About Minute Semeiotic

This is a research project that aims at the elaboration of a complete description of the classes of signs and their mutual relation, discussing its relevance to theory and epistemology of communication. A number of Peirce scholars and semioticians are diffident about formalistic approaches of semeiotic and take such projects as sterile. But a chart like this is a dream at length desired by many others for it would open doors for the solution of many of the problems that today obstruct the advance of semiotic – and maybe many other fields of knowledge. That is why, according to Houser (1992, p 502),

A sound and detailed extension of Peirce’s analysis of signs to his full set of ten divisions and sixty-six classes is perhaps the most pressing problem for Peircean semioticians. What is needed first of all is a well motivated rationale for the ordering of Peirce’s ten divisions of signs.

Some wild guesses

Let´s advance some provocative hypotheses that might justify the reason for so much energy and time trying to discover the hidden pattern behind semeiosis. If our Periodic Table of Classes is correct, then:

  1. It will solve all problems of logic, such as the precise definiton of the predicate of a proposition, the difference between assertions and propositions and the problem of truth.
  2. It will provides a realistic and complete theory of communication.
  3. It will be the logical design for artificial intelligence.
  4. It will be a theory of reality. If we take the Universe to be a semeiotic entity, the Solenoid of Semeiosis shows how reality is organized.

We take semeiosis to be a synonym of communication. Departing from an extreme realistic view of the sign, the outcome can only be a realistic theory of communication. If the sign is everywhere, so is communication.

Starting from the two most well-known classifications of signs – the 1902-3 one (based on three trichotomies) and the post-1905 one (based on ten aspects) –, as well as some precepts linked to his theory of categories, we claim that it is possible to derive the 66 classes previewed by Peirce and order them according to the logic of the triadic relations.