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32. Excerpts from Letters to Lady Welby (1906–08)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub


L 463 and Welby Collection, York University. [The first excerpt comes from L 463:98–102, a letter-draft composed in the early spring of 1906; it was published in Semiotics and Significs, pp. 196–97. The second comes from a letter dated 23 December 1908, also published in Semiotics and Significs, pp. 80–85. The third comes from L 463:132–46, a letter-draft begun a few days before Christmas 1908; published in CP 8.342–76.] Peirce’s letters to Lady Welby are among the richest records of the evolution of his semiotic thought. In the first excerpt, we learn that there are two semiotic objects and three interpretants, and we meet with the striking idea of the commens, that fused mind of utterer and interpreter without which there can be no communication. We also learn that the dynamic object, the object of experience, though not in the sign, is not outside the mind. In the 1908 segments, Peirce delivers his famous “sop to Cerberus”—his insertion of the phrase “upon a person” in his definition of “Sign”—and builds the case for his ten trichotomies. In the final postscript he diagrams a ten-fold classification of signs based on the modalities of Idea, Occurrence, and Habit.

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Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF



Lessons in Practical Logic

MS 164: Winter 1869-1870

Lesson 1

The object of this course is to teach something of the art of investigating the truth.

It is really a question of little consequence whether this is a proper definition of logic or not. That is a mere question of words; but men who have not thoroughly studied logic are so apt to confound questions of words and questions of fact—both considering verbal discussions as real discussions and real discussions as merely verbal,—that

I shall do well to say a few words in defence of the name that I have given to this course of lessons. And besides, I am perhaps bound to show that the subject to which the instruction is really to relate is the same as that advertized.

Now if you examine Hamilton's logic or any of those logics which are the immediate product of pure Kantianism as his was (—not his peculiar system but his lectures in which his system does not appear as it was worked up later) you will find logic defined as the Science of Thought as Thought—or something of that sort. This is an extremely different conception of the subject from that with which I set out. Take for example Mr. Mansel's admirable Prolegomena

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3. Evening Conversation: In a Prisoner of War Camp in Russia, between a Younger and an Older Man

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

YOUNGER MAN: As we were marching to our workplace this morning, out of the rustling of the expansive forest I was suddenly overcome by something healing. Throughout the entire day I meditated on wherein this something that heals could rest.

OLDER MAN: Perhaps it is what is inexhaustible of the self-veiling expanse that abides in these forests of Russia.

YOUNGER MAN: You probably mean that the capacious, which prevails in the expanse, brings to us something freeing.

OLDER MAN: I do not only mean the capaciousness in the expanse, but also that this expanse leads us out and forth.

YOUNGER MAN: The capaciousness of the forests swings out into a concealed distance, but at the same time swings back to us again, without ending with us.

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32. Algebra of the Copula [Version 1]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


Algebra of the Copula

[Version 1]

Spring 1891

Houghton Library

Logical quantity has but two values, t the true and f the false. But one operation is necessary, defined as follows: a. If b is true, a R b is true. b. Either a or a R b is true. g. If a and a R b are true, b is true.

This gives the following: fRtϭt



t R f ϭ f.

Any proposition written is supposed to be true. In writing propositions parentheses are employed to enclose compounds to be treated as single letters in combining them with letters or other such compounds. These may be called clauses. Parentheses ending clauses or propositions are omitted, and the clauses they would have included are not commonly regarded as such. The last letter of a proposition or clause is called its consequent. Its other immediate parts, letters or clauses, are called antecedents. Thus in the proposition a R [(b R c ) R d R e] R f the antecedents are a and (b R c ) R d R e, and the antecedents of the latter clause are (b R c ) and d.


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37. Comparison of the Metre with a Wave-Length of Light

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF

Comparison of Metre with Wave-Length, 1881-82


Comparison of the Metre with a

Wave-Length of Light

MS 403: Fall 1881-Summer 1882

Part I.

Metallic bars used as standards of length having more than once been found to have changed their lengths in the course of years, three different means of measuring such changes have been suggested. First, the standard length may be marked upon the surface of a metallic tube or bottle, and the amount of water at 4° C which this bottle holds may be determined by weighing. Supposing, then, that the metal undergoes a permanent expansion or contraction equally in its three dimensions, the mass of water it contains will be altered three times as much as its length. Second, the length of the standard bar may be compared with that of the seconds pendulum at a fixed station. Third, the standard length may be compared with that of a wave of light identified by a line in the solar spectrum. The present work is an attempt to apply this third method.

The whole operation has two parts; the first consisting in the measurement of the angular deviation of a ray of light in traversing under fixed conditions a given diffraction-grating, the second in the comparison of the width of the grating with the length of a metre.

