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Critical Analysis of Peirce's Semiotics
and an Ontological Justification of the Concept of the Impressional
by Patrice Guinard, Ph.D.

-- translation Matyas Becvarov --

Note P.G.: This text includes chapters 16-19 and 23 of my doctoral dissertation (1993). The intent of this analysis of semiotics is to show how the impressional, the source of all astral incidence, can be articulated in a manner logically consonant with the other categories of being. The reader will perhaps perceive through reading this text that matrix-based reason advantageously complements analytical reason, which engages him to admit that, despite appearances, this text, "occasionally", relates to astrology.

1. The Ontological Triad

"Every method consists in essence of isolating and identifying its elements - the rest is nothing, and happens by itself." (Paul Valéry, Cahiers)

     Charles Sanders Peirce [1] , "the inventor of semiotics," brought forward a radical and exhaustive analysis of the notion of the sign, which can be used as a theoretical basis for any phenomenological investigation where the Peircian sign ideally designates the result of any perceptive phenomenon, be it internal or external. To the degree that the planets in astrology mark different modalities of the internal perception of reality and organize themselves, according to Kepler, along the lines of a ternary schema (cf. Thesis meae sequentiam: "The Planetaries"), Peirce's thought creates a multiplicity of triads and, in my opinion, constitutes a particularly valuable analytical perspective.

     The philosophy of this American logician remains relatively little known given its importance. Peirce published next to nothing. Almost all his works were published posthumously: his Collected Papers began to be edited twenty years after his death. Together with Nietzsche, Peirce is the other giant of metaphysics at the end of the 19th century. Nietzsche was concerned with cultural macro-phenomena (the theory of instinct, genealogy of morals and cultures, axiology, the quality of motivation, etc.); Peirce explores their micro-manifestation: the word, the expression, the logic of linguistic exchange, and so forth. Nietzsche (a Libra) give the perspective to follow in tracing genealogy; Peirce (a Virgo) effects the autopsy by revealing the underlying mechanisms.

     The object of Peircian metaphysics is the phaneron, that is to say, the ensemble of phenomena not as they manifest themselves to external perception, but as they appear to the mind. The phaneron is "the collective totality of all that which, by whatever means and in whatever sense it may be, is present to the mind without any consideration concerning whether or not it corresponds to something real." [2]  This phaneroscopic collectivity includes three types of existences, three categories of being absolutely distinct each from the others: "I recognize three universes that distinguish themselves by three modalities of being. One of these universes embraces all that which has its being within itself, except that everything present in this universe must be present to a single consciousness or capable of being present in that manner with the entirety of its Being. (...) Another universe is, firstly, that of the objects of Being as it consists in its basic reactions, and secondly, that of Facts (reactions, events, qualities, etc.) concerning those objects, about which all facts in the final analysis consist of their reactions. (...) The third universe includes the co-being of everything that is, by its nature, requisite, i.e. is a habit, a law or something expressible in a universal proposition." [3]  The first universe is ruled by chance, the second by love, the third by continuity. Hence causality belongs to the third universe, that of laws, and not to the second. [4]

     Peirce calls these three modalities of being "cenopythagorean" or "neopythagorean" categories, in hommage to the Greek philosopher who pointed out the metaphysical importance of the number: Firstness is "the mode of being of that which is what it is, positively and without reference to any thing outside itself." [5]  Secondness is the mode of being of that which is as it is "relative to something outside itself." [6]  Thirdness is the mode of being of that which puts into relationship a first and a second thing. Secondness and Thirdness exist only as a function of Firstness: Thirdness moreover necessitates the existence of Secondness. There is no implication of temporal succession in this terminology: a "first thing" (a being of Firstness) is not something which comes before. In the same manner, the three relatives or components of the sign are co-givens (cf. Infra: "The Triadic Sign"). They are simultaneously present to the mind and "in the sign."

     These ontological categories have a basis exterior to the thinking subject: they are "co-real" and "independent of our thought." [7]  Peirce understands them by means of a relational logic that underlines the fact that their character lies outside psychology. It seems impossible, however, to attribute a given phenomenon to one or the other of these categories without incidental collateral experiences of a psychological nature, because one must distinguish these categories "in the mind" in some fashion. The approach of Peirce is apparently realist, following the example of John Duns Scotus (ca. 1266-1308). The Scots Franciscan developed a ternary ontological conception that he took from Avicenna: the three real forms of Being (of what is) are the metaphysical form (quiddity) or being in itself, without any determination, the "physical" form (haeccity) or sensory being, in its individual existence, and the logical form (generality) or intelligible being, in the intellect. [8]

     I shall call these three forms from this point forward "phenomenal": state (psychic), object (physical) and sign (psycho-mental), following their function of appearance to the mind. One can easily see that for consciousness in the larger sense, state is an instance of Firstness, object of Secondness, and the sign an instance of Thirdness. For before one can recognize these phenomena as belonging to formal categories, they must first appear as forces. Peirce also suggests considering the relationship between the three logical relations that define the categories with the "three fundamental functions of the nervous system, which are firstly, the excitation of the cells; secondly, the transfer of that impulse to the nerves; thirdly, the fixation of determined tendencies under the influence of habit." [9]

     A priori every being extant (be it organism, material object, or human consciousness ...) contains a certain aspect of Firstness. To put it another way, it has the quality of being eo ipso, just as it is, with no relationship or reference to anything outside itself. Ontologically speaking, only that which is "ineffable" is pure Firstness. [10]  For the consciousness (using the larger sense of the word) that perceives, a Firstness is a "feeling," i.e. "a state that is integral at all points in time, throughout its entire duration." [11]  It is a quality of feeling in as much as it remains a simple possibility: "The qualities themselves which, in and of themselves, are pure states perhaps not necessarily manifested." [12]  A quality remains a "quality" by virtue of remaining unaffected by what can attach to it when one perceives or remembers it, and by what does not belong to the quality itself." [13]

     However, this gradation with Peirce from feeling to quality leads to confusion and implies the recognition of something precise, which is only possible if one departs from the domain of Firstness. A state can only be taken notice of, felt, experienced: if it is understood and determined in some fashion, perhaps in the form of an indefinite quality, it ceases to be a state and becomes the mental representation of a state. When Peirce evokes "the taste of quinine" he has not only established a relationship with an object (quinine), he has also brought about a mediation which applies an affect to the object. To put it in other terms, Secondness and Thirdness are already present.

     A pure being of Firstness does not have its origin in the objective world. It is a simple "psychic modification," indeterminate, a fleeting and imperceptible impression. "For example, when one remembers it, the idea one has of it is called weak and when it is before one's eyes it is called alive." [14]  To speak of a quality pertaining to a pure being of Firstness is to suppress the possibility of its existence as such, as well as its indeterminate nature. To qualify the possible is to destroy it ab ovo by processes of materialization and the semiotic representation of being. Firstness cannot be perceived by means of external manifestations, because their very existence presupposes Secondness. It can only be conceived of through the use of negative values, rather like the Deity of Johannes Eckhart: ineffable, beyond all form and all attributes. A Firstness - unrepresentable, an interior presence that cannot be seized upon, absolute in itself, admits of no kind of determination without inevitably passing into the mode of Thirdness.

