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Gmane
From: Benjamin Udell <budell <at> nyc.rr.com>
Subject: Re: The "composite photograph" metaphor
Newsgroups: gmane.science.philosophy.peirce
Date: Tuesday 22nd August 2006 18:33:29 UTC (over 11 years ago)
Gary, Charles, Joe, 
>>[Ben] In any case, you've made an assertion, not an argument, and I've
made arguments, including many on this thread. Rather than improvising a
rehash of them to a very general assertion, I refer you to them.

>[Gary] Your arguments which seem apodictic to you have not ever made much
sense to me (perhaps I, like Joe, may just be obtuse), for example, your
recent analysis of a fire in a post addressed to Joe (of which more later).
My analysis (in diagrammatic form) of a line from a Shakespeare play was a
preliminary attempt at using the two semiosical triads of Charles Rudder to
relate the three Peircean semeiotic elements to real world objects while
not introducing a fourth element (I don't recall your even commenting on
that attempt; but then you had earlier suggested to Charles that one of his
semiosical triads wasn't valid, or at least had no basis in Peirce's
analysis, a conclusion with which I would strongly disagree). ....

I said neither one of those things. I don't know why you think I did. I
didn't take a position on their validity as triads. I said that the
interpreter triad introduced nothing in terms of basic triadic elements not
already accounted for by the object-sign-interpretant triad. So, if Charles
was presenting them as "equi-basic," I'd say that they aren't.  I wasn't
entirely sure what he was up to. At any rate, there's the question of what
is the validity of the application which may be in the works.  _If _they're
for trying to cast recognition as simply the recognizer as, in turn, simply
the interpreter, I don't think that they'll work, for reasons which I said
that I had discussed earlier August 12/13, 2006 [peirce-l] Re: The
"composite photograph" metaphor at http://article.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/1292
(it's also at http:[email protected]/msg01239.html.).
 Now, since the interpreter (the person as versatile interpretant,
versatilely interpretive) is being brought in, a way to check and explore
the conceptual relations being diagrammed would be to do triads involving
the representer and involving the person-as-semiotic object (person as
versatile object; the thing is to follow the analogy from from
"interpreter" and "representer").

>[Gary] Having tried unsuccessfully for years to grasp your reasons for a
putative need for a fourth category, all I've been able to do recently is
to point to the kinds of arguments (for example, in the "composite
photograph" piece in Transactions) which are congruent with my own
understanding of three categories/semeiotic elements as being necessary and
sufficient. 

I didn't say or imply that either you or Joe are "obtuse." You're indulging
in self-inflammatory remarks. 

In your example you said that "The dynamical object is whatever
meaning/emotion Shakespeare, the actor, the director mean to convey/express
in that line, through its delivery, etc." So not only are we dealing with a
play where the usual concerns about truth and validity will be rather
different than either those of everyday life or those in research, but also
one where the dynamic object will _be_ the interpretant. In the Peircean
view, that's what happens in a pure icon. A performance of a play by
Shakespeare is not a pure icon. Obviously, you can't simply ordain the
meaning to be the dynamic object once you've said that the sign is a
particular line spoken in the play

Now, the ostensible subject matter, the dynamic object, is in a fictional
universe. (It is an "ostensible" dynamic object in the sense that the
fictional universe is somehow in a sense a sign about our real world, and
the dynamic object in that respect will not be some fictional entity whose
fictionality is that of the play.) The subject matter, the semiotic object,
of a particular line in the play _Much Ado About Nothing_ might be
_cacaphany_, which is praised for its aesthetic qualities by the King in
that play and which, in a sense, is as much the play's subject matter as is
the fictional universe in the play. Now, with the layered complexities of
comedy, irony, etc., which are to be found there, it's somewhat difficult
to discuss verification in that context. Furthermore the subject of
probability or plausibility in regard to fictional universes adds more
complexity. Instead of burying the issue in the foregoing complexities, it
would be better to take a simpler example, but first I'll show the simplest
semiotic way to diagram what's involved in theater, based on the most
common elements at issue: the subject matter, the author, the play, the
audience.

semiotic object - subject matter ~ ~ ~ ~ interpretant - the work
sign - the author, the artist(s) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ recognition - the audience
(which sometimes includes the author/artist(s))
In works for performance, the performers can be considered as joining in as
"authors" to a small but sometimes shining and make-or-break extent. The
word "author" is not actually correlated to "work of art" and "artist" is
the better general word in that respect.

