## Logical Graphs, Iconicity, Interpretation • Discussion 1

JM:
I’m impressed that you have read Ricoeur — my impression is that Americans don’t have much time for Continental philosophy (a huge generalisation of course).

Have you looked at Habermas?  He uses Peirce’s work as well as hermeneutics (mainly Gadamer) and critical theory to come up with what he calls a theory of communicative action.  He also called it “universal pragmatics” at one time as a nod to both Chomsky and semiotics.

Dear John,

That observation from Ricoeur’s Conflict of Interpretations comes from a time when Susan Awbrey and I were exploring the synergies of action research, critical thinking, classical and post-modern hermeneutics, and C.S. Peirce’s triadic relational semiotics.  We benefited greatly from our study of Gadamer, Habermas, Ricoeur and a little more from Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, aided by the panoramic surveys of Richard J. Bernstein.  All that led to a paper we gave at a conference on Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences, subsequently published as “Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry” (doc) (pdf).

I found Ricoeur’s comment fitting in the present connection because it speaks to the way identical modulations of a medium may convey different messages to different cultures and contexts of communication.  Conversely, conveying the same message to different cultures and contexts of communication may require different modulations of the same medium.

That is precisely the situation we observe in the Table from Episode 1, for ease of reference repeated below.  The objects to be conveyed are the 16 boolean functions on 2 variables, whose venn diagrams appear in Column 1.  And we have the two cultures of interpreters, Entitative and Existential, whose graphical and parenthetical forms of expression for the boolean functions are shown in Column 2 and Column 3, respectively.

$\text{Boolean Functions and Logical Graphs on Two Variables}$

### References

• Awbrey, J.L., and Awbrey, S.M. (Autumn 1995), “Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry”, Inquiry : Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 15(1), 40–52.  ArchiveJournal.  Online (doc) (pdf).
• Awbrey, J.L., and Awbrey, S.M. (June 1992), “Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry”, The Eleventh International Human Science Research Conference, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan.

### Resources

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