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Re: [ontolog-forum] Triadic Sign Relations

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 14:20:23 -0700
Message-id: <20100815212031.1FFCF138D44@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Hi Azamat,


You wrote:


"That confuses me no end if Peirceans can’t tie the theory to some commonly understood reality for me.  Is there a more fruitful description that explains the language used and chosen for that representation?"


The nature of signs and symbols and significations, their definition, elements, and types, was mainly established by Aristotle, Augustine, and Auquinas.

According to these classic sources, significance is a relationship between two sorts of things: signs and the kinds of things they signify (intend, express or mean), where one term necessarily causes something else to come to the mind. Distinguishing natural signs and conventional signs, the traditional theory of signs sets the following threefold partition of things:

  1. There are things that are just things, not any sign at all;
  2. There are things that are also signs of other things (as natural signs of the physical world and mental signs of the mind);
  3. There are things that are always signs, as languages (natural and artificial) and other cultural nonverbal symbols, as documents, money, ceremonies, and rites. see a brief but comprehensive account, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign

Azamat Abdoullaev


Thanks for your view on this; it helps me compare and contrast my own theoretical understanding with yours.  


So a familiar sign S represents another sign S2 in one agent’s mind, yet can represent only S itself in another agent’s mind, while simultaneously representing S3 (money, a document …) to still another agent?


Another interesting aspect of your answer is that you use the word “thing” as the most general of all thingish words like object, plurality, stuff, material …; is that your mental image of the word “thing”, as the most abstract of all objects?


Can a “thing” include an action, method, plan, history of the foregoing?


Thanks for the stimulating viewpoint,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2





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