There are other ways to do it:

semiotic object - the work as composed ~ ~interpretant: the work as
affectively responded-to
sign - the work as performed ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ recognition: the work as
critically digested, studied 
(I'm not saying that all critics know what they're talking about; but the
critic, insofar as s/he embodies firm standards for critics, will tend to
provide firm recognitions. Also, by "critic" I don't mean "reviewer" though
that's how many a reviewer means it.)

Yet in another sense, the four elements in the second tetrad are all
manifestations, signs, of the same object -- for instance, for the mind or
quasimind for which, under the circumstances, some doubt arises as to the
nature and even the self-identity of the common object underlying all four
manifestations.

One could do a kind of compromise between the above two tetrads and come up
with a tetrad where the interpretant is the affective quality, the play is
the sign, and the play's subject matter is the semiotic object.

Certainly none of these should be mistaken for comprehensive semiotic
analyses of artistic elements.

Here a complication is that nobody involved, except possibly the subject
matter, is semiotically "innocent" -- an author of any worth will be
composing the play with an eye to his/her own responses as the first
audience, and will furthermore have some sort of audience in mind. An
author, for instance, who writes "for the ages" yet includes a lot of puns
based on local horse race winners, as Joyce did in _Finnegans Wake_, is
placing strange bets. I've been told that he thought that contemporaneous
Irish horse-race enthusiasts would make a hobby of finding such puns in
that novel. Semiotic determination remains what it is, yet subject matter,
author/artist(s), work, and audience all have governant roles. So we have
something pretty layered going on. 

You ask why I didn't comment, but what sort of comment should I make on an
attempt which (aside from the confusion engendered by your saying that the
dynamic object was the meaning) wasn't explicit in its purpose and was so
vague in its applicability to the question, so vague that I really wasn't
sure whether such applicability was your purpose? You may think that I
should have known, but I really didn't know. Yet I did offer a brief
conditional comment, that _if_ the idea was to figure the recognition as
the interpreter, some sort of "grand" interpretant, _I had already
addressed the issue much more explicitly and with arguments in a previous
post_. That post is August 12/13, 2006 [peirce-l] Re: The "composite
photograph" metaphor at http://article.gmane.org/gmane.science.philosophy.peirce/1292
and at http:[email protected]/msg01239.html

>[Gary] But I'm going to try one last time to make the Peircean case from
the standpoint of collateral knowledge. I know I've said "one last time"
before. But truly, as I see it, I really now have spent enough time
studying and trying to understand your position, trying to respond to it as
best I can; while certainly nothing that I have said in support of Peirce's
three categories and elements has been anything but ignored or rejected by
you. 

Actually, I've _argued_ against them rather extensively. However, sometimes
you simply post quotes from Peirce whose applicability to that which I'm
saying at the time may be clear to you but is not clear enough to me to
formulate a particular response, in fact it's nearly cryptic to me -- I
could formulate various particular responses -- you leave to me the work of
guessing which way you meant it. If I include all my formulable responses
then the result would be an incredibly long post. Peirce didn't write those
quotes (often only a few lines quoted) in response to that which I was
saying at the time; it's up to you formulate the application if you wish
more responsiveness. 

