# Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Knowledge Bases in Inquiry, Learning, Reasoning

```Jon, Edwina, list,

Jon, while I am tending to agree with you on much of your analysis, I still
can't agree with you in the matter of the Dynamic Object for the mother.
You wrote:```
```
JAS: In this case, I am wary of drawing a sharp distinction between "the
child's semiosis" and "the mother's semiosis"; are they not continuous?

I do not see the semioses as continuous which is not to say that there is
no continuity. There's a continuity of communication, shall we say, but the
dynamic object of each person's semiosis is different in my opinion.

The mother's semiosis at that moment of its occurrence seems to me not
determined by the oven at all, but by her daughter. So in my view the
Immediate Object of the mother concerns the oven not at all. Rather it is
grounded (in Peirce's sense of the ground of a sign, which he later terms
the immediate object: 'selected' characters of the DO) in the child
herself.Again, the ground of he semiosis cannot be the child in the
entirety of all her characters (an impossibility), but exactly those which
are predominant, her scream, perhaps the look on her face, etc. So, again,
as I see it the Dynamic Object for the mother is the child, while those
several characters which form the ground of her semiosis (equivalent to her
immediate object) contribute to a wholly different IO-R-II-DI, and so a
different Sign, than her daughter's, again, the consequence of their
having *entirely
different* Dynamic Objects.

Edwina, while my understanding of the semioses involved here seems closer
to yours than to Jon's, I do not agree that the child's scream in the DO.
For just as the DO was the oven, while the heat (a character) from the
flaming burners led to the child's pain (a character) that grounded her
semiosis, it was the child as DO whose scream (a character for her mother)
grounded her mother's semiosis.

Jon continued:

JAS: It seems to me that there must be some semiotic connection between the
hot burner and the mother's eventual response to the child's cry, because
the one would not have happened without the other.

Well this kind of thinking would, I believe, lead to an infinite regress
going as far back as the child's conception, and probably much further back
than that. It seems to me a kind of post hoc, propter hoc version of that
regress. What you point to ("the one would not have happened without the
other") seems to me more like physical than semiotic determination.

JAS: Why regard the girl's scream as having a different Dynamic Object for
the mother than it does for the child?  Is it not the very same Sign?

I do not *at al*l see it as "the very same Sign." In my view there are two
signs, not, however, unrelated, and even intimately connected by the DI of
the child leading to the IO of the mother: but still *two distinct signs*(at
least) Here I think Edwina and I may be in at least partial agreement.

So, I think I already offered a reason in my earlier post as to why I think
our views are so different GR: ". . . in my understanding the interpretant
standing "in the same relation to the Sign's Dynamic Object as the Sign
itself does"  doesn't apply to both signs, but to the child's sign and* not
*to the mother's (as you've been analyzing the semioses).

The remainer of your analysis follows from your viewpoint which, as I see
it, goes well beyond the example into habit-change and the like which will
in my view necessarily involve more time, more semiosis, additional signs,
etc. than the discrete analysis put forth here. This is not to suggest that
the habits of the mother and the daughter will not lead to perhaps
life-changing habit change. But you yourself have noted that these will be
very different habits: not touching flames in the future for the child; not
leaving the child alone in the kitchen in the future for the mother. Again,
this stark difference in habit-change strongly suggests to me two different
signs, not one.

Best,

Gary R

[image: Gary Richmond]

*Gary Richmond*
*Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
*Communication Studies*
*LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
*718 482-5690*

