisign concept suggests that this idea might have some resonance in biosemiotics, or perhaps that semiotics generally ought be tempered by this idea (or something like it).

 

Finally, Peirce makes a distinction which may make a difference in this direction of analysis by defining a sign as "anything which conveys any definite notion of any object in any way":

 

. . . I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. [. . . ]  All signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so (CP1.540, emphasis added).

 

And this is immediately followed by the following famous definition (which, note in the context of what I just quoted, is a definition of a representamen and not of a sign):

 

        My definition of a representamen is as follows:

A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant (CP1.541).

 

I am not prepared to draw any definitive conclusions from the above which are just some preliminary thoughts I had today. In short, I offer these quotes and comments as suggestions towards a possible answer to the intriguing question you asked, Gary. For all I know I may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

Best,

 

Gary

 

 

 




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Benjamin Udell | 13 Oct 05:44 2014
Picon

Re: Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Jerry, list,

Peirce does not use "decisign" with an 'e' in any of the texts in Collected Papers, Writings, or Contributions to _The Nation_.

He uses 'dicisign' and 'dicent sign', and does so with the same meaning. The origin in the Latin verb _dicere_ ('to say', 'to tell') is pretty evident to any Latinist. _Dico, dicere, dixi, dictus_ are the principle parts of the verb. From it come French and Italian _dire_, Spanish _decir_, Portuguese _dizer_, English 'diction', etc.

1. The word 'dicent' is pretty plainly from the Latin _dicere_'s present participle _dicens, dicentis_.

2. 'Sign' is a word from Latin _signum_, and Peirce is not the kind readily to combine a Latin root with a root from some other language. So the 'dici' in 'dicisign' is almost certainly from _dicere_.

3. The first and second points converge to the same conclusion.

Best, Ben

On 10/12/2014 11:10 PM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:

Frederik:

The origen of the root of the term "decisign" is of substantial interest to me.
 "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

My limited search yielded nothing.

Could you expand on your beliefs about this interpretation?

Does anayone else use a different root term for this "ill-defined" concept?

(It is of critical importance from a chemical perspective of the logic of the triadic triad in relation to the S.O.P. of chemical methodology for "proof of structure" and logical closure.) 

Cheers

Jerry


On Oct 11, 2014, at 1:58 PM, Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:

Dear Jerry, lists - 

I think you are right chemistry played a central role in Peirce's dicisign conception. He saw both the predicate part and the subject parts as atoms with valencies which fit each other when forming the molecule of the dicisign. He even compared the two with halogens and alkali metals in the periodic table of the elements (corresponding, of course, to one-slot predicates only) - I quote this in Natural Propositions. 
As to the wording, you write "decisigns" - I have never seen that spelling but it would not surprise me to find it in P's unpublished pages. "Dicisigns" is one among several terminological proposals for the naming of generalized propositions - others include Dicent Signs and Phemes. "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

Best
F

Den 01/10/2014 kl. 19.04 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>

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Jerry LR Chandler | 14 Oct 07:15 2014

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Ben, List:

Thanks for your views on the Latin roots CSP used to generate this term.

Subconsciously, I was associating "dicisign" with the concept of decision.

From the perspective of the roots, then, the decisign is a term describing a human artifact, that is, a judgment about the interpretations of the sinsigns.  At least, that is how I now understand the term.

Cheers

jerry






On Oct 12, 2014, at 10:44 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Jerry, list,

Peirce does not use "decisign" with an 'e' in any of the texts in Collected Papers, Writings, or Contributions to _The Nation_.

He uses 'dicisign' and 'dicent sign', and does so with the same meaning. The origin in the Latin verb _dicere_ ('to say', 'to tell') is pretty evident to any Latinist. _Dico, dicere, dixi, dictus_ are the principle parts of the verb. From it come French and Italian _dire_, Spanish _decir_, Portuguese _dizer_, English 'diction', etc.

1. The word 'dicent' is pretty plainly from the Latin _dicere_'s present participle _dicens, dicentis_.

2. 'Sign' is a word from Latin _signum_, and Peirce is not the kind readily to combine a Latin root with a root from some other language. So the 'dici' in 'dicisign' is almost certainly from _dicere_.

3. The first and second points converge to the same conclusion.

Best, Ben

On 10/12/2014 11:10 PM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:

Frederik:

The origen of the root of the term "decisign" is of substantial interest to me.
 "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

My limited search yielded nothing.

Could you expand on your beliefs about this interpretation?

Does anayone else use a different root term for this "ill-defined" concept?

(It is of critical importance from a chemical perspective of the logic of the triadic triad in relation to the S.O.P. of chemical methodology for "proof of structure" and logical closure.) 

Cheers

Jerry


On Oct 11, 2014, at 1:58 PM, Frederik Stjernfelt wrote:

Dear Jerry, lists - 

I think you are right chemistry played a central role in Peirce's dicisign conception. He saw both the predicate part and the subject parts as atoms with valencies which fit each other when forming the molecule of the dicisign. He even compared the two with halogens and alkali metals in the periodic table of the elements (corresponding, of course, to one-slot predicates only) - I quote this in Natural Propositions. 
As to the wording, you write "decisigns" - I have never seen that spelling but it would not surprise me to find it in P's unpublished pages. "Dicisigns" is one among several terminological proposals for the naming of generalized propositions - others include Dicent Signs and Phemes. "Dicisign" refers to the latin verb "dico" - I say - chosen, I think, to underline that Dicisigns are signs that say something about something. 

Best
F

Den 01/10/2014 kl. 19.04 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>

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Benjamin Udell | 14 Oct 15:37 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Jerry, list,

Peirce's idea includes the idea that nature tells us things, and that's something that Frederik is getting at in discussing natural propositions. For example, an air sock dances, and that tells us that the air is windy. The idea is that facts and representational relations are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads and textbooks. That realist perspective is the same one that people bring much less controversially to informative dependencies and information; also to statistical distributions, averages, and probabilities; and to constraints, variational principles, optima, and feasibles.

Best, Ben

On 10/14/2014 1:15 AM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:

Ben, List:

Thanks for your views on the Latin roots CSP used to generate this term.

Subconsciously, I was associating "dicisign" with the concept of decision.

From the perspective of the roots, then, the decisign is a term describing a human artifact, that is, a judgment about the interpretations of the sinsigns.  At least, that is how I now understand the term.

Cheers

jerry






On Oct 12, 2014, at 10:44 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Jerry, list,

Peirce does not use "decisign" with an 'e' in any of the texts in Collected Papers, Writings, or Contributions to _The Nation_.

He uses 'dicisign' and 'dicent sign', and does so with the same meaning. The origin in the Latin verb _dicere_ ('to say', 'to tell') is pretty evident to any Latinist. _Dico, dicere, dixi, dictus_ are the principle parts of the verb. From it come French and Italian _dire_, Spanish _decir_, Portuguese _dizer_, English 'diction', etc.

1. The word 'dicent' is pretty plainly from the Latin _dicere_'s present participle _dicens, dicentis_.

2. 'Sign' is a word from Latin _signum_, and Peirce is not the kind readily to combine a Latin root with a root from some other language. So the 'dici' in 'dicisign' is almost certainly from _dicere_.

