Hi Edwina, Jon,

I have changed the subject line. It would not bother me if this is the only item on the thread.

Somehow, again, you two go hammer-and-tongs at one another. Edwina, you know as well as any of us how closely Peirce tied semiosis to logic. Jon, you will cite stanza and verse but also know well that form-matter-entelchy is but one of scores of trichotomous relations using the universal categories that Peirce put forward.

Let's consider the entire world of Peirce aficionados, past and present. There is a reason both of you study and feel so passionately about Peirce. I humbly suggest that intersection of interests is a more practical domain of inquiry than trying to find where your interpretations differ.

Just saying.

I know I have not been contributing much myself to the list recently. I hope to be a more positive contributor going forward.

Best, Mike

On 4/6/2018 10:01 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt wrote:
Edwina, List:

As I have noted before when making this substitution, Peirce defined logic (in the broad sense) as semeiotic and beliefs as habits.  The subject matter of normative science consists of the relations of phenomena to ends, and the ideal end of semiosis is the development of habits that would never be confounded by subsequent experience--including, but not limited to, true beliefs.  Again, this is a regulative hope, not something that will ever actually be achieved.

Turning to metaphysics, the habit-taking tendency is the primordial law of mind, from which all physical laws--inveterate habits--are derived (cf. CP 6.24-25; 1891).  However, as you rightly point out, freedom and spontaneity still prevent their complete induration (cf. CP 6.201; 1898).  Hence recognizing that a Sign is an Entelechy (3ns), as Peirce himself explicitly did, does not at all deny the Reality of Form (1ns) and Matter (2ns); on the contrary, I see it as an integral aspect of his robust three-Category realism.


Jon S.

On Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 9:03 PM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote:

Jon, List-

With regard to the statement by Jon:

"My long-term objective in all of this remains to understand how semeiotic may be defined as the science of the laws of the stable establishment of habits (cf. CP 3.429; 1896).  That includes the inveterate habits of matter, as well as the self-controlled habits of Persons."

The actual reference to Peirce is not about semeiotic but about logic: "Logic may be defined as the science of the laws of the stable establishment of beliefs". 3.429

Semeiosis is actually a 'far-from-equilibrium' or unstable process, functioning within three, not one, but three modal categories. Only one of them, Thirdness, refers to habits or stability. The vital, absolutely necessary mode of Firstness , inserts the capacity to break up, modify, adapt, change, evolve, those habits. And the equally necessary mode of Secondness locates both Firstness and Thirdness within individual, diverse, local, interactive, networking instantiations of both habits and novelty.  

To reduce semiosis to only one of the three modal categories is setting up an idealistic ontology - and this is not, in my view, Peircean semiosis.



Michael K. Bergman
Cognonto Corporation
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