     There is something within one, indistinct and immediate: that is all that one can say. It is a formulation of a pure psychic state, before the addition of the first interpretations of pleasure or displeasure. Firstness is the source of the "cogito with the 'I,'" [15]  i.e. without a movement of consciousness on the part of an entity who centralizes the multiplicity of states. Firstness relates to the incessant flux of unconscious movements in the soul, to "the total, unanalyzed impression produced by all multiplicity," [16]  to the phenomena which brush the edges of the perceptible, liminal, which do not tarry in the mind but rather move across it fleetingly. Leibnitz, in his response to Locke, emphasizes the existence of small perceptions (or unsensed perceptions): "There are, moreover, a thousand signs that lead one to see that at every moment there is an infinity of perceptions within us, but without apperception or reflection, that is to say, changes in the soul of which we are not even aware, because the impressions are either too small or too numerous or too uniform, so that they do not distinguish themselves sufficiently one from another, but when joined with the others they do not fail to make their mark and to make themselves felt at least confusedly among the rest." [17]

     Peirce realizes that he has occupied himself only with "formal elements of the phaneron." [18]  His interest becomes polarized, not on Firstness in and of itself - which gives his "anti-psychologism" -- but rather on Firstness in so far as it participates in Thirdness. The term "ideoscopy," another name for "phaneroscopy," underlines the rupture of being with its psychological and emotional roots. When Peirce defines the sign as "a first instance that interrelates with a second called its object, a triadic relation so authentic that it can determine a third, called its interpretant, to establish with its object the same triadic relation that it has itself with that same object," [19]  he forgets the original "impression" that serves as the origin of the sign, and makes of the latter a firstness. [20]  The original impression is first; the sign, in its formal representation, is last: how then could it belong to the order of the immediate, of the non-reflective, since it defines itself precisely by its mediated nature? Ontologically the sign is an end productof psychic activity. By understanding beings of Firstness as "pure, eternal possibilities," independent "of time and all materialization," [21]  Peirce ends up assimilating them to the primordial Ideas of Plato. [22]  By qualifying the informal and elusive elements that participate positively in the equilibrium of the ensemble, Peirce introduces determination into the arena of what should remain infra-mental. In so doing, he circumscribes the infinity and indefiniteness of the Possible and betrays the apeiron of Anaximander, which is something indescribable and unknowable.

     Peirce chooses to dispense with the notion of impression and recognizes the limits of ideoscopy: "If there exists a thing that communicates information without having any relation whatever to anything directly or indirectly cognizant of the person who understands that information when it is communicated to him, (...) the vehicle of that sort of information is not called, in this volume, a sign." [23]  In his classification of signs nothing appears that can be called a "pure state," "fact of intimate sensing" (Maine de Biran), or that does not refer to some object or determinate referential. Finally, there is no longer any trace of Firstness in the classification.

     The other two categories of beings pose no difficulty. A being of Secondness is "experience," born of resistance [24]  to an ego, "the experience of effort dissociated from the idea of a goal to be attained." [25]  This is the object as it is manifested by its effects, as it is perceived through experience by its resistance to consciousness. To put it another way, a being of Secondness is a fact, an extant: "Existence is this mode of being that resides in opposition to another." [26]  Secondness implies "consciousness of the action of a new feeling in the destruction of a feeling that was present before." [27]

     A being of Thirdness is a mediation between two entities, a "necessary," a "triadic relation existing between a sign, its object and the interpretative thought, itself a sign considered as constituting the mode of being of a sign." [28]  This is a law, in so far as it generalizes an ensemble of facts; it is a proposition of great significance, a mental representation. The "law" does not belong to the essence of things, it is not an intrinsic constant immanent in multiple beings: it is the product of social convention or mental habit. It is re-representation: "The essential function of a sign is to make efficient those relations which are inefficient - not to put them into action, but rather to establish a habit or general rule according to which they will act if action becomes necessary." [29]

     Finally, a being is either possible (a Firstness, a state, a "quality,"), or actual (a Secondness, an object, an extant, a fact), or necessary (a Thirdness, a sign, a representation, a law). It is either an immediate given, or "related" and perceived by virtue of the resistance it evokes in consciousness, or mediated by the play of mental combinations.

     The interest of these categories resides in the unlimited opening created by "Firstness" understood in all its implications. On this side of the known (words) and the unknown (things), there exists a terrifying universe: that of the unknowable, within us and outside us. Superficial minds deny its existence; cynics ignore it. Objects and extants are forces that resist: images and words are appearances that reassure. Before them, and without which they could not exist, there is a first world that cannot be reduced to their terms, a sort of unlimitedness forever inaccessible, an unfathomable virtualness that destabilizes every relation by emerging into awareness and troubling the clarity of mental representations just as it reveals the opacity of concrete objects.

2. The Triadic Sign

"The sign brings about the emergence of conscious awareness of a thing and is to be taken for it or to be joined to a sign of this type in a proposition." (William of Ockham)

     For Peirce everything is a sign: a sound, a stamp, an idea, an odor, a feeling, a sonnet, the rule of a game, a planet ... "It has never been in my power to study anything - mathematics, morals, metaphysics, gravity, thermodynamics, phonetics, economics, the history of the sciences, whist, men and women, wine, meteorology - other than as a study of semiotics." [30]  This is to say, in effect, that Peirce's phaneroscopy for the most part bursts the boundaries of the linguistic framework.

     The three ontological categories appear again in the definition of the sign. "A sign is a joining together of the thing represented with the mind." [31]  It is a ternary relation between three "sub-signs," a relation in which the dual relatedness unifying one constituent element to the other two determines absolutely the rapport that unifies these latter two. To put it another way: "A representamen is the object of a triadic relation to a second, called its object, for a third, called its interpretant, this triadic relation being such that the representamen induces its interpretant to maintain the same triadic relation to the same object for whatever interpretant." [32]

     The representamen is the auditory or visual image of the sign, the "signifier" in the school of Saussure. The "object" is an instance of the apparition of the sign. Concrete or incorporeal, it participates in the triadic relation through its rapport with the "foundation" of the sign. The sign "takes the place of this object not through all relations, but rather through reference to a type of idea that I have at times called the foundation of the representamen." [33]  This foundation is the true referent of the sign: the "object" is the referent only by process of association; it is "that thing consciousness of which is presupposed to enable communication of supplementary information concerning it." [34]  The "interpretant" is the associated mental image, the "signified" of Saussure. It possesses a received signification which determines that of the representamen.

     The object and the interpretant being themselves signs, Peirce takes the step of understanding reality semiotically in its totality, even if he hesitates to conceive of it as a product of consciousness. Peirce is the heir of George Berkeley (for whom everything that exists for us is mental) and, what is more, of the most important medieval philosophy, called "scholastic" (especially that of Duns Scotus and William of Ockham), which has largely fallen into the shadows since the emergence onto the stage of Francis Bacon's Novum organum and the "blank slate" of Descartes.