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19. Notes on the Question on the Existence of anExternal World

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


Notes on the Question of the

Existence of an External World c. 1890

Houghton Library

1. The idealistic argument turns upon the assumption that certain things are absolutely “present,” namely what we have in mind at the moment, and that nothing else can be immediately, that is, otherwise than inferentially known. When this is once granted, the idealist has no difficulty in showing that that external existence which we cannot know immediately we cannot know, at all. Some of the arguments used for this purpose are of little value, because they only go to show that our knowledge of an external world is fallible; now there is a world of difference between fallible knowledge and no knowledge. However, I think it would have to be admitted as a matter of logic that if we have no immediate perception of a non-ego, we can have no reason to admit the supposition of an existence so contrary to all experience as that would in that case be.

But what evidence is there that we can immediately know only what is “present” to the mind? The idealists generally treat this as self-evident; but, as Clifford jestingly says, “it is evident” is a phrase which only means “we do not know how to prove.” The proposition that we can immediately perceive only what is present seems to me parallel to that other vulgar prejudice that “a thing cannot act where it is not.” An opinion which can only defend itself by such a sounding phrase is pretty sure to be wrong. That a thing cannot act where it is not, is plainly an induction from ordinary experience which shows no forces except such as act through the resistance of materials, with the exception of gravity which, owing to its being the same for all bodies, does not appear in ordinary experience like a force. But further experience shows that attractions and repulsions are the universal types of forces.

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Endure the Saboteurs 4

Schuster, John P. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Steve Sheppard

CEO of Foldcraft

IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about answering your call, you will encounter, in the course of your lifetime, people who do not believe in you, who disagree with your purpose, and who resent the part of life that you embody and they do not. The call you spent time and energy discovering and work to answer authentically attracts resistance, encrusted ballast from those who live its opposite.

Answering a call will bring mentors into your life. It will also bring tormentors.

The tormentors are your saboteurs. Although they are to be avoided for as much of your lifetime as possible, they are rarely completely avoidable. For reasons often hard to fathom, in a few key chapters of your life, the saboteurs will play a major role—negating, casting doubt, and destroying your hopes.

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~ Identification

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub

Why do you identify yourself with another, with a group, with a country? Why do you call yourself a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or why do you belong to one of the innumerable sects? Religiously and politically one identifies one self with this or with that group through tradition or habit, through impulse, prejudice, imitation and laziness. This identification puts an end to all creative under standing, and then one becomes a mere tool in the hands of the party boss, the priest or the favored leader.

The other day someone said that he was a "Krishnamurtiite," whereas so-and-so belonged to another group. As he was saying it, he was utterly unconscious of the implications of this identification. He was not by any means a foolish person; he was well read, cultured and all the rest of it. Nor was he sentimental or emotional over the matter; on the contrary, he was clear and definite.

Why had he become a "Krishnamurtiite"? He had followed others, belonged to many wearisome groups and organizations, and at last found himself identified with this particular person. From what he said, it appeared that the journey was over. He had taken a stand and that was the end of the matter; he had chosen, and nothing could shake him. He would now comfortably settle down and follow eagerly all that had been said and was going to be said.

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I First Forays

Edward S. Casey Indiana University Press ePub

It is so difficult to find the beginning. Or better: it is difficult to begin at the beginning. And not try to go further back.

—Wittgenstein, On Certainty



It is evident by now that if we are to question such an entrenched tradition of neglecting memory as has just been outlined in the Introduction, a more complete grasp of the phenomenon itself is required. Without this grasp, we run the risk of spinning in free space, speculating as to the right direction in which to move. Like Kant’s dove of metaphysics, we shall cleave the air in vain unless our random groping can succeed in finding a more certain way. Just as metaphysics for Kant must become a metaphysics of experience if it is to cease to soar in sheer speculation, so we likewise shall touch earth by following the “secure path” (sicheren Gang) provided by ordinary experiences of remembering.1 It is only by the careful examination of such experiences that we shall be able to discern what is basic and distinctive about memory as we enact it unselfconsciously (and for the most part unwittingly) every day.

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14 The Gender of Evil: Maasai Experiences and Expressions

Foreword by David Parkin Edited by Will Indiana University Press ePub


Although there is an emerging scholarship in anthropology on evil (e.g., Parkin 1985a)—its symbolism, manifestations, associations, and changes over time—few scholars have explored whether gender shapes experiences and expressions of evil, and if so how. Women and men appear as agents or victims of evil acts or forces, whether as intentionally negligent mothers (Parkin 1985c) or witches (van Beek 1994), but there has been little systematic effort to analyze what evil acts, beings or forces may tell us about gender relations, or, conversely, how a gender analysis may complicate our understandings of evil. But if, as David Parkin (1985c 10–11) argues, “evil . . . denotes an area of discourse concerning human suffering, human existential predicaments and the attempted resolution of these through other humans and through non-human agencies, including a God or gods,” then more attention to which humans—men and women, young and old—are implicated and how offers a more embedded, embodied account of evil.