3. The first and second points converge to the same conclusion.

Best, Ben

On 10/12/2014 11:10 PM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:

Frederik:

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Jerry LR Chandler | 14 Oct 18:50 2014

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Ben, List: 

On Oct 14, 2014, at 8:37 AM, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Jerry, list,

Peirce's idea includes the idea that nature tells us things, and that's something that Frederik is getting at in discussing natural propositions. For example, an air sock dances, and that tells us that the air is windy. The idea is that facts and representational relations are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads and textbooks. That realist perspective is the same one that people bring much less controversially to informative dependencies and information; also to statistical distributions, averages, and probabilities; and to constraints, variational principles, optima, and feasibles.

Best, Ben


(If I may, I will wax a bit philosophical, just for a change of pace.)

Well, Ben, we are nature and nature is us.  From a metaphysical perspective, we exist within nature and separate ourselves  as an "I", as an identity within nature.  In so far as I can interpret your worldview from your last sentence above, we differ on the meaning of quantities and natural realism.

My view is that we are in communion with nature, in continuous communication with nature and we share common experiences with nature, such as the forces of wind and the emergence of two dances   :-) :-)  :-)  - one of the air sock and the other of a mind!    Why?

At least, that is what I interpret from Schelling's famous comment on the relatonomy* between the facts of the world and the fact of the "I" (and the facts of the "us" as the plural of "I".)

As for natural propositions, well, I expect a natural proposition to deliver what it says it is, a proposition that can be confirmed or denied by inquiry.

And, as I continue to read it, I continue to be hopeful that this book is, indeed, a pragmatic book.  
More directly to the point of the current discussion, in what sense can the term "dicisign" be conjoined with the "I" of natural identities?   Such that the natural proposition can be either an antecedent or a consequence of a fact of nature?

Yes, I am a very skeptical individual, a chemist to the core. Nevertheless, I have found several of Frederik's narratives to be innovative and, more importantly, useful.

Cheers

Jerry 



 *[I coined the term "relatonomy" to express the concept of the study of relations among relatives, such as the relations among symbol systems as units of thought. 
 
For example, one must study the concepts of relations as used in mathematics (legi-signs?) in contrast with the study of the concepts used in genetics (sin-signs?) to study the relations among the (quali-) signs of life. 

In this early part of the 21st Century, CSP's late 19th Century views of a triadic triad can be viewed as a study of rhetorical relations.  Incredible narratives.]

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Sungchul Ji | 16 Oct 01:57 2014
Picon

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

(For undistorted Table 1, see the attached.)

Ben wrote:

"The idea is that facts and representational relations       (101414-1)
are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads
and textbooks."

We can express this statement diagrammatically thus:

Relations in our head ===> Facts in the world                (101414-2)

where the arrow symbol reads “determine”, “correspond to “ or “correlate 
with”.

I have evidence that Scheme (101414-2) is reversible, i.e. the following
scheme may also  hold:

Facts in the world  ===> Relations in our head              (101412-3)

What I mean by this statement is that, our social (external) experiences
with humanese will help us unravel the mystery of the cellese (going on
internally in our head all the time while we are alive), establishing the
theory of which is a formidable challenge for the human mind.
This line of thought was motivated by our recent finding that same sets of
mathematical equations, and linguistic and thermodynamics-theoretical
concepts apply to both humanese and cellese, as briefly summarized in
Table below and Figure 1 attached.

_________________________________________________________________________

Table 1.  Our knowledge derived from social experiences with our language
may help us understand how the language of living cells work within us.
Gaussian distribution:   y = A exp (-(x - mu)^2/(2 signam^2)).
Planckian distribution:  y = (a/(Ax + B)^5)/(Exp(b/(Ax + B)) -1).
________________________________________________________________________

 Commuication    Human Language             Cell Language
 via             (Humanese)                 (Cellese)
________________________________________________________________________

Sign processor   Human Brain                Living Cell
________________________________________________________________________

Sign             Words                      Molecules
________________________________________________________________________

Field            Glottometrics              Genomics
________________________________________________________________________

First            Word-length frequency      Gene-length frequency
organization     distribution in a          distribution in a genome
(Equilibrium     dictionary is Gaussian     is Gaussian
Structures;
Second
articulation;
Gaussian
information)
_________________________________________________________________________

Second           World-length frequency     Protein-length frequency
organization     distribution in Kerry’s    distribution in living cells
(Dissipative     speech (words in action)   (genes in action) is
structures;      is Planckian               Planckian
First
articulation;
Planckian
information)
_________________________________________________________________________

Selection       Kerry’s brain selects       Living cells select genes
mechanism       words to express his        to be expressed to meet
                Ideas and feelings          their immediate needs
_________________________________________________________________________

*The actual graphs are provided in the attachment.

With all the best.

Sung
___________________________________________________
Sungchul Ji, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers University
Piscataway, N.J. 08855
732-445-4701

www.conformon.net

> Jerry, list,
>
> Peirce's idea includes the idea that nature tells us things, and that's
> something that Frederik is getting at in discussing natural
> propositions. For example, an air sock dances, and that tells us that
> the air is windy. The idea is that facts and representational relations
> are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads and textbooks.
> That realist perspective is the same one that people bring much less
> controversially to informative dependencies and information; also to
> statistical distributions, averages, and probabilities; and to
> constraints, variational principles, optima, and feasibles.
>
> Best, Ben
>
> On 10/14/2014 1:15 AM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>
>> Ben, List:
>>
>> Thanks for your views on the Latin roots CSP used to generate this term.
>>
>> Subconsciously, I was associating "dicisign" with the concept of
>> decision.
>>
>> From the perspective of the roots, then, the decisign is a term
>> describing a human artifact, that is, a judgment about the
>> interpretations of the sinsigns.  At least, that is how I now
>> understand the term.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> jerry
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Oct 12, 2014, at 10:44 PM, Benjamin Udell wrote:
>>
>>> Jerry, list,
>>>
>>> Peirce does not use "decisign" with an 'e' in any of the texts in
>>> Collected Papers, Writings, or Contributions to _The Nation_.
>>>
>>> He uses 'dicisign' and 'dicent sign', and does so with the same
>>> meaning. The origin in the Latin verb _/dicere/_ ('to say', 'to
>>> tell') is pretty evident to any Latinist. _/Dico, dicere, dixi,
>>> dictus/_ are the principle parts of the verb. From it come French and
>>> Italian _/dire/_, Spanish _/decir/_, Portuguese _/dizer/_, English
>>> 'diction', etc.
>>>
>>> 1. The word 'dicent' is pretty plainly from the Latin _/dicere/_'s
>>> present participle _/dicens, dicentis/_.
>>>
>>> 2. 'Sign' is a word from Latin _/signum/_, and Peirce is not the kind
>>> readily to combine a Latin root with a root from some other language.
>>> So the 'dici' in 'dicisign' is almost certainly from _/dicere/_.
>>>
>>> 3. The first and second points converge to the same conclusion.
>>>
>>> Best, Ben
>>>
>>> On 10/12/2014 11:10 PM, Jerry LR Chandler wrote:
>>>
>>>> Frederik:
>

Attachment (Ben_10142014.pdf): application/pdf, 235 KiB
Attachment (Mathmematical connections between linguistics and genomic.docx): application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.documen, 230 KiB

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Howard Pattee | 14 Oct 19:46 2014

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

At 09:37 AM 10/14/2014, Benjamin Udell wrote:
For example, an air sock dances, and that tells us that the air is windy. The idea is that facts and representational relations are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads and textbooks.

