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Author Merrell, Floyd, 1937-

Title Peirce, signs, and meaning / Floyd Merrell.

Published Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, [1997]


Location Call No. Status
Physical description xvii, 384 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Series Toronto studies in semiotics.
Toronto studies in semiotics.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [353]-372) and index.
Contents Preamble: Is Meaning Possible within Indefinite Semiosis -- 1. Our Blissful Unknowing Knowing -- 2. The Self as a Sign among Signs -- 3. Thought-Signs: Jungle or Wasteland? -- 4. Sign-Events Meet Thought-Signs -- 5. The Sign: Mirror or Lamp? -- 6. Whither Meaning, Then? -- 7. Fabricated Rather than Found -- 8. What Else Is a Self-Respecting Sign to Do? -- 9. Caught Within -- 10. Dreaming the Impossible Dream? -- 11. How We Can Go Wrong -- 12. Rules Are There to Be Broken? -- 13. From Conundrum to Quality Icon -- 14. Out of Sign, Out of Mind -- 15. Putting the Body Back in the Sign -- Appendix. On the Pragmatic Maxim.
Summary C.S. Peirce was the founder of pragmatism and a pioneer in the field of semiotics. His work investigated the problem of meaning, which is the core aspect of semiosis as well as a significant issue in many academic fields. Floyd Merrell demonstrates throughout Pierce, Signs, and Meaning that Peirce's views remain dynamically relevant to the analysis of subsequent work in the philosophy of language.
Merrell discusses Peirce's thought in relation to that of early-twentieth-century philosophers such as Frege, Russell, and Quine, and contemporaries such as Goodman, Putnam, Davidson, and Rorty. In doing so, Merrell demonstrates how quests for meaning inevitably fall victim to vagueness in pursuit of generality, and how vagueness manifests an inevitable tinge of inconsistency, just as generalities always remain incomplete. He suggests that vagueness and incompleteness/generality, overdetermination and underdetermination, and Peirce's phenomenological categories of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness must be incorporated into notions of sign structure for a proper treatment of meaning. He also argues that the twentieth-century search for meaning has placed overbearing stress on language while ignoring nonlinguistic sign modes and means.
Subject Peirce, Charles S. (Charles Sanders), 1839-1914.
Meaning (Philosophy) -- History.
Semiotics -- History.
ISBN 0802079822 (paperback: alk. paper)
0802041353 (alk. paper)