I guess I can boil down the main feedback that I am seeking to two
questions about the girl's scream.
For the child, as an *involuntary *reflex, is it a Dynamic Interpretant
produced by triadic semiosis, or merely an effect produced by a series of
. . .
when the Sign, Object, and Interpretant are all Existents (2ns), how do we
distinguish Sign-action from brute dynamical action/reaction?
You say it is "an involuntary reflex," while I don't see it as merely
that. In my view the dynamic interpretant *is* produced by triadic
semiosis, that is to say that this is an example of something which is more
than an involuntary reflect. I'll try to explain my position.
Say the child screams "Maman!" I don't see how you can abstract her very
human cry (which *may* 'mean', at least in part, "Maman" *whatever* she may
scream), how can you reduce her cry which, as I've just suggested, may
include a deep relationship to her mother (including the very word,
"Maman"), to mere dyadic causes. It seems to me that you have overly
abstracted the whole situation, left out, for prime example, the humanity
(the deep relations to other humans, notably, her mother) involved in the
child's semiosis. I personally have no problem distinguishing her semiosis
from brute reaction. That you seem to suggests to me, again, your
self-acknowledged tendency to look at such things more abstractly than I,
for example, do.
So, in short, it seems to me that you maybe be over-analyzing in an
extremely abstract manner what is *vitally* involved in such an occurrence, *as
if the IO-R-DI had no local, in this case human, residence*. In particular
I find the child's Representamen and especially her Interpretant not to be,
at least not *predominantly*, a 2ns. I think that in a way you've
abstracted the 'life' out of this (albeit, hypothetical) semiosic
2. For the mother, is it [the scream GR] a Replica (Token) of a genuine
Sign (Type), or a natural/degenerate Sinsign?
how do we distinguish a Replica from a natural/degenerate Sinsign?
Whether the child screams "Maman" or "Aie" or whatever, I see the mother
responding--at least principally--to the Replica of a genuine Sign, while
all the intense feeling conveyed in the non-verbal aspects of the Sign (the
harsh, jagged intensity of her cry, "Maman," signaling that something
terribly awful or painful has happened to the child) are present as well,
but especially directed toward her mother. So, is 2ns involved in her
response? Most certainly, as such extreme semiosis is highly complex. But
it is mixed with genuine semiosis in my view.
To abstract "all that" from the semiosic experience of the mother, should
you suggest (as I think you are suggesting) that the child's scream is
*merely* a "natural/degenerate Sinsign" makes me once again think that
perhaps you are enthralled--at least in this hypothetical case--by semiotic
abstraction, especially abstract terminology, and in doing so have
disconnected your analysis from not only "the life of the sign," but from
life more generally--from semiosis as it is lived in all its complexity.
[image: Gary Richmond]
*Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
*LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
*718 482-5690 <(718)%20482-5690>*
On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:37 AM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com
> Gary R., List:
> I guess I can boil down the main feedback that I am seeking to two
> questions about the girl's scream.
> 1. For the child, as an *involuntary *reflex, is it a Dynamic
> Interpretant produced by triadic semiosis, or merely an effect produced by
> a series of dyadic causes?
> 2. For the mother, is it a Replica (Token) of a genuine Sign (Type),
> or a natural/degenerate Sinsign?
> Obviously I am also seeking explanations for any answers offered. For #1,
> the Sign, Object, and Interpretant are all Existents (2ns), how do we
> distinguish Sign-action from brute dynamical action/reaction? For #2, how
> do we distinguish a Replica from a natural/degenerate Sinsign?
> Jon S.
> On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 10:35 PM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
>> 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)
>> 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.
>> 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
>>> 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
>>> *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
>>> 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.
>>> 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>
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> 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.
>>>> 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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