HP: I don't think the existence or reality of the windsock is the issue. I think everyone agrees that the windsock will exist after everyone leaves or ceases to observe it. Insofar as your brain has a good memory and forms  good models, you can at any time imagine the sock blowing in the wind without seeing it. If you have a good memory and model of the windsock you will find that when you see it again it will still fit your model. That is, the model in your head can predict how real windsocks behave in the wind.

This amounts to Hertz's necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a good model. However, his point is that all models are in your head, and "you do not know, nor have you any means of knowing, whether your conception of things [your models] are in conformity with them in any other than this one fundamental respect," namely, that the consequents of the model of the windsock in your head behaves "closely enough" to the directly observed consequents of the real windsock.

The condition "closely enough" is a subjective or cultural decision, and one where physicists and philosophers often differ, largely because their subject (what they are modeling) is so different. I don't think calling people  realists or nominalists or psychologists or antipsychologists add any light to how we create our images.

Howard
 

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Benjamin Udell | 14 Oct 22:07 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Howard, list,

I didn't reply to your previous post to me on this general subject, because we're going in circles. What's more, it's become hard to see what you do think.

On one hand you argue that such questions as those of realism and nominalism can't ever be settled and that mentioning them adds nothing; and on the other hand you argue against realism and call nominalism the "best bet".

On one hand you grant that numbers can be objectively investigated, and on the other hand you deny being realist about numbers in a Peircean sense.

On one hand you argue that physical laws are real; and now you turn around and argue that the match of a theory's predictions vis-a-vis reality is a "cultural" judgment.

It's not just a cultural judgment that physical theories and engineering had anything to do with it, when a rocket brings a rover to Mars, lands successfully, etc., based on physical theories' predictions and engineering. It's not just a cultural judgment whether a theory's predictions match reality when lives and wealth have been saved or lost by those predictions. Whether our theories work or or mislead us to destruction is not a social construct.

Best, Ben

On 10/14/2014 1:46 PM, Howard Pattee wrote:

At 09:37 AM 10/14/2014, Benjamin Udell wrote:
For example, an air sock dances, and that tells us that the air is windy. The idea is that facts and representational relations are real, out there in the world, not just in our heads and textbooks.

HP: I don't think the existence or reality of the windsock is the issue. I think everyone agrees that the windsock will exist after everyone leaves or ceases to observe it. Insofar as your brain has a good memory and forms  good models, you can at any time imagine the sock blowing in the wind without seeing it. If you have a good memory and model of the windsock you will find that when you see it again it will still fit your model. That is, the model in your head can predict how real windsocks behave in the wind.

This amounts to Hertz's necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a good model. However, his point is that all models are in your head, and "you do not know, nor have you any means of knowing, whether your conception of things [your models] are in conformity with them in any other than this one fundamental respect," namely, that the consequents of the model of the windsock in your head behaves "closely enough" to the directly observed consequents of the real windsock.

The condition "closely enough" is a subjective or cultural decision, and one where physicists and philosophers often differ, largely because their subject (what they are modeling) is so different. I don't think calling people  realists or nominalists or psychologists or antipsychologists add any light to how we create our images.

Howard

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Howard Pattee | 15 Oct 02:10 2014

Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

At 04:07 PM 10/14/2014, Benjamin Udell wrote:

On one hand you argue that such questions as those of realism and nominalism can't ever be settled and that mentioning them adds nothing; and on the other hand you argue against realism and call nominalism the "best bet".

HP: I said no such thing. I said the windsock exists no matter how we model it. I believe that is what you call realism.  Nor did I say nominalism is the best bet. Some models do exist  nominally only in the head. You philosophers appear to enjoy shackling ideas in pigeon-holes designed by logicians.

BU: On one hand you grant that numbers can be objectively investigated, and on the other hand you deny being realist about numbers in a Peircean sense.

HP: I did not say that either. Some numbers correspond to objects that are real, like counting your marbles. Other numbers are creations of the imagination, like n-dimensional spaces. Some model concepts we cannot know empirically if they correspond with reality, like discrete and continuous, or deterministic and probabilistic models.

BU: On one hand you argue that physical laws are real; and now you turn around and argue that the match of a theory's predictions vis-a-vis reality is a "cultural" judgment.

HP: That is half correct, and it is not a "turn around." As a physicist I certainly believe that Nature and Natures laws are as real as we can imagine reality to be. At the same time, our models of Natures laws, like quantum theory, while they are exceeding accurate and fit predictions, we do not say they are true or false. In fact, we know our models are just our best approximations to reality. Like Peirce, we find them converging toward something we call truth.

BU: It's not just a cultural judgment that physical theories and engineering had anything to do with it, when a rocket brings a rover to Mars, lands successfully, etc., based on physical theories' predictions and engineering.

HP: Of course it is not "just a cultural judgement." But beyond the necessary explicit physics principles of invariance and symmetry that define objectivity, the models are ultimately collectively judged not only by experiments but by a community of experts who rely on their total experience that includes many tacit beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. That does not make physics models just social constructs. The necessary requirement is that they pragmatically fit Nature's inexorable behavior. But that is not sufficient.

Polanyi: "We must now recognize belief once more as the source of all knowledge. Tacit assent and intellectual passions, the sharing of an idiom and of a cultural heritage, affiliation to a like-minded community: such are the impulses which shape our vision of the nature of things on which we rely for our mastery of things. No intelligence, however critical or original, can operate outside such a fiduciary framework."

Howard
 




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Benjamin Udell | 15 Oct 19:02 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7042] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Howard, list,

Responses interleaved.

On 10/14/2014 8:10 PM, Howard Pattee wrote:

At 04:07 PM 10/14/2014, Benjamin Udell wrote:

>> BU: On one hand you argue that such questions as those of realism and nominalism can't ever be settled and that mentioning them adds nothing; and on the other hand you argue against realism and call nominalism the "best bet".

> HP: I said no such thing.

