I agree with Edwina that all three elements are involved in the pragmatic 
maxim. Itself it is a representamen of the possibility of (discovering) meaning 
(or at least meaning differences). It is also, as an object, a methodology, but 
understood not as some theory but was a way in which something, in this case 
the determination of meaning, is done. As interpretant it gives the meaning of 
meaning, or perhaps better, the meaning of how to determine meaning.

It is tempting to see the representamen as possible meaning (or difference in 
meaning – the  version I prefer), its object as meaning, and it gives the 
meaning of meaning, its final interpretant being the integrated whole of 
meaning. However I think this would ignore its pragmatic aspect, which places 
emphasis on doing things like making mean9ngs clear.

John Collier
Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal

From: Jerry Rhee [mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, 15 October 2016 2:32 AM
To: Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com>
Cc: Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>; Peirce-L <peirce-l@list.iupui.edu>
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology

Edwina, list:

I apologize if I missed something but what you just stated was basically all 
only generals.

What I am asking for is to apply those generals to the question of the 
pragmatic maxim and provide the argumentation, that is, the specific premisses 
(e.g., what is the object or original stimuli?).

That is,

1) If the pragmatic maxim is the object,
then what is the representamen and what the interpretant?

2) If the pragmatic maxim is the representamen/index,
then what is the object/icon and what the interpretant/symbol?


Here is a clearer way of putting things.  You said:

The Object of a syllogism is the minor premise  (the surprising fact, C, is 

the Representamen is the major premise  (But if A were...)

the Interpretant is the Conclusion. (B, that which goes from surprise to 
suspect is true).

So, is the following correct?  If not, please correct me.

1)    C = pragmatic maxim
       A = Consider what effects…
       B = lots of freedom for what I can conceive about which you will deny


2)    C = pragmaticism
       A = pragmatic maxim
       B = Consider what effects…

For case 2), do you see why I object to “Consider what effects…”?
It doesn’t fully/wholly/completely capture the essence of pragmaticism, e.g., 
things like the categories, of which there are three; ordinality, philosophy of 
Socrates, the commens, convergence to truth, etc...

Jerry Rhee

Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you 
conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those 
effects is the whole of your conception of the object.

On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 7:22 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt 
<jonalanschm...@gmail.com<mailto:jonalanschm...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Gary R., List:

Thanks for the reminders about Sheriff's book; it was one of my first 
introductions to Peirce's thought, and I even re-read it recently, but I need 
to review the portions that you mentioned in light of the discussions in this 
thread.  Thanks also for the additional information on the role of the 
categories in Peirce's classification of the sciences.

GR:  I would tend to disagree with you, Jon, that this ur-continutiy is 
"created" 3ns; rather, I see it as "creative" 3ns as distinguished from the 3ns 
that become the habits and laws of a created universe. So, in a word, my view 
is that only these laws and habits are the 'created' 3nses.

As I said, taking the blackboard to be created Thirdness is no more than a 
working hypothesis at this point.  If the diagram is confined to the blackboard 
itself, as Peirce's description seems to indicate, then your characterization 
makes more sense.  I am still toying with a couple of other alternatives, as 

GR:  How can one deny Peirce's own words here?

Yes, any alleged "reading" or "interpretation" that directly contradicts what 
an author explicitly states in the text is obviously untenable.


Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt<http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt> - 

On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Gary Richmond 
<gary.richm...@gmail.com<mailto:gary.richm...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Jon, Edwina, Gary F, Soren, List,

John Sheriff, in Charles Peirce's Guess at the Riddle: Grounds for Human 
Significance, in commenting on what Peirce calls the "pure zero" state (which, 
in my thinking, is roughly equivalent to the later blackboard metaphor) quotes 
Peirce as follows: "So of potential being there was in that initial state no 
lack" (CP 6.217) and continues, " 'Potential', in Peirce's usage, means 
indeterminate yet capable of determination in any specific case" (CP 6.185-86) 
[Sheriff, 4). This "potential being" is, then, decidedly not the "nothing of 
negation," but rather "the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is 
involved or foreshadowed" (CP 6.217).

Sheriff had just prior to this written: "Peirce frequently drew the parallel 
between his theory and the Genesis account" and discusses this in a longish 
paragraph. I think it is possible to overemphasize this "parallel" (and, as 
I've commented here in the past, Peirce's "pure zero"--or ur-continuity in the 
blackboard metaphor--seems to me closer to the Kemetic Nun in the dominant 
Ancient Egyptian creation myth; while it should be noted in this regard that 
Peirce knew hieroglyphics and may well have been acquainted with this myth).

