Pierce Essays In The Philosophy Of Science

Pierce Essays In The Philosophy Of Science-24
For Peirce, developing a thoroughgoing theory of signs was a central philosophical and intellectual preoccupation.

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This makes the interpretant central to the content of the sign, in that, the meaning of a sign is manifest in the interpretation that it generates in sign users.The object, on the other hand, is best thought of as whatever is signified, for example, the object to which the written or uttered word attaches, or the fire signified by the smoke.The interpretant, the most innovative and distinctive feature of Peirce's account, is best thought of as the understanding that we have of the sign/object relation.Peirce's idea that a sign does not signify in all respects and has some particular signifying element is perhaps best made clear with an example.Consider, for instance, a molehill in my lawn taken as a sign of moles.Its importance in Peirce's philosophy, then, cannot be overestimated.Across the course of his intellectual life, Peirce continually returned to and developed his ideas about signs and semiotic and there are three broadly delineable accounts: a concise Early Account from the 1860s; a complete and relatively neat Interim Account developed through the 1880s and 1890s and presented in 1903; and his speculative, rambling, and incomplete Final Account developed between 19.Things are, however, slightly more complex than this and we shall look at these three elements in more detail.The very first thing to note is that there are some potential terminological difficulties here.Consequently, it is useful to begin with an account of the basic structure of signs according to Peirce.I define a sign as anything which is so determined by something else, called its Object, and so determines an effect upon a person, which effect I call its interpretant, that the later is thereby mediately determined by the former.


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