Sometimes you talk about how the symbols are "in experience," and man "is a
symbol" and how that all somehow is relevant. Now actually I've addressed
both claims multiple times. Peirce in his semiotic discussions maintains a
pragmaticist and verificatory orientation so consistent, washing gaplessly
around the semiotic-element conceptions, that one might think that he had
fully incorporated that orientation into their structure. Recreating a
feeling of that primal scenario of pervasive involvement of experience in
semiosis doesn't make the argument. It just doesn't explain anything to say
that the symbols are "in experience" -- one needs instead to trace the
relations of semiotic determination between symbol and experience. Now, the
original stated purpose, to which you've not explicitly added anything, of
your raising the issue of man's being a symbol, an interpretant symbol, was
to argue that therefore in a sufficiently large picture collateral
experience is "not needed." There are at least three flaws with this: 
1. It simply doesn't engage the issues raised in Peirce's collateral
experience discussions (and I see you've again picked out the problematic
one from among the more than ten), where he makes no allowance for such an
exception; 
2. Neither Peirce nor any other semiotician generally treats signs and
interpretants as false partial versions of representers and interpreters in
terms of which the usual semiotic requirements "should" be turned on their
heads; 
3. By your reasoning -- and I'm saying nothing new here -- you eliminate
the need for the conception of the interpretant, since, if in being an
interpretant one needs no collateral experience since one already
"contains" all the needed experience (but then one is not in that respect
an interpretant), then -- _by the same reasoning_ -- in being a sign one
needs no interpretant of the sign, since one already has all the
information and one needs no clarification, no interpretant with its
separate relation to the object, etc. One would be the interpretant only in
the sense of an interpretant which is its interpreted sign, the two
determined and determining as one and the same. In fact, insofar as one is
a grand semiotic object, why -- _by the same reasoning_ -- does one even
need a sign or interpretant? One already _is_ the object. One would be a
sign only in the sense of a sign which is its own object, the two
determined and determining as one and the same. There's nothing to stop
your reasoning from marching straight to a monadism and a "merely formal"
triadism and indeed a "merely formal" tetradism since it has shown by two
examples already how the recognition could be there by being its recognized
object, sign, and interpretant, the four determined and determining as one,
if there's any logical determination left to do. In that situation, one
doesn't need very much at all, and medadism looms.

And I've said almost all of this before.

>[Gary] Meanwhile a long, deep, intense study of Peirce's arguments for an
essentially triadic Science has been so compelling to me that sometimes
I've thought that just quoting him would be sufficient to make the triadic
case (and who could argue it better than Peirce?) Although you've rejected
all my previous efforts, I will however try once again.

>[Gary] But first I'd want to say that I fully concur with Joe in his
saying:  

>> [JR] The universal categories are analytical elements involved in all
cases alike and any individual case must already be fully constituted as
being of the nature of a cognition of some sort before the question of its
verificational status can even arise. The verificational factor therefore
cannot be on par with the sort of universal element we are concerned with
when we are concerned with the categories. 

In other words, never mind pointing out a contradiction in semiotics and
arguing for a given solution as most common-sensical and accordant with
general experience, though it would undermine the category theory, instead,
do a whole new category theory before critically looking at semiotics. Even
for those for whom Peirce's category theory is _that well established_,
that argument should not be valid, at least as it is formulated, since the
truth is that a problem arising in a special area can _lead_ to revisions
in a more general area; it really depends on the case, and no theory is
allowed such sheer monolithicism as to immunize it from revision. But
Peirce's category theory is not even well established among philosophers
generally, so this sort of requirement has that much less credibility.

In response, I did outline an alternate category theory. My taking of
modality, possibility, probability, etc., into account _in_ modification
(a.k.a. _accidens_), e.g., in the case of a diamond's hardness, puts
modification and attributional relation (which is interpretive relation in
a sense) into a relationship of inverseness (which I discussed at the time)
which should be of interest even if one disagrees with the rest of it and
replaces "modification" with "quality" in the inverseness relation. Joe
said something about a difference of purpose between category theories, but
he was too vague.