Jon wrote:

[M]y current working hypothesis is that "Pure mind, as creative of thought" (CP 
6.490) is the Person who conceives the possible chalk marks and then draws some 
of them on the blackboard, rather than the blackboard itself as a "theater" 
where chalk marks somehow spontaneously appear; instead, the blackboard 
represents created Thirdness.  However, I will tentatively grant that your 
analysis may be closer to what Peirce himself had in mind.

I would tend to disagree with you, Jon, that this ur-continutiy is "created" 
3ns; rather, I see it as "creative" 3ns as distinguished from the 3ns that 
become the habits and laws of a created universe. So, in a word, my view is 
that only these laws and habits are the 'created' 3nses.

One way of considering this is via the Ancient Egyptian myths just mentioned. 
In these Kemetic myths there is "one incomprehensible Power, alone, unique, 
inherent in the Nun, the indefiniable cosmic sea, the infinite source of the 
Universe, outside of any notion of Space or Time." At Heliopolis this Power, 
the Creator, is given the name, Atum, "which means both All and Nothing 
[involving] the potential totality of the Universe which is as yet unformed and 
intangible. . . Atum must. . . distinguish himself from the Nun and thus 
annihilate the Nun in its original inert state." (all quotations are from Lucie 
Lamy's book, Egyptian Mysteries: New light on ancient knowledge, p 8, a 
popularization of her grandfather, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz's, great scholarly 
work in Egyptology, still not as influential in that field as it ought to be in 
my opinion).

I won't go further into this myth now except to note that even at this 'stage' 
of proto-creation that the above "first act is expressed in three major ways" 
such that Atum, as tum in Nun, "projects" himself as Khepri (that is, becoming, 
or potential). All the neteru ('powers' according to S. de Lubicz, but usually 
translated incorrectly as 'gods') will follow from that priordial 'act'.

Although there might now be this disagreement as to what the ur-continuity 
represents, I would not disagree with you whatsoever, Jon, in your view that it 
was Peirce's belief that God is "Really creator of all three Universes of 
Experience" since opposition to this view would fly in the face of Peirce own 
words:  "The word 'God' ... is the definable proper name, signifying Ens 
necessarium; in my belief Really creator of all three Universes of Experience" 
(CP 6.452). How can one deny Peirce's own words here?

Returning now to Sheriff's book, after a fascinating Preface (which, for one 
example, makes pointed reference to Stephen Hawking's essay, "A Unified Theory 
of the Universe Would Be the Ultimate Triumph of Human Reason"), Chapter 1, 
"Peirce's Cosmogonic Philosophy" opens with this quote:"[T]he problem of how 
genuine triadic relations first arose in the world is a better, because more 
definite, formulation of the problem of how life came about."(6.322)

Moving on to another topic taken up in this thread, Edwina's claim that 
everything is semiosic does not seem to acknowledge the pervasive use of the 
categories throughout Peirce's oevre which does not pertain to semiotics as 
such, including his classification of the sciences (as you mentioned), nor the 
placement of the first of the cenoscopic sciences, viz., phenomenology, well 
ahead of logic as semeiotic in this classification, nor the content of 
phenomenology itself, concerned explicitly with categorial relations in 
themselves (and there is much, much else which Peirce emphatically associated 
with the categories which is not semeiotic).

But considering for now just Peirce's Classification of the Sciences, Beverly 
Kent, who wrote the only book length monograph on the topic, Charles S. Peirce: 
Logic and the Classification of the Sciences, has a number of things to say 
about the categories in relation to the classification. For example, after 
mentioning that one of his earliest classification schemes was based on the 
categories, Kent comments: "Fearing that his trichotomic might be misleading 
him, he set it aside and developed alternative schemes, only to find himself 
ineluctably led back. Even so, it was some time before he conceded that the 
resulting divisions conformed to his categories" (Kent, 19). Phyllis Chiasson, 
as I recall, makes much the same point.

Kent later remarks that regarding his final Outline Classification of the 
Sciences (which he stuck with, prefaced virtually all his subsequent works in 
logic with, and thought "sufficiently satisfactory" as late as 1911), that 
Peirce wrote that "most of the divisions are 'trichotomic' " (Kent, 121) in the 
sense of involving the three categories (much as Jon outlined them in a recent 


Gary R

[Gary Richmond]

Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
C 745
718 482-5690<tel:718%20482-5690>

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