Sign Relations • Anthesis

Thus, if a sunflower, in turning towards the sun, becomes by that very act fully capable, without further condition, of reproducing a sunflower which turns in precisely corresponding ways toward the sun, and of doing so with the same reproductive power, the sunflower would become a Representamen of the sun.

— C.S. Peirce, Collected Papers, CP 2.274

In his picturesque illustration of a sign relation, along with his tracing of a corresponding sign process, or semiosis, Peirce uses the technical term representamen for his concept of a sign, but the shorter word is precise enough, so long as one recognizes its meaning in a particular theory of signs is given by a specific definition of what it means to be a sign.


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This entry was posted in C.S. Peirce, Logic, Logic of Relatives, Mathematics, Peirce, Peirce's Categories, Philosophy, Pragmatic Semiotic Information, Pragmatism, Relation Theory, Semiotics, Sign Relations, Thirdness, Triadic Relations, Triadicity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Sign Relations • Anthesis

  1. Poor Richard says:

    A pretty ambiguous sign, since sunflowers represent so many other things.  One might be forgiven for failing to notice their heliotropism.

    • Jon Awbrey says:

      I’m working at reviewing and revising some pieces I’ve rewritten two score times over the last … lost count of years … and that bit above is one of my favorite epigraphs.  But I take it as an allegorical figure whose purpose is to illustrate a certain form of relation, and not to be taken too literally.  Between the epigraph and the epilogue comes a lot more to say … I’ll be getting to that directly …

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