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May 5, 2023, 2:00:52 PMMay 5

to Cybernetic Communications, Laws of Form, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG

Cf: Systems of Interpretation • 1

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/05/systems-of-interpretation-1-2/

All,

Questions have arisen about the different styles of diagrams

and figures used to represent triadic sign relations in Peircean

semiotics. What do they mean? Which style is best? Among the

most popular pictures some use geometric triangles while others

use the three‑pronged graphs Peirce used in his logical graphs

to represent triadic relations.

Diagrams and figures, like any signs, can serve to communicate

the intended interpretants and thus to coordinate the conduct of

interpreters toward the intended objects — but only in communities of

interpretation where the conventions of interpretation are understood.

Conventions of interpretation are by comparison far more difficult to

communicate.

That brings us to the first question we have to ask about the possibility

of communication in this area, namely, what conventions of interpretation

are needed to make sense of these diagrams, figures, and graphs?

Regards,

Jon

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/05/systems-of-interpretation-1-2/

All,

Questions have arisen about the different styles of diagrams

and figures used to represent triadic sign relations in Peircean

semiotics. What do they mean? Which style is best? Among the

most popular pictures some use geometric triangles while others

use the three‑pronged graphs Peirce used in his logical graphs

to represent triadic relations.

Diagrams and figures, like any signs, can serve to communicate

the intended interpretants and thus to coordinate the conduct of

interpreters toward the intended objects — but only in communities of

interpretation where the conventions of interpretation are understood.

Conventions of interpretation are by comparison far more difficult to

communicate.

That brings us to the first question we have to ask about the possibility

of communication in this area, namely, what conventions of interpretation

are needed to make sense of these diagrams, figures, and graphs?

Regards,

Jon

May 7, 2023, 4:44:48 PMMay 7

to Cybernetic Communications, Laws of Form, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG

Cf: Systems of Interpretation • 2

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/07/systems-of-interpretation-2-2/

All,

Let's start as simply as possible. The following Figure

is typical of many I have used to illustrate sign relations

from the time I first began studying Peirce's theory of signs.

Figure 2. An Elementary Sign Relation

• https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/elementary-sign-relation.png

The above variant comes from a paper Susan Awbrey and I presented at

a conference in 1999, a revised version of which was published in 2001.

As the drafter of that drawing I can speak with authority about the

artist's intentions in drawing it and also about the conventions of

interpretation forming the matrix of its conception and delivery.

Just by way of refreshing my own memory, here is how we set it up —

Figure 2 represents an “elementary sign relation”. It is a single

transaction taking place among 3 entities, the object o, the sign s,

and the interpretant sign i, the association of which is typically

represented by means of the ordered triple (o, s, i).

One of the interpretive conventions implied in that setup is hallowed

by long tradition, going back to the earliest styles of presentation in

mathematics. In it one draws a figure intended as “representative” of

many figures. Regarded as a concrete drawing the figure is naturally

imperfect, individual, peculiar, and special but it's meant to be taken

purely as a representative of its class — generic, ideal, and typical.

That is the main convention of interpretation which goes into giving

diagrams and figures their significant power.

References —

Conceptual Barriers to Creating Integrative Universities

• https://www.academia.edu/1266492/Conceptual_Barriers_to_Creating_Integrative_Universities

Organizations of Learning or Learning Organizations:

The Challenge of Creating Integrative Universities

• https://arisbe.sitehost.iu.edu/menu/library/aboutcsp/awbrey/integrat.htm

Regards,

Jon

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/07/systems-of-interpretation-2-2/

All,

Let's start as simply as possible. The following Figure

is typical of many I have used to illustrate sign relations

from the time I first began studying Peirce's theory of signs.

Figure 2. An Elementary Sign Relation

• https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/elementary-sign-relation.png

The above variant comes from a paper Susan Awbrey and I presented at

a conference in 1999, a revised version of which was published in 2001.