BU: Sorry, my memory reworded it but you said something to the same effect 9/18/2014:

>>>>> HP: Epistemologies are not empirically decidable, e.g., not falsifiable. True belief in any epistemology requires a leap of faith. There are degrees of faith, skepticism being at the low end. In my own view as a physicist, nominalism requires a much safer leap of faith than realism. However, I often think realistically. I see no harm in it as long as I don't  see it as the one true belief.
[End quote http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14168 ]

> HP: I said the windsock exists no matter how we model it. I believe that is what you call realism. 
BU: The objectively real existence of individuals is where nominalism and realism traditionally agree but Peirce parts company from realists who think that future individual things are already determinate and individualized and objectively real _individuals _ in that sense. Anyway the nominalist-realist debate is usually in regard to generals and there realism is usually the idea that there are _real generals_ as well as _figmentitious generals _ and that the hope of theory is to represent real generals. Such realism is compatible with an indeterminism about probable and feasible individual things/happenings and even with a indeterminism of past things/happenings that managed not to interact with, and communicate themselves to, their environment.
> HG: Nor did I say nominalism is the best bet.
BU: You said "In my own view as a physicist, nominalism requires a much safer leap of faith than realism ".
> HG: Some models do exist nominally only in the head. You philosophers appear to enjoy shackling ideas in pigeon-holes designed by logicians.
BU: To hold that _some _ models or theories fail to represent real generals does not require or constitute nominalism or anti-realism about generals in general. The problem with the 'pigeon holes' is in your representation of them, and that representation is among the models that "do exist only nominally in the head." I've never heard of a philosophy that claims that all theories are true, all theorized generals are real, and so on, except the relativist philosophy that surreally calls 'true' or 'real' whatever somebody, anybody, says is true or real.
>> BU: On one hand you grant that numbers can be objectively investigated, and on the other hand you deny being realist about numbers in a Peircean sense.
> HP: I did not say that either.
BU: You said on 9/20/2014:
>>>>> HP: As I have said, numbers can be interpreted by all of the well-known epistemologies. I agree that various intelligences, various trained animals, and various computers, proceeding from the same axioms, strings rewriting rules, and programs will reach the same conclusion. This has nothing to do with how I view numbers or epistemologies.
[End quote http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14190 ]

And I replied:

>>>> BU: You seem like you may be limiting it to the 'automatic' or corollarial kind of inference, but supposing that you're not, then what you say is very nearly A: You agree with Peirce about the reality of generals, and very nearly B: that Peirce's realist view of generals and modalities has nothing to do with how you view numbers or epistemologies - not in the sense that you disagree with Peirce's realism, but in the sense that you and he are not discussing the same question in the first place. In that sense, his and your conclusions about epistemology etc. are not necessarily incompatible at all.
[End quote]

> HP: Some numbers correspond to objects that are real, like counting your marbles. Other numbers are creations of the imagination, like n-dimensional spaces

BU: N-dimensional mathematical spaces are instantiated in physical n-coordinate systems. They don't need to be n-dimensional _physical spaces_ with actual hypercubes and so on. This requires a leap of metamorphic imagination, not a leap of faith.

But in any case 'X is real' in Peirce's sense means 'X is objectively investigable as X', not 'X is something studied by physicists'. You have something like the view from 9th Avenue https://www.google.com/images?q=view+from+9th+avenue .

You might have had an argument that, even if math is deductive, its choices of postulates and posited entities is not deductive. But you grant that there are real correspondences like that of whole numbers to countable marbles, and you know that intelligences sufficiently inquiring will get from there and spatial measurement to ideas of indefinitely divisible space and to continuity as an ideal limit.

>HP: Some model concepts we cannot know empirically if they correspond with reality, like discrete and continuous, or deterministic and probabilistic models.

BU: We can't have absolute theoretical certainty about anything, even about whether there are four or instead five marbles on some floor. Nature behaves as if it were fundamentally probabilistic, and continuity seems at least a good approximation of physical space down to an increasingly tiny scale of measurement.

Still, again, 'X is real' in Peirce's sense means 'X is objectively investigable as X', not 'X is something studied by physicists'. 

>> BU: On one hand you argue that physical laws are real; and now you turn around and argue that the match of a theory's predictions vis-a-vis reality is a "cultural" judgment.

> HP: That is half correct, and it is not a "turn around." As a physicist I certainly believe that Nature and Natures laws are as real as we can imagine reality to be. At the same time, our models of Natures laws, like quantum theory, while they are exceeding accurate and fit predictions, we do not say they are true or false. In fact, we know our models are just our best approximations to reality. Like Peirce, we find them converging toward something we call truth.

BU: You've abandoned the "cultural judgment" claim.

>> BU: It's not just a cultural judgment that physical theories and engineering had anything to do with it, when a rocket brings a rover to Mars, lands successfully, etc., based on physical theories' predictions and engineering.

> HP: Of course it is not "just a cultural judgement."

BU: In your previous post, you agreed with Hertz that "the consequents of the model of the windsock in your head behaves 'closely enough' to the directly observed consequents of the real windsock" and you added that "The condition "closely enough" is a subjective or cultural decision...." http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/14725

> HP: But beyond the necessary explicit physics principles of invariance and symmetry that define objectivity, the models are ultimately collectively judged not only by experiments but by a community of experts who rely on their total experience that includes many tacit beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. That does not make physics models just social constructs. The necessary requirement is that they pragmatically fit Nature's inexorable behavior. But that is not sufficient.

You're just saying that in order for agreement to be reached, agreement must be reached and that that's a sufficient condition. If the community is expert enough, then it's necessary for the predictions to match reality in order for agreement actually to be reached. But that judgment of closeness of match is just subjective and cultural, according to you. So what is the part that you say is "of course" not just a cultural judgment? The part about actually reaching agreement? But that's the most cultural or social part. Moreover, the agreement of an actual set of experts is not what makes a theory true or accurate or a close approximation.

Your not wanting to be 'pigeon-holed' suggests that you want to retain flexibility, which is fine, but when it leads to continual inconsistencies, there's no reason not to point them out.

We're going in circles. What's more, it's stlll hard to see what you do think.

On one hand you argue that such questions as those of realism and nominalism can't ever be settled and that mentioning them adds nothing; and on the other hand you argue against realism and call nominalism - not the "best bet" - but, in your opinion "as a physicist", "a much safer leap of faith than realism".

On one hand you grant that numbers can be objectively investigated, and on the other hand you deny being realist about numbers in a Peircean sense.

On the one hand you say that symbols 'hide' their meanings, and on the other hand you say that the interpreter 'creates' their meanings.

On one hand you argue that physical laws are real; and on the other hand you argue that the closeness of a theory's prediction vis-a-vis reality is a just a subjective cultural judgment.

Then in some cases you say that you didn't say those things and I show where you said them. If those are not inconsistencies but instead reflect your changes of mind or your corrections of your misphrasings, then please say so.

Best, Ben

> HP: Polanyi: "We must now recognize belief once more as the source of all knowledge. Tacit assent and intellectual passions, the sharing of an idiom and of a cultural heritage, affiliation to a like-minded community: such are the impulses which shape our vision of the nature of things on which we rely for our mastery of things. No intelligence, however critical or original, can operate outside such a fiduciary framework."

> Howard

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Howard Pattee | 17 Oct 01:54 2014

Re: [biosemiotics:7235] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter

At 01:02 PM 10/15/2014, Benjamin Udell wrote:

Then in some cases you [Howard] say that you didn't say those things and I show where you said them. If those are not inconsistencies but instead reflect your changes of mind or your corrections of your misphrasings, then please say so.