But where Joe really goes wrong is in saying _that a cognition must be
fully constituted before the question of its verificational status can even
arise_. At this point I have no idea what Joe means by "verification,"
surely he doesn't think that it's something that only professional
scientists do. It's something, instead, that children do every day, and
shout about, often enough. "Prove it!" "Yeah, I don't need to prove it!"
"Oh yes you do!" And so on. On some subjects their standards of
verification will leave something to be desired, but standards indeed they
do have. Even a dog can learn to check whether a stick has actually
departed from the throwing hand. Anybody who thinks that a cognition can be
fully constituted without a verificational aspect which helped form it, is
saying that cognition is nothing but whistling in the dark. If verification
is not a dimension of cognition, then we're mere vegetable organisms,
blindly and quasi-robotically pursuing ends which don't evolve in one's
lifetime. Of course, if we state a genuinely human end in a most general
form, as being, for instance, "the good in its rational character," then we
can say, lo, the end evolves not. But that's just a trick.

>[Gary] and

>> [JR] There is nothing. . . that requires some new type of entity
functioning as nodes other than something of the nature of a sign,
something of the nature of an interpretant of a sign, and something of the
nature of an object of a sign. Basically, It is still just a diagram about
signs referring to objects, some of which are being referred to as signs
and some of which are not.

>[Gary] and

>> [JR] . . .the point to the basic category analysis is to make it
possible to represent cognitions of any and every sort in a helpfully
analytic way, and once you have the elements required for the analysis of
any given cognition, you ipso facto have what is required for such special
cases as, say, that of verifying cognitions

I've already addressed the above ideas further above or elsewhere.

>[Gary] For those of us who see it this way, your insisting on a fourth
element because of your "special experience of the object itself" just
doesn't hold water; indeed your response to Joe's argumentation (which I
found strong--the excerpts above are really more just conclusions and do
not represent the subtlety of his argumentation) seemed strangely
dismissive.

Joe's tone wasn't exactly pleasant either.

>[Gary] Now, I think we all agree that there is are dynamical objects and
that there is collateral knowledge of them; yet as I see it there are but
three worlds of experience, three universal categories, three existential
categories, three essential logical modalities, etc. and my "merely
asserting" that at this point assumes that you have read enough of Peirce's
own arguments to know that line of thought (Lord knows, I've quoted him
often enough in the matter!) And, again, while your arguments for the four
make almost no sense to me, Peirce's arguments for the three make great
good sense and have almost always gained in clarity upon rereading. For "we
Peirceans" it is of the nature of cognition (and, as Joe pointed out, of
re-cognition) that it--cognition--takes precisely a triadic form, and so
also in consideration of such matters as the extraordinary complexity of
semeiotic events (and their relations) involved in verification and the
like. So it's always, as you've even insisted, been a matter of trying to
grapple with your reasons why Peirce's analysis is insufficient and wrong
(and it would then follow that his whole philosophy. steeped in triads and
trichotomies, would have to be abandoned) while yours is sufficient and
correct. Enough of this triadic confusion!

As I've suggested in mentioning children and dogs, there's something wrong
when a theory leads to "extraordinary complexity" in the conception of
verification -- and emphasize the word "extraordinary" -- i.e., such that
the conception of verification would be _so much more_ complex than those
of interpretant, sign, and semiotic object. If philosophical semiotics is
supposed to be philosophical logic, then it means the study of
verification, and not just scientific verification as covered in
methodeutic. Logic is about truth and proving things, no?  You're trying to
make beef stew without beef, and it does get extraordinarily complex. 

There are plenty of people, including philosophers, who disagree with
triadism, and disagree even with the whole thrust of the idea of recurrent
logical patterns. They just don't bother to argue with you. I bother to
argue because I agree with the idea of recurrent logical pattern worth
pursuing and thematizing as such.

