Jeffrey- thanks for the diagrams - very interesting. I have two comments at the moment.

1) I find the use of the term 'determines' problematic. That's because it suggests, strongly, causality, even an efficient causality. I don't think that the semiosic triad functions in a linear deterministic manner; the Relations are far more interactional and dynamic.

2) I'm wondering about the diagram of the 'triad of dyadic relations'. ???? Since the semiosic triad can't be broken down into dyads..then...?? Also, you have the lines of interaction from the MIDDLE of the Relation [eg between the O-S]. How can an interaction originate from the middle of another interaction? My understanding of interactions/Relations is that they take place at nodal sites - and only at nodal sites, where different lines of interactions meet/merge/transform.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeffrey Brian Downard" <>
To: "Terry Moore" <>
Cc: "'Peirce List'" <>
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 5:33 PM
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Relations of determination--three diagrams to highlight the strata of possibles, existents and necessitants in the 10-fold classification

Hi Gary F., Terry, List,

Here are three diagrams I am using to explore the relations of determination between signs, objects and interpretants in the 10-fold classification (circa 1903 in the "Nomenclature and Division of Triadic Relations, So far as They are Determined").

The small roman numerals in the first colored diagram are an attempt to follow the order of the relations of determination, and to work out some features of the key relations (e.g., of reference and representation) that are determined according to these ordered patterns (or, more mathematical terms, paths).

The main idea I am trying to develop in the two colored diagrams is that there are really two different sorts of triadic relations that result from the relations of determination between objects, signs and interpretants. He makes this clear in the middle of the page 290 in the EP, vol. 2. As far as I can tell, little has been said about this this double feature in Peirce's account. I'm highlighting this double feature with the branching arrow giving rise to two sorts of triadic relations on the bottom half of the page.

Peirce says:

"Triadic relations are in three ways divisible by trichotomy, according as the First, Second, or Third Correlate, respectively, is a mere possibility, and actual existent, or a law.
There will be besides a second similar division of triadic relations into ten classes, according as the dyadic relations which they constitute between either the First and Second Correlates, or the First and Third, or the Second and Third are of the nature of possibilities, facts, or laws; and these ten classes will be subdivided in different ways."

If you would, let me know if these diagrams help at all to clarify what he might be saying here in NDTR--and/or where the diagrams might be leading me astray.


Jeffrey Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Northern Arizona University
(o) 928 523-8354
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 11:23 AM
To: Jeffrey Brian Downard
Subject: RE: [PEIRCE-L] APERI project

Hola Jeff,

In the first of the two PDF diagrams you sent, I don't get what the roman
numerals inside the triangle signify. I gather that "i" is object
determining sign, and "ii" is sign determining interpretant, but the other
roman numerals there are a mystery to me.

The other diagram is less clear to me, but I'll keep working on it ...

I also found the Nadin paper that you got the R-O-I triangle diagram from,
will put it on my reading list (if you think it's worthwhile). He seems to
use the old sign/representamen distinction that's been read into Peirce
(inaccurately, as I showed awhile back) but that may not be a problem in his

I also read all the pages on the Abductive Pathways site, bookmarked it and
look forward to updates! Do you plan to use it as a blog?


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Brian Downard []
Sent: 13-Sep-16 12:06
Subject: RE: [PEIRCE-L] APERI project

Hi Gary,

Here are two diagrams that I've been working on. The first diagram is an
attempt to represent the relations of determination and the 10-fold
classification of signs that is found in "Nomenclature and Division of
Triadic Relations." The diagram is only meant to convey the relations on the
strata of possibles--that is, between possible objects, signs and
interpretants. Then, the more complicated diagram is for the more extensive
relations of determination in the 66-fold classification. I'm using the same
diagrams for the strata of existences and necessitants. The three levels can
be nested together.

These diagrams only capture the structural relations and resulting classes
for one "step" in the process of semiosis. In order to get a fuller picture,
the process would need to continue--as when the interpretant serves as a
sign to some further interpretant, and so on.

These are still just works in progress. In order to fill in the picture, I
need to spell out how the various sorts of relations function as relations
of reference, representation, etc. For starters, I'd like to use the simpler
diagram to help sort out the relations of reference to ground, reference to
object and reference to interpretant, and then the single, double and triple
reference that Peirce characterizes in the early Lowell Lectures.



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