- A more fundamental term is proposition, which is informally defined as the “meaning” of a sentence. That meaning is usually analyzed as comprehension (also known as intension) and extension.
The easier-on-the-eyes blog copy of my first Discussion post, from which point it is easier to follow the links to the first six Selections from Peirce, is here:
The word proposition occurs only twice in the first six Selections, once in Selection 2 and once in Selection 4, so maybe it’s worth our pausing to see how Peirce uses the word in this place and time:
The third and last kind of representations are symbols or general representations. They connote attributes and so connote them as to determine what they denote. To this class belong all words and all conceptions. Most combinations of words are also symbols. A proposition, an argument, even a whole book may be, and should be, a single symbol. (Peirce 1866, p. 468)
Accordingly, if we are engaged in symbolizing and we come to such a proposition as “Neat, swine, sheep, and deer are herbivorous”, we know firstly that the disjunctive term may be replaced by a true symbol. (Peirce 1866, p. 469)
For now I’ll just add those two observations to the hopper and we can take up the issue of propositions in more detail as it arises in the relevant context.
It is good John Sowa read us the “Freedom Of Interpretation Act” right at the start, as it will serve us in good stead on down the road, but again I’ll have to leave its consequences until a few folks have had a chance to delve further into Peirce’s text, at which point I think its significance will become clear.
cc: Peirce List