Gary - first, to tell someone untruths about themselves is not a responsible
method of debate. As I said - I never said one word about my 'principles of
interpretation of Peirce' - and for you to suggest that I did, and that these
are different from ALL others - is indeed a put-down.
Second, a graph IS a diagram. The common triangle, used in various texts to
refer to both Peircean semiosis and Saussurian semiology, is, in my view,
incorrect to use in Peircean semiosis. Instead, the Peircean triad is, as he
said 'a graph with three tails' - and as he shows in 1.347, these connect with
And no-one has said that the 'tail' itself represents the 'sign, object,
interpretant' .I agree - the 'spots with their tails' or nodal sites with their
interactions/relations - represent the Relations. Obviously a 'tail' or
Relation can't exist 'per se' but functions via the nodal sites!
What puzzles me is why you are so angry about this!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 3:23 PM
Subject: RE: [PEIRCE-L] Theory of posting
Edwina, as I said before, you’re free to interpret Peirce as you please, and
to read whatever you please into my posts, or Jon’s, or anyone else’s; if you
interpret something I said as an attempted “put-down,” that’s none of my
business. You’re welcome to all of your interpretations. As for me, I feel free
to ignore any questions or comments on this list that are based solely on your
interpretations or are not conducive to the further development of Peircean
It might be useful to somebody if I explain the difference between an
Existential Graph and a “graphic diagram of the semiosic triad.” The latter I
take to refer to any of the varieties of three-point or three-spoke diagrams
where the three points represent sign, object and interpretant, often with the
labels R, O and I respectively. An Existential Graph of the kind illustrated in
CP 1.347 is explained by Peirce in the previous paragraph:
[[ In existential graphs, a spot with one tail [—X] represents a quality, a
spot with two tails [—R—] a dyadic relation. Joining the ends of two tails is
also a dyadic relation. But you can never by such joining make a graph with
three tails. ]] A “spot” with three “tails” represents a triadic relation, but
the “tails” do not represent sign, object and interpretant. The “tails”
represent what Peirce calls the “blanks” in a rheme, or predicate, and the
number of tails makes it a monadic, dyadic, triadic, tetradic, pentadic (etc.)
rheme or rhema. When these “blanks” are filled with subjects, represented in
the graph by lines of identity connected to the spots, they represent
propositions. As Peirce says, the relations (monadic, dyadic, triadic or what
have you) are represented by the spots with their tails, not by the “tails.”
The “X” and “R” in Peirce’s examples are not relata and the “tails” do not
represent their relation to something else.
This is barely a beginning of an explanation of EGs, which were Peirce’s main
“diagrams of thought” from the late 1890s onward and fill many of his
manuscripts (and letters to Welby), but it should be enough to show how they
differ from the usual diagrams we see of the R-O-I or S-O-I triad. I call these
“the usual diagrams” rather than “Peirce’s diagram(s)” because Peirce in fact
never drew any such diagram, or at least never published one, though he
published lots of EGs.
I don’t expect this will be of any use to you, Edwina, as it’s “just my
interpretation” as far as you’re concerned. But there may be others reading
this, and I hope it’s of some use to them, sketchy though it is.
From: Edwina Taborsky [mailto:tabor...@primus.ca]
Sent: 17-Sep-16 13:39
To: g...@gnusystems.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking
Gary F- please don't attempt to 'put me down'. I've never said one word about
'the principles which guide my interpretation of Peirce'. [I notice you refer
to my 'interpretation of Peirce' in quotes'. Why?]. Nor have I ever said a word
or explained 'my practice' of interpreting Peirce in any way. I interpret him
exactly as anyone else would - and as you do - with the capacity to read, to
reason, to analyze. Are you going to deny me such attributes?
Of course I interpret Peircean semiosis such that I conclude that no triad,
i.e., a Sign, is ever isolate. Such a claim is all through his work, when he
comments on how Signs connect and become other Signs.....
Your declaration that 'anyone' who looks at the diagram can see that it is
NOT a diagram - is your interpretation - and quite insulting that you
assertively declare that 'anyone', i.e., ALL people must see it the way YOU see
it. Who made you the Authority? You are, like me, someone who reads and
interprets Peirce - and I assure you, I have no intention of belittling your
interpretations as based on non-Peircean criteria or
. I see it as a diagram of the triad - and yes, the 'tails' or Relations can
thus connect - as he specifically says, "any greater number of correlates is
nothing but a compound of triadic relations'. Kindly tell me the vital
difference between a 'graph' and a 'diagram'. AND - kindly tell me the
functionality of such connections between tails and the functionality of such
'compounds of triadic relations'. Well? Apart from quoting the text - what does
it mean to you? What it means to me - is that dynamic connection of triads.
It is YOU who declare that my interpretation of Peirce is ungrounded in his
work. I've no idea what 'principles of interpretation' you claim that I use;
I've never said a word about them. BUT - where do you get the conclusion that I
say that MY interpretation is right? I've been arguing with Jon for days about
HIS assertion that HIS interpretations are right - and I've been declaring that
none of us has that right. All we can say is that 'we interpret the text in
such and such a way'. You can agree or disagree - but Not One of US has the
right - as you, now, and Jon, seem to claim, that ONE of them is right.
As for reaching a consensus - this small community is hardly broad enough to
make such a claim - and the paucity of participants ensures that no consensus
I've had probably as many years of close attention to Peirce's texts as you
have - over 40 - and i don't agree that Peirce was 'exact' in his use of terms;
he developed and evolved his terms.
What name-calling? Would you consider that your telling me that I have
explained my principles of interpretation [which I haven't] or that i don't pay
close attention to his text - is 'name-calling'?
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