Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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via SpiekerBlog ...

vagueness vs. generality (Peirce EP2:342 & EP2:350)

found this excerpt via Gnox on Peirceforums.

" I think it's clear from EP2:350 ff. that vagueness and generality are both varieties of "objective indeterminacy". My question about "subjective generality" referred to this passage (EP:342):

[[[ ...there are two ways of being general. A statue of a soldier on some village monument, in his overcoat and with his musket, is for each of a hundred families the image of its uncle, its sacrifice to the Union.

That statue, then, though it is itself single, represents any one man of whom a certain predicate may be true. It is objectively general. The word "soldier", whether spoken or written, is general in the same way; while the name "George Washington", is not so. But each of these two terms remains one and the same noun, whether it be spoken or written, and whenever and wherever it be spoken or written. This noun is not an existing thing: it is a type, or form, to which objects, both those that are externally existent and those which are imagined, may conform, but which none of them can exactly be.

This is subjective generality.

The pragmaticistic purport is general in both ways. ]]]

The statue is objectively general because the interpreter has the privilege of applying it to the object of his choice (within appropriate limits, of course). "Subjective generality", on the other hand seems to be an alternate way of referring to the type/token relationship -- the difference between forms and existing things -- as it pertains to the sign itself rather than its object.

[[[ EP:350-3

...It seems a strange thing, when one comes to ponder over it, that a sign should leave its interpreter to supply a part of its meaning; but the explanation of the phenomenon lies in the fact that the entire universe, -- not merely the universe of existents, but all that wider universe, embracing the universe of existents as a part, the universe which we are all accustomed to refer to as "the truth", -- that all this universe is perfused with signs, if it is not composed exclusively of signs. Let us note this in passing as having a bearing upon the question of pragmaticism. ]]]

It is not clear to me (1( how the universe being perfused with signs explains the phenomenon of generality; or (2( what bearing this has upon the question of pragmaticism. "


''''You are really the natural form of emptiness, so there is no need to fear.[Tibetan Bok of the Dead]""


grey - Myself
black - Gnox
bold - Peirce
[ e m p t y / white space ] - Yourself ( the reader / interpretant )


*the general* ==
the objectively general, to which the princile of excluded middle does not apply, has its sign chosen by the interpreter
(P's ex. Man is mortal. Which man? Any one -- or all ! -- you, the interpreter, choose).

Also, the general is not particular, but (tends toward) precision. In logical notation, the upside down A.

*the vague* ==
the objectively indeterminate, to which the principle of contradiction does not apply, has its sign in some other sign
(P's ex. I say some man is conceited. Which man? You shall -- perhaps! -- later learn; but the utterer, NOT the interpreter, has the right to choose which man).

Also, the vague is not precise, but (tends towards) particularity. Upside down E.

*the determinate*==
the objectively determinate, to which both the above mentioned principles apply, is singular, has its sign in some particular & precise individual
(GR's ex., my immediate object is of this dynamic object, the man before me; the utterer IS the thing-itself, so to speak).

Upside down E!


§ Categorially §

E -- vague, indefinite, indeterminate yet particular, 1ns

|>A -- general, in the universal sense, 3ns

E! -- singular, determinate 2ns

§ Vectorially §

*semiosis* ( the object determines the sign for the interpreter )