Alain Létourneau asks if I have any thoughts on Peirce’s Rhetoric. I venture the following.
Classically speaking, rhetoric (as distinguished from dialectic) treats forms of argument which “consider the audience” — which take the condition of the addressee into account. But that is just what Peirce’s semiotic does in extending our theories of signs from dyadic to triadic sign relations. We often begin our approach to Peirce’s semiotics by saying he puts the interpreter back into the relation of signs to their objects. But even Aristotle had already done that much. Peirce’s innovation was to apply the pragmatic maxim, clarifying the characters of interpreters in terms of their effects — their interpretants — in the flow of semiosis.
- Awbrey, J.L., and Awbrey, S.M. (1995), “Interpretation as Action • The Risk of Inquiry”, Inquiry : Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 15(1), 40–52.
Archive. Journal. Online (doc) (pdf).
- Pragmatic Maxim • Sign Relations • Triadic Relations • Relation Theory