>[Gary] Now for the collateral case. Again I'll leave most of the
argumentation here to Peirce (although, as opposed to what you've
intimated, I have tried arguing at points for the Peirecean position in
this thread including the post on the "composite photograph metaphor" which
initiated it and in several other threads in the past).. 

And I responded to that argument, in some detail. Anyway, maybe you avoid
your self-inflammatory interpretations of what I'm intimating and shift
that attention to things which I actually say.  Now you come to some ground
which we've covered more than once in the past, that one discussion of
collateral experience which I said in a recent post presents problems for
my position as opposed to the other ten or more which present problems for
the triadicist position.

>[Gary] Peirce writes:
> CP 6.338 ยง6. MODES OF BEING
> 66~~~
> All thinking is dialogic in form. Your self of one instant appeals to
your deeper self for his assent. Consequently, all thinking is conducted in
signs that are mainly of the same general structure as words; those which
are not so, being of the nature of those signs of which we have need now
and then in our converse with one another to eke out the defects of words,
or symbols. These non-symbolic thought-signs are of two classes: first,
pictures or diagrams or other images (I call them Icons such as have to be
used to explain the significations of words; and secondly, signs more or
less analogous to symptoms (I call them Indices) of which the collateral
observations, by which we know what a man is talking about, are examples.
The Icons chiefly illustrate the significations of predicate-thoughts, the
Indices the denotations of subject-thoughts. The substance of thoughts
consists of these three species of ingredients. [emphasis added by me]
> ~~~99

>[Gary] Peirce says that "collateral observations, by which we know what a
man is talking about" are indices. There is an objective world which we can
point to because, as he writes elsewhere, an index is "a sign . . . which
refers to its object . . . because it is in dynamical. . . connection both
with the individual object, on the one hand, and with the senses or memory
of the person for whom it serves as a sign." [emphasis doubly added by
me--this and the next several quote are in Buchler, here, 107] Now I have
tried to argue in the past from "senses" and "memory" of someone "for whom
it serves as a sign". I think that Charles' two semiosical triads suggest a
promising approach to diagramming the relationship holding between the
inner/outer worlds as to make sense of Peirce's own understanding of
"collateral observation" as an example of indexical reference to the
actual/objective/real world of experience. Not incidentally, Peirce also
notes that indexicality is so caught up in the semeiotic mix that "it would
be difficult, if not impossible, to instance an absolutely pure index, or
to find any sign absolutely devoid of the indexical quality." (emphasis
added by me, Buchler, 108)

That comment on collateral experience is contrary to Peirce's other
discussions of collateral experience. I once quoted it to Mats Bergman who
responded:
[peirce-l] Re: Mats Bergman's paper
Mats Bergman, Tue, 1 Jun 2004 15:31:48 +0300
66~~~
The passage you quote is curious, for there Peirce does indeed state that
collateral observation = index. However, it seems to me that the passage is
somewhat anomalous, for instance by making icons and indices to be
thought-signs (very 1860s...). One question that arises is whether we
should not distinguish collateral observation from collateral experience.
Peirce does not seem to put forth such a distinction. Instead, Peirce
distinguishes three kinds of indicatively effective signs, and mostly holds
all of these separate from the relation s that form collateral experience.
~~~99

And here I can quote myself quoting Peirce --
[peirce-l] Re: [Arisbe] Re: Critique of Short: Ransdell response toShort
Benjamin Udell Fri Feb 18 16:46:21 CST 2005 
http://stderr.org/pipermail/arisbe/2005-February/002258.html
66~~~
The particular quote above has been a bit vexatious to me in the past,
because Peirce in it plainly says that collateral observations are indices,
while in various other places he says that collateral
observation/acquaintance/experience etc. is collateral to the sign, be it
index or otherwise, and is needed in order for a mind to know what a sign
denotes, as in the following case when Peirce makes his point in terms of
the index -- and note that he does this in 1909, after the quote which you
provided.:

Quote Peirce, CP 8.314:
314. [March 14, 1909] We must distinguish between the Immediate Object, --
i.e. the Object as represented in the sign, -- and the Real (no, because
perhaps the Object is altogether fictive, I must choose a different term,
therefore), say rather the Dynamical Object, which, from the nature of
things, the Sign cannot express, which it can only indicate and leave the
interpreter to find out by collateral experience. For instance, I point my
finger to what I mean, but I can't make my companion know what I mean, if
he can't see it, or if seeing it, it does not, to his mind, separate itself
from the surrounding objects in the field of vision.
End Quote

I don't know how to "explain away" your Peirce quote except cite all his
other quotes about collateral observation/experience/etc. and to guess that
Peirce would have changed it upon sufficient review in order to make it
consistent with his thinking as elsewhere expressed. I wonder whether
Peirce was thinking of how collateral observations can provide the listener
with indices of what the speaker discusses; or of how the listener's
collateral observations may be indices for another observer or for the
semeiotician studying the situation. Well, I don't know what Peirce might
have been thinking, and can only suggest that the CP 8.314 March 14, 1909
quote also is needed in order to build a firm case that the NLoC
successfully paved the way for Peirce's furthest later developments.
~~~99

