Dear Jerry,
you wrote that we have had experiences. I dont remember them so well. In any case, it is not so, that I would see you representing a certain way of thinking I would categorically oppose. I cannot put you into a drawer. But I dont want to put people into drawers anyway. Some things you write seem quite wise. Some others I did not grasp. Sometimes you quoted some "Strauss", whoever that is, and I remember, that these quotes often have stirred a feeling of objection in me. Which drawer am I in? Myself I would describe as liberal democrat. But nowadays, these two attributes seem to drift apart, each of them easily being connected with false friends: "Liberal" with neoliberalism and elitarism, and "Democrat" with populism (people against other people). I will not let myself be driven into the edge of the box, saying I´m an anarchist, because anarchists are against any state, and I guess, without a state, mafia organisations would rule. And I don´t believe that anarchists would be able to resist them properly, as anarchists are peaceful people, as universalists reluctant to hurt other people, other than the mafia people are. So I think, that a state with a power monopol is necessary. But enough of that, I am not a game player anyway, and would never become a politician. Awful job, I´d puke all the time. Of course you are right to redivert the attention to Peirce. but not, because I would not care about what you would say, but because Gary would, very justifiedly, claim that we have to be Peirce-related.
Oops, I have not been, sorry, ok, so much for that, I promise to be Peirce related next time again,
 21. Februar 2018 um 23:38 Uhr
Von: "Jerry Rhee" <>

Dear Helmut,


You said,

All that is a reflection in another mirror, a bit further away. Solipsism is assuming an endless series of mirrors behind mirrors. Sounds like hell. Can you show a way out..


I would presume based on our past experiences that you wouldn’t care for me to show you a way out, but rather, for me to say how Peirce would show a way out. 


I am not sure what the following means but it is in Some Consequences, and many scholars, pragmatists, pragamticists, have already spoken on its connected themes. 


I suppose one could argue that whether they had anything relevant to say would depend on whether the reader makes any effort to follow their argument, rather than being satisfied that he can work it out on his own by reflecting on the issues, himself, in isolation.  To help matters, though, Peirce did follow up with Man's Glassy Essence, 'tho it adds to the amount of things one has to think about..

In any case, here it is:


The individual man, since his separate existence is manifested only by ignorance and error, so far as he is anything apart from his fellows, and from what he and they are to be, is only a negation. This is man,


". . . proud man,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence."


As for Peirce, he also says this, of course:


The apostle of Humanism says that professional philosophists “have rendered philosophy like unto themselves, abstruse, arid, abstract, and abhorrent.” But I conceive that some branches of science are not in a healthy state if they are not abstruse, arid, and abstract, in which case, like the Aristotelianism which is this gentleman’s particular bête noire, it will be as Shakespeare said (of it, remember)


“Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,

But musical as is Apollo’s lute,” etc.


I hope I have led you to a way out,

Jerry R

On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 4:10 PM, Helmut Raulien <> wrote:
when a mirror appears in the field of sight, then the eye can see itself. Its owner may ask him/herself: What is behind that mirror? But the mirror is there, so behind it is also what is behind the eye. But the world too. So it is the (eye-owner´s) world, and the owner of the world, being a part of it. All that is a reflection in another mirror, a bit further away. Solipsism is assuming an endless series of mirrors behind mirrors. Sounds like hell. Can you show a way out, for Quasimodo of Notre-Dame, and us all? Something like transcendence or what ever?
21. Februar 2018 um 20:53 Uhr
Von: "Jerry Rhee" <>

Dear list,


Speaking of the person who sees the vase, who happens to be a Quasi-mind:



The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.



Logic fills the world: the limits of the world are also its limits.

We cannot therefore say in logic: This and this there is in the world, that there is not.


For that would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case since otherwise logic must get outside the limits of the world: that is, if it could consider these limits from the other side also.


What we cannot think, that we cannot think: we cannot therefore say what we cannot think.



This remark provides a key to the question, to what extent solipsism is a truth.

In fact what solipsism means, is quite correct, only it cannot be said, but it shows itself.

That the world is my world, shows itself in the fact that the limits of the language (the language which I understand) mean the limits of my world.



I am the world. (The microcosm.)



Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be noted?

You say that this case is altogether like that of the eye and the field of sight. But you do not really see the eye.

And from nothing in the field of sight can it be concluded that it is seen from an eye.



For the field of sight has not a form like this:



Here we see that solipsism strictly carried out coincides with pure realism. The I in solipsism shrinks to an extensionless point and there remains the reality co-ordinated with it.


There is in the dictionary a word, solipsism, meaning the belief that the believer is the only existing person. Were anybody to adopt such a belief, it might be difficult to argue him out of it. But when a person finds himself in the society of others, he is just as sure of their existence as of his own, though he may entertain a metaphysical theory that they are all hypostatically the same ego.



