We aim to demonstrate the applicability of Peirce’s iconic logic in the context of current topological explanations in the philosophy of science. We hold that the logical system of Existential Graphs is similar to contemporary topological approaches, thereby recognizing Peirce’s iconic logic (Beta Graphs) as a valid method of scientific representation. We base our thesis on the nexus between iconic logic and the so-called NonReduction Theorem. We illustrate our assumptions with examples derived from biology (protein folding).
About the authors
Lukáš Zámečník (b. 1980) is head of the Department of General Linguistics at Palacký University Olomouc. His research interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of linguistics, quantitative linguistics, and biosemiotics. His publications include “Describing life: Towards the conception of Howard Pattee” (2019, with J. Krbec), “Functional explanation in synergetic linguistics” (2018, with D. Faltýnek and M.Benešová), “Mathematical models as abstractions” (2018), and “The nature of explanation in synergetic linguistics” (2014).
Ľudmila Lacková (b. 1990) is an assistant professor at the Department of General Linguistics at Palacký University, Olomouc. Her main research interests include general semiotics, biosemiotics, structuralism, and general linguistics. Recent publications include “Towards a processual approach in protein studies” (2019), “Bases are not letters: On the analogy between the genetic code and natural language by sequence analysis” (2019), and “The Prague School, teleology and language as a dynamic system” (2018).
Funding: Lukáš Zámečník was supported in his work on this paper by the Czech Science Foundation (Grant No. 19-04236S “Simplifying Assumptions and Non-causal Explanation”).
We would like to thank Claudio Rodríguez Higuera, Arran Gare, and Colin Garrett for their important comments and help with this paper.
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