HP: I stand by what I said; no corrections or mind changes, but I will try to make my beliefs clearer. Your rephrasings altered my meanings. I think the reason I appear to you as inconsistent  is because you do not recognize the empirical necessity of complementarity and  hierarchic levels of models. Also, we have a different view of scientific models. Your response also illustrates my original point that such disputes over undecidable epistemological ideologies can not only be a waste of time, but are often misleading; or worse, they can become name-calling contests over the -isms, distracting otherwise productive discussions over substantive scientific theories.

That does not mean that epistemologies are unimportant. In physics, epistemologies of many forms are   entertained  (not believed) as important explorations of conceptual and formal theories. That is, they are a form of thought experiment, not unlike the non-existent Maxwell demon. For example, Wigner entertained solipsism as a logically consistent interpretation of quantum theory, but he does not believe in solipsism. QM has also engendered novel epistemologies, like Many Worlds, that are often entertained but seldom believed. That is what I was getting at when I said: "I often think realistically. I see no harm in it as long as I don't see it as the one true belief."
 
As evidence, ask yourself: For how many years have the greatest minds been arguing over realism vs. nominalism? Is there any obvious trend toward a consensus? If not, why not? Do you know of any mathematical theorem, physical, biological, or brain theory that would be altered if either the truth or falsity of either view were revealed?
 
To keep the discussion on the subject of Frederik's book let me explain where I see modern physics differing from Peirce's views. First, I want to emphasize that in general I agree with Peirce's philosophy of science as an attitude, not a methodology, but an attitude freed from any predisposition. I see a difference in the demands of empirical discoveries, unknown to Peirce of course, that have shown that physical laws cannot be encumbered or blocked by either analytic logics or epistemologies.

I agree with Peirce (following Hertz): ". . . the power that connects the conditions of the mathematicians diagram with the relations he observes in it is just as occult and mysterious to us as the power of Nature that brings about the results of the chemical experiment." I also agree with the Pragmatic Maxim, especially with the meaninglessness of many issues and linguistic artifacts. But Peirce is mistaken when he claims that physicists do not doubt the reality of their results.

This is long enough for one post. I will give examples of the necessity of complementarity and hierchic levels later. In logic and mathematics, Peirce's (and Aristotle's, Descartes', Cantor's, Dedekind's, et al's) problem with defining discreteness and continuity is one example. Reversible and irreversible models, and deterministic and probabilistic models are others.

Howard


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Frederik Stjernfelt | 11 Oct 20:33 2014
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Re: [biosemiotics:7038] Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.3

Dear Garys, lists, 

There is certainly no disparaging in Peirce's claim that icons and indices are "degenerate" as compared to symbols. The concept comes from mathematics, conic sections in particular, where figures like hyperbolas and ellipses are considered non-degenerate while figures like parabolas, circles, crossing lines, points etc. are degenerate because of the fact that the latter result only from certain singular values of the function, typically where one variable assumes the value 0 and vanishes. So the idea is that circles, e.g., are but ellipses where the two foci becomes one and the figure simplifies correspondingly. This implies that such figures are rare limit phenomena as compared to ellipses. In P's sign theory, the analogy will be that icons and indices without symbolic aspects are rare limit phenomena - while symbols typically involve indexical and iconical aspects. 
In the third trichotomy, I have not seen P use the term "degenerate" in the same way - but he does say that all rhemes are but "fragmentary" signs while dicisigns are but "states" in the moving process of arguments. In that sense, I think it would not be strange to assume that rhemes and dicisigns are degenerate arguments. Given the way P constructs his semiotics, it would not be strange to say that all of the 9 simpler signs in the Syllabus 10-sign combinary are degenerate as compared to arguments. I think I discussed this a bit in Diagrammatology under the headline of the physiology of Arguments - the metaphor indicating that lower sign types like icons or dicisigns etc. form a sort of organs in the body of arguments …

Best
F


Den 01/10/2014 kl. 01.10 skrev Gary Richmond <gary.richmond <at> gmail.com>
:

Gary, lists,

GF: By shifting the emphasis (in his definition of “fact”) from that Secondness to its structure — which is that of a proposition or dicisign, and therefore partakes of Thirdness — I think Peirce was adding another dimension to the mode of being of “fact”.
 
I would tend to agree that Peirce did indeed add exactly this new dimension to the mode of being a fact in his reflections ca. 1904, moving from his late 19th century emphasis on itsexistential 2ns to examining its structure as a dicisign at the beginning of the 20th. 

Continuing with our ongoing analysis of genuineness and degeneracy in this regard, you wrote regarding a passage you quoted (EP2:274):

GF: [That t]his shows at least that genuineness and degeneracy are not absolute qualities but always relative to a function. So even though Peirce gave the icon and index the “disparaging name” of “degenerate” in KS, he also pointed out that they (especially when combined!) can carry out semiotic functions that the symbol is incapable of except by involving them.

Yes, no doubt mathematical ideas related to degeneracy can help us overcome a linguistic tendency to think perhaps a bit disparagingly of degeneracy in semiotic relations when such is not at all Peirce's intent. But this is still a vexing issue for me. For example, you wrote:

GF: I wonder, too, if the dicisign and the proposition itself can be described as “degenerate” relative to the argument, which is the most complete and complex of all sign-types because it separately indicates its interpretant — and which, for that very reason, can only be a symbol. Is that the main reason why the symbol is the most genuine member of the first (icon/index/symbol) trichotomy of signs?

But in looking for telling passages related to "genuine" relations, I came across this.

A proof or genuine argument is a mental process which is open to logical criticism.  CP 2.26

Perhaps one needn't make too much of this apparent equivalence of 'proof' and 'genuine argument', but it does make me  abit unsure about your thought that the dicisign might be "described as 'degenerate' relative to the argument." I think there may be good reasons to think that that's a pretty good abduction, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.

At CP 5.76 Peirce refers to the symbol as the "relatively genuine form of Representamen" in relation to the index and the icon. Again one needn't make too much of the phrase 'relatively genuine', but I'm not exactly certain now how much to make of it. Maybe it simply means what we've always taken it to mean in this context, but why then "relatively"?

As for the 'genuine index' in consideration of the dicisign, although you (or Frederik?) may have already quoted some of this passage, I found it of the greatest interest, although I not quite yet sure exactly what to make of it.

. . . Now in analyses hitherto proposed, it seems to have been thought that if assertion [. . .] were omitted, the proposition would be indistinguishable from a compound general term--that "A man is tall" would then reduce to "A tall man." It therefore becomes important to inquire whether the definition of a Dicisign here found to be applicable to the former [. . .] may not be equally applicable to the latter. The answer, however, comes forthwith. Fully to understand and assimilate the symbol "a tall man," it is by no means requisite to understand it to relate [. . .] to a real Object. Its Interpretant, therefore, does not represent it as a genuine Index; so that the definition of the Dicisign does not apply to it. It is impossible here fully to go into the examination of whether the analysis given does justice to the distinction between propositions and arguments. But it is easy to see that the proposition purports to intend to compel its Interpretant to refer to its real Object, that is represents itself as an Index, while the argument purports to intend not compulsion but action by means of comprehensible generals, that is, represents its character to be specially symbolic (CP 2.321, emphasis added).

I want to spend more time reflecting on this passage in consideration of "the distinction between propositions and arguments" as it seems to me to be of potential considerable importance in our reflections on the dicisign. I'll be interested to hear what you or other members of the lists make of this quotation.

Best,

Gary  



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Gary Fuhrman | 30 Sep 15:51 2014
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Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.4

Lists,

 

By this time it should be clear to readers of NP that the subject/predicate structure of the proposition in Peirce’s logic is generalized in Peirce’s semiotic as the indexical/iconic structure of the Dicisign. In §3.4 of NP we meet the most radical and profound — and perhaps the most widely unrecognized — aspect of Peirce’s Dicisign doctrine. To quote from NP, p.58:

 

[[ So, the basic function of the predicative aspect of the Dicisign is to yield an iconic description of the sign's object. This, however, is not all. By including the copula and the number of blanks involved in the predicate given, the predicative side of the Dicisign includes all that is not immediately indexical:

“The most perfectly thorough analysis throws the whole substance of the Dicisign into the Predicate.” (Syllabus 1903, EPII, 281; 2.318)

 

This implies that the Predicate also includes the syntax of the Dicisign making of the predicate-subject composite a claim, cf. the idea that the predicate is “... representing (or being) an Icon of the Dicisign in some respect” (Syllabus, EPII 279, 2.316), cf. below. The Predicate not only depicts certain characters of the object, it also depicts the Dicisign claiming those characters to pertain to the object. The Predicate iconically describes that very aspect of the Dicisign—its syntax. So, the Predicate operates on two levels simultaneously, on the object and metalanguage level, as it were. ]]

 

Those who are looking into the “Kaina Stoicheia” text in conjunction with this seminar will find Peirce’s innovative treatment of the “copula” (as “an index involving an icon”) explained in EP2:308-10 (http://www.gnusystems.ca/KainaStoicheia.htm#4b ). Any questions about how this relates to the Dicisisgn doctrine would be welcome!

 

gary f.

 


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Gary Fuhrman | 1 Oct 19:31 2014
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RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.4

Lists,

 

I’ve heard from Frederik that he’s dealing with a patch of ill health, so we may not hear from him for a few more days. In the meantime maybe we can all study Chapter 3 (at least up to chapter 5) so that we’ll be ready when direct discussion of the dicisign doctrine resumes.

 

gary f.

 

From: Gary Fuhrman [mailto:gnox <at> gnusystems.ca]
Sent: 30-Sep-14 9:52 AM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.4

 

Lists,

 

By this time it should be clear to readers of NP that the subject/predicate structure of the proposition in Peirce’s logic is generalized in Peirce’s semiotic as the indexical/iconic structure of the Dicisign. In §3.4 of NP we meet the most radical and profound — and perhaps the most widely unrecognized — aspect of Peirce’s Dicisign doctrine. To quote from NP, p.58:

 

[[ So, the basic function of the predicative aspect of the Dicisign is to yield an iconic description of the sign's object. This, however, is not all. By including the copula and the number of blanks involved in the predicate given, the predicative side of the Dicisign includes all that is not immediately indexical:

 

“The most perfectly thorough analysis throws the whole substance of the Dicisign into the Predicate.” (Syllabus 1903, EPII, 281; 2.318)

 

This implies that the Predicate also includes the syntax of the Dicisign making of the predicate-subject composite a claim, cf. the idea that the predicate is “... representing (or being) an Icon of the Dicisign in some respect” (Syllabus, EPII 279, 2.316), cf. below. The Predicate not only depicts certain characters of the object, it also depicts the Dicisign claiming those characters to pertain to the object. The Predicate iconically describes that very aspect of the Dicisign—its syntax. So, the Predicate operates on two levels simultaneously, on the object and metalanguage level, as it were. ]]

 

Those who are looking into the “Kaina Stoicheia” text in conjunction with this seminar will find Peirce’s innovative treatment of the “copula” (as “an index involving an icon”) explained in EP2:308-10 (http://www.gnusystems.ca/KainaStoicheia.htm#4b ). Any questions about how this relates to the Dicisisgn doctrine would be welcome!

 

gary f.

 


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Gary Fuhrman | 3 Oct 17:48 2014
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Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Section 3.5 of NP takes up “The Indexical Side of Dicisigns” by first showing the importance of (and the more recent terminology for) Peirce’s advances in the algebra of logic which made it possible to separate the subject and predicate parts of the proposition, and thus the indexical and iconic parts of the Dicisign.

 

Even the Dicent Symbol (i.e. the proposition) must involve an index, but often we have to look for the index not among the words expressing the proposition, but in “the circumstances of the enunciation” (NP p. 61, quoting Peirce). The index is whatever directs our attention to the object which the Dicisign informs us about, and as such is part of the sign even when it is not included in the sentence representing the proposition.

 

For example, consider Gun Country by Michael Murphy,

http://www.artprize.org/michael-murphy/2014/gun-country

which Evgenii Rudnyi mentioned on the Peirce list. As existing physical installation, it’s a Dicent Indexical Sinsign; but it’s the Dicent Indexical Legisign, the general thought (of the USA as “Gun Country”) represented by the Sinsign, which directs our attention to the object of the sign, which is an aspect of American culture. The indexical part of it is in the circumstances of its creation, not in the iconic components of the work (the guns and the outline of the continental U.S.)  Its creator combined those iconic components and presented the Sinsign in public in order to direct the viewer’s attention to the relation between the cultural phenomena represented by those icons. So the index involves those icons (not the other way round).

 

That’s not an exhaustive analysis, and maybe others can give better examples, but I think it illustrates the point that Dicisigns always involve some kind of intention (which may or may not be conscious), and their indexical parts carry out the intention of directing our attention. This is the mirror image, as it were, of the causal relation between the parts of a ‘natural’ Dicisign such as the weathervane, which is effectively forced by the wind itself to be an icon of the direction of the wind, and thus to convey information. It will actually convey this information only if it is intentionally interpreted as doing so; but whether the information is true or false depends not on the interpreter’s intention, but on whether the weathervane is in good working order or not. (In Peirce’s example, if it sticks, its reader can be misinformed about the wind direction).

 

But then I could be wrong about the Dicisign always involving some kind of intention. I’d be grateful if someone could suggest a counter-example that would refute this hypothesis.

 

gary f.


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Jon Awbrey | 3 Oct 18:21 2014
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Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Gary, List,

Pragmatic objects are intentional objects.

Jon 

On Oct 3, 2014, at 11:48 AM, "Gary Fuhrman" <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

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Section 3.5 of NP takes up “The Indexical Side of Dicisigns” by first showing the importance of (and the more recent terminology for) Peirce’s advances in the algebra of logic which made it possible to separate the subject and predicate parts of the proposition, and thus the indexical and iconic parts of the Dicisign.

 

Even the Dicent Symbol (i.e. the proposition) must involve an index, but often we have to look for the index not among the words expressing the proposition, but in “the circumstances of the enunciation” (NP p. 61, quoting Peirce). The index is whatever directs our attention to the object which the Dicisign informs us about, and as such is part of the sign even when it is not included in the sentence representing the proposition.

 

For example, consider Gun Country by Michael Murphy,

http://www.artprize.org/michael-murphy/2014/gun-country

which Evgenii Rudnyi mentioned on the Peirce list. As existing physical installation, it’s a Dicent Indexical Sinsign; but it’s the Dicent Indexical Legisign, the general thought (of the USA as “Gun Country”) represented by the Sinsign, which directs our attention to the object of the sign, which is an aspect of American culture. The indexical part of it is in the circumstances of its creation, not in the iconic components of the work (the guns and the outline of the continental U.S.)  Its creator combined those iconic components and presented the Sinsign in public in order to direct the viewer’s attention to the relation between the cultural phenomena represented by those icons. So the index involves those icons (not the other way round).

 

That’s not an exhaustive analysis, and maybe others can give better examples, but I think it illustrates the point that Dicisigns always involve some kind of intention (which may or may not be conscious), and their indexical parts carry out the intention of directing our attention. This is the mirror image, as it were, of the causal relation between the parts of a ‘natural’ Dicisign such as the weathervane, which is effectively forced by the wind itself to be an icon of the direction of the wind, and thus to convey information. It will actually convey this information only if it is intentionally interpreted as doing so; but whether the information is true or false depends not on the interpreter’s intention, but on whether the weathervane is in good working order or not. (In Peirce’s example, if it sticks, its reader can be misinformed about the wind direction).

 

But then I could be wrong about the Dicisign always involving some kind of intention. I’d be grateful if someone could suggest a counter-example that would refute this hypothesis.

 

gary f.


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Gary Fuhrman | 3 Oct 18:50 2014
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RE: Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Jon,

 

So?

 

From: Jon Awbrey [mailto:jawbrey <at> att.net]
Sent: 3-Oct-14 12:21 PM

 

Gary, List,

 

Pragmatic objects are intentional objects.

 

Jon 




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Jeffrey Brian Downard | 3 Oct 20:30 2014

RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Hi Gary F.,

What is the difference between saying that every dicisign involves an intention, and saying that every
dicisign involves (or is somehow related to) a purpose?  My untutored assumption is that 'purpose' is the
more general term, and the word 'intention' refers to a species of purpose.  T.L. Short and others have
tried to clarify these two concepts, but I must admit that I'm not entirely clear on the relation between
the two.

Perhaps we should distinguish between different ways that the word 'intention' is used in Peirce's texts. 
There is the common meaning that is expressed when I say, for instance, that my intention in writing the
sentences above is to engage in a discussion with colleagues in the hopes of improving our shared
understanding of these questions.  There is also the more technical meaning of the term that is involved in
the distinction between first and second intentions in the theory of logic.

I assume that, when you are talking about the intentions of the interpreter, that you are drawing on the
common meaning of the word.  If you meant it in the more technical sense of a first or second intention, that
would be good to spell out.

--Jeff

Jeff Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
NAU
(o) 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Gary Fuhrman [gnox <at> gnusystems.ca]
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2014 8:48 AM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Section 3.5 of NP takes up “The Indexical Side of Dicisigns” by first showing the importance of (and the
more recent terminology for) Peirce’s advances in the algebra of logic which made it possible to
separate the subject and predicate parts of the proposition, and thus the indexical and iconic parts of
the Dicisign.

Even the Dicent Symbol (i.e. the proposition) must involve an index, but often we have to look for the index
not among the words expressing the proposition, but in “the circumstances of the enunciation” (NP p.
61, quoting Peirce). The index is whatever directs our attention to the object which the Dicisign informs
us about, and as such is part of the sign even when it is not included in the sentence representing the proposition.

For example, consider Gun Country by Michael Murphy,

http://www.artprize.org/michael-murphy/2014/gun-country

which Evgenii Rudnyi mentioned on the Peirce list. As existing physical installation, it’s a Dicent
Indexical Sinsign; but it’s the Dicent Indexical Legisign, the general thought (of the USA as “Gun
Country”) represented by the Sinsign, which directs our attention to the object of the sign, which is an
aspect of American culture. The indexical part of it is in the circumstances of its creation, not in the
iconic components of the work (the guns and the outline of the continental U.S.)  Its creator combined
those iconic components and presented the Sinsign in public in order to direct the viewer’s attention
to the relation between the cultural phenomena represented by those icons. So the index involves those
icons (not the other way round).

That’s not an exhaustive analysis, and maybe others can give better examples, but I think it illustrates
the point that Dicisigns always involve some kind of intention (which may or may not be conscious), and
their indexical parts carry out the intention of directing our attention. This is the mirror image, as it
were, of the causal relation between the parts of a ‘natural’ Dicisign such as the weathervane, which
is effectively forced by the wind itself to be an icon of the direction of the wind, and thus to convey
information. It will actually convey this information only if it is intentionally interpreted as doing
so; but whether the information is true or false depends not on the interpreter’s intention, but on
whether the weathervane is in good working order or not. (In Peirce’s example, if it sticks, its reader
can be misinformed about the wind direction).

But then I could be wrong about the Dicisign always involving some kind of intention. I’d be grateful if
someone could suggest a counter-example that would refute this hypothesis.

gary f.

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Clark Goble | 3 Oct 21:10 2014

Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5


On Oct 3, 2014, at 12:30 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard <Jeffrey.Downard <at> nau.edu> wrote:

Perhaps we should distinguish between different ways that the word 'intention' is used in Peirce's texts.  There is the common meaning that is expressed when I say, for instance, that my intention in writing the sentences above is to engage in a discussion with colleagues in the hopes of improving our shared understanding of these questions.  There is also the more technical meaning of the term that is involved in the distinction between first and second intentions in the theory of logic.

I think this is right. The word “intention” has so many connotations that can lead us astray if we aren’t careful.

Although when Gary says intention need not be conscious I think he’s moving us to the world of virtuality within Peirce and so it’s not intentionality of the sort we usually encounter in philosophy of mind.

Frederick definitely does not see intentional acts necessarily accompanying the dicisign. (See his post of Sept 1)

As for an example, I can’t think of an unintentional dicisign off the top of my head. (Give me time - I’m sure someone will) However this statement by Peirce on icons might be of interest in determining his use of intents.

The sort of idea which an icon embodies, if it be such that it can convey any positive information, being applicable to some things but not to others, is called a first intention. The idea embodied by an icon which cannot of itself convey any information, being applicable to everything or to nothing, but which may, nevertheless, be useful in modifying other icons, is called a second intention. (CP 3.433)

and a few pages later

Neither the predicate, nor the subjects, nor both together, can make an assertion. The assertion represents a compulsion which experience, meaning the course of life, brings upon the deliverer to attach the predicate to the subjects as a sign of them taken in a particular way. This compulsion strikes him at a certain instant; and he remains under it forever after. It is, therefore, different from the temporary force which the hecceities exert upon his attention. This new compulsion may pass out of mind for the time being; but it continues just the same, and will act whenever the occasion arises, that is, whenever those particular hecceities and that first intention are called to mind together. It is, therefore, a permanent conditional force, or law. The deliverer thus requires a kind of sign which shall signify a law that to objects of indices an icon appertains as sign of them in a given way. Such a sign has been called a symbol. It is the copula of the assertion. (CP 3.435)

This is interesting since it does break with traditional speech act theory where intentionality plays such a significant role. Personally I see Peirce’s semiotics reversing the usual way signs or interpretation are thought of in philosophy. Thus it’s objects that determine the interpretant rather than an interpreter interpreting an object to create an interpretation. Rather than a traditional interpretation with conscious creation we have compulsions. 