     The English Franciscan William of Ockham developed a distinction introduced by the Portuguese Pedro Hispano (ca. 1200 - 1277) [35]  between signification (the elemental unit of which is the proposition) and supposition, a referential function contained in the word or term, which is the basic unit of discourse that objectifies or represents in a proposition a concept, a thing, or another word. Science thus becomes the practice of suppositional signs and the knowledge of propositions: "A true science does not treat of things, but instead of suppositional intentions about things (...) logic treats of intentions common to such things and suppositional precisely for them in multiple propositions." [36]

     In the hierarchy of categories, and according to the definition of the sign, the object determines the sign, which in its turn determines the interpretants. [37]  This procession concerns only the sign only as it is codified, devitalized, already determined and susceptible to infinite analysis, but not the sign "in action," dynamic, as it seeks and expresses itself, nor even does it concern the sign as something received, perceived, felt. Peirce introduces a double distinction with regard to this problem: that between the immediate object and the dynamic object, as well as that between immediate, dynamic and final interpretants. This conceptual framework explodes the dualism of signification/referent [38]  since it admits a dual modality of reference and a triple modality of signification.

     The immediate object is "the object as the sign itself represents it." [39]  It attaches to the foundation of the sign since it is this idea that relates to the object in the sign. The dynamic object is "the reality which, by one means or another, comes to determine the sign's representation." [40]  It is the "effective cause" (Aristotle) of the sign, the "real" object, the opportunity for the sign to be a sign, its raison d'être, the reality the user can experience at second hand. If the immediate object is "within the sign," the dynamic object is "outside the sign." [41]  This involves a sort of simulacrum (in the sense of Epicurus) as soon as one accepts the methodological imperatives of Peirce: "to hold oneself to the honest and persistent observation of appearances." [42]  It is, in sum, the ultimate reality, even if it appears in the mind only through mediation: "The sign does not affect the object, but is rather affected by the latter, so that the object must be capable of communicating thought, i.e. it must have the nature of a thought or a sign." [43]

      The intended (or immediate) interpretant "is the interpretant as it is revealed in the correct comprehension of the sign itself, and is ordinarily called signification of the sign." [44]  This correct interpretation of the sign results from a cultural convention, a norm, a strict application of the linguistic code. The intended interpretant requires a stability that allows linguistic communication and exchange. One could also call it the objective interpretant. The dynamic interpretant "is the real effect that occurs when the sign, in its function as a sign, determines in actuality." [45]  It is variable, results from the effective relation between the sign and its user,and includes all imaginable types of personal interpretations: for example, a particular piece of harpsichord music evokes for me a ballet of little twigs in a silver bowl. One could call it the subjective or relative interpretant. The final (or conditional) interpretant "refers back to the manner in which the sign tends to represent itself as being in relation with its object." [46]  It translates an infinite possibility of suggestion by the sign as a result of its constitutive relation with the object. It designates the virtual signification of the sign. One could call it the absolute interpretant.

      This distinction among the interpretants points out doubly the ternary nature of the sign: a sign is always three signs at once. The inadequacy of Saussurian [47]  and post-Saussurian dichotomies (signifier/signified, language/word, denotation/connotation, expression/content, competence/performance ...) underlies the mistaken discussions that have occupied linguistics in the past and still occupy it today. [48]  Intellectual dualism -- intellectual meaning cut off from it roots in the emotions -- through its neutralization of the third dimension of the sign has led linguistics into an impasse.

      Not only does the sign admit of an indeterminate number of "signifieds," it generates an entire unlimited field of significance. If one wishes to retain Saussurian terminology, however, I suggest calling the intended, dynamic and final interpretants of Peirce respectively "signifiatum", signified and signifiable, according to the nature of the associated mental image, be it necessary and normalized, actual and personal, or potential and extrapersonal. The "signifiatum" is most commonly unique and common to a group of users; the signified exists in the moment in which it manifests itself for a particular users; the signifiable is multifarious, even for a single, isolated user. As a result, a triple orientation of signification emerges: conventional, codified and utilitarian; or active, personal and intentional; or, indefinite, determinate and virtual.

3. Semiological Functions

"I say: a flower! and, out of the forgetfulness where my voice relegates no contour, like something different from all the calyxes known, there arises musically the very image, true and supple, absent from every bouquet." (Stéphane Mallarmé)

      Peirce distinguishes different types of relations between the sign and its constituent elements. The latter are transposable to any semiological ensemble, whatever it might be: living (a Flemish painting, jazz, an gestural expression, a Balinese dance, an African mask ...), or conventional (rules of the road, maritime law, Morse code ...). According to the system under consideration, certain functions disappear, others take on a particular importance. Only languages, and in particular certain languages of antiquity such as Egyptian and Chinese illustrate in a balanced way the ensemble of these six functions.

      At the beginning of language: emotion and the "passions," as Rousseau demonstrated. [49]  The relation of the sign to its "foundation," which Peirce describes as being "a sort of idea," induces a psychic transformation that one can call a "state." [50]  Nietzsche insisted on the fact that the words of a language originally designated states, needs, feelings, desires: the word is an outburst, a cry, before becoming a sign and a concept. [51]  "Interior experience" comes to our consciousness only once it has found a language that the individual understands ... i.e., a transformation of a state into other states that he knows better.[52]

      Consequently, I call emotivation that function by which the sign translates explicitly the interior state of the speaker, his initial emotional impulse. The first seeds of any langage are the natural inflections of the human voice. Interjections still illustrate very well the presence of this impulse at the core of sophisticated modern languages, although they do not make that fact explicit. Interjections are the residual mark of a function that was predominant in that distant epoch which saw the development of language. [53]  Traces of emotivation still survive in intonation patterns and in certain manifestations of the word that are often judged to be "pathological."

The relation of the sign with "its" Object requires a dual referential function: denotative or representative, according to whether one considers the "dynamic Object" (the effectual thing) or the "immediate Object" (the thing such as the sign represents it within the sign).

      Denotation is less a simple designation within a reality already known than it is a reconstruction, a reconstitution of that reality through language. Every language translates a conception of the world. If the sign "bird" can easily refer to every bird in existence, it is more difficult to determine the exact referent of abstract signs like "rapidity," "enthusiasm," "to increase," or of so-called "deictic" signs (variable according to their situational context) such as "today," "however," "we," "here," and thus of much of what constitutes normal discourse. The concrete noun itself presupposes certain observations and analyses that result from a segmentation of perceived reality: the languages of Eskimo hunters have a multiplicity of terms to designate what for us is summed up in the single word "snow."

