Project MUSE - Kinds of Determinants of Semiosis

                             Slow as Molasses Press

Project MUSE - Kinds of Determinants of Semiosis: "I conclude from the examination of an example of semiosis that even though Peirce himself typically talks of two types of causation being involved, usually referred to as “efficient” and “final,” he could have—and for completeness should have—spoken of three types, the third corresponding to the classical conception of “formal” causation. (A Peircean modification of the classical four-cause scheme requires abandonment of the notion of the fourth or “material” cause as that was understood by Aristotle. This fourth factor has no functional counterpart in Peirce’s philosophy because its function in the explanation of natural processes was bound up with the cyclical character of Aristotle’s conception of such processes, which has no appropriately close parallel in Peirce’s philosophy at the level of the generic conception of a sign.) The following is not textual exegesis and no textual basis is cited for it since it is based rather on my overall understanding of semiosis, as I have acquired that from studying Peirce."

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My comment. The notion of causation for semiosis is a red herring. Semiosis, if it means anything at all, is best seen as a comprehensive term for inferences that we make regarding those facets of perception and understanding that we can describe on the basis of our experience. In other words, semiosis would be what is taking place as I type this little squib. (An examination of what seems real to us.) It is not infrequent for philosophy to move beyond what seems to be reasonable limits to provide gravitas to various processes. Perhaps there will be yet a new notion that wishes to comprehend some other possibility within our reality. We must keep wheels turning after all. But on the subject of such things, to infer causations is to look past the borders of the reality we presently know.