Edwina, List: Yes, I acknowledge that your definition of the Representamen is much broader than mine. Nevertheless, when I say that the neural pattern *stands for* the loud sound, I am not implying anything mechanical; I am simply repeating verbatim Peirce's own statement, which he wrote many times throughout his life, of what a Sign or Representamen *does *with respect to its Object (CP 5.286, 1868; CP 7.355, 1873; EP 2:13, 1895; CP 2.228, c.1897; CP 8.119, 1902; CP 2.92, 1902; CP 1.538, 1903; EP 2:407, 1907; CP 1.339, undated). As I understand it, the key difference between semiology and semeiotic in this regard is that Saussure was content to treat this as a strictly *dyadic *relation in which the Signifier stands for the Signified, while Peirce insisted (rightly) that it is an irreducibly *triadic* relation in which the Sign stands *for *the Object *to *the Interpretant. Even if the bird's sensation (IO) was "totally new"--i.e., different from anything that any bird had ever experienced before--it would still be *represented *within that bird by *some *neural pattern, and *that *is what I would identify as the Representamen accordingly.
Furthermore, while I agree that the bird's neurological habits and learned stimuli are part of the overall process of semiosis, I do not see how they can be "located" in the Representamen. As you said, those habits are *general*, not to mention *already* operative within the bird *before *the loud sound occurs; but any given Representamen only comes into existence *because *of its (Dynamic) Object. If the loud sound had not happened when and where it did, then the bird's corresponding neural pattern would not have manifested when it did. I am not sure how much (if anything) is riding on the term "determines." I am inclined to think that this is just a verbal form of what Peirce elsewhere called the *relation *between the Object and the Sign, and by extension the *relation *between the Sign and the Interpretant. CSP: ... every sign is determined by its object, either first, by partaking in the characters of the object, when I call the sign an *Icon*; secondly, by being really and in its individual existence connected with the individual object, when I call the sign an *Index*; thirdly, by more or less approximate certainty that it will be interpreted as denoting the object, in consequence of a habit (which term I use as including a natural disposition), when I call the sign a *Symbol*. (CP 4.531; 1906) CSP: ... the Object determines (i.e., renders definitely to be such as it will be) the Sign in a particular manner. (EP 2:487; 1908) CSP: A Sign is a Cognizable that, on the one hand, is so determined (i.e., specialized, *bestimmt*) by something *other than itself*, called its Object ... while, on the other hand, it so determines some actual or potential Mind, the determination whereof I term the Interpretant created by the Sign, that that Interpreting Mind is therein determined mediately by the Object. (EP 2:492; 1909) Especially in light of that last quote, it carries in my mind the connotation of constraining or narrowing, rather than dictating; i.e., *reducing* the range of possibilities, but not (by itself) *mandating* one in particular. This is evident in how Peirce invokes it when discussing whether a given correlate or relation can or must be a Possible, an Existent, or a Necessitant according to the ten trichotomies of his late attempts at Sign classification. CSP: It is evident that a Possible can determine nothing but a Possible; it is equally so that a Necessitant can be determined by nothing but a Necessitant. Hence it follows from the Definition of a Sign that since the Dynamoid Object determines the Immediate Object, which determines the Sign itself, which determines the Destinate Interpretant, which determines the Effective Interpretant, which determines the Explicit Interpretant, the six trichotomies, instead of determining 729 classes of signs, as they would if they were independent, only yield 28 classes; and if, as I strongly opine (not to say almost prove) there are four other trichotomies of signs of the same order of importance, instead of making 59,049 classes, these will only come to 66. (EP 2:481; 1908) Here we also have one of the alternate sets of names for the three Interpretants, which has caused a lot of consternation for me and others who have sought to arrange the trichotomies into the proper "order of determination." Without trying to resolve that conundrum--at least, not yet--your points about the Final Interpretant are well-taken, and likewise require further consideration. I suspect that Perice's different labels--Final, Ultimate, Normal, Eventual, etc.