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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2023

The semiotic inquirer and the practice of empirical inquiry

From the book Volume 2

  • Gary Shank


Peirce often changed his ideas but he never deviated from his description of post-Cartesian inquiry introduced in his early work. He saw the task of inquiry was to pursue a search for meaning, most often in the face of genuine doubt, that would be ultimately validated through the world of experience. He turned from the Cartesian ‘cogito’ toward a collective model of understanding that leads to truth. I hope to build on these notions of semiotic inquiry to explore just how revolutionary Peirce’s turn from Descartes was. In particular, Descartes’s project of reducing duality to unity is shifted in the exact opposite direction. Instead of moving from two to one, Peirce showed the way to move from two to three. By understanding the almost fractal nature of triads in our empirical world, Peirce’s ideas move us from reductionism toward an expansive type of triadic understanding that, by its nature, provides stability.

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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