And one can check many other collateral experience discussions by Peirce at
http://peircematters.blogspot.com/2005_02_01_peircematters_archive.html


Here's another:

Transcribed from Letter to Lady Welby Dec 23, 1908 (in Semiotics and
Significs: Correspondence Between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady
Welby, ed. Charles Hardwick, Indiana U. Press, 1977, p.83)
66~~~
It is usual and proper to distinguish two Objects of a Sign, the Mediate
without, and Immediate within the Sign. Its Interpretant is all that the
Sign conveys: acquaintance with its Object must be gained by collateral
experience. The Mediate Object is the Object outside of the Sign; I call it
the Dynamoid Object. The Sign must indicate it by a hint; and this hint, or
its substance, is the Immediate Object.
~~~99

Note that Peirce does _not_ say "the Sign, except for some indices, which
ARE the collateral observations..."

>[Gary] But now to counter your own personal fire example, I offer one of
Peirce's examples:

> CP 2.287 
> 66~~~
> . . . Suppose two men meet upon a country road and one of them says to
the other, "The chimney of that house is on fire." The other looks about
him and descries a house with green blinds and a verandah having a smoking
chimney. He walks on a few miles and meets a second traveller. Like a
Simple Simon he says, "The chimney of that house is on fire." "What house?"
asks the other. "Oh, a house with green blinds and a verandah," replies the
simpleton. "Where is the house?" asks the stranger. He desires some index
which shall connect his apprehension with the house meant. Words alone
cannot do this. 
> ~~~99

>[Gary] Well, perhaps so far you'd agree. Then he continues:

> 66~~~
> The demonstrative pronouns, "this" and "that," are indices. For they call
upon the hearer to use his powers of observation, and so establish a real
connection between his mind and the object; and if the demonstrative
pronoun does that--without which its meaning is not understood--it goes to
establish such a connection; and so is an index. CSP
> ~~~99

>[Gary] Why one would take those very human "powers of observation" and try
to make a semeiotic category out of them I simply can't fathom. You'd be
quite right in saying that there's no argument here: we humans simply use
indices to point to aspects and features and objects in this world we
inhabit together and communicate about. But all our thinking concerning
it--including any thought involved in our observation of it--is through
icons, indices, and symbols. (Peirce's logic is founded he says on his
phenomenology, so the primitive argument involves ones first finding three
categories there, then in logic, then in many a place).

You're right in saying that there's no argument there. You're wrong in
posing the lack of an argument there as the lack of a basis for argument on
the question. The quote from Peirce on how indices help guide observation
simply says nothing about how verificative experience supposedly is not a
semiotic element.

Insofar as we actually _embody_ semioses, they are embodied as singular
events, and the question of the legitimacy even of the minutest relations
among objects, signs, and interpretants is a question of singular
recognitions ongoing within the semiosis of just such legitimacies and
illegitimacies. The embodied thinking is thoroughly interworked with
experience. The generalized form is exhibited without it though it often
leaves places for it and, furthermore, appeals to it, particularly in the
Pragmatic Maxim's recommendation of clarification (interpretation) of
conceptions by address to terms of conceivable experience with conceivable
practical bearing. The use of the words "experience" and "practical" in the
Pragmatic Maxim has been considered of the essence in its pointing out a
direction from among others in philosophy.

>[Gary] You concluded your fire example:

66~~~
BU: I hadn't sat around interpreting a.k.a. construing, instead I had
actively arranged to have a special experience of the objects themselves,
an experience logically determined in its references and significances both
prior and going forward, by the interpretation that my building was afire;
and the experience determined semiosis going forward as well, and was
corroborated in my interactions with fellow witnesses and by subsequent
events, including the gutting and rebuilding the store.
~~~99

