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Comments to Semios-L

Wed, 3 Jul 1996 18:50:27 -0600
Katya Mandoki :
Re: TUT: Specificity;

On Wed, 26 Jun 1996, Steven Skaggs wrote:
(among other things)
> Specificity is deconstruction upended. I mean that whereas deconstruction
> makes the point (and remakes the point and remakes the point ad infinitum)
> that there is no 'transcendental signified', we are saying "of course there
> isn't" but let's look at how some messages seem to point toward a center
> while others spin away.

Now that you mentioned Eco (in your next post), he is quite explicit in
_The Limits of Interpretation_ that for Peirce there *is* something akin
to the 'transcendental signified' in opposition to deconstructionism. Not
transcendental in kantian, apriori, sense, but as intersubjective,
aposteriori reality constructed by semiosis. Habit and community is where
derridean endless play of the signifier ends (in peircean view, that is,
according to Eco). I agree, and calling it "pragmatic
signified" could be appropiate. So, could we say that your "pointing
towards the center" is the case of intersubjective, relatively settled
signifieds? Whereas the spinning away are those with lowest degree of
intersubjectivity, for example, squizophrenics' semiosis?

Your idea of a spectrum between centripetal and centrifugal ranges of
signifieds is very interesting, and points to consider that there is not only
one but various degrees of sr/sd relations, some with relatively stable
(manifest), others with highly volatile relations (manifold). While
deduction corresponds to the former and abduction to the later, it seems
to me that induction can be found in any point of the spectrum. As you
mentioned Hume, that the sun will rise also tomorrow is a highly specific
induction, or rather almost deduction because there are no cases known
that contradict this expectation. So here induction becomes deduction.
But there are cases of induction which are almost abduction (as in
Holmes' inference of X having been in Post Office because of the red sand
over his shoes).

I found the concept of specificity and of marks in a spectrum very
useful. And I will keep thinking about this code-inference correspondence
further.

Katya

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