Jerry R

On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 1:01 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <> wrote:
Edwina, List:
1.  A hypothesis is not intended to be an argument.  However, your point about providing multiple terms for the same concept is well-taken.  With that in mind, I now see three interpretive possibilities for Peirce's statement, "Such perfect sign is a quasi-mind.  It is the sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs."
  • A perfect Sign and a Quasi-mind are one and the same, and the Sheet of Assertion is an example.
  • A perfect Sign and the Sheet of Assertion are one and the same, but there are other kinds of Quasi-minds.
  • Every Sheet of Assertion is a perfect Sign, but there are other kinds of perfect Signs; and every perfect Sign is a Quasi-mind, but there are other kinds of Quasi-minds.
I am sorry that you do not find my identification and exploration of these options enlightening.
2.  I posted my current tentative definition of a Quasi-mind a few days ago.  It is a bundle of habits (reacting substance) that has the capacity for Habit-change (learning by experience); the latter is what distinguishes it from a brute Thing, a strictly material reacting substance whose habits have become inveterate, like a mere "set of molecules."  It is also a perfect Sign that constitutes an aggregate or complex of all previous Signs that have determined it, which are so connected together as to produce one Interpretant; this is the sense in which it "stores" the Immediate Objects of all those previous Signs, which serve as its Collateral Experience, as well as their Final Interpretants, which serve as its Habits of Interpretation.
As for what a Quasi-mind "does," I see it as an indispensable ingredient for any semiosis to occur.  For natural Signs, there is no utterer, but the interpreter is a Quasi-mind.  For genuine Signs, the utterer is a Quasi-mind, the interpreter is a Quasi-mind, and their overlap--where they are "welded" and become one in the Sign itself--is a Quasi-mind.  This is illustrated by the Phemic Sheet, which is the Quasi-mind where the Graphist and Interpreter are at one--not only in the Signs that they proceed to scribe on it, but also in everything that is tacitly taken for granted between them from the outset of their discussion, when the sheet itself is still blank.  As always, these two Quasi-minds can be different temporal versions of the same Quasi-mind.
As for Peirce's example of molecules, unlike when he called the universe a Symbol and an Argument, he explicitly stated that he was presenting it as a metaphor to help explain what he meant by "determination."
CSP:  This perplexes us, and an example of an analogous phenomenon will do good service here. Metaphysics has been said contemptuously to be a fabric of metaphors. But not only metaphysics, but logical and phaneroscopical concepts need to be clothed in such garments. For a pure idea without metaphor or other significant clothing is an onion without a peel. Let a community of quasi-minds consist of the liquid in a number of bottles ... (EP 2:392; 1906)
3.  We are still in the (abstract) retroductive and deductive stages of this inquiry.  Moving on to the (concrete) inductive stage would involve analyzing an example like the bird that flees upon hearing a loud sound, the vase that someone sees upon opening his eyes, or the child who screams upon touching a hot burner.  The bird, the person who sees the vase, and the child and her mother are all presumably Quasi-minds.
I do not expect you to say anything further about any of this.
Jon S.
On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 11:12 AM, Edwina Taborsky <> wrote:

Jon -

1. All I can say is that your definitions are circular. You repeat that 'a perfect mind= a quasi-mind= the sheet of assertion of the EG. This, frankly, is not an argument; it is not enlightening; it doesn't MEAN anything. I must even wonder why, if you are correct - Peirce provided all these terms for the SAME thing.

I'm not going to repeat my interpretation of the Rhemetic Indexical Legisign - since we won't get anywhere with that.

2. I also disagree with your view of the Quasi-mind...You don't provide a definition of WHAT it does; you merely tell us all the synonyms for it. I understand it as a local emergence of Mind, emerging within a semiosic interaction between an 'utterer and an interpreter' [which could be between two chemicals, between two insects, between two people or in one person]. The point is - it's a LOCAL and dialogic interaction of, so to speak, the Universal Mind, and is thus - as local - a 'Quasi-Mind'.

 So- yes, a 'mere set of molecules' qualifies as a Quasi-mind when in interaction. After all Peirce provided such an example of molecules as an example of a quasi-mind.

3. You don't propose a definition; you simply copy words from Peirce; collate them; use them as synonyms - but - the function of what these terms stand for - is ignored. So- I don't see the point of this discussion and won't continue.