As the drafter of that drawing I can speak with authority about the

artist's intentions in drawing it and also about the conventions of

interpretation forming the matrix of its conception and delivery.

Just by way of refreshing my own memory, here is how we set it up —

Figure 2 represents an “elementary sign relation”. It is a single

transaction taking place among 3 entities, the object o, the sign s,

and the interpretant sign i, the association of which is typically

represented by means of the ordered triple (o, s, i).

One of the interpretive conventions implied in that setup is hallowed

by long tradition, going back to the earliest styles of presentation in

mathematics. In it one draws a figure intended as “representative” of

many figures. Regarded as a concrete drawing the figure is naturally

imperfect, individual, peculiar, and special but it's meant to be taken

purely as a representative of its class — generic, ideal, and typical.

That is the main convention of interpretation which goes into giving

diagrams and figures their significant power.

References —

Conceptual Barriers to Creating Integrative Universities

• https://www.academia.edu/1266492/Conceptual_Barriers_to_Creating_Integrative_Universities

Organizations of Learning or Learning Organizations:

The Challenge of Creating Integrative Universities

• https://arisbe.sitehost.iu.edu/menu/library/aboutcsp/awbrey/integrat.htm

Regards,

Jon

May 10, 2023, 5:28:23 PMMay 10

to Cybernetic Communications, Laws of Form, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG

Cf: Systems of Interpretation • 3

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/10/systems-of-interpretation-3-2/

Figure 2. An Elementary Sign Relation

• https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/elementary-sign-relation-1.0.png

That “triskelion” stick-figure for an elementary sign relation

or individual triple (o, s, i) is about the simplest possible.

Susan Awbrey and I used a less skeletal figure in an earlier paper,

where our aim was to articulate the commonalities Peirce's concept

of a sign relation shares with its archetype in Aristotle.

Figure 1. The Sign Relation in Aristotle

• https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/awbrey-awbrey-1995-e280a2-figure-1.png

Here is the corresponding passage from “On Interpretation”.

❝Words spoken are symbols or signs (symbola) of affections or

impressions (pathemata) of the soul (psyche); written words

are the signs of words spoken. As writing, so also is speech

not the same for all races of men. But the mental affections

themselves, of which these words are primarily signs (semeia),

are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also the objects

(pragmata) of which those affections are representations or

likenesses, images, copies (homoiomata).❞ (De Interp. i. 16a4).

Reference —

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.

Journal ( https://www.pdcnet.org/inquiryct/content/inquiryct_1995_0015_0001_0040_0052 )

Online (doc) ( https://www.academia.edu/1266493/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry )

Online (pdf) ( https://www.academia.edu/57812482/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry )

Regards,

Jon

https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2023/05/10/systems-of-interpretation-3-2/

Figure 2. An Elementary Sign Relation

That “triskelion” stick-figure for an elementary sign relation

or individual triple (o, s, i) is about the simplest possible.

Susan Awbrey and I used a less skeletal figure in an earlier paper,

where our aim was to articulate the commonalities Peirce's concept

of a sign relation shares with its archetype in Aristotle.

Figure 1. The Sign Relation in Aristotle

• https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/awbrey-awbrey-1995-e280a2-figure-1.png

Here is the corresponding passage from “On Interpretation”.

❝Words spoken are symbols or signs (symbola) of affections or

impressions (pathemata) of the soul (psyche); written words

are the signs of words spoken. As writing, so also is speech

not the same for all races of men. But the mental affections

themselves, of which these words are primarily signs (semeia),

are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also the objects

(pragmata) of which those affections are representations or

likenesses, images, copies (homoiomata).❞ (De Interp. i. 16a4).

Reference —

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.

Journal ( https://www.pdcnet.org/inquiryct/content/inquiryct_1995_0015_0001_0040_0052 )

Online (doc) ( https://www.academia.edu/1266493/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry )

Online (pdf) ( https://www.academia.edu/57812482/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry )

Regards,

Jon

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