Pattern Logic Series, Part V: The Appearance of Peircian Semiotic Terms in ADEPT LION Nomenclature

Part V in this series brings in the influence of the semiotic tradition begun by American logician Charles Saunders Peirce in the exploration of ADEPT LION patterns that are expressive of acts of symbolic representation.

Three comments will be helpful in understanding the use of Charles Saunders Peirce’s semiotic terms in the naming of ADEPT LION trickles.

The Manifest Trickles of the ADEPT LION First Consideration complete the Peircian three Trichotomy semiotic formulation in its Second Consideration. Peirce’s terms are shown in square brackets. The pattern logic interpretation of each pattern is shown on the last line of each large circle which is the occasion of focus for each pattern.

irst, and quite understandably, a semiotic focus does not necessarily distinguish between a type of sign and the concept that is the basis for that type of sign. Pattern logic does make this distinction and the division is between the aether nature (or First Consideration) which handles the underlying concept for a logical type and the translation nature (or Second Consideration) which handles the signification of that logical type. The Peircian terms have been only applied in the Second Consideration/ translation nature but each have logical counterparts in the First Consideration/ aether nature of ADEPT LION.

econd, it is apparent that Peirce’s semiotic system has terms that are mostly focused on the emergence of actual signs which are correctly placed into the realm of manifest depth and thus having determinate logical effect. The shadow depth and indeterminate logical effects as well as the obscure depth and non-determinate logical effect are more peripheral and nebulous in his semiotic system and so do not appear in his coining of semiotic terms.

An examination of the shadow and obscure depths would have taken Peirce into the more psychological terrain of conscious (shadow depth) and unconscious thought (obscure depth). This would have been more within the domain of interests for his pragmatist colleague, William James.

Thus an icon is a manifest description and an index is a manifest ascription and a symbol is a manifest process which are all dependent upon the additional signs lying outside of his second trichotomy (the qualisign, sinsign and legisign of the first trichotomy and the rheme, dicisign and argument of the third trichotomy) which are all manifest entities.

A summary table is in order to explain the usage of the Peircian semiotic terms found in his Three Trichotomies of Signs and how they have been utilized within the naming of ADEPT LION trickles.

The Columns Labeled “Peirce” and three rows are the labels of C. S. Peirce’s three trichotomies of signs. The “Pattern Logic” columns correspond to the use of Peirce’s semiotic terms in the naming of ADEPT LION trickles. For each Peircian sign, there is the purely conceptual version of the aether (H) nature, and two representational versions of the translation (T) nature. The representational versions are further split into original representations (trickle notation ends with ‘*’) and derivative representations (trickle notation ends with‘|’).

he third comment regarding Peircian Semiotics is in regard to the appearance in his later writings of the ideas of “dividing of the object” and “dividing of the interpretant”. While Peirce’s motivations for these distinctions may be obscure to us, they do find an explanatory basis through the lens of pattern logic.

The idea of dividing or splitting corresponds to first consideration patterns that become ambiguous in their second consideration which is precisely where the semiotic perspective emerges in ADEPT LION.

The first pattern in which this appears within the manifest entities of translation (MET) that we have identified as Sinsign or Actisign which is found within the first trichotomy in the table above. The ambiguous patterns of the ADEPT LION First Consideration are the self-referencing Occurrent Phenomenon (MEH**) and the other-referencing Subsequent Phenomenon (MEH||). The Occurrent Phenomenon corresponds with the Peircian discussion of “immediate object” and the Subsequent Phenomenon corresponds with the Peircian discussion of “dynamic object”. Thus these two patterns make up the “dividing of the object”.

What is the basis of this distinction? An Occurrent trickle is original, requiring no “prior”, but a Subsequent trickle is a derivative pattern, requiring some “prior” manifest entity in its first consideration. This distinction becomes ambiguous in the second consideration and this is the basis for the need to “split the object”.

