As promised/warned, I have more to say about Peirce's semeiotic and
metaphysics in accordance with his 1904 employment of Aristotelian terms
for the Categories--Form (1ns), Matter (2ns), and Entelechy (3ns).  My
understanding--aided by my recent reading of Vincent Colapietro's
book, *Peirce's
Approach to the Self:  A Semiotic Perspective on Human Subjectivity*--is
that every *individual substance* consists of both a *continuity of
reactions* (CP 3.613; 1911) and a *bundle of habits* (CP 1.414, EP 1:279;
1887-8).  A Thing is an aggregate of Matter whose Form is *determinate*,
such that it receives only *brute* reactions and behaves in strict
accordance with *inveterate *habits.

CSP:  … there are two sorts of connection which do not involve anything but
Matter and Form; namely, the determination of Matter by Form, and the blind
reaction of Matter with Matter. (NEM 4:297; 1904)

At first, it might seem that "the determination of Matter by Form" is
precisely what Signs do; but Peirce said otherwise at the very end of the
same manuscript.

CSP:  It is to be observed that a sign has its being in the *power* to
bring about a determination of a Matter to a Form, not in an *act* of
bringing it about. There are several good arguments to show that this is
the case. Perhaps none of them is more conclusive than the circumstance
that there is no such act. For an act has a Matter as its subject. It is
the union of Matter and Form. But a sign is not Matter. An act is
individual. The sign only exists in replicas. (NEM 4:300; 1904)

This passage parallels Peirce's later description of the three Universes of
Experience in "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" (CP 6.455, EP
2:435; 1908).  The Being of a Sign--a constituent of the third
Universe--"consists in active power to establish connections … between
objects in different Universes"; namely, Things in the second Universe
(Matter) and Ideas in the first Universe (Form).  This does not apply to
"the mere body of the Sign, which is not essentially such," but to "the
Sign's Soul, which has its Being in its power of serving as intermediary
between its Object and a [Quasi-]Mind."

Consequently, there can be no *act* of determining a Matter to a Form,
because an act is individual and has a Matter as its subject; but a Sign in
itself is not Matter, since it only *exists* in Replicas.  In this sense,
there is no *Sign*-action at all, only *Replica*-action.  What Peirce wrote
specifically about a Qualisign pertains to *every* Sign--"It cannot
actually act as a sign until it is embodied; but the embodiment has nothing
to do with its character as a sign" (CP 2.244, EP 2:291; 1903).

Furthermore, since every Quasi-mind is both an individual Sign and a
complex of connected Signs, it likewise cannot actually act as a Quasi-mind
until it is embodied; but the embodiment has nothing to do with its
character as a Quasi-mind.  The Sheet of Assertion (or Phemic Sheet) of
Existential Graphs is an embodiment of a *logical* Quasi-mind, while a
biological organism is an embodiment of a *metaphysical* Quasi-mind.

Note that the latter is similar to a Thing in that it is an individual
substance.  However, it is different in that it is *determinable*--it
possesses Collateral Experience and Habits of Interpretation as the
accumulated Immediate Objects and Final Interpretants, respectively, of the
*previous* Signs that have *already* determined it; and it has the capacity
for Habit-change when *subsequent* Signs produce *new *Final Interpretants.
In other words, it is "an intelligence capable of learning by experience"
(CP 2.227; c. 1897).


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