Charles Peirce and the Logic Of Community
Hubert Phillip Joswick
Source: DAI, 48, no. 10A, (1987): 2662
My dissertation examines the nature of Peirce's community of inquiry as a function of his semiotic theory. I argue that the process of interpretation itself defines the community and that Peirce's semiotic attempts to describe that process by which the interpretive community is led to the final, true opinion. In my first chapter, I show that Peirce's doctrine of signs can be applied to his own texts. I argue that his comments on reading embody and enact notions of community. In Chapter Two, I discuss the relation of Peirce's biography to the meaning of community.
Community for Peirce is founded upon the inner life of inquiry which semiotic describes; I argue that Peirce himself lived out a life of inquiry in complicated ways. Chapter Three examines traditional criticisms of Peirce's social theory of truth and meaning. I argue that the idea of community ultimately depends on the identification of individual interpreters with the interest of scientific inquiry; I then suggest that Peirce's reading strategies are designed to educate the reader to this internal life of inquiry. In Chapter Four I show how semiotic is a theory of reasoning which differs from the formal logic of Russell and the transcendental logic of Kant. I then suggest that Peirce wants to apply mathematical ideas to the reading of philosophy. Chapter five analyzes the nature of the sign and the role of the icon in semiosis. I show how the dialogical structure of the sign is reflected in Peirce's semiotic classifications. I conclude in Chapter Six with Peirce's ethics of terminology and stress the interconnection between sign, community and interpreter. I argue, finally, that the logical inner life of the interpreter is the most essential aspect of Peirce's theory of community.
Descriptor: AMERICAN STUDIES
Accession No: AAG8729083