Gary R., List:

I appreciate your positive feedback on my proposed definitions for the
Immediate Object and Collateral Experience.  I included additional ones for
Habits of Interpretation and the Commens in my latest reply to Edwina, and
will be elaborating on all of that eventually, probably in a new thread.
Rediscovering Peirce's notion of a Quasi-mind was a bit of a breakthrough
for me, and serendipitous in that it only happened because I looked up the
bees and crystals passage when Helmut could not find it.

I had to laugh when you referred to "flaming burners," because I was
thinking the whole time of an electric stove.  I suspect that was due to a
childhood experience of my own, when my mother had just turned off such a
burner, so it was no longer glowing red when I casually set my arm down on
it to hand her a popsicle that I wanted her to unwrap for me.  I still
vividly remember the stripes of singed flesh that resulted.  I guess this
is another helpful reminder of the context-dependence of any concrete

If the DO is the hot burner, and the IO is the girl's sensation (not
feeling) of pain, and the DI is her scream, then what is the R?  It would
have to be something internal to the girl as a Quasi-mind, presumably some
kind of mental Token that associates the pain with the burner as a new
addition to her Collateral Experience.  This particular DI is likely
prompted by her established Habit of Interpretation for responding to pain
in general--mostly instinctive, rather than learned, except perhaps that
the specific form of the sound itself (as you originally suggested) has
been picked up from her French-speaking environment.  The FI might very
well be produced by just this one Sign, rather than repetition--namely, the
habit of not touching hot burners, or perhaps not touching burners at all,
just to be safe.  This addition of the new FI to her previous stock of
Habits of Interpretation constitutes a Habit-change--i.e., an instance of
genuine learning.

I agree that diagrammatic analyses are not all created equal--as in
engineering, while there is rarely only one *right *answer, there are
certainly many *wrong *ones.  I see the main benefit of insisting on
consistent terminology as bringing greater clarity to *each *analysis, such
that different ones can then be evaluated on a level playing field;
apples-to-apples, so to speak.  And I definitely agree that what we are
trying to do here is an oversimplification--abstracting and idealizing a
situation that is both complicated and complex--but nevertheless believe
that there are valuable insights to be gained from the effort.


Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman -

On Fri 09/02/18 1:26 PM , Gary Richmond sent:
> Jon, Edwina, list,
> Jon wrote:
> JAS: I am currently trying out in my own mind defining the Immediate
> Object as  the partial combination of attributes of the Dynamic Object by
> which the Sign denotes it.  It is partial because (as you said) knowing
> the DO in its fullness is an impossibility.  It does not itself predicate
> anything of the DO (as Gary F. said)--that would make it a Sign in its own
> right, rather than a  part of a Sign--but it seems to me that it must
> somehow involve enough of the DO's attributes to ground (as you said) its
> association with the DO.  Collateral Experience would then be the aggregate
> of previous IOs by which someone is already acquainted with the DO, and
> thus recognizes the Sign as denoting it.  What do you think?
> I think this is sound. Immediate Object: the partial combination of
> attributes of the Dynamic Object by which the Sign denotes  it. Collateral
> Experience: the aggregate of previous IOs by which someone is already
> acquainted with the DO, and thus recognizes the Sign as denoting it.
> JAS: As for your thought experiment, I believe that any analysis of
> semiosis should begin by identifying the specific Sign(s) of interest,
> because that will affect how we classify everything else.  For example,
> consider the girl's scream as the Sign.  It seems to me that its DO is the
> burning of her hand, its IO is the pain that she feels, its R is the sound
> that she makes, its II is the range of possible effects that this might
> have, and its DI is the response of her mother.
> As I remarked, I had been thinking of the DO as the flaming burners, a
> sign that the child hasn't yet learned (this, again, is how Peirce employs
> this example, i.e., re: how we learn), which is to say, she has not had
> collateral experience of fire yet. So I don't at the moment tend to agree
> with you that the DO is the burning of her hand (but I'm still unclear on
> this). In any event, I agree that the IO is her feeling of pain, but not
> the the R is the sound she makes. Rather I see the feeling of pain (IO)
> 'determining' the R which 'determines' the DI, her crying out.
> JAS: All of these assignments are somewhat arbitrary, though, because
> various other things are also happening--both internal and external to the
> girl--that would warrant a different yet equally valid analysis, even if
> the terminological definitions are exactly the same.  In that sense, I am
> constructing a diagram  that embodies what I discern to be the
> significant relations among the parts of the (in this case) hypothetical
> situation.  Again, what do you think?
> I would agree that our several "assignments are somewhat arbitrary. . .
> because various other things are also happening. . . that would warrant a
> different yet equally valid analysis, even if the terminological
> definitions are exactly the same." But if each of our "diagrams" is
> different, while some of them may be congruent, some may not be, may even
> be quite wrong. So this arbitrariness brings up more questions than answers
> to my mind. So I again wonder if the focus on exact terminological analysis
> in such cases (hypothetical or existential) can lead to much that would be
> helpful (that is, towards are mutual understanding of the Signs involved).
> In a word, these various types of Signs may be occurring, but the may
> also be as aggregate much too complex to analyze adequately except,
> perhaps, as exemplify the various Sign types (pretty much all that Peirce
> attempts even in the James letter) which classes, after all, are
> abstractions from existential reality.
> Edwina wrote:
> ‚Äč
> ET: I think there are multiple Signs involved. I understand the Sign as:
> DO-[IO-R-DI]...and often DI. That's the basic format.
> Did you perhaps mean "DO-[IO-R-II]...and often DI"?
> ET: 1. Child touches hot stove: Rhematic Iconic Qualisign
> - a feeling of hot [without consciousness of it as hot].  DO is the stove.
> R is the physiology of skin. II is the feeling.
> I don't see the R as "the physiology of skin" but as the 'unfolding' of
> the R from its IO, the felt pain (, through to the ejaculatory cry, which
> as I see it is the DI.
> ET: 2. Child cries out: Rhematic Indexical Sinsign
> - spontaneous cry. DO is THE FEELING OF HEAT; i.e., the feeling of
> experience the above Sign. R is the physiology's reaction to heat.
> I don't agree. Again I see the cry as the child's Dynamic Interpretant
> which for the mother is a Rhematic Indexical Sinsign. The child's
> semiosis is centered in the pain 'determining' her DI.
> As for the rest of the signs involved in the mother's reaction, well,
> that's all too complex for me to analyze let alone comment on your analysis
> (except to say that, on first reading, I would tend to agree with some of
> your analysis, disagree with other parts of it). Suffice it to say that
> there are many, many possible signs involved in her reaction to hearing her
> child's cry. I think a complex analysis in terms of sign categories is,
> well, pretty much in vain.
> ET: Again, my view is that the R is internal, is a general knowledge base
> - whether it is physiological, biological or conceptual. So - I disagree
> with Jon that the R is the cry of the child...
> In my view there are at least two Signs for the child, the external one
> (I'm still not entirely clear as to exactly how to characterize it--but
> there is a Sign), and the internal one, although I disagree with you and
> agree with Jon that it is not "a general knowledge base," while it,
> perhaps, operates within one.
> Again, for me the child's cry is a Dynamic Interpretant (so part of the
> child's Sign), but for the mother the cry is a Sign, a Rhematic Indexical
> Sinsign. And this final point again brings up for me the interesting idea
> of "Signs of SIgns," since the child's Interpretant Sign becomes a
> different Sign for her mother (in my view).
> Best,
> Gary R
> [image: Blocked image]
> Gary Richmond
> Philosophy and Critical Thinking
> Communication Studies
> LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
> 718 482-5690 <(718)%20482-5690>
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