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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 31, Issue 1/2, 2019

David Rohr
Pages 97-119

God the Object, Sign, and Interpretant
The Semiotic Logic of the Christian Trinity

The central thesis of this essay is that the relation imagined to hold between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit corresponds quite closely with the triadic relationship that holds between object, sign, and interpretant, respectively, within C. S. Peirce’s conception of semiosis. Section 1 introduces Peirce’s conception of semiosis. Section 2 supports the main thesis through examination of descriptions of the Trinitarian relations in two classic Christian texts: The New Testament and The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Section 3 reviews two alternative explanations of this surprising correlation: Andrew Robinson’s vestigia Trinitatis explanation and a naturalistic alternative.

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