      Representation, a mimetic function, implies a formal relation of similitude between the sign and its referent, a sort of adequation, be it at the phonetic level or the graphic level (onomatopeia, hieroglyphics, ideograms, calligrams, ...) This function can be observed at times in poetry as a play of phonetic or graphical combinations. The German school of comparative grammar (19th century) stresses the decline of modern languages, in thrall to the mental, reduced to simple tools for communication, in the core of which the arbitrary and utilitarian function of words deforms the initial relation of representation. [54]  For such reasons there arises, as in the Cratylos of Plato, the debate arbitrated by Socrates between Hermogenes, who defends the conventional character of the linguistic sign, and Cratylos, who insists on the natural order of denomination. [55]

The relation of the sign to its interpretant requires a triple function of signification: one of codification, one of signalization, and one of expression, according to whether one considers respectively the intended, dynamic or final interpretants.

      Codification, a reproductive function, implies a normalized intepretation of the sign taken as it is commonly understood by a group of homogenous users. It uses the customary possibilities of language and manifests itself at all levels of the chain of signification: term, statement, text, or even discourse in its totality. Its role is to reproduce the code and not to "say" something; it is to stabilize langauge, not transform it.

      Signalization, a programmatic function, modifies the respective situation of the speakers. Its role is to bring about certain effects. The functionalist ethnologer Bronislaw Malinowski insists that the linguistic formulations of the people of Oceania create an action in and of themselves. The word is equivalent to the power of action on another person. The illocutor of John Austin designates this active dimension of discourse at the level of signification. [56]  Any act of speech is capable of producing a reaction, of persuading, constraining, ordering, suggesting, moving, inciting ...

      Gilles Deleuze defines the nature of the word of order as "the relation of every word or every statement with implicit presuppositions, that is to say with acts of speech that complete themselves in the statement and can only complete themselves in it." [57]  To put it another way, the word of order translates the fact that the function of signalization is already coded: circumstantial discourse, the "double speak" of politics, journalistic complaisance, the ideological hype of "news," the nullity and vulgarity of the media ... The efficacity of language has become a redundancy of code. The power of discourse is no longer inherent to its intrinsic potential, but rather depends on conditions that are exterior, conventional and institutional in nature. The relation of discourse between people becomes swallowed up in the pomposity of the code itself. Speech no longer results in a mediation between interior aspiration and exterior experience. Instead, it develops in the bowels of an articifial network, through a superficial diffusion and circulation of discourse that no longer conveys a "message" other than that of the sole imperative that all messages shall be vacuous. Speech belongs first of all to those who have nothing to say. For this reason "language is not content to go from a first to a second, from someone who has seen to someone who has not seen, but necessarily goes from a second to a third, neither of whom has seen." [58]

      Expression, a creative function, also a poetic one, translates "feelings" and states. It distinguishes itself by a certain quality of its message. It pushes language to modify itself, to become enriched, to evolve, to become more complex. It is an opening into the infra-linguistic. Style, a vehicle of expression, reduces the distance between language and preverbal interiority, between what is said and what can be said, between what is said and what is to be said.

    According to which of these functions predominates (Emotivation, Representation, Denotation, Expression, Signalization, Codification), the "sign" can be termed respectively Symptom, Emblem, Concept, Figure, Signal or Sign.

      Signification is threefold: codification, signalization, expression. The phrase "that means ... " rides on one or another of these functions, otherwise called the context in which the meaning is comprehended. The three functions of Karl Bühler ("representation" of a state of things, appeal to the listener, expression of the speaker) have been rebaptized as "referential" functions (referring essentially to the code), connotative and expressive, and reinforced by Roman Jakobson. The so-called metalinguistic, phatic and poetic functions are three particular modalities of the three principal functions. [59]  It is of little importance whether or not the reference is linguistic or "metalinguistic" or whether the signalization has as its object the maintenance of contact (a phatic function). The function of emotivation and the double referential function (as I understand the term) are left out of the picture. It becomes a question in that case of a symptomatic reduction, of an interpretation that adapts itself to the nature of modern languages, which are strictly utilitarian and rootless with regard to their relation to the Foundation (i.e., to internal states) and to the Object. It translates a vague curiosity about "the world" and a weak intention of internal transformation in a culture full of people in a hurry and merchants.

      The functions of Emotivation and Expression, Denotation and Signalization, Representation and Codification resemble each other, but one must keep in mind that the function of Emotivation and the two referential functions are infra-linguistic. That signification should be considered as the essential property of language does not imply that it has not retained certain functions not specifically linguistic. Emotivation is a sort of residue of imperception in language, Representation is a residue of sense perception, and Denotation is an intermediary function in the passage toward signification. Emotivation translates an internal state, it singles out an impression that is antecedent to any expression. The decline of a particular language, in the sense of Schleicher, is correlative to the extinction of these functions in that language. This loss of "meaning" and the weaking of the presence of reality at the core of the language is the index of the disappearance among its users of any emotional horizon and of their incapacity to be struck [60]  by the real. Modernity touches its artifacts in the deepest recesses of the Cave.

4. Classification of Signs

"Impossible to study language in and of itself. Necessary to put it in a special milieu called psychic." (Paul Valéry: Cahiers)

      Peirce developed an extremely precise nomenclature for the various classes of signs on the basis of the distinctions intrinsic to the sign: the sign in relation to itself, the sign in relation to its dynamic object, the sign in relation to its dynamic interpretant, the dynamic interpretant in relation to itself, the immediate object in relation to itself, etc., which ultimately yields 10 trichotomies and 66 valid categories of sign. [61]

      The sign in relation to itself may be termed a qualisign, a sinsign or a legisign if it is in itself, respectively, a First (a possibility, a simple appearance, a virtual sign), a Second (an extant, a fact, a particular thing) or a Third (a general law, a convention, a term). Within this framework, every word is a legisign that the word [parole] or writing materialize by means of a sinsign. [62]

      The famous distinction between icon, index and symbol characterizes the sign in relation to its dynamic object. [63]  The icon refers to the object by virtue of its own properties, due to a resemblance with that object. In the absence of the object, an image, for example, does not lose its nature as a sign. The index is in point of fact "affected" by its object, just as smoke rises when a fire is lit: it indicates the presence of its object through is nature as a sign. The symbol -- meant here as the linguistic sign -- results from a socio-cultural convention, from a mental habit. It needs its object and its interpretant to maintain its nature as a sign. Undeciphered writing remains an index until it is deciphered. [64]

      But this distinction seems to cause confusion. In fact, the emblem of a shoemaker is an icon because of its resemblance to a shoe, but a symbol according to the convention that defines it as something signifying the presence of a shoemaker's shop rather than a shoe factory or a foot. Consequently, to assign a sign to one or another of these three categories, one must first come to agreement with regard to the dynamic object. If one admits that it is the predominance of one of the accepted meanings of the dynamic object that determines the nature of the sign, it then becomes impossible to class that sign logically, without recognizing a certain consensus in the collective of users. And this consensus is never fixed and definitive at any one moment.

      So, it is quite arbitrary to define the categorical association of such and such a sign independently of the collateral experience of the user. The various logical categories of signs suffer from this ambiguity and this inability to be pinned down, a fact that Peirce recognizes: "Apparently contradictory analyses can be made with this method by different minds, in fact it is impossible to hold oneself strictly to its requirements." [65]  What is more, and speaking in more general terms, how can one know the nature of a being in and of itself, or even by its relation to its object or its interpretant? A being does not exist except for a consciousness that perceives it.

