Doubt, Uncertainty, Dispersion, Entropy : 1

Re: Peirce List DiscussionStephen Rose

Just a note to anchor a series of recurring thoughts that come to mind in relation to a Peirce List discussion of entropy etc., but I won’t have much to say on the bio-chemico-physico-thermo-dynamic side of things, so I’ll spin this off under a separate heading.  My interest in this topic arises mainly from my long-time work on inquiry driven systems (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6), where understanding the intertwined measures of uncertainty and information is critical to comprehending the dynamics of inquiry.

In a famous passage, Peirce says that inquiry begins with the “irritation of doubt” and ends when the irritation is soothed.  Here we find the same compound of affective and cognitive ingredients that we find in Aristotle’s original recipe for the sign relation.

When we view inquiry as a process taking place in a system the first thing we have to ask is what are the properties or variables that we need to consider in describing the state of the system at any given time.  Taking a Peircean perspective on a system capable of undergoing anything like an inquiry process, we are led to ask what are the conditions for the possibility of a system having “states of uncertainty” and “states of information” as state variables.

This entry was posted in C.S. Peirce, Dispersion, Doubt, Entropy, Information, Information Theory, Inquiry, Inquiry Driven Systems, Inquiry Into Inquiry, Peirce, Peirce List, Uncertainty and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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