Article ID: CBB856081407

“A familiar logical triplet”: on Peirce’s grammar of representation and its relation to scientific inquiry (2021)


This essay focuses on Charles S. Peirce’s grammar of representation and its relevance for a logical conception of scientific inquiry. Closely relying on Peirce’s writings, one of his important trichotomies of signs will be discussed in particular: that distinguishing between substitutive signs, or “semes”, informational signs, or “phemes”, and persuasive signs, or “delomes”. According to Peirce, these three categories of signs result from an extension of the traditional division between “terms”, “propositions”, and “arguments” to all signs (not just symbols), understood as the foundational elements with and on which the scientific mind operates. It is shown that such an extended view of logic, conceived as a “semiotic”, or general doctrine of signs, is consistent with Peirce’s metaphysical views on truth and reality. Logic-as-semiotic, and its three corresponding branches of stecheotic, critic, and methodeutic, is thus conceived as a requisite normative trivium for the practice of scientific inquiry, whose purpose is to represent reality truthfully. In the end, we aim to remind that Peirce’s semiotic epistemology must necessarily be contextualized within the frame of his comprehensive philosophy of the scientific “settlement of opinion”.

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Authors & Contributors
Pietarinen, Ahti-Veikko
Baker, Victor R.
Dea, Shannon
Campos, Daniel G.
Haaparanta, Leila
Hilpinen, Risto
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Cahiers François Viète Center for Epistemology and History of Science and Technology (CFV)
Journal of the History of Ideas
Journal of the History of Biology
Cambridge University Press
Franco Angeli
University of California, Los Angeles
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Princeton University
Philosophy of science
Symbolism; symbolic representation
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Frege, Gottlob
Vailati, Giovanni
Spinoza, Baruch
Husserl, Edmund
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
20th century, late
Great Britain
United States
North America
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) (Study group: U.S.)

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