RE: Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.

From: Matt Brown (
Date: Sun Dec 19 2004 - 11:34:49 PST


Two points. I'll try to be brief since this isn't directly on point with
Peirce, is more an issue of development and pragmatism in general, and probably
comes more from Dewey than Peirce's influence.

Quoting Michael Glassman <>:
> Apply this to the idea that things
> exist in the world but we do not understand them, but through a developmental
> process we come to have a better understanding of them. That necessarily
> mean that two things exist in the world simultaneously, the object in the
> world and the thing that you think about it (as it exists in your mind).
> Through living you get closer to the object as it actually exists (voila,
> dualism).

I think this can easily be reconstructed in pragmatic terms, though. We can
begin with an object (or situation) that is perceived as poorly understood, in
the sense of being experienced as indeterminate or as affording few
opportunities for action, while Point B can be an end-in-view of the object as
better understood, in the sense of being more determinate or having more
affordances. So we move from Point A to Point B as two places within
experience, without any transcendence or dualism, just as we drive from Atlanta
to Chicago without any transcendence or dualism.
> Now it is important to point out that progess is something different from
> development because progress is solving problems as they occur in order to
> achieve a better life and a better community. In an earlier post Jay
> suggested Pierce may have considered development in terms of evolution, but I
> think Pierce - as well as his band of merry pranksters - was actually
> thinking more in terms of descent with modification - that is things adapt to
> situations but they don't move from point A to point B.

I guess we can develop a special terminology where "development" is the bad
dualist sort and "progress" lacks those connotations, but I guess I don't see
the distinction as embodied in the way we normally use the terms.


Matt Brown (

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