>[Gary] "a special experience of the objects themselves"--this makes sense
to me only as ordinary human experience of a world (however, "the objects
themselves" is beginning to sound a bit like Dem Ding an Sich). 

I don't hold with the kind of Dem Ding an Sich which Peirce rejected. I've
said that before.

Meanwhile, I should probably not have said "special" experience since
Peirce in that word choice probably had in mind experiences defined by
class rather than as defined by singular events, so in that sense I was
seeking a singular or individual experience.

>[Gary] But then you asked the following questions of Joe which you then
answered yourself (apparently to your own complete satisfaction):

>>[Ben] 
>>- Was the experience the object in question? 
>>- No. 
>>- Was it the sign? 
>>- No. 
>>- Was it the interpretant? 
>>- No. 
>>- Was it determined logically by them? 
>>- Yes. 
>>- Was it, then, another interpretant of the prior interpretants and their
object? 
>>- No, because it was not an interpretant of the object, instead it
further acquainted me with the object. 

>[Gary] Now, I can't follow you here at all. Your experience was
existential/semiotic, it included signs and interpretants, visual elements
and memories, past interpretations, ordinary human intercourse with your
neighbors, sights and sounds, feelings in your stomach, etc. But a fourth
semeiotic element? I don't see how that follows despite the perhaps
thousands of words you've written on the theme. Well, as you recently said
to me, you have your own "dear theory" and I have mine.

>[Gary] As I suggested in an earlier post, I also have no idea what you
mean by your one "Yes" above--that your "special experience" was
"determined logically" by the object, sign, and interpretant. You assert
this, and I suppose you'll say you argued it; but then I don't follow your
argument. 

An interpretation that _a horse is on the hill_ determines a verification
by looking for a horse on the hill. The verification, formed as collateral
experience, is determined through its collaterality. And whatever may be
the logical quantity of an interpretation in other respects, it has a
certain generality across a range of experiences in terms of which it is
formulated and which would tend to support or overturn it. Now this is true
in Peircean terms whether you call those supportive or dis-supportive
experiences a semiotic element or not.

>[Gary] Also, I thought you said this was "a special experience of the
objects themselves." So this "special experience of the objects themselves"
is "determined logically"? This seems to me a strange usage of both
"determined" and "logically" and "experience of the objects themselves"
(not to mention that a fourth category cannot it seems to me mediate
between all the others in the way a Peircean category strictly can and MUST
mediate between the other two in a genuine triadic relationship). 

As I say above, it was indeed a singular experience of the object
themselves and was determined logically, in just the fashion which I
described by example -- an interpretation that a horse is on the hill
determines a verification by looking for a horse on the hill.  I'm
certainly not talking about anything "strange" or arcane. Furthermore it
determines semiosis going forward in the way that decisive tests do,
serving as decision points. We are all familiar with this in everyday life.
What you're saying is, of all things, that logic doesn't depend on
verification!