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7 Accomplishing Oneself and Accomplishing Things: Value in a World of Meaning

Yang Guorong Indiana University Press ePub

FREE INDIVIDUALITY, HUMAN capacities, and inner state of mind most directly involve the personal space of the self but also in a broader sense the distinction and interaction between the individual domain and the public sphere. As interrelated aspects of the social world, the individual domain and its connection to the public sphere also sets the concrete background for the historical process of accomplishing oneself and accomplishing things. As the actual mode of being, accomplishing oneself and accomplishing things is never separable from diverse social resources, and the acquisition, possession, and distribution of resources involves the issue of social justice. Since accomplishing oneself and accomplishing things is one unified process, the individual domain is inseparable from the public sphere as self-realization is from social justice. Involving the transformation of society, justice is itself historical, that is, it will be overcome in the course of historical evolution. With the elevated growth of resources and material wealth as its historical precondition, the genuine realization of the value of the being of humans is concretely exhibited in human being freely developing itself with the aim of refining itself and refining the world. Through the interaction of the free development of each with the free development of all, accomplishing oneself and accomplishing things possesses deeper significance as the historical genesis of a world of meaning.

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Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub


POWWOW ½ MILE. At the hand-drawn cardboard sign I turn from the grid road near Wanuskewin, follow a bumpy track over the prairie, and park at the far end of a long row of cars. I stroll among wailing children and unhurried adults, and their dogs, and climb up to the bleachers. And sit, one of three white faces in the crowd, waiting for the powwow to begin.

Beside the empty space, a cluster of men sits on the earth around a drum. They test the instrument’s skin with their sticks, and in a moment the pounding has begun.

The dancers enter the ring, elders and youngsters together, making their way slowly around the centre pole, some in elaborate headdress, all in a jubilation of colours. The drummers’ voices scale and fall — hi-ya, hey-you, don’t be left out. Newcomers join by ones and twos, a half-dozen partners join abreast and revolve in slow radial sweeps, stepping fancy to the urgency of the singers’ cries and the drum’s steadfast beat. The hair rises on my neck, my heart throbs in rhythm, and the circle fills until it brims with colour.

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1. Historical Events and Historical Research

Christina M. Gschwandtner Indiana University Press ePub

Marion uses the term “event” in two different but closely connected senses in his work, especially in his presentation in Being Given. On the one hand, he speaks of the event as a characteristic of all given phenomena: phenomena give themselves as events, they are “being given.” He develops this in §17 of Being Given as the fifth characteristic of all phenomena alongside anamorphosis, arrival, incident, and fait accompli. Most prominently, however, the event is one type of saturated phenomenon, namely the phenomenon saturated according to quantity. The phenomenon of the historical or cultural event gives “too much” information, it can never be quantified, never be recreated. The event is overwhelming in quantity. This “giving too much” is, of course, to some extent also a characteristic of all saturated phenomena. Thus, although Marion draws distinctions between the four different types of saturated phenomena, depending on whether they saturate our sense of quantity, of quality, of relation, or of modality, at the same time all saturated phenomena give too much and are events in some sense.

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37. James’s Psychology

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


James’s Psychology

2 and 9 July 1891

The Nation

The Principles of Psychology. By William James, Professor of

Psychology in Harvard University. [American Science Series,

Advanced Course.] Henry Holt & Co. 1890. 2 vols., 8vo, pp. xii

+ 689, and vi + 704.


Upon this vast work no definitive judgment can be passed for a long time; yet it is probably safe to say that it is the most important contribution that has been made to the subject for many years. Certainly it is one of the most weighty productions of American thought. The directness and sharpness with which we shall state some objections to it must be understood as a tribute of respect.

Beginning with the most external and insignificant characters, we cannot much admire it as a piece of bookmaking; for it misses the unity of an essay, and almost that of a connected series of essays, while not attaining the completeness of a thorough treatise. It is a large assortment of somewhat heterogeneous articles loosely tied up in one bag, with tendencies towards sprawling.

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10 The Chiasma and the Chōra

John W. M. Krummel Indiana University Press ePub

ON THE BASIS of the previous two chapters one might surmise the inadequacy of Nishida’s appropriation of Hegelian (and, in general, nineteenth-century German philosophical) terminology to capture the content of what he strove to express. The matter that he attempted to expound through the language of dialectical philosophy slips away from its structure, ex-ploding beyond any bounds erected to systematize it. But neither would simply repeating the paradoxical and parabolic modes of traditional Zen discourse be satisfying philosophically. The two aspects of Nishida’s thinking that I think confound traditional metaphysical discourse despite the fact that they are essential to his mature philosophy are what I call the “chiasmatic” aspect of, or implied in, his so-called dialectic (benshōhō ) on the one hand, and the chōra that embraces or enfolds it while expressing itself in it, on the other. Combining these two terms, I will take the liberty in the following of presenting Nishida’s mature philosophy, what he calls his “absolute dialectic” (zettai benshōhō ), as a “chiasmatic chorology” in an attempt to better characterize the real matter of his thinking and to suggest that therein lies Nishida’s philosophical contribution that makes his work more than a mere appropriation or development of Hegelian dialectics or Mahāyāna non-dualism. I argue that it is because of its chiasmatic and chōratic nature that the Sache he strove to capture and express through the language of dialectical philosophy perpetually slips away from any systemic bounds.1

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