--reflect different emphases as he himself tried to work everything out, but never quite landed on a definitive and satisfactory scheme; "I confess that my own conception of this third interpretant is not yet quite free from mist" (CP 4.536; 1906). However, if we end up taking the Final Interpretant to be a *habit*, this will entail that it is *not *a matter of "truth" or "assertion of accuracy," since those can be attributed only to propositions; instead, it will be a matter of *meaning*, in accordance with the pragmatic maxim. The bird presumably has the general tendency (but not mechanical necessity) to flee *whenever* that specific neural pattern occurs, even if it is not actually prompted by a loud sound; i.e., when it *misrepresents* some *other* phenomenon *as* a loud sound. Thanks again, Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 10:59 AM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote: > Jon - a few comments: > > I agree with all of the phases except for your outline of the > Representamen. I don't agree that the 'neural pattern stands for the loud > sound. That's too mechanical for my view. It sets up the neural pattern > simply as an iconic system. What would happen if the sensation - was > totally new and if there was 'no neural pattern'? > > I see the Representamen as the habits of organization of matter/mind. In > this case, the general neurological 'habits' that enables the bird to > interact with both common and novel stimuli. I also see the Representamen, > at least in species that can learn, as consisting also of the learned > stimuli. A dog, for instance, might be at first, neurologically, terrified > of the vacuum cleaner but will/may learn to accept it as harmless. > > I also have a problem with the notion of 'determines' although I am aware > that Peirce used the term but I wonder if his meaning was similar to modern > usage which inserts intentionality to the word. > > I'll have to think a bit further on your outline of the FI but it seems > quite plausible to me. By 'general tendency' do you mean confined to the > one individual or to the collective? Peirce seems to consider the FI as a > property of the collective rather than the individual. I think his FI is > associated with the 'truth' of the nature of the DO; that is, the FI > asserts that our interpretations of the DO are accurate. This could only be > carried out by a collective, since an individual could remain locked into > their invalid interpretation all their life [I KNOW that house is haunted]. > > Otherwise - yes - we are indeed making progress! > > Edwina > > On Fri 02/02/18 11:25 AM , Jon Alan Schmidt jonalanschm...@gmail.com sent: > > Edwina, List: > > I has been a pleasant (and presumably mutual) surprise to discover that, > at least in the specific example of a bird fleeing upon hearing a loud > sound, our analyses of the semiosis involved are substantially in agreement > after all. > > - The Dynamic Object (DO) is the loud sound itself. > - The Immediate Object (IO) is the bird's sensation of the loud sound. > - The Representamen (R) is, or at least includes, the bird's neural > pattern that stands for the loud sound. > - The Immediate Interpretant (II) is the range of possible effects of > this neural pattern on the bird. > - The Dynamic Interpretant (DI) is the actual effect of this neural > pattern on the bird, which is its flight. > > What remains unresolved is the "location" of the bird's collateral > experience and habits of interpretation; hence the new subject line. This > is an aspect of Peirce's overall semeiotic that I have been wondering about > for quite some time. You place them within (or as) the R, but I am still > having a hard time seeing it that way in light of Peirce's definition (in > multiple places) of the R as that which stands for the Object to the > Interpretant. My sense is that these elements are instead somehow bound up > in what it means for the Object to determine the Sign to determine the > Interpretant; i.e., collateral experience is what enables the bird to > "recognize" its sensation as corresponding to the loud sound, while a habit > of interpretation--whether instinctive, learned, or both--is what prompts > the bird's response to be flight, rather than any of the other possible > effects. > > One alternative is to designate the habit of interpretation as the one > correlate that is missing above--the Final Interpretant (FI). Up until > now, my working hypothesis has been that the FI is defined as the habit of > feeling/action/thought--i.e., the habit of interpretation--that the Sign would > produce. However, I had in mind the habit that the Receiver (in this > case, the bird) would develop after sufficient repetition of the same > Representamen (in this case, the neural pattern that stands for the loud > sound). I am starting to wonder if instead we should define the FI as the > general tendency > that governs (but does not mechanically dictate) which actual DI is > produced by a particular Sign from among the various possibilities that > correspond to its II. The FI would then be the cumulative effect of all > previous > instances of semiosis that are somehow relevant to this particular > encounter with this particular Sign. > > I will stop there and ask again--what do you think? Feedback from others > would also be very welcome. > > Thanks, > > Jon S. > >
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