      How, then, can Peirce justify his logical classification of signs, having discarded a priori any incidence of individual psychology? His answer hinges on the modifications he makes to the nature of the interpretants. The interpretant is completely eliminated; it obviously did not inspire the logician: "I admit that my own conception of this third interpretant is still somewhat nebulous." [66]  Peirce substitutes for his "intended," "dynamic," and "final (or absolute) intepretants the ones he calls "affective," "energetic," and "logical." The affective interpretant implies a feeling of recognition: "The first effect signified proper to a sign is a feeling that the sign produces." [67]  The energetic interpretant implies a mental effort: "If a sign produces another effect signified as proper to ti, it will produce it by means of an affective interpretant, and this new effect will always imply an effort." [68]  Finally, the logical interpretant implies a mental habit: that of referring a certain type of mental representation to a certain object.

      What has happened in this substitution of interpretants? For one thing, the trilogy of interpretants is apparently recondite, following the ontological ternary of Firstness/Secondness/Thirdness (affective/energetic/logical interpretants). It is, however, the interpretant called "logical" (a mental habit) that resembles the ex-interpretant called "intended" (the usual signification of the sign). As for the interpretant called "affective," it has a much more restrained sense than the ex-interpretant named "final." As Peirce noted, "the logical interpretant is an effect of the energetic interpretant in the sense that the latter is an effect of the affective interpretant." [69]  This progressive "semiotization" of the extant is the mark of a rationalization of the sensory world with the world of consciousness. The infinite nature of semiotic analysis stands as a result in complete accord with the nature of the sign, in so far as it refers to another sign, its interpretant, which itself refers to another interpretant, etc. ad infinitum. For the sign is this "thing, whatever it may be, that determines something else (its interpretant) to refer to an object to which it itself refers in the same manner, the interpretant becoming in its turn a sign, and so on infinitely." [70]

      Semiotic analysis takes places at the heart of an idealized corpus abstracted from the practices of speakers. Thought turns back to previous thought, which results from a contractual habit or a socio-linguistic convention, which removes any expressive possibility by abstracting states from individual consciousnesses, the very ones that lie at the origin of languages and their transformations. The infinite series of interpretants finds its tentative destination in the "logical interpretant" that is the ideal unit of signification developed by a no less ideal "community of seekers," which must "extend itself to all races of beings with whom we can inter into immediate or mediate relation." [71]

      Besides the irreducibility of one culture to another, the impossibility of unifying languages the elements of which have no meaning except in relation to a particular context of culture, history or socio-ethnicity, and the plurality of modes of apprehending language in various cultures, the systematization and clarification of concepts makes no sense other than in the framework of a suspiciously "universal" process. As Bernard Carnois points out, an ideal community of seekers and savants presupposes that "each gives the same sense to the same words by relating them to the same behaviors" and "that each one produces by this verbal and practical identification with another person the ultimate cognitive and interpretive community that the other person cannot aspire to except by believing it already made real by the word that I have just now spoken to him." [72]

      Finally, one must posit a complete transparency of the mind and eliminate everything which might trouble the mental realm, but which also nourishes it. The truth would result exclusively from an adequate coordination of mental representations, not from their possible adequacy as representations of the objects or states that serve as their source. Truth would be the term, never arrived at, produced by infinite analysis. Psychic states of imperceivable nature and objects capable of perception would be forced to submit themselves to a illusory, ideal knowledge, delivered by a Law of signs and the imperative of the Code. "The logical interpretant" is the master-concept of this reduction of language to its cognitive function. Bernard Carnois: "The notion of the logical interpretant gathers together the fruits of the efforts with which one overwhelms consciousness. One expects of consciousness of the world not only that it show its truth on the pretext of a world in conformity with abductive descriptions, but one also demands that it dynamically select in advance the actions of people adapted to it and that it fix man to himself in fixing him to itself and to action." [73]  From this viewpoint, one need not ask the opinion of the Bambara or the Tarahumara.

      The field of interpretation is doubly limited: by logic, and by the pretended impartiality of this "republic" of rational minds, which betrays the rationalist bent that Peirce shared with the majority of his contemporaries. Peirce is not as far removed from Hegel as he would like to believe: his notion of the logical interpretant translates beautifully the rational exteriorization of certain parts of the "Universal History" and the forward march of the "World Spirit." Carnois again: "By limiting the logical usage of logical interpretants to their cognitive function, Peirce reduces man to his cognitive function and limits the possibilities for human transformation by failing to take into account conditions of access to the goal of scientific research. By so doing, he reproduces the uncritical movement of the "critical common sense" characteristic of men of the industrial and technological age." [74]  Furthermore, what does it mean, this sort of scientistic adulation on the part of a thinker who himself was kept at arm's length from the circles and the community whose "enlighted" virtues he preached?

      The American logician fixed his sights on defining the sign as it is already constituted and known, and not as it was when it emerged or in future as it evolves. One must understand this study of signs as a privileged domain of anthropology in the larger sense (as Kant understood it), and not in light of a strictly cognitive point of view, even if that is the semiotic ideal. It is impossible to apprehend signs in the absolute, in and of themselves, independently of use by individuals and communities, of their temporal ("diachronic") transformations, of their relations to perception, of their psychic rootedness and their emergence into consciousness, of their variable and subjective meanings, and finally, of their signifiability.

      This double rejection of Peirce, viz. from the psychological and subjective dimension of the sign (as in Saussure) and from the genealogical and genetic dimension, explains how he strayed from the road opened by Main de Biran. The three ontological categories that form the basis of a taxonomy of various types of signs result from the three types of mental acts defined by Leibnitz, then by Maine de Biran: impressions, perceptions (or sensations), and apperceptions. Consequently, of these three operations of the mind one can deduce the existence of three classes of "psychic modifications" (Maine de Biran) that imply three disposition of consciousness and to which can be related all the modes of "thinking, feeling" being: states (internal), objects (external) and signs as such (mixed). The arenas of the psychic, the objectival and the psycho-mental (to which semiotics belongs) can be coordinated within the framework of a common problematic.

      I propose a consideration of the nature of the referent of the sign -- and this detour thorugh the ontological semiotics of Perice will not have been in vain. The referent being itself capable of appearing to consciousness as a First, a Second or a Third, the extants will be named respectively extants of aspiration, experience or habit. From this arises a regrouping of extants into nine classes, i.e. three groups of three categories each, in the form of a sort of procession: from the psychic to the psycho-mental, passing by way of the objectival. [75]  This distribution does not favor the idealist, realist or spiritualist approach, puts an end to the useless proliferation of sign classes and clarifies the infinite and sometimes ambiguous analyses of Peirce's semiotics.