On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 10:30 AM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> List:
>
> In an effort to reduce the quantity of my individual messages, I am going
> to try combining multiple replies into one post.
>
> Gary R.:
>
> 1.  I agree that even persons can lose, or deliberately set aside, their
> capacity for Habit-change.  Hopefully it is evident that I am still very
> much open to adjusting my own views on these matters.
>
> 2.  In particular, as you have observed and I have acknowledged
> previously, I tend to be a more abstract than concrete thinker; so these
> kinds of practical examples are good "stretching exercises" for me.  In
> this case, I am wary of drawing a sharp distinction between "the child's
> semiosis" and "the mother's semiosis"; are they not *continuous*?  It
> seems to me that there must be *some *semiotic connection between the hot
> burner and the mother's eventual response to the child's cry, because the
> one would not have happened without the other.  Why regard the girl's
> scream as having a *different *Dynamic Object for the mother than it does
> for the child?  Is it not the very same Sign?  I suppose that it might have
> different *Immediate* Objects for the two of them, because of their
> different Collateral Experiences, but I am still mulling over that
> possibility.  Regardless, my conjecture is that any "individual" instance
> of semiosis *begins* with a Dynamic Object--either selected for a purpose
> in a Quasi-mind (genuine Signs), or a "thing" itself (degenerate
> Signs)--and *ends* (if it ever does) with a Habit-change.  For the child,
> that termination is (I suspect) her new habit of not touching hot burners;
> but her scream, as a Dynamic Interpretant, is an external Sign that
> continues the semiosic process in the mother--perhaps resulting in a new
> habit of not leaving her daughter alone in the kitchen.
>
> 3.  As a matter of fact, Peirce used the term "quasi-sign" at least
> twice.  In "What Makes a Reasoning Sound" (1903), it refers to "certain
> objects more or less analogous to signs," but nothing more is said (EP
> 2:257).  In "Pragmatism" (1907), it refers to something that *would* be a
> Sign *except* that it lacks "the triadic production of the interpretant,"
> and a Jacquard loom is given as an example (CP 5.473; cf. EP 2:404).
> However, I think that there is now fairly widespread consensus, at least
> among those of us who have discussed it on the List in recent years, that
> as long as something is *interpretable*--i.e., has an *Immediate*
> Interpretant--it qualifies as a Sign, even if it never *actually*
> produces a *Dynamic* Interpretant.
>
> 4.  I agree that Edwina is using "Form" in way that better aligns with 3ns
> than 1ns.  As I said in the other thread, while it is undeniable that
> Peirce associated "Form" with 1ns, "Matter" with 2ns, and "Entelechy" with
> 3ns in NEM 4:292-300 (c. 1903?) and EP 2:304 (1904), this does not entail
> that he *always* did so.  Having reread both "A Sketch of Dichotomic
> Mathematics" and "New Elements" within the last few days, I noticed a few
> other uncanny similarities, suggesting that he may have composed them at
> about the same time and for much the same purpose.  I wonder if that is why
> the online Commens bibliography dates R 4 as 1904, rather than "c. 1903?"
> per CP and Robin.
>
> Edwina:
>
> 1.  What do you make of Peirce's statements in "Pragmatism" (1907) that
> habit-changes as "ultimate logical interpretants" are *not* Signs (CP
> 5.476), or that habits as "final logical interpretants" are (at least) not
> Signs *in the same way* as the Signs that produce them (EP 2:418)?  What
> warrants analyzing the dissipation of a rock as (triadic) *semiosic*
> the separation of Mind and Matter; the point, as always, is that Matter
> *is* (effete) Mind whose habits have become so inveterate as to be
> effectively invulnerable to *Habit-change*, which is the final cause of
> every semiosic process.
>
> 2.  I agree that there is "a plethora of Signs" in the example, which is
> why I said a while back that we have to agree on *which* Sign to analyze
> before attempting to assign any of the other terms.  Right now, we are
> discussing the girl's scream as a Sign; but unless you have changed your
> mind, you analyze it instead as a Dynamic Object for the mother, since you
> deny that there are any *external* Signs.
>
> 3.  Do you have any specific comments on my latest tentative definition of
> "Quasi-mind" (see below)?
>
> 4.  In NEM 4:292-300, obviously "Form" does not mean "formlessness."  In
> fact, I find it very interesting that Peirce instead characterizes it as
> "something definite," in contrast to other writings where "definite" and
> "vague" are antonyms, and he associates the *latter* with 1ns (e.g., CP
> 5.447-450; 1905).  So again, we must pay careful attention to the context
> and not necessarily impose the same interpretation on a given word
> throughout Peirce's (or anyone else's) writings, despite his explicit
> desire to be self-consistent in his own terminology.  Since you prefer
> aligning "Form" with 3ns, what corresponding terms do you advocate for 1ns
