Peirce’s Categories • 7

Re: Peirce List DiscussionBen Udell

The week before last my home office got tossed like a salad into the middle of our bedroom floor while workmen worked on various things that needed re-working.  There’s probably a metaphor of brute secondness there, I don’t know.  One of the unintended but beneficial (in the long run) side-effects of all that uproar in the Awbrey household is that books and notes and papers at the bottom of their respective categories of stacks all got flipped to the tops of their heaps with the causal consequence that I am now busy re-acquainting myself with the unfinished business of a decade or more ago.  So it may be a while before I can manage to get any sort of concentration again.

By way of interlusory comments then …

Earlier on I said a little about what I mean by charitable interpretation and just now I said a little more about how I understand critical interpretation.  Before you can agree or disagree with someone you have to figure out what he or she is intending to say.  That is the question we have to ask with respect to the corpus of Peirce’s texts.

Most readers of Peirce have their pet correspondences among any budget of threesomes he happens to mention and they all have their favorite snippets to support their choices.  In 50 years of following these animadversions I have seen no total agreement among the various parties, though some do agree on some.  My reading of Peirce over the years leaves me with no certainty on these scores and certainly nothing approaching the orders of axiomatic definitions and formal proofs that would privilege any one-to-one correspondences among the trios that might be fixed and unique in all contexts for all intents and purposes and times.  I find Peirce making suggestive correlations in various contexts of application and others in others.  But when he is casting the most critical reflection on the alignment of the moment I see him expressing a duly requisite doubt and then begging off with a conclusion more apology than logical proof.

My first ten years of reading Peirce were quite a struggle.  I came to college as a math and physics major.  I couldn’t say Peirce is wholly responsible for my wandering years through fields and majors as diverse as communication and computer science to psychology and philosophy, but my efforts to understand what he was saying are decidedly one of the main forces that drove me back to graduate school, first mathematics, then adding psychology again along a parallel track, then more computer science and systems engineering as I worked to program a theorem prover for his logical graphs and then broadened that into my long-running work on Inquiry Driven Systems.  But the way I read his scientific work stabilized fairly well after that first decade, and I know I have done little on the Peirce List over the last ten years but rehash what I said during the first five.

To be continued …


This entry was posted in Abstraction, C.S. Peirce, Category Theory, Logic, Logic of Relatives, Mathematics, Peirce, Peirce's Categories, Phenomenology, Pragmatism, Relation Theory, Semiotics, Thirdness, Triadic Relations, Triadicity, Type Theory and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Peirce’s Categories • 7

  1. Pingback: Survey of Precursors Of Category Theory • 1 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

  2. Pingback: Survey of Precursors Of Category Theory • 1 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

  3. Pingback: Survey of Precursors Of Category Theory • 2 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

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