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Metaphorical Semeiotic Referents: Dyadic Objects

Carl R. Hausman
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Spring, 2007), pp. 276-287
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40321185
Page Count: 12
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Metaphorical Semeiotic Referents: Dyadic Objects
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Abstract

When language is expressed metaphorically, metaphors seem to "say" something that has never seen said before. Some of them seem to express insights. What then are the constraints on their interpretations? Charles Peirce's semeiotic suggests a way to answer the question. Crucial to the answer is Peirce's account of semeiotic objects as twofold, one side, the dynamic or "real" object to be interpreted, the other side, the immediate object, which is the dynamic object that has been interpreted. The interaction account of metaphor is reviewed and related to Peirce's conception of semeiotic objects. The result is my suggestion that the dynamic objects to which metaphorical objects are directed are transformed into interpreted, immediate objects through the mediation of incipient immediate objects. Incipient immediate objects initially appear as dyadic objects recognized through identity expressions—e.g., "Juliet is the sun," which is not a classification but an identification of the referents of the subject and the predicate. The incipient mediating immediate object parallels the percipium referred to in Peirce's account of the formation of perceptual judgments, which are interpretations of percepts.

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