The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 19, Issue 1/4, 2003

Special Issue on Gregory Bateson

Deborah Eicher-Catt
Pages 95-126

The Logic of the Sacred in Bateson and Peirce

By performing an abduction of Bateson and Peirce, we come to understand the logic of the sacred as a semiotic and phenomenological communicative phenomenon. First, I compare and contrast their ideas concerning ontology, epistemology, and logic. Next, I articulate how both theorists construct their epistemologies within a triadic frame of relations that successfully accounts for a communicative logic that activates the integration of body and Mind. Finally, I bring Bateson’s triadic relations of aesthetics, consciousness (mental process), and the sacred in line with Peirce’s existential semiotic categories of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. We discover the sacred is constituted within a communicative logic that is abductive. As such, I argue that Bateson’s epistemology of the sacred becomes more accessible as a postmodern philosophy when viewed as a condition of phenomenological semiosis.