Re: [-empyre-] C. S. Peirce and Code
On this, perhaps look at the extended discussions of codework and the
analog/digital on the plaintext wiki. I believe Peirce was part of the
>>> firstname.lastname@example.org 10/15/2005 5:26:40 AM >>>
The question is, in terms of Code and the potentials it brings about
(as idea and code intermingle to provide the experience for the
reader/participant) do we need to develop new language and approaches
related to our understanding of digital Writing? Who best addresses
this at this time?
I asked Marcus off list to talk about his ideas on Pierce and how
they might be applied to our current subject. I wonder if he might
answer here in more detail (although he is busy with the list itself).
Giselle may also want to talk about this.
Peirce defines Semiosis:
By Semiosis I mean an action, an influence, which is, or involves, a
co-operation of three subjects, such as a sign, its object and its
interpretant, this tri-relative influence not being in anyway
resolvable into actions between pairs. (Peirce, 1931, p.484)
I will often return to Peirce's definition of the sign, because it is
sufficiently open and all of my media-elements can be considered as
signs in terms of this definition:
A sign [or representation] stands for something to the idea which it
produces, or modifies. Or, it is a vehicle conveying into the mind
something from without. That for which it stands is called its
object; that which it conveys, its meaning; and the idea to which it
gives rise, its interpretant. (Peirce, 1931, p.171)
Peirce points toward part of the problem:
But an endless series of representations, each representing the one
behind it, may be conceived to have an absolute object at its limit.
The meaning of a representation can be nothing but a representation.
In fact it is nothing but the representation itself conceived as
stripped of irrelevant clothing. But this clothing never can be
completely stripped off; it is only changed for some more diaphanous.
So there is an infinite regression here. Finally, the interpretant is
nothing but another representation to which the torch of truth is
handed along; and as representation, it has its interpretant again.
Lo, another infinite series. (Peirce, 1931, p.171)
PEIRCE, C. 1931. Collected Papers, Volume I-VIII. Cambridge: Harvard
PEIRCE, C. 1966. Selected Writings. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966
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