Jeff, List:

In your example, *semiosis *does not occur unless and until the Sign *actually
*determines an Interpretant.  Suppose that a human sees the ripples on the
water and thinks, "The wind is blowing from the north."  How can an Index
(Existent) produce such a thought-Sign (Necessitant) as its Dynamic
Interpretant, unless it is functioning as a Token (Replica) of a Type?  Or
is the Dynamic Interpretant of the Index itself the human's
(involuntary) *perceptual
judgment*, which then has the subsequent thought-Sign as *its *Dynamic
Interpretant?   Perhaps you could elaborate on what you meant by "these
richer sorts of relations of determination."


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

On Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 4:04 PM, Jeffrey Brian Downard <> wrote:

> Gary R, Helmut, List,
> What Gary says certainly holds for the relation of determination between
> dynamical objects and symbols. Is it also true for the relation of
> determination between dynamical objects and indices?
> Peirce describes the relations of determination in the following way at CP
> 4.531:
> an analysis of the essence of a sign, (stretching that word to its widest 
> limits,
> as anything which, being determined by an object, determines an interpretation
> to determination, through it, by the same object), leads to a proof that every
> sign is determined by its object, either first, by partaking in the
> characters of the object, when I call the sign an Icon; secondly, by
> being really and in its individual existence connected with the
> individual object, when I call the sign an Index; thirdly, by more or
> less approximate certainty that it will be interpreted as denoting the
> object, in consequence of a habit (which term I use as including a
> natural disposition), when I call the sign a Symbol.
> Focusing on indices, how should this relation of determination be
> classified? One place where Peirce answers that question is in "The Logic
> of Mathematics, an attempt..." In saying that an index is "really and in
> its individual existence connected with the individual object", he is
> focusing attention on the relation between an indexical *sinsign *and an
> individual existing object.
> Consider an example. When the wind blows across the lake, the ripples on
> the water are an index of the direction of the wind. The ripples on the
> water are an indexical sinsign even if these particular ripples have not
> yet really been so interpreted--such as by the animals (e.g., birds, deer
> and humans) who might later be on the shore looking across the surface of
> the water. All that is required is that such a sign be *capable* of
> interpretation in order to be a sign.
> Prior to being really so interpreted, I think the relation of
> determination between the wind and the ripples can be classified as an
> existential dyadic relation of diversity that is both materially and
> formally ordered. What is more, it would appear to be a relation that is
> productive because the wind creates the ripples. Such dyadic relations are
> the paradigm of a cause and effect relation, because the wind is acting as
> the causal agent and the ripples are the patient.
> On Peirce's account, what seems to be essential to the determination of
> the indexical sinsign by an existing individual object is that the two
> stand in an (1) existential dyadic relation (2) of correspondence (3)
> where one is acting as agent and the other is patient.
> When this type of indexical sign is really interpreted by a living
> organism, then we might need to understand the relations somewhat
> differently. After all, the perception of the ripples typically involves
> iconic qualisigns, sinsigns and legisigns, as well as indexical legisigns
> (etc.), that are being combined in accordance with general rules that have
> the character of symbols. In these richer sorts of relations of
> determination, the indexical character of the ripples on the water would
> typically involve thought-signs on the part of the creatures who are
> perceiving the wind and the water.
> It appears that others may disagree with this sort of interpretation of
> the relation of determination that holds between a dynamical object that
> has the character of an individual existing object and a sign that has the
> character of a existing individual sinsign. Those who disagree may do so on
> a number of different grounds, but I want to see if this is a plausible
> interpretation of the relevant texts.
> --Jeff
> Jeffrey Downard
> Associate Professor
> Department of Philosophy
> Northern Arizona University
> (o) 928 523-8354
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L 
to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to . To 
UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to with the 
line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at .

Reply via email to