Peirce's Theory of Signs

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Overview

In this book, T. L. Short corrects widespread misconceptions of Peirce's theory of signs and demonstrates its relevance to contemporary analytic philosophy of language, mind and science. Peirce's theory of mind, naturalistic but nonreductive, bears on debates of Fodor and Millikan, among others. His theory of inquiry avoids foundationalism and subjectivism, while his account of reference anticipated views of Kripke and Putnam. Peirce's realism falls between 'internal' and 'metaphysical' realism and is more satisfactory than either. His pragmatism is not verificationism; rather, it identifies meaning with potential growth of knowledge. Short distinguishes Peirce's mature theory of signs from his better-known but paradoxical early theory. He develops the mature theory systematically on the basis of Peirce's phenomenological categories and concept of final causation. The latter is distinguished from recent and similar views, such as Brandon's, and is shown to be grounded in forms of explanation adopted in modern science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a major achievement, a singularly important work on Pierce's theory of signs and one of the most important works to ever be published on Peirce." - Journal of the History of Philosophy

"...his attempt to demonstrate the relevance of Peirce's semiotics in contemporary philosophical though hinges on a balanced interplay between convincing arguments and documented research. This book insightfully unravels the necessity of overcoming the contemporary philosophical tendency to 'atomize issues', and there is reason to believe that Short's comprehensive study will set the agenda for interesting future developments in Peircean scholarship." —Chiara Ambrosio, University College London: Philosophy in Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521108942
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

T. L. Short is Chairman of the Board of Advisors to the Peirce Edition Project (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis). He has published broadly in the philosophy of science, conceptual change, teleology, and aspects of the philosophy of C. S. Peirce in journals such as The Monist, American Philosophical Quarterly, Grazer Philosophische Studien, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society as well as in Biology and Philosophy, Synthese, and Semiotica.

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Table of Contents

1. Antecedents and alternatives; 2. The development of Peirce's semeiotic; 3. Phaneroscopy; 4. A preface to final causation; 5. Final causation; 6. Significance; 7. Objects and interpretants; 8. A taxonomy of signs; 9. More taxa; 10. How symbols grow; 11. Semeiosis and the mental; 12. The structure of objectivity.

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