Gary F., List:

I am obviously attempting to make the term "Quasi-mind" less vague and more
definite.  My understanding is that *every *perfect Sign is determinable by
other Signs; in this context, "perfect" does not mean "complete" or
"finished."  Where do you see Peirce saying otherwise?  On the contrary ...

CSP:  Now no perfect sign is in a statical condition ... the perfect sign
is perpetually being acted upon by its object, from which it is perpetually
receiving the accretions of new signs, which bring it fresh energy, and
also kindle energy that it already had, but which had lain dormant. In
addition, the perfect sign never ceases to undergo changes of the kind we
rather drolly call *spontaneous*, that is, they happen *sua sponte* but not
by its will. They are phenomena of growth. *Such perfect sign is a
quasi-mind* ... This quasi-mind is an object which from whatever standpoint
it be examined, must evidently have, like anything else, its special
qualities of susceptibility to determination. (EP 2:545n25; 1906, emphasis

I read "such" as "every" in the bold sentence, since Peirce does not say
anything else about perfect Signs in the passage to suggest that there are,
or even could be, other kinds that are *not *Quasi-minds.  I even checked
the manuscript, thanks again to Jeff Downard and the SPIN Project, and
found the following where EP 2:545n25 has ellipses or, in the last case, as
an alternative draft.

... whatsoever acts changes.  Perhaps the reader may demur to this, saying
that the earth acts to press him against the floor, but does not thereby
undergo any change.  But the floor is elastic, and [page partially cut off]
never lasts.  He vibrates up and down; and action and reaction being equal,
the centre of gravity of the earth reciprocally vibrates up and down.  It
is abstractly conceivable that a particle should remain at rest; but in
fact, it never does so. (R 283:259-260[115-116])

... Existential Graphs.  This description must remain, inadequate though it
is, or we should throw open the doors at once to a jam of considerations,
which must be taken into account. (R 283:261[117])

... others invariable.  But we may ask, What is the nature of the action of
the sign upon the quasi-mind when it determines the interpretant?  The
answer will be better understood if it is made disjunctive rather than
general. (R 283:262-263[118-119])

Looking upon the quasi-mind from another side, we see that it must have, in
the first place, special qualities of susceptibility, or possibility of
determination.  It must in the next place be subject to reactions, each of
which is an actual event, happening once and never again.  It has, in the
third place, dispositions and habits.  But it will be convenient to call
them all habits, whether they are original or acquired.  These are modified
by ... (R 283:265[118])

So far, I see no reason here to change my interpretation; in fact, that
last quote seems to confirm my concept of a Quasi-mind as a bundle of
habits (i.e., reacting substance) that is capable of Habit-change (i.e.,
learning by experience).  What would you consider to be an example of a
perfect Sign that is not *also *a Quasi-mind, or a Quasi-mind that is not
*also *a perfect Sign?  On my reading, what would you consider to be an
example of a Mind that is not *also* a Quasi-mind, such that the former
term is more general than the latter, rather than the other way around?  I
have already proposed a *person *as an example of a Mind that is a specific
kind of Quasi-mind--one that has a center of consciousness (i.e., unity of


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

On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 9:30 AM, <> wrote:

> Jon,
> Yes, that’s what I see as a problem, that you regard “perfect Sign” and
> “Quasi-mind” as synonyms. “Quasi-mind” is an intentionally *vague* term,
> meaning “something of the general nature of a mind” (MS 283). “Perfect
> Sign,” on the other hand, is a very definite and distinctive kind of sign,
> one that “involves the present existence of no other sign except such as
> are ingredients of itself.” Surely there must be signs, and quasi-minds,
> which are *not* perfect in this respect, but are determinable by other
> signs. Where does Peirce say, or imply, that a quasi-mind necessarily
> “involves the present existence of no other sign except such as are
> ingredients of itself”?
> Regarding “perfect sign” and “quasi-mind” as synonyms prompts you to
> assign the attributes of perfect signs to all quasi-minds. I don’t see
> Peirce doing this, and that is where I see you suggesting that “quasi-mind”
> is a more specific term than “mind.”
> Gary f.
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