The other pattern is found in the third trichotomy in the table above and centers on an ambiguity found within the Peircian “Argument” (MET==). When we again consider the effect of self-referencing in the first consideration as something that becomes ambiguous in the second (symbolic) consideration, we can introduce three patterns, each of which could evaluate to either the Argument (MET==*) or Delome (MET==|) in the second consideration. Namely, Confluent Phenomenon(MEH==), the Continuant Phenomenon (MEH|*) and the Replacement Phenomenon (MEH*|).

To cut to the point, Peirce’s “dividing of the interpretant” is the distinction between his immediate, dynamic and final interpretants which correspond respectively, to the continuant (MEH|*), replacement (MEH*|) and confluent (MEH==) phenomenon trickles of ADEPT LION. These tickles are distinct in the first consideration, but ambiguous in the second consideration, requiring a “splitting of the interpretant”.


Aside from the curious appearance of these semiotic wrinkles in ADEPT LION, we may certainly ask what is the utility of this insight?

One answer will be in the emergence of a temporal, or at least sequential aspect to the any semiotic act of signification. This aspect of time, or ordering occurs within both the presentation of the object and in the processing of the sign that occurs within the interpretant. In other words, both the object of interpretation and the act of interpretation are in a sense, moving targets.

The ordering of an occurrent trickle before subsequent trickles corresponds to the temporal origin and history of a semiotic object. The pattern logic definition of an occurrent is that A = A but the definition of a subsequent is A = B. The logical relationship is equality in both cases, but the difference is in the ability to self-originate vs. to have a prior.

And all three semiotic varieties of the interpretant must come “later” in the semiotic act because all (the continuant, replacement and confluent) are dependent on “priors”.

Nonetheless, they each reflect how an interpretation may evolve in time, tracing the development of thought as one act of sign interpretation following upon a previous step of sign interpretation.

For the continuant trickle, it is persistence of the same, or memory. Its pattern logic definition is A⊇A₁, or “A is predicated of A₁”, either as a restatement or as a superordinate. “A₁” is given a subscript of 1 to reflect that its trickle pattern has the exact same valuation, or word channel input, as “A”.

For the replacement trickle, it is a swapping of one idea for a new manifestation of the same, or recognition. Its pattern logic definition is A₁=A. The difference from the continuant being that the replacement involves only restatement, with no option of superordination.

And for the confluent trickle, it is the identification of two priors as being the same, or insight. Its pattern logic definition is A≡(B₁ =B₂), or “A means the same as B₁ equaling B₂”, where again, B₁ and B₂ share a word channel input of valuation but it is a distinctly different occasion than the word channel input for A.

Together, these three varieties of interpretation provide a mechanism for what it means to “mull it over” in our acts of conscious processing. Some thoughts persist, others are revalued and still others are aggregated in moments of insight. And of course the significance of this in ADEPT LION is that we are now talking about an entirely computable model of information processing.

urther, it must be noted that these “split” objects and interpretants, as seen through the lens of ADEPT LION are all varieties of manifest entities, making them the diverse set of “priors” for what became the relational trichotomy — which is both the initial and the central insightful division found within Peirce’s establishment of Semiotics: the icon, the index and the symbol. The manifest entities are the seeds of thought that become representative, indicative or associative depending on their mode of use.

In other words, pattern logic is presenting an opportunity for laying bare the recursive internal mechanics of Peircian Semiotics. Peirce’s first and third trichotomies are the Entities which provide the recursive lower/object and higher/interpretant inputs to the middle relational trichotomy which results in the threefold distinction between ADEPT LION Ascriptions (indices), Descriptions (icons) and Processes (symbols).

So far in this exploration of Pattern Logic we have tolerated, and even welcomed, the expressive utility of ambiguity but in the next part we will need to see, to borrow from Peirce, “how to make our ideas clear”. For Peirce, this involved a critique of Descartes and Leibniz on the use of terms like “clear” and “distinct” that eventually led to an investigation of logic plus probabilities, but for us, it will involve grounding our ambiguous logical expressions in further development of the ADEPT LION redundant limitations until the ambiguity resolves.



One-third physician, 1/3 philosopher and 33% all-purpose nerd.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store