The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2014

Peirce and the Cenoscopic Science of Signs

Richard L. Lanigan
Pages 139-158

Charles S. Peirce on Phenomenology
Communicology, Codes, and Messages; or, Phenomenology, Synechism, and Fallibilism

Peirce uses the covering term Semiotic to include his major divisions of thought and communication process: (1) Speculative Grammar, or the study of beliefs independent of the structure of language (i.e., unstable beliefs); (2) Exact Logic, or the study of assertion in relation to reality (i.e., stable beliefs); and (3) Speculative Rhetoric, or the study of the general conditions under which a problem presents itself for solution (i.e., beliefs dependent on discourse). This division previews Peirce’s famous triadic models of analysis. Peirce goes on to make the phenomenological distinction between communication (a process) and signification (a system). Signification or the doctrine of Synechism is the analysis of possibilities where codes contain messages. Peirce is noted for his philosophic Realism, or the belief that probability and possibility are linked to the actual existence of things or that which can become actual. Hence, people inherit the association of Pragmatism with a test of real-world application that Peirce called the doctrine of Fallibilism, derived from the qualitative logic of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology that combines apposition (reflexivity)with apperception (intentionality).