Peirce’s 1870 “Logic Of Relatives” • Comment 9.4

Boole rationalized the properties of what we now call boolean multiplication, roughly equivalent to logical conjunction, in terms of the laws that apply to selective operations. Peirce, in his turn, taking a very significant step of analysis that has seldom been recognized for what it would lead to, does not consider this multiplication to be a fundamental operation, but derives it as a by-product of relative multiplication by a comma relative. Thus, Peirce makes logical conjunction a special case of relative composition.

This opens up a very wide field of inquiry, the operational significance of logical terms, but it will be best to advance bit by bit and to lean on simple examples.

Back to Venice and the close-knit party of absolutes and relatives that we entertained when last stopping there.

Here is the list of absolute terms we had been considering before:

\begin{array}{*{17}{l}}  \mathbf{1} & = & \text{anything} & = &  \mathrm{B} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{C} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{D} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{E} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{I} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{J} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{O}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{m} & = & \text{man} & = &  \mathrm{C} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{I} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{J} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{O}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{n} & = & \text{noble} & =  &  \mathrm{C} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{D} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{O}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{w} & = & \text{woman} & = &  \mathrm{B} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{D} & +\!\!, &  \mathrm{E}  \end{array}

Here is the list of comma inflexions or diagonal extensions of these terms:

\begin{array}{lll}  \mathbf{1,} & = & \text{anything that is}\, \underline{~~~~}  \\[6pt]  & = & \mathrm{B\!:\!B} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{C\!:\!C} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{D\!:\!D} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{E\!:\!E} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{I\!:\!I} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{J\!:\!J} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{O\!:\!O}  \\[9pt]  \mathrm{m,} & = & \text{man that is}\, \underline{~~~~}  \\[6pt]  & = & \mathrm{C\!:\!C} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{I\!:\!I} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{J\!:\!J} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{O\!:\!O}  \\[9pt]  \mathrm{n,} & = & \text{noble that is}\, \underline{~~~~}  \\[6pt]  & = & \mathrm{C\!:\!C} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{D\!:\!D} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{O\!:\!O}  \\[9pt]  \mathrm{w,} & = & \text{woman that is}\, \underline{~~~~}  \\[6pt]  & = & \mathrm{B\!:\!B} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{D\!:\!D} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{E\!:\!E}  \end{array}

One observes that the diagonal extension of \mathbf{1} is the same thing as the identity relation \mathit{1}.

Working with our smaller sample of absolute terms, we have already computed the sorts of products that apply the diagonal extension of an absolute term to another absolute term, for instance, these products:

\begin{array}{lllll}  \mathrm{m},\!\mathrm{n}  & = & \text{man that is noble}  & = & \mathrm{C} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{O}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{n},\!\mathrm{m}  & = & \text{noble that is a man}  & = & \mathrm{C} ~+\!\!,~ \mathrm{O}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{w},\!\mathrm{n}  & = & \text{woman that is noble}  & = & \mathrm{D}  \\[6pt]  \mathrm{n},\!\mathrm{w}  & = & \text{noble that is a woman}  & = & \mathrm{D}  \end{array}

This exercise gave us a bit of practical insight into why the commutative law holds for logical conjunction.

Further insight into the laws that govern this realm of logic, and the underlying reasons why they apply, might be gained by systematically working through the whole variety of different products that are generated by the operational means in sight, namely, the products obtained by appending a comma to each of the terms in \{ \mathbf{1}, \mathrm{m}, \mathrm{n}, \mathrm{w} \} and then applying the relative term that results to each of those same terms in \{ \mathbf{1}, \mathrm{m}, \mathrm{n}, \mathrm{w} \}.

But before we try to explore this territory more systematically, let us equip our intuitions with the forms of graphical and matrical representation that served us so well in our previous adventures.

This entry was posted in Boole, Boolean Algebra, Boolean Functions, Logic, Logic of Relatives, Mathematics, Peirce, Relation Theory, Semiotics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Peirce’s 1870 “Logic Of Relatives” • Comment 9.4

  1. Pingback: Survey of Relation Theory • 3 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s