And of course, since I’ve brought up Derrida & Heidegger a few times that last sentence is relevant to what I’ve spoken of before.

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Gary Fuhrman | 3 Oct 22:28 2014
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RE: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Jeff D, Clark, lists,

Jeff, you're probably right that using the word "intention" risks opening up
a can of worms that have been wriggling through philosophical debates for
centuries. But then so does "purpose", which I could have used instead. I
wasn't referring to intentionality in the sense of "aboutness", or to the
scholastic ideas of first and second intentions; I guess it's tautologically
true that informational signs must involve intentions in that sense. I've
often wondered about the relation between those more technical usages and
the more common usage for the broad spectrum of intentionality that humans
share with other animals, which is what I had in mind, but it would probably
be distracting to raise that issue in this context. So maybe my usage of the
word here is too loose to be helpful toward an understanding of dicisigns.

How about we all just ignore the latter part of my post and focus on the
indexical side of the dicisign, which is what I was supposed to be doing in
the first place?

gary f.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Brian Downard [mailto:Jeffrey.Downard <at> nau.edu] 
Sent: 3-Oct-14 2:31 PM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
Subject: RE: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Hi Gary F.,

What is the difference between saying that every dicisign involves an
intention, and saying that every dicisign involves (or is somehow related
to) a purpose?  My untutored assumption is that 'purpose' is the more
general term, and the word 'intention' refers to a species of purpose.  T.L.
Short and others have tried to clarify these two concepts, but I must admit
that I'm not entirely clear on the relation between the two.

Perhaps we should distinguish between different ways that the word
'intention' is used in Peirce's texts.  There is the common meaning that is
expressed when I say, for instance, that my intention in writing the
sentences above is to engage in a discussion with colleagues in the hopes of
improving our shared understanding of these questions.  There is also the
more technical meaning of the term that is involved in the distinction
between first and second intentions in the theory of logic.

I assume that, when you are talking about the intentions of the interpreter,
that you are drawing on the common meaning of the word.  If you meant it in
the more technical sense of a first or second intention, that would be good
to spell out.

--Jeff

Jeff Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
NAU
(o) 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Gary Fuhrman [gnox <at> gnusystems.ca]
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2014 8:48 AM
To: biosemiotics <at> lists.ut.ee; 'Peirce List'
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5

Section 3.5 of NP takes up "The Indexical Side of Dicisigns" by first
showing the importance of (and the more recent terminology for) Peirce's
advances in the algebra of logic which made it possible to separate the
subject and predicate parts of the proposition, and thus the indexical and
iconic parts of the Dicisign.

Even the Dicent Symbol (i.e. the proposition) must involve an index, but
often we have to look for the index not among the words expressing the
proposition, but in "the circumstances of the enunciation" (NP p. 61,
quoting Peirce). The index is whatever directs our attention to the object
which the Dicisign informs us about, and as such is part of the sign even
when it is not included in the sentence representing the proposition.

For example, consider Gun Country by Michael Murphy,

http://www.artprize.org/michael-murphy/2014/gun-country

which Evgenii Rudnyi mentioned on the Peirce list. As existing physical
installation, it's a Dicent Indexical Sinsign; but it's the Dicent Indexical
Legisign, the general thought (of the USA as "Gun Country") represented by
the Sinsign, which directs our attention to the object of the sign, which is
an aspect of American culture. The indexical part of it is in the
circumstances of its creation, not in the iconic components of the work (the
guns and the outline of the continental U.S.)  Its creator combined those
iconic components and presented the Sinsign in public in order to direct the
viewer's attention to the relation between the cultural phenomena
represented by those icons. So the index involves those icons (not the other
way round).

That's not an exhaustive analysis, and maybe others can give better
examples, but I think it illustrates the point that Dicisigns always involve
some kind of intention (which may or may not be conscious), and their
indexical parts carry out the intention of directing our attention. This is
the mirror image, as it were, of the causal relation between the parts of a
'natural' Dicisign such as the weathervane, which is effectively forced by
the wind itself to be an icon of the direction of the wind, and thus to
convey information. It will actually convey this information only if it is
intentionally interpreted as doing so; but whether the information is true
or false depends not on the interpreter's intention, but on whether the
weathervane is in good working order or not. (In Peirce's example, if it
sticks, its reader can be misinformed about the wind direction).

But then I could be wrong about the Dicisign always involving some kind of
intention. I'd be grateful if someone could suggest a counter-example that
would refute this hypothesis.

gary f.


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Clark Goble | 4 Oct 01:29 2014

Re: Natural Propositions, Chapter 3.5


On Oct 3, 2014, at 2:28 PM, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

wasn't referring to intentionality in the sense of "aboutness", or to the scholastic ideas of first and second intentions; I guess it's tautologically true that informational signs must involve intentions in that sense. I’ve often wondered about the relation between those more technical usages and the more common usage for the broad spectrum of intentionality that humans share with other animals, which is what I had in mind, but it would probably be distracting to raise that issue in this contex

Just to be clear what I was emphasizing was more emphasizing Peirce’s choice of terms with compulsion. That is not anything like a traditional notion of intent. So Peirce appropriates the medieval notions of first and second intents but combines it with his criticism of Descartes’ notions of belief and doubt. Belief and doubt are not volitional and thus assertion becomes a type of compulsion. This shakes up the entire notion of intentionality and makes a major break with most of Analytic philosophy. But most obviously the assumptions behind most forms of speech act theory.

The second point, while not as distant from conscious mind, is the idea that the compulsion continues when out of mind “and will act whenever the occasion arises.” Now this is closer to consciousness in that this acting occurs “whenever those particular hecceities and that first intention are called to mind.” However this seems more indirect. It’s not a conscious thought or interpretation the way analytic philosophy tends to treat interpretation. Rather it is a “permanent conditional force or law.” It’s the copula (or Being) but it is this force that brings the icons and indices to mind in a particular way. Now all of this involves mind the way we normally think of it. I can’t think of an example of this that isn’t mind. But clearly it can be unconscious mind. I’d think it could be animal minds as well since while they may not have language they do have iconic and indexical signs. (This avoids an other weakness of analytic philosophical conceptions I should add)

I think this point Peirce is making is what in the phenomenological tradition is called the “as relation.” That is I don’t merely see objects. I see them as certain types of entities. And I can’t not see them as such. I am always already in this process. While again I think the way this is expressed is often unhelpful, it seems to be the idea that this “as” relationship or force of the copula means that when I bring a subject to mind the icons and indices are also brought to mind. Further they are joined by the force of the copula into a dicisign relationship.

Put an other way to see the blue sky above is always to see it as sky and as blue and this is not volitional. It thus doesn’t appear to be a normal intentional relationship. (Recognizing that within the Husserlian tradition intents get a bit more complex than within the analytic tradition - so I want to be careful not to be too broad)



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