Abstract

Abstract:

Peirce once called his graphical system of logic—the Existential Graphs—the moving pictures of thought. I argue that Peirce meant that using his graphs to study the movement of thought is akin to Eadweard Muybridge’s use of moving pictures to study animal motion, and I show that this analogy is highly apt for several reasons. The analogy is apt because: (1) Just as animal motion is continuous, thought is continuous; (2) Animal motion, like the movement of thought, is too swift and complex to examine directly, without aid; (3) Nevertheless, just as we can record a series of moments of animal motion with the use of a special instrument (viz., cameras and instantaneous photographs), so too we can record a series of moments of thought with the use of a special instrument (viz., the Existential Graphs), enabling us to study its structure; and (4) Through the study of these moments of thought, or of animal motion, we will improve our understanding of them and be able to settle debates about them.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9587
Print ISSN
0009-1774
Pages
pp. 511-527
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-30
Open Access
No
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