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Peirce's Metaphysical Semiotics

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Chapter Summary

Semiotics is the field devoted to the study of signs-what they are, how they are used, and what must be true of a world in which signification, interpretation and meaning are possible. This chapter offers an outline of Peirce's semiotics and the philosophy in which his semiotics is embedded. It presents some brief orientation, and introduces Peirce's system of metaphysical categories: firstness, secondness and thirdness. The chapter provides a more detailed outline of Peirce's semiotics, presented by way of an account of the development of his theory of signs. Finally, the author connects Peirce's semiotics and categories with his theory of inquiry: his realism, fallibilism, pragmatism and evolutionary cosmology.

Keywords: Charles S. Peirce; evolutionary cosmology; fallibilism; metaphysical semiotics; pragmatism; realism



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