- The Identity of Sweet Molly Malone: Dicent Indexical Legisigns—a New Element in the Periodic Table of Semiotics?
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 55, Number 2, Spring 2019
- pp. 175-184
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Peirce’s sign type of “Dicent Indexical Legisigns” has received relatively little scholarly attention, and it is sometimes confused with the “Dicent Symbol” category. This stems from an inconsistency between Peirce’s general explanation and his exemplifications of the category. Taking the lead from the latter, this paper argues that while the role of “Dicent Symbols” is descriptive, the task of “Dicent Indexical Legisigns” is not to describe but rather to establish identity of reference by connecting some proper name to an object or to another identifying sign of that object. Thus, it appears as an overlooked sign type playing an important role both in everyday agreement upon reference and in scientific negotiations over identity, terminology, existence, etc.