Peirce's Theory of Signs

Peirce's Theory of Signs

by T. L. Short
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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Peirce's Theory of Signs

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521108942
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/19/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 374
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xvii
Antecedents and Alternatives     1
Peirce     1
Sources of Peirce's Semeiotic in Locke and Kant     2
Brentano on Intentionality     6
Chisholm, Quine, et al. on Intentionality     11
Saussure's Semiology     16
Aristotle, the Stoics, St. Augustine     21
The Development of Peirce's Semeiotic     27
1865-1866: Thoughts as Representations     28
1867: The 'New List'     31
1868-1869: Thought-signs     32
1859-1877: Nominalism versus Realism     36
Three Flaws in the 1868-1869 Doctrine of Thought-signs     42
Derrida et cie     45
1877-1885: The First Flaw Corrected     46
After 1885: Consequences of the Foregoing     51
1903: The Second Flaw Corrected     53
1907: The Last Flaw Corrected     56
Phaneroscopy     60
The 1902 Architectonic     61
The Phaneron and Phaneroscopic Method     66
The Language of Phaneroscopy     71
1stness and 2ndness     75
Two Forms of Generality     78
The Experience of Continuity     80
The Experience of Causing     82
3rdness     84
The Categories Interpreted Metaphysically     86
The System of Categories     89
A Preface to Final Causation     91
Strange Objects of Desire     92
What Is Mechanical?     94
Teleology's Locus Classicus     98
A Budget of Errors     103
Hume's Ghost     105
Ordinary Purposes     108
The Mysterious Case of the Surplus Body     112
Final Causation     117
Explanation in Statistical Mechanics     117
Reflections on the Preceding     124
Natural Selection     128
Evolution and Entropy     133
Peirce's Concept of Final Causation     136
Comparison to Recent Views     139
Purpose's Realm     144
Significance     151
Teleology as Conjectural and Empirical     152
Valuation as Teleological     153
'Interpret' Defined     156
'Sign' Defined     159
'Significance' Defined     162
The Breadth of These Definitions     162
Peirce's Definitions of 'Sign'     164
Peirce's 1907 View     168
Significance and Purpose     172
Intentionality Explained     174
Objects and Interpretants     178
Much Groping, No Conclusion     180
Immediate, Dynamic, and Final Interpretants     187
Immediate and Dynamic Objects     191
Peirce's Realism     196
Emotional, Energetic, and Logical Interpretants     200
A Taxonomy of Signs     207
Qualisign, Sinsign, Legisign     208
Icon, Index, Symbol     214
Iconic, Indexical, and Symbolic Legisigns     222
A Common Error Corrected     225
Rheme, Dicisign, Argument     231
More Taxa     235
Principles of Semeiotic Taxonomy     235
Dicisigns and Assertion     242
Six Trichotomies     248
Ten Trichotomies     256
Where We Are Now     260
How Symbols Grow     263
Hypostatic Abstraction     264
The Hiddenness of Abstraction     270
A Very Virtuous Variety of Vagueness     274
Abstraction and Rigid Designation     276
Incommensurability and Meaning's 'Location'     279
Pragmatism and the Growth of Symbols      285
Semeiosis and the Mental     289
Contemporary Philosophy of Mind     291
Functionalism's Problem with Content     295
On Being Simple-minded     301
Beyond Biology     303
Consciousness and Subjectivity     311
The Structure of Objectivity     317
Antifoundationalism     318
Objectivity     323
Peirce's Concept of Science     326
A Fixation on Truth     330
How Theories Are Tested     333
Why Observe?     337
Realism, Not Relativism     341
How Aims Are Tested     344
Objectivity and Freedom     346
Bibliography     349
Name Index     361
Subject Index     365

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