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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 15, 2018

Example, Metaphor, and Parallelism in the Object

How Peirce’s late semiotics validates the hypoicons

Tony Jappy
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


The paper addresses the origins of Peirce’s innovative theory of the hypoicons from the Lowell Lectures of 1903, metaphor in particular, and seeks to justify Peirce’s definition of these by referring to his later, six-correlate theory of semiosis and the hexadic, 28-class typology it generated. After discussing Peirce’s apparent preference for metaphor over example as the realization of the third and most complex hypoicon, the paper goes on to substantiate in two ways the definition of metaphor as the representation in the sign of a parallelism in the structure of the object represented. First, it shows how the typology of 1908 accommodates the classification of a sign in relation to both dynamic and immediate objects more complex than itself. Second, by drawing on Peirce’s late conception of the object, it shows how the dynamic object can be formed from entities belonging to two or more different universes. At the same time, Peirce’s conception of signs and typologies is shown to evolve from a strictly phenomenological approach to the classification of signs involving three categories as distinguishing criteria in 1903 to an ontological framework characterized by three universes with respect to which the sign and its correlates were referred in classification in 1908.


Jappy, Tony. 2016. Peirce’s twenty-eight classes of signs and the philosophy of representation. London: Bloomsbury Academic.Search in Google Scholar

Peirce, Charles S. 1931–1958. The collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, 8 vols. Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss & Arthur W. Burks (eds). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (CP)Search in Google Scholar

Peirce, Charles S. 1998. The essential Peirce, vol. 2. Peirce Edition Project (eds). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. (EP2)Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2018-08-15
Published in Print: 2018-08-28

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston