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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Charles Sanders Peirce and consciousness


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons


Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) was a philosopher and psychologist who is often regarded as the 'father of pragmatism'. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says,


"Peirce held that the continuity of space, time, ideation, feeling, and perception is an irreducible deliverance of science, and that an adequate conception of the continuous is an extremely important part of all the sciences."


The rest of this post is some quotes from Peirce.




"By 'semiosis', I mean... an action or influence, which is or involves, a cooperation of 3 subjects such as a sign, its object and its interpretant..." (Pragmatism, 1907)


"The entire universe is perfused with signs if it is not composed exclusively of signs." (Quoted in Essays in Zoosemiotics by Thomas Sebeok)


"The index asserts nothing; it only says 'there!'. It takes hold of our eyes as it were and forcibly directs them to a particular object and there it stops." (On the Algebra of Logic, 1885)


"Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for." (The Architecture of Theories, 1891)


"The one primary and fundamental law of mental action consists in a tendency to generalization." (The Architecture of Theories, 1891)


"All the evolution we know of proceeds from the vague to the definite." (Collected Papers, 1931-1958 posthumous)




"Consciousness must essentially cover an interval of time; for if it did not we could gain no knowledge of time and not merely no veracious cognition of it, but no conception whatever." (The Law of Mind, 1892)


"...instantaneous feelings flow together in a continuum of feeling, which has in a modified degree the peculiar vivacity of feeling and has gained generality." (The Law of Mind, 1892)


"Qualities of feelings show myriad-fold variety, far beyond what the psychologists admit." (Pragmatism and Pragmaticism, 1903)


"The recognition by one person of another's personality takes place by means to some extent identical to the means by which they are conscious of their own personality." (The Law of Mind, 1892)




"An 'argument' is any process of thought reasonably tending to produce a definite belief. An 'argumentation' is an argument proceeding upon definitely formulated premises." (A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God, 1908)