The impressional (or psycho-astral impression) is a state of aspiration
The affectal (or affect) is a state of experience
The dispositional (or disposition) is a state of habit

The virtual (or virtual object) is an object of aspiration
The concretal (or concrete object) is an object of experience
The formal (or formal object) is an object of habit

The symbolal (or symbol) is a sign of aspiration
The indical (or index) is a sign of experience
The reflectional (or reflection [reflet]) is a sign of habit

      The extants of aspiration generally bring about emotions, extants of experience occasion actions and reactions, extants of habit bring about mental representations. An extant is not necessarily a simple "sign": it may be a phrase or a text, an objectival multiplicity or a complex of psychic states, an "implex" to use Valéry's terminology. [76]  The affectal, although it belongs to the group of states, contains a part of Secondness. Similarly, the symbolal contains a part of Firstness, that is to say, an indefinite dimension: it translates, in the form of a sign, a possibility of the real, indeterminable in any single sense; it is the only means to assign an imponderable reality. [77]  "A symbol always presupposes that the expression chosen designates or formulates as perfectly as possible certain facts relatively unknown, but the existence of which is established or appears necessary (...) In so far as a symbol is living, it is the best possible expression of a fact; it is only living in so far as it is heavy with signification." [78]

      A symbolal is characterized by the preeminence of the Signifiable, i.e. of the indeterminate potential of signification of which it is the representant, whereas that relation of the Signified pertains to the indical, and that of the Signifiatum (cf. supra) to the reflectional. A texte or an article is, for me, a reflectional, if it teaches me nothing I did not already know, if it does not manage to suprise me, or to move me. A letter is an indical when it communicates to me information that induces me to undertake some action. This poem of Pierre-Jean Jouve, Les portes de la mort [The Doors of Death] (from the collection Moires, 1962) which depicts the condition and destiny of modern man, is a symbolal, always new and evocative for me, whenever I read it again.

    La vie où parvenus nous sommes en ce jour
    Est un lac exigu bleu sombre et immobile
    Où de singuliers trous montrent l'eau pénétrant
    Plus profond sous les caves vertes de la vase,

    Et deux rocs géants roses s'élevant
    Reflétés dans les eaux en toute exactitude
    Abolissant le réel dans l'envers
    Forment le double mur de toute inquiétude.

    Les forêts et aussi le ciel la rive l'eau
    Sont doubles parmi la noirceur déjà de l'ombre
    Quand les parois font écran au soleil
    Et les rocs éclatants deux fois creusent le sombre.

    Quatre ! Oh dis-moi très obscur voyageur,
    N'est-ce pas le temps dit de franchir le passage
    De remonter entre les poussiéreux espoirs
    Vers la terrible belle porte aux deux visages?

    Mais d'abord des jardins précieux et chinois
    S'étagent, sur les bosses partout veloutées
    De désirs de remords sont des pins enchantés
    Qui préparent au sacrifice dans la porte.

    Et toujours nous endorment plus de pins charmeurs
    Plus de rhododendrons à la floraison vieille
    Plus d'efforts, plus de poussière, et de long chemin
    Plus de hauteur vers la trouée mortelle,

    Plus géante la porte et sa coupe de ciel
    L'aridité peu à peu et qui gagne
    Un désert accourant comme l'orient vert
    Terribles et doux dans les deux roses de la Porte,

    L'événement désert ; abandonne l'espoir
    Ici se préfigure une mort de lumière,
    N'importe dans quel temps ici tu vas mourir
    En emblème, comprends, l'impasse et la charnière,

    Ainsi voilà, telle sera la mort
    Toute seule éclatante
    Et vernie avec le soleil rose des cieux verts.

      The incessant ebb and tide of the sea is a virtual if it engenders in me the presence of a definite atmosphere, but it is a concretal if it keeps me from sleeping, and a formal if I happen not to notice it because I am used to it. A virtual has the virtue (in the sense of the Latin virtus) of provoking in me an emotion, an interior transformation, like a painting, a melody, or a work of art in general. An object is a concretal in so far as it resists me and engenders in me a reaction, and a formal if it is part of the extants that move me either not at all or no longer, do not resist me or disturb me: it has become a familiar object.

      The objectival world is constituted of virtual, concrete and formal objects. The virtual object, potential, "in and of itself," is elusive, indiscernible. I aspire to it without knowing it, and without even knowing how it may affect me. Irreducible to effective forces, it escapes the laws of causality just as it escapes every attempt at determination. The concrete object, actual, which is "the object" in the common understanding of the term, resists me: this tree in front of me manifests itself by its presence. I can perceive it through its sensory qualities: its appearance, its size, its color, its odor, its foliage ... I could possibly know it if I could analyze it with the simultaneous aid of a multiplicity of instruments, and before it transforms itself into another object. It is above all an energetic force that comes into my experience. The formal object is as I recognize it, or re-know it. I present myself to it according to the conventional characteristics. I maintain with it a relation of familiarity: it no longer intrigues me for the very fact that I believe I know it.

      George Berkeley pointed out that we do not know an object except through the powers it exerts over us (by its action, by its effects), which we interpret through ideas. So the perceived object is only an arbitrary idea of the real object, and the "scientific" object is only a theory of the real one. The objective world remains the unknown world of forces, no matter how great the efficiency of cognitive representations. The "truth" can only be measured in terms of subjective resonances, more or less adquate, between psychic reality and objective reality. Friedrich Jacobi denounced what he called the "egoity" [Ichheit] of rationalist "idealities," be they demonstrative (as with Spinoza) or synthetic (as with Kant).

      Applied tothe physical world,the ternary virtual/concretal/formal is translated by matter, natural forces, and laws of physics. Universal gravitation is a formal representation of the effective forces whose nature remains unknown. Newton conceived it as a law that does not explain but relates these phenomena the cause of which remains a mystery, contrary to those interpretations that make of it an irreducible property of matter. More generally speaking, science does not explain why these manifest forces exist: it cannot hope to penetrate to the very essence of things, as Schopenhauer remarked. It is only an organized taker of inventory for the visible world.

      A state can be a dispositional, an affectal or an impressional. "Psychology" has for its privileged object of reference one or the other of these states in their conceptual form: characterology deals with dispositionals, psychoanalysis with affectals, astrology with impressionals. Envies, hopes, fears, intentions, and in general the ensemble of "passions of the soul" [79]  are dispositionals. This category of states was the object of classical psychology up to the time of characterological studies. Dreams, memories and impulses are affectals. Jung defines the affect as "a state of feeling characterized both by a perceptible innervation of the body and by a specific disturbance in the flow of representations." [80]  Freud defines the impulse as a psychic excitation, interior in nature, that responds to a need, such as thirst: "Impulsive excitation does not come from the exterior world, but from within the organism itself." [81]

