Jon, list

You asked of your analysis of the child and mother example:

JAS: Does any of this make sense?  To be honest, it all still feels highly
conjectural to me, so I am expecting (hopefully constructive) criticism.

I am sorry to say that your complex analysis does not make a lot of sense
to me; or, perhaps it would be more correct to say that it seems so "highly
conjectural" that I just can't enough sense of it to offer a helpful
critique of it. It feels to me almost like a kind of literary exegesis,
rich but somewhat fantastic. You propose several extraordinary interpretive
claims and suggestions (for example, that the child's scream may not be
sign-action at all) which seem, well, strained.

So, I'm going to leave it to others to offer constructive criticism.
Meanwhile, I'll stand by my previous analyses.

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>*

On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 10:49 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> Gary R., List:
>
> Thank you for your characteristically thoughtful and thought-provoking
> response.  Up until now, I have been considering all of this with the
> mindset that the child's scream must be analyzed as *one *Sign.  Upon
> reflection, I realize that such an approach fails to take proper account of
> the nature of a *genuine *Sign as "something that exists in replicas" (EP
> 2:411; 1904).  What you seem to be suggesting--please correct me if I am
> misunderstanding--is that the same "thing" can be a Replica of *more than
> one* Sign.
>
> In this case, as Gary F. observed, the girl's scream is, for her,
> "primarily a natural sign," or what I have started calling a *degenerate 
> *Sign--an
> instinctive physical reflex, rather than an intentional "utterance"--such
> that all six Correlates are Existents (2ns).  As such, I get the sense that
> many of the steps in the *internal *chain of events, from the contact of
> the child's finger with the hot burner to the propagation of sound waves
> from her vocal chords--including both of those phenomena themselves--could
> conceivably be analyzed as *dynamical*, rather than *semiosic*.  Why
> should we treat the girl's scream as the Dynamic Interpretant of a
> particular neural pattern within her that represents the hot burner, rather
> than as merely the last in a series of strictly dyadic causes and effects?
> If she effectively *cannot help* but scream, is this really an example of
> Sign-action at all?  The same questions arise regarding the flight of a
> bird upon hearing a loud sound.  I have some vague notions of possible
> answers, but I am hoping that you (or someone else) can provide a clear
> explanation.
>
> For the mother, on the other hand, the scream does not produce any kind of 
> *deterministic
> *response.  Although it probably triggers certain "motherly instincts,"
> she rushes into the kitchen *deliberately*; presumably she *could *ignore
> the child if she were so inclined, as a neglectful parent might be.  From
> her standpoint, the child is the *utterer* of the Sign that is the
> scream, even if *unintentionally*; and therefore, the girl is indeed
> where we must "look" to "find" the Sign's Dynamic Object, "the essential
> ingredient of the utterer" (EP 2:404; 1907).  However, I am still not
> convinced that it is the child *herself*; typically when a Sign *has *an
> utterer, the Dynamic Object is *not *that utterer, but whatever the
> utterer (as the saying goes) *has in mind* upon uttering the Sign--in
> this case, perhaps the *pain *that the girl is sensing.  The Immediate
> Object is then the combination of attributes of *this particular scream*
> that the mother's Collateral Experience leads her to associate with
> previous *screams of pain or distress* that she has heard, both from this
> child and from others, which likely differentiates them somehow from *other
> kinds* of childish screams.
>
> This, then, takes us back to my first paragraph above.  For the mother,
> the girl's scream is a *Replica*--a Token of a Type--which it obviously 
> *cannot
> *be for the child.  The Dynamic Object of the corresponding *genuine *Sign
> is presumably something like *pain or distress in general*.  Hence the
> context-dependence of any *concrete *instance of *actual 
> *semiosis--necessarily
> involving Replicas--is quite evident here.
>
> Does any of this make sense?  To be honest, it all still feels highly
> conjectural to me, so I am expecting (hopefully constructive) criticism.
> In fact, I can already anticipate that Edwina will reject it right
> away--understandably, given her very different model of semiosis--but I am
> eager to see what you and others have to say.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
> www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt
>
> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 6:12 PM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> 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 <(718)%20482-5690>*
>>
>
>
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