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The problem of the essential icon

journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2008, 00:00 authored by Cathy LeggCathy Legg
1. Icon, Index and Symbol
Charles Peirce made a well-known distinction
between icons, indices and symbols.
These are three kinds of signifi cation—specifi
cally, three kinds of relationship between
a sign and its object. I use the term ‘signifi
cation’ instead of terms more familiar in
analytic philosophy of language such as
‘representation’ or ‘reference’ in an attempt
to loosen an apparent near-exclusive hold of
the spoken and written word on many philosophers’
thinking about meaning, which is
relevant to our topic. The icon/index/symbol
distinction has already been much investigated
by Peirce scholars,1 but a brief summary
will be helpful.

History

Journal

American Philosophical Quarterly

Event

American Philosophical Quarterly

Volume

45

Issue

3

Pagination

207 - 232

Publisher

University of Illinois Press

Location

Champaign, Ill.

ISSN

0003-0481

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, North American Philosophical Publications

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