      Psychic-astral impressions (simple planetaries, complex planetaries, sectorials, zodiacals ...) are impressionals, i.e. modifications of consciousness that pass across awareness fleetingly and whose source is impossible to determine. The first literature of Romanticism (in France: Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Senancour) depicts impressionals, called "Neptunian" in Senancour: "Still other times, under the autumn sky, in those last beautiful days that the mists fill with uncertainty, sitting near water that carries away the yellowed leaves, I hear the simple and deep sound of a primitive melody. (...) When a feeling we cannot resist takes us far away from the things we possess and fills us with desire, then with regrets, giving us a foretaste of gifts than nothing can give us, then this sensation, deep and fleeting, is simply an inner witness to the superiority of our faculties to our destiny." [82]

      The impressional is a modification, of astral origin, of psychic energy. It arises unexpectedly, it surprises: it derives neither from exterior experience nor from habit. The transit is the astrological concept that renders account of these interior transformations that remain "occasional" (as Malebranche uses the term). Impressionals are these fluxes of indeterminate psychic tides that translate the impressionability of the psyche and the nervous system's integration of planetary rhythms. As pure beings of Firstness, they are perfectly indeterminate, elusive, unconscious, "inapperceptible" (Leibnitz), but since their referent is itself indeterminate (for the planet is only an external index of an internal impression), they are states of indefinite aspiration, a permanent source of inextinguishable desire. It is in this sense that one must understand the saying of Paracelsus: Without the impressio, man is not even capable of putting on his pants.

[1]  Born in Cambridge, Mass. 10 Sept. 1839, died in 1914. « Text

[2]  Peirce, C.P. 1.284; G.D. p. 67. The citations of Peirce refer to the pagination of the translation by Gérard Deledalle (in Charles Peirce, Écrits sur le signe, Paris, Le Seuil, 1978), preceded by the numbering of the the Cambridge edition (Charles Peirce, Collected Papers, edited by Charles Hartshorne & Paul Weiss, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1931-35 & 1957-1958, 6 + 2 vols.). On occasion I refer directly to the Cambridge edition. « Text

[3]  Peirce, in a letter to Lady Welby of 23 Dec. 1908 : G.D. p. 51-52. « Text

[4]  This hierarchy reestablishes the ontological order of the Middle Ages, abandoned since the time of Descartes and Francis Bacon. It stands in opposition to common opinion according to which the physical world is supposed to have preceded the worlds of psychology and the psycho-mental. Cf. for example Karl Popper, who elsewhere "thingifies" his three worlds (in L'univers irrésolu, French translation by Renée Bouveresse, Paris, Hermann, 1984, p. 94-101.) « Text

[5]  Peirce, C.P. 8.328 ; G.D. p. 22. « Text

[6]  Peirce, C. P. 6.32 ; G.D. p. 204. « Text

[7]  Peirce, C.P. 5.503 ; G.D. p. 211. « Text

[8]  Cf. Étienne Gilson, "Avicenne et le point de départ de Duns Scot," in Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Age, 1927; Paris, Vrin, 1981. « Text

[9]  Peirce, C.P. 1.393. « Text

[10]  "Theology is born of the fact that certain people cannot abide religious faith - which implies a lack of faith - and desired to substitute for it an anatomy and a scientific physiology of God." (Peirce, in a letter to Lady Welby, 23 Dec. 1908 ; G.D. p. 46). Duns Scotus looked for the emancipation of metaphysics vis-a-vis theology; Peirce conceives the possibility of an ontology in strictly logical terms. « Text

[11]  Peirce, C.P. 1.307 ; G.D. p. 85. « Text

[12]  Peirce, C.P. 1.304 ; G.D. p. 205. « Text

[13]  Peirce, C.P. 8.329 ; G.D. p. 23. « Text

[14]  Peirce, C.P. 8.329 ; G.D. p. 23. Hume distinguishes impressions, or lively perceptions, internal or external, from ideas, or weak perceptions, mediate and conscious: "All our ideas are copies of our impressions." (David Hume, in Enquête sur l'entendement humain, French translation by André Leroy, 1947; translation rev. by Michelle Beyssade, Paris, Flammarion, 1983, p. 129). « Text

[15]  A thing that thinks means "a thing that doubts, conceives, affirms, denies, wishes, does not wish, imagines, and feels." (René Descartes, in Méditations métaphysiques, French translation 1661, edited by Jean-Marie and Michelle Beyssade, Paris, Garnier-Flammarion, 1797, p. 85). The cogitare is for Descartes a feeling in the larger sense of the word, which includes all possible modes of apperception. Consequently, a cogito [I think] without ego [I] would necessarily mean that none of the operations of consciousness could ever be performed. « Text

[16]  Peirce, C.P. 8.329 ; G.D. p. 23. « Text

[17]  Gottfried Leibnitz, in Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain, Paris, Garnier-Flammarion, 1966, p. 38. « Text

[18]  Peirce, C. P. 1.284 ; G.D. p. 67. « Text

[19]  Peirce, C.P. 2.274 ; C.D. p. 147. « Text

[20]  So Peirce's first category is "degenerate" (in the sense Peirce himself gives to the word), despite the fact that it takes up the heritage of medieval Scholasticism, which had succeeded in escaping the "natural" dualism of thought. « Text

[21]  Peirce, C.P. 6.200 & 1.420 ; G.D. p. 207. « Text

[22]  But: cf. the Parmenides of Plato. « Text

[23]  Peirce, C.P. 2.231 ; G.D. p. 124. « Text

[24]  This idea of resistance runs throughout the philosophy of the beginning of the 19th century. It feeds Hegelian dialectics. The sensation of resistance to volontary movement (through muscular effort) is at the basis of the perception and the feeling of exteriority in Destutt de Tracy. For Maine de Biran - who inspired Peirce immensely - the I can only know itself through that which offers it resistance. And with Fichte, the I proves itself by the resistance it exerts against the Not-I and the obstacles it sets for itself. « Text

[25]  Peirce, C.P. 8.330 ; G.D. p. 24. « Text

[26]  Peirce, C.P. 1.457 ; G.D. p. 209. « Text

[27]  Peirce, C.P. 8.330 ; G.D. p. 24. « Text

[28]  Peirce, C.P. 8.332 ; G.D. p. 29. « Text

[29]  Peirce, C.P. 8.332 ; G.D. p. 30. « Text

[30]  Peirce, G.D. p. 212. « Text

[31]  Peirce, C.P. 3.360 ; G.D. p. 143. « Text

[32]  Peirce, C.P. 1.541. « Text

[33]  Peirce, C.P. 2.228 ; G.D. p. 121. « Text

[34]  Peirce, C.P. 2.231 ; G.D. p. 224. « Text

[35]  Elected Pope in 1276 under the name John XXI, John of Spain supported the famous condemnation of Averoism and astrology put into place by the Bishop of Paris Étienne Tempier in 1277. « Text

[36]  William of Ockham, in his prologue to "Commentaire sur les VIII livres de la physique", in Philosophes médiévaux : Anthologie de textes philosophiques des XIIIè-XIVè siècles, Ruédi Imbach & Maryse-Hélène Méléard (dir.), Paris, U.G.E. (10-18), 1986; 1993. « Text