On Wed 21/02/18 11:52 AM , Jon Alan Schmidt sent:

Edwina, List:
1.  We can say two things for sure based on that straightforward pair of sentences by Peirce--first, that a perfect Sign, whatever else it might be, is a Quasi-mind; and second, that the Sheet of Assertion of Existential Graphs is a perfect Sign.  We also know, from various other quotes, that the Sheet of Assertion (or Phemic Sheet) is a Quasi-mind.  My current hypothesis is that a perfect Sign and a Quasi-mind are one and the same, but Gary F. has challenged this; and if he (or anyone else) provides a clear counterexample, I will abandon it accordingly and be grateful for the correction.  The alternative, as I see it, is that a perfect Sign and the Sheet of Assertion are one and the same, but there are also  other kinds of Quasi-minds.
In CP 4.550-553, Peirce characterized both Mind ("in one of the narrowest and most concrete of its logical meanings") and the Phemic Sheet ("representing the Mind" and "being the Quasi-mind") as "a Seme of the Truth, that is, of the widest Universe of Reality"; so in that sense, the Sheet of Assertion is indeed a Rheme.  However, he went on to say that it is, " at the same time, a Pheme of all that is tacitly taken for granted between the Graphist and Interpreter, from the outset of their discussion"; so in that sense, the Sheet of Assertion is also a Dicisign.  He also stated, "We are to imagine that two parties collaborate in composing a Pheme, and in operating upon this so as to develop a Delome"; so in that sense, the Sheet of Assertion is also an Argument.  The reason why it can be all three Sign classes simultaneously is because every Argument involves Dicisigns, and every Dicisign involves Rhemes.
Since the Sheet of Assertion is both an Argument and a perfect Sign, it obviously cannot be the case that what Peirce means by "perfect Sign" is a Rhematic Indexical Legisign.  Furthermore, "perfect" in this context does not necessarily imply the ability to "do everything and anything semiosic," although I find it noteworthy that an Argument is the only class of Sign that involves all of the others.  Again, I strongly suspect that "perfect" is instead related to Entelechy, especially in light of Peirce's statement elsewhere that "We may adopt the word to mean the very fact, that is, the ideal sign which should be quite perfect, and so identical,--in such identity as a sign may have,--with the very matter denoted united with the very form signified by it" (EP 2:304; 1904).
2.  I obviously cannot read your mind and do not have your experience, so the only way for me to see how you justify your position--that  CP 5.119 is "mere metaphoric rhetoric"--is if you provide an explanation.  Since "thought is not necessarily connected with a brain" (CP 4.551) and "matter is effete mind" (CP 6.25), "mental association" is not confined to human conceptual semiosis; it can (and does) occur in any Quasi-mind.  I am certainly not claiming that a mere "set of molecules" qualifies as a Quasi-mind; are you?
3.  What we are pursuing here is, like all thought, a dialogic process of inquiry.  We propose a definition (Retroduction), explicate its implications (Deduction), test it against experience (Induction), and revise/repeat as needed.
Jon S.
On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 9:01 PM, Edwina Taborsky <> wrote:

Jon -

1]You are the one who is 'asserting' Peirce's sentence: " Such perfect sign is a quasi-mind. It is the sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs" (EP 2:545n25).

So- you should be the one explaining how this 'perfect sign' [which still hasn't been described as to how it operates'] - is a 'sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs'.

I've tried to explain the Rhematic Indexical Legisign as a clear tri-relative operation; as a] including laws that adapt and evolve; as b] directly connected to its object; and c] as expressing an individual local interpretation of that object. Therefore - to me - since it includes the utterer and interpreter, so to speak, and all three categorical modes and - is that clear tri-relative framework, then,  it's the 'perfect sign' and can do everything and anything semiosic. ..The rheme's individual local interpretation is related to the legisign's general Thirdness and  - and yet- is grounded by that existential indexical connection to the object.

2] What do you mean - what is my 'warrant' for interpreting Peirce's statement in a certain manner? My mind and logic and experience leads me to make this interpretation. Do I need anything else?  A higher authority?

As for your statement about the ten classes - you yourself have claimed that the symbol is a factor of human conceptualization. [I don't keep archives]. Plus - I've provided the definition of the symbol - and it is clearly Not iconic which involves a mimetic action and Not indexical which involves an existential connection. The symbol is a 'mental association 1.372, .."a relation which consists in the fact that the mind associates the sign with its object; in that case, the sign is a name or symbol".   It is  a mental act 2.438] . It requires an interpretant [see 2.304]...

Your quoting of 4.551 has nothing to do with the definition of a symbol and I don't know why you inserted it. Are you going to claim that molecules use symbols in their informational interactions? Because Mind, as law, is involved in chemical composition, does not mean that this same set of molecules uses its own mental actions to interpret its own nature.

3] I don't agree that definitions can exist without a clear idea of the function of that which is being defined.  