Further above, I say that recognition is involved throughout semioisis,
indeed in relationships of sign to object, to interpretant, etc., because
questions of consistency, truth, validity, soundness, etc. arise
everywhere.  Collateral experience and recognition regarding sign systems
is certainly possible. When the French teacher gives the student collateral
experience of the word "soleil," the student is able to test the
interpretant which the student has formed from the teacher's earlier-given
definition (the sign) about the word "soleil" (the semiotic object). But
most important of all is at the elementary level where, as I've said
before, and making it an argument by basing it on the Pragmatic Maxim, that
the interpretant is formed in terms which address experiences which would
support it, just as the sign is formed in terms which address the
interpretant which would clarify it. (I recently said that the involvement
of the word "conceivable" should be seen to depend on the Pragmatic Maxim's
being concerned with the clarification of a _conception_, and that the
clarification of a belief would be in terms of believable experiences with
believable practical bearing. Be that as it may.) Since the interpretant,
by its essential character, is addressed to the experience which would
verify it or tend to verify it (whether verification be the mind's purpose
or no at the time), it follows that the sign is addressed to the
interpretant-as-addressed-to-recognition, and the semiotic object is
addressed to the sign as addressed to the interpretant as addressed to
recognition. And a recognition involves experience not only of the object,
but of the sign and interpretant and the object in their relationships to
one another. Sometimes we're very thorough about it. Sometimes we take
extra measures to make sure not only that we're right but also that we're
right for the right reasons. So, all in all, there's a great deal of
mediation in your sense going on in there. (The strict Peircean sense, as I
understand it, of "mediation" doesn't extend to a mediation by the
interpretant between the sign and the object.)

As for categories, the four {_substantiae_, _accidentia_, whetherhoods, and
object(s)-to-object(s) relationships (e.g. mappings)} do certainly mediate
among each other and are irreducible to one another and, as described in a
recent post, correlate to the four semiotic elements.

>[Gary] You concluded this section by saying to Joe:

>>[Ben] Now, if you don't see a problem for triadicism there, then I'd say
that you've set the bar exceedingly high for seeing a problem. And if you
reply that you don't find that sequence of questions and answers convincing
of anything, even of the plausible appearance of a problem, without
pointing to just where the logic breaks down, then I'll conclude that
you've merely skimmed it, and haven't reasoned your way through it at all.

>[Gary] No, I don't think the bar for "triadicism" (ugly expression) has
been set "exceedingly high for seeing a problem" at all for Joe or for
anyone here. Rather, you should consider that since, for example, your
"sequence of questions and answers" was certainly NOT "convincing of
anything" to me (was it convincing to Joe or anyone else on the
list?--perhaps so) and, further, that you have so far failed to convince
even a single other person of the need for a fourth category (if you have,
who is that person?--still this is no argument against your position) then
I think that you might at least consider "seeing a problem" in your own
philosophy of fours. Perhaps you've set the bar, etc.

I hope that, correspondingly, Peirceans sometimes consider whether they've
gone wrong in consideration of the "minority" position which they have in
philosophy, though I think that they should stick to the unfashionable
Peircean idea of logically recurrent pattern. As a minority of one at
"Peirce Times Square" (if not "Peirce Central," wherever that might be),
actually I do try to reconsider fours from time to time. I did have hope of
convincing maybe one person (nobody in particular), but I never thought
that I'd convince many at a site dedicated to Peirce and thronging with
Peirceans. I also thought that I'd learn things and could learn to
contribute to the discussion in constructive ways, and I think I've done
not too badly on both counts. It was partly because of my feeling of
repetition and of my tetrastic arguments coming to dominate attention at
peirce-l, that I spoke of going quiet for a while, which I'd like to do
soon.

Best, Ben
http://tetrast.blogspot.com/ 

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