> and 2ns to highlight the *distinctions* among the three Categories, while
> still affirming that all three are present in any phenomenon?
>
> Regards,
>
> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
>
> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 7:34 AM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca>
> wrote:
>
>> Gary R, Jon, list:
>>
>> 1. I don't think that there is an 'end to semiosis', because Firstness,
>> which is akin to entropy, is as basic to semiosis as Thirdness/habits. Even
>> a rock will dissipate. Also, I don't think that Mind is ever separate from
>> Matter and vice versa.
>>
>> 2. I consider, as I outlined previously, that the situation with the
>> mother, child, hot stove, burn etc is not one Sign but a plethora of
>> Signs.  I don't think that a regression analysis is correct here.
>> Each Sign is triggered from another Sign but I don't think you can regress
>> to the One Sign. So, I continue to maintain that for the Mother, the Sign
>> that she reacts to is the cry of the child [a Rhematic Indexical Sinsign].
>> The hot stove is almost irrelevant to her.
>>
>> 3. I remain concerned about the role of 'quasi-mind'.
>>
>> 4. Peirce has multiple and contradictory uses of the term 'Form' and I
>> certainly don't see it as akin to the formlessness of Firstness. Firstness
>> is a State and has no structure.
>>
>> Edwina
>>
> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 2:56 AM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Jon, list,
>>
>> 1.  I am inclined to agree with you on this.  As I understand it, the end
>> of semiosis--both its final cause and its termination--is the production of
>> a habit; a substance is a bundle of habits; and a material substance is a
>> bundle of habits that are so inveterate, it has effectively lost the
>> capacity for Habit-change.
>>
>>
>> Nicely said. And I would suggest that to the extent that a person has
>> "effectively lost the capacity for Habit-change," has become, say, 'set in
>> his ways' or 'married to his theories, that he is, in a sense, to that
>> extent intellectually 'hardened' or spiritually 'deadened'.
>>
>> I'll be interested to see how you develop your idea that the "irreducibly
>> triadic action of semiosis" *requires* a Quasi-interpreter. I agree that
>> 'things', especially those in nature, can serve as Quasi-utterers of
>> degenerate Signs.
>>
>> 2.  Something is a Sign by virtue of having a DO, an IO, and an II--not
>> necessarily a DI, so I do not see the relevance of the mother's inability
>> (at first) to interpret the Sign (correctly, in my view) as standing for
>> the hot burner.  She would presumably find this out very quickly, of
>> course, after rushing into the kitchen.
>>
>>
>> I disagree. Whether or not the mother interprets the DI (the cry of her
>> daughter) correctly or not, the cry is part of the child's semiosis, not
>> that of the mother. You continue:
>>
>> The Dynamic Object determines the Sign--perhaps a neural signal of
>> pain--of which the girl's scream is a Dynamic Interpretant; and every
>> Sign determines its Interpretant to stand in the same relation to the
>> Sign's Dynamic Object as the Sign itself does.  Hence both the internal
>> neural signal and the external scream are *Indices *of the hot burner;
>> at least, that is how I see it at the moment.
>>
>>
>> I would say that the Interpretant standing in the same relation to the
>> Sign's DO as the Sign does concerns the child's sign only. I see the mother
>> as grounding (in the sense of semiotic 'determination') her Immediate
>> Object for *her, *the mother's) semiosis not in the distant burner but
>> in the cry of her child. So I still hold that the child is the Dynamic
>> Object of the mother's Sign action (semiosis). Again, in my understanding
>> the interpretant standing "in the same relation to the Sign's Dynamic
>> Object as the Sign itself does" applies to a different Sign, namely, that
>> of the child.
>>
>>
>> 3.  Did you mean to say "Quasi-mind," rather than "Quasi-sign"?  My
>> current tentative definition of "Quasi-mind" is a bundle of Collateral
>> Experience and Habits of Interpretation (i.e., a *reacting substance*)
>> that retains the capacity for Habit-change (i.e., *learning by
>> experience*), and thus can be the Quasi-utterer of a *genuine *Sign
>> (since this requires a *purpose*) and the Quasi-interpreter of *any *
>> Sign.
>>
>>
>> Yes, of course I meant Quasi-mind and not Quasi-sign (an impossibility,
>> I'd think). I'll have to reflect on your "current tentative definition of
>> 'Quasi-mind' " which at first blush seems quite promising.
>>
>>
>>
>> It would be helpful for me if you'd comment on my thought that Edwina may
>> be using 'Form' in a different sense than Peirce such that in her sense it
>> *would* connect more to 3ns than to 1ns. And of course I'd be especially
>> eager to hear what Edwina thinks about that interpretation.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Gary R
>>
>> [image: Gary Richmond]
>>
>> *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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```
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