On Tue 20/02/18 9:08 PM , Jon Alan Schmidt sent:

Edwina, List:
1.  Respectfully, I asked you to make your case for that position, not simply reassert it.  I honestly do not see how a Rhematic Indexical Legisign can be "the sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs"; please explain it to me.
2.  What is your warrant for taking Peirce's explicit designation of the universe as a Symbol and an Argument to be  "mere metaphoric rhetoric"?  Again, please explain it to me, rather than just asserting it.  Since "thought is not necessarily connected with a brain" (CP 4.551; 1906), why should we treat any of the ten Sign classes as confined to human conceptual semiosis?
3.  I have freely admitted a strong bent for abstract analysis, rather than the more concrete approach that Gary R. (for example) ably practices, and I have also acknowledged its limitations.  Such differences are precisely why collaboration is such an important aspect of the List--genuinely seeking to engage in shared inquiry and learn from each other, rather than dogmatically maintaining our pre-established views.  I am actually very interested in exploring the nature and function of perfect Signs and Quasi-minds within concrete semiosis, but for me, coming up with clear definitions of those terms is the first step.
Jon S.
On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 5:34 PM, Edwina Taborsky <> wrote:

Jon, list

1. I see no reason why a rhematic indexical legisign, with its qualities that fit all of Peirce's stated description of a 'perfect sign' cannot fulfill being a 'sheet of assertion of existential graphs.

2. I really don't see Peirce's use of the word 'symbol'  or 'argument' in this selection as meaning the same as is meant in the ten classes of signs. I consider his use here as mere metaphoric rhetoric and not as a semiotic analysis of the Universe.

If you read his definitions of these two terms as used within semiosis, you will see that the 'symbol' is an intellectual construct, it refers to "the Object that it denotes by virtue of a law, usually an association of general ideas, which operates to cause the Symbol to be interpreted as referring to that Object" 2.249.

And the same thing with the Argument, which is equally an intellectual construct.[see 2.251-3].

Therefore, these two terms refer to human conceptual semiosis and not to physic-chemical or biological semiosis.

3. The problem I have with your approach to these definitions is that they seem purely abstract and theoretical and confined to words; i.e., substituting one set of words for another set of words.

 I don't know what you see as the function of these terms; you don't seem interested in examining 'what is a perfect sign' within the semiosic universe and how and why does it even exist and operate.

And- ; what is the function of a 'quasi-mind' within semiosis. Why and how does it emerge and function? You don't seem involved in this aspect.


On Tue 20/02/18 5:59 PM , Jon Alan Schmidt sent:

Edwina, List:
Setting aside our different models of semiosis, and simply looking at Peirce's own words ...
1.  "Such perfect sign is a quasi-mind. It is the sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs" (EP 2:545n25).  Are you prepared to claim that a Rhematic Indexical Legisign is the sheet of assertion of Existential Graphs?  If so, then please make your case for that position.  If not, then a Rhematic Indexical Legisign cannot be what Peirce meant by "perfect sign."
2.  "... the universe is a vast representamen, a great symbol of God's purpose, working out its conclusions in living realities. Now every symbol must have, organically attached to it, its Indices of Reactions and its Icons of Qualities; and such part as these reactions and these qualities play in an argument that, they of course, play in the universe--that Universe being precisely an argument" (CP 5.119, EP 2:193-194; 1903).  Since Peirce calls the entire universe a Symbol and an Argument, he obviously did not confine Symbols and Arguments to human conceptual semiosis.  Why should we?
Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 2:27 PM, Edwina Taborsky <> wrote:

list -

I think the terms need to be defined, since, apparently, each of us has different definitions of 'sign'; perfect sign' and 'quasi-mind'.

Again, my understanding of the Sign is not confined to its function as the Representamen, but to the semiosic process of DO-[IO-R-II]. The Representamen, after all, doesn't exist 'per se' but only within that semiosic process, where the representamen is "a subject of a triadic relation to a second, called its object, for a third, called its interpretant, this triadic relation being such that the representamen determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant" [1.541]. This relational, dynamic nature must be acknowledged.

Therefore, since I am focusing on the triadic semiosic process, then, I consider the 'perfect sign' to be the Rhematic Indexical Legisign', for, in my view, it fulfills all the actions outlined by Peirce : connection to object [indexical]; aging [within the legisign]; and local individualism [within the rhematic local interpretation].

What is the quasi-mind? My understanding is that it is the localization of Mind, emerging within the dialogic semiosic interaction between Utterer and Interpreter and thus - such an interaction would have two quasi-minds. I don't see why this localization of mind, which I see as the quasi-mind, is ALSO a perfect sign.....unless it is that Rhematic Indexical Legisign which is, after all, the basic sign class in the ten classes [includes all three categorical modes].

In addition, this interaction and quasi-mind is not confined to humans but, as Peirce points out, one can have a 'community of quasi-minds' consisting of the chemical liquids in bottles that are 'intricately' connected. [2.392]. Therefore - I don't see Jon AS's view that the quasi-mind [if I remember correctly what he wrote] appears as a Symbol and Argument - which would confine it to human conceptual semiosis.

I presume that the above would meet with strong disagreement from some posters - and I think one also has to consider the function of a quasi-mind and a perfect sign.


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