[37]  Peirce, in a letter to Lady Welby of 23 Dec. 1908 ; G.D. p. 54. « Text

[38]  Cf. for example Gottlob Frege, "Sens et référence," in Écrits logiques et philosophiques, French translation, Paris, Le Seuil, 1971. « Text

[39]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[40]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[41]  Peirce, in a letter to Lady Welby of 23 Dec. 1908 ; G.D. p. 53. « Text

[42]  Peirce, C.P. 1.287 ; G.D. p. 69. « Text

[43]  Peirce, C.P. 1.538 ; G.D. p. 216. « Text

[44]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[45]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[46]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[47]  Cf. Ferdinand de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale (1916), Paris, Payot, 1969. « Text

[48]  This is the opinion of Roman Jakobson: "How many futile and banal polemics could have been avoided among specialists in language if they had only taken into account the Speculative Grammar of Peirce." (in: Problèmes du langage, Paris, Gallimard, 1966, p. 37). « Text

[49]  "Things began not with reasoning, but with feeling. It is thought that man invented speech to express need: that opinion seems to me unsustainable. The natural effect of the first needs was to drive people apart, not bring them together. (...) It was neither hunger nor thirst, but love, hate, pity, anger, which drew out of man the first words." (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Essai sur l'origine des langues, 1781; ed. by Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Paris, Aubier Montaigne, 1974, p. 95-96.) « Text

[50]  For St. Augustine, the sign is first interior: "The word that resounds outwardly is therefore the sign of the word that shines within, and which the name of word befits above all." (St. Augustine, De la Trinité, in Jean-Claude Fraisse (ed. and tr.), Saint Augustin, Paris, P.U.F., 1965, p. 73). St. Augustine also evokes the notion of the signifiable, linked to the interior dimension of the sign. « Text

[51]  Cf. Friedrich Nietzsche, "Vérité et mensonge au sens extra-moral (1873)", in Écrits posthumes 1870-1873 (O.P.C. 1.2), French translation, Paris, Gallimard, 1975. « Text

[52]  Friedrich Nietzsche, Fragments posthumes 1888-1889 (O.P.C. 14), French translation by Jean-Claude Hémery, Paris, Gallimard, fragm. 15.90, p. 216. « Text

[53]  On the origin of modern languages and the genesis of the majority of the language families (ca. 25,000 - 6,000 B.C.), cf. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Gènes, peuples et langues, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1996, p. 227. « Text

[54]  Cf. especially the work by the Hegelian August Schleicher, Zur vergleichenden Sprachgeschichte, Bonn, 1848. « Text

[55]  Cf. Plato, Cratyle ou De la rectitude des mots, in Oeuvres complètes, French translation by Léon Robin, Paris, Gallimard, 1950. « Text

[56]  Cf. Bronislaw Malinowski, Les argonautes du Pacifique occidental (1922), French translation, Paris, Gallimard, 1963; John L. Austin, Quand dire, c'est faire, French translation, Paris, Le Seuil, 1970. « Text

[57]  Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Mille plateaux, Paris, Minuit, 1980, p. 100. « Text

[58]  Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Mille plateaux, Paris, Minuit, 1980, p. 97. « Text

[59]  Cf. Karl Bühler, Sprachtheorie, Jena, 1934; Roman Jakobson, Essais de linguistique générale, Paris, Minuit, 1963; Oswald Ducrot & Tzvetan Todorov, Dictionnaire encyclopédique des sciences du langage, Paris, Le Seuil, 1972. (This latter work remains the best introduction to the entire range of problems and schools of linguistics, despite its scant interest in the semiotics of Peirce.) « Text

[60]  Léo Frobenius notes: "A world history where the shocks go unperceived is nothing more than a collection of debris" (in: Le destin des civilisations, French translation by N. Guterman, Paris, Gallimard, 1940, p. 226). In this work Frobenius develops the idea that plants, animals and even the stars were successively seized by human consciousness and became the origin of the development of primordial cultures. (Cf. also his Histoire de la civilisation africaine, French translation, Paris, Gallimard, 1952.) « Text

[61]  Cf. G.D. p. 242-245. « Text

[62]  Peirce, C.P. 8.334 ; G.D. p. 31. « Text

[63]  Peirce, C.P. 8.335 ; G.D. p. 32. « Text

[64]  Here Peirce is visibly inspired by Hume and his three principles of connection between ideas: resemblance, contiguity and causality. By interrogating the physical qualities of bodies (elasticity, repercussion of movement, gravity ...) Hume comes to deny any "known connection between the sensory qualities and the hidden powers [of the body]." (David Hume, in Enquête sur l'entendement humain, French translation by André Leroy, 1947; rev. tr. by Michelle Beyssade, Paris, Flammarion, 1983, p. 93.) In light of this famous theory, which renders causality an avatar of habit, we can better understand what the American logician means by "Third" or "general law." « Text

[65]  Peirce, C.P. 1.544 ; G.D. p. 118-119. « Text

[66]  Peirce, C.P. 4.536 ; G.D. p. 189. « Text

[67]  Peirce, C.P. 5.475 ; G.D. p. 130. « Text

[68]  Peirce, C.P. 5.475 ; G.D. p. 130. « Text

[69]  Peirce, C.P. 5.486 ; G.D. p. 135. « Text

[70]  Peirce, C.P. 2.300. « Text

[71]  Peirce, C.P. 2.654 ; G.D. p. 251. « Text

[72]  Bernard Carnois, "La sémiotique pragmatique de C. S. Peirce et ses limitations épistémologiques" in Les Études philosophiques 3, 1983, p. 311. « Text

[73]  Carnois, op. cit., p. 314. « Text

[74]  Carnois, op. cit., p. 311. « Text

[75]  The Neoplatonic Syrian Jamblicus (ca. 250-325) makes Intelligence issue from Life, and Life emerge from Being, and organizes on the basis of this ontological and "genetic" triad a plurality of ternaries that fall into definite modalities, each of them incarnating a spiritualized form of the one that precedes it. « Text

[76]  This is why the terms impressional, affectal, symbolal, etc. are preferable to those of impression, affect, symbol, etc. « Text

[77]  It is necessary to leave to the Symbol the strict sense defined here, and not to accommodate it to the linguistic sign, as is all too common among those who do not recognize its symbolic function. « Text

[78]  Carl G. Jung, Types psychologiques, French translation by Yves Le Gay, Genève, Librairie de l'Université, 1950 ; 1968, p. 469. « Text

[79]  Cf. René Descartes, Les passions de l'âme, Paris, Vrin, 1970. « Text

[80]  Carl G. Jung, Types psychologiques, French translation by Yves Le Gay, Genève, Librairie de l'Université, 1950 ; 1968, p. 404. « Text

[81]  Sigmund Freud, Métapsychologie, French translation by Jean Laplanche & Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, Paris, Gallimard, 1940; 1981, p. 13-14. « Text

[82]  Étienne Pivert de Senancour, Oberman (1804), Paris, U.G.E., 10-18, 1965, p. 87. « Text

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Patrice Guinard: Critical Analysis of Peirce's Semiotics and an Ontological Justification of the Concept of the Impressional
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