Thanks, Mary.

In fact there is a long tradition in lexicography that the meanings of a word 
are the contexts in which it is used. And though we want to be as precise as we 
can be about our understanding of Charlie’s writings, there is a fine line 
between that and engaging in unresolvable debates.

Peirce himself said that many of his distinctions made little practical 
significance depending on the purposes at hand. The main thing is that we are 
making use of his logic of inquiry within the general constraints of 
Pragmaticism, discussing definitions as these bear on practical problems.

Otherwise we move quickly away from the useful to the speculative.

Dan

On Feb 8, 2018, at 9:33 AM, Mary Libertin 
<mary.liber...@gmail.com<mailto:mary.liber...@gmail.com>> wrote:

Dan and Peircers,

I agree with Dan’s proposal to consider “the practical/empirical consequences 
C.S. intended each definition to have.”  I’m not sure I can attempt that. The 
complications shown are interesting but above my pay grade. Instead I would 
like to offer what went through my mind when I first read
vase


  *   Is it an answer to a question,
  *   Is it a request by someone pointing to a vase to deal with the/a 
situation occurring with reference to the vase,
  *   Is it a word meant to be a word on a sheet of paper? and if so:

is it a clue, a reminder, a label, part of your kid’s homework assignment?

  *   Is the word meant to be interpreted as written or spoken, for example, 
part o f a sentence written down? Or is it voiced, in which case we need to ask 
about or consider various speech acts, and we can infer qualities about the 
speaker’s physical characteristics among other things
  *   Is the word a mistake? Is it a word that was omitted from something? Is 
it part of a word such as vaseline?
  *   Is a character in a novel by, let’s say James Joyce, thinking it. Is the 
character thinking it as a word in a disconnected passage, as in an epiphany, 
or is it a word in a disjointed stream of consciousness passage. Is the 
character aware of it, and/or aware of it as a matrial, Is it intended to be 
any or all of these possibilities? Does a reader of a novel see/hear or not 
see/hear the word in a novel. There are so many questions
  *   Or, on another hand, is the word under erasure [note: I prefer not to 
discuss Derrida’s concept here]; is it also written but not marked, i.e. 
invisible
  *   It is material, so of what material is it made? But if the word is not 
material but a concept is it general or specific?
  *   Is it assumed there are no italics, bold…is the font significant, and the 
size? If it were to be true that the font and size were to make a possible 
difference is the word vase on my screen unique to me in my situation or not? 
Does a word vase on my computer have thisness or haecceity as a material object
  *   If a poem is about a vase and uses the word in different contexts as a 
symbol, can I compare its use as a symbol in another poem by the same, or 
different, author?
  *   What if vase is a made up of spaced letters in a square shape?
  *   Should I assume that since it isn’t in quote or italics or underlined 
that it is a word that general
  *   Is it possible to have a word without a speaker, creator, interpreter?
  *   Is it translation
  *   Is it part of a rhetorical device
  *   These could be placed into Peircean definitions

I kept thinking how the word can not be defined as fitting any Peircean 
definition stated or implied in the peirce-list email without a context and 
without a commitment as to its materiality, existence, and use.

Of course my narrative is a construction. Once I saw the word, I thought 
unconsciously as if my thoughts were words I was writing down in a response to 
Peirce-l. Once my awareness of the above occurred I realized I could not answer 
the question.  Then I enjoyed the intellectual activity. I thought of the word 
used in the numerous ways Joyce uses words. I thought of various 
activities/studies I could conduct related to this. This was the beginning of 
amusement.

I do not think that a definitive, singular meaning can be given to Peirce’s 
terms even in a dictionary, as is true of every word over time in different 
contexts. The Oxford English Dictionary thus gives chronological definitions 
with sentences from written Late Middle English to spoken English today.
  ... I have to end here with apologies to take care of a sick spouse. Thanks 
for reading this far!

Mary Libertin




On Feb 6, 2018, at 1:10 PM, Everett, Daniel 
<dever...@bentley.edu<mailto:dever...@bentley.edu>> wrote:

I am enjoying this exchange and learning a good deal from it. However, it seems 
to me that in a “true” Peircean spirit, one would propose not only chapter and 
verse for how Peirce defined this or that but mainly the practical/empirical 
consequences C.S. intended each definition to have. Ultimately, I think that 
the main question is “What are the consequences?” If we cannot point to the 
empirical predictions of one definition over another, we aren’t making our 
ideas clear in the relevant sense.

Dan

On Feb 6, 2018, at 12:23 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt 
<jonalanschm...@gmail.com<mailto:jonalanschm...@gmail.com>> wrote:

Stephen R., List:

Interesting, indeed.  The attempt to eliminate context, or at least put it out 
of view, was quite intentional.  Do you always read words one letter at a time, 
or somehow stop only part of the way through?  I cannot seem to help reading 
entire words, except on the rare occasion when an unfamiliar one appears.

Regards,

Jon S.

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 10:58 AM, Stephen C. Rose 
<stever...@gmail.com<mailto:stever...@gmail.com>> wrote:
I did not get past the first three letters and I took it to be an email cold 
start no context -- Interesting to see how tenacious the context was. No one 
thinks the same.

amazon.com/author/stephenrose<http://amazon.com/author/stephenrose>

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