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Profile: Cathy Legg (University of Waikato)
  1. Catherine Legg, Idealism Operationalized: How Pragmatism Can Help Explicate and Motivate the Possibly Surprising Idea of Reality as Representational.
  2. Catherine Legg, What Achilles Did and the Tortoise Wouldn't.
    This paper offers an expressivist account of logical form, arguing that in order to fully understand it one must examine what valid arguments make us do (or: what Achilles does and the Tortoise doesn’t, in Carroll’s famed fable). It introduces Charles Peirce’s distinction between symbols, indices and icons as three different kinds of signification whereby the sign picks out its object by learned convention, by unmediated indication, and by resemblance respectively. It is then argued that logical form is represented by (...)
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  3. Catherine Legg (forthcoming). “Things Unreasonably Compulsory”: A Peircean Challenge to a Humean Theory of Perception, Particularly With Respect to Perceiving Necessary Truths. Cognitio.
    Much mainstream analytic epistemology is built around a sceptical treatment of modality which descends from Hume. The roots of this scepticism are argued to lie in Hume’s (nominalist) theory of perception, which is excavated, studied and compared with the very different (realist) theory of perception developed by Peirce. It is argued that Peirce’s theory not only enables a considerably more nuanced and effective epistemology, it also (unlike Hume’s theory) does justice to what happens when we appreciate a proof in mathematics.
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  4. Catherine Legg (2014). Charles Peirce's Limit Concept of Truth. Philosophy Compass 9 (3):204-213.
    This entry explores Charles Peirce's account of truth in terms of the end or ‘limit’ of inquiry. This account is distinct from – and arguably more objectivist than – views of truth found in other pragmatists such as James and Rorty. The roots of the account in mathematical concepts is explored, and it is defended from objections that it is (i) incoherent, (ii) in its faith in convergence, too realist and (iii) in its ‘internal realism’, not realist enough.
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  5. Catherine Legg (2014). “The Meaning of a Thought is Altogether Something Virtual”: Joseph Ransdell and His Legacy. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 49 (4):451-456,.
    Joseph Ransdell (1931–2010), who received his Ph.D in philosophy from Columbia University in 1966, where he was advised by Sidney Morgenbesser, and spent most of his career at Texas Tech University, offered an original and focused challenge to academic philosophy at the end of the Second Millennium. His guiding philosophical passion was understanding how communication might best encourage and support truth seeking. This introduction to a special edition of the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society which is devoted to (...)
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  6. Catherine Legg (2013). Peirce, Meaning, and the Semantic Web. Semiotica 2013 (193):119-143.
    This paper seeks an explanation for the challenges faced by Semantic Web developers in achieving their vision, compared to the staggering near-instantaneous success of the World Wide Web. To this end it contrasts two broad philosophical understandings of meaning and argues that the choice between them carries real consequences for how developers attempt to engineer the Semantic Web. The first is Rene Descartes’ ‘private’, static account of meaning (arguably dominant for the last 400 years in Western thought) which understands the (...)
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  7. Catherine Legg (2013). Review of Forster, "Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism&Quot;. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (1):137-8.
  8. Catherine Legg (2013). What is a Logical Diagram? In Sun-Joo Shin & Amirouche Moktefi (eds.), Visual Reasoning with Diagrams. Springer. 1-18.
    Robert Brandom’s expressivism argues that not all semantic content may be made fully explicit. This view connects in interesting ways with recent movements in philosophy of mathematics and logic (e.g. Brown, Shin, Giaquinto) to take diagrams seriously - as more than a mere “heuristic aid” to proof, but either proofs themselves, or irreducible components of such. However what exactly is a diagram in logic? Does this constitute a semiotic natural kind? The paper will argue that such a natural kind does (...)
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  9. Catherine Legg (2013). Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (1):137-138.
  10. Catherine Legg & Samuel Sarjant (2012). Bill Gates is Not a Parking Meter: Philosophical Quality Control in Automated Ontology Building. Proceedings of the Symposium on Computational Philosophy, AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012 (Birmingham, England, July 2-6).
    The somewhat old-fashioned concept of philosophical categories is revived and put to work in automated ontology building. We describe a project harvesting knowledge from Wikipedia’s category network in which the principled ontological structure of Cyc was leveraged to furnish an extra layer of accuracy-checking over and above more usual corrections which draw on automated measures of semantic relatedness.
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  11. Catherine Legg (2010). Engineering Philosophy. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (01):45-50.
    A commentary on a current paper by Aaron Sloman (“An alternative to working on machine consciousness"). Sloman argues that in order to make progress in AI, consciousness (and related unclear folk mental concepts), "should be replaced by more precise and varied architecture-based concepts better suited to specify what needs to be explained by scientific theories". This original vision of philosophical inquiry as mapping out 'design-spaces' for a contested concept seeks to achieve a holistic, synthetic understanding of what possibilities such spaces (...)
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  12. Catherine Legg (2010). Huw Price. In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Monash University ePress.
    A review of the life and work of the Australian philosopher Huw Price.
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  13. David Milne, Catherine Legg, Medelyan Olena & Witten Ian (2009). Mining Meaning From Wikipedia. International Journal of Human-Computer Interactions 67 (9):716-754.
    Wikipedia is a goldmine of information; not just for its many readers, but also for the growing community of researchers who recognize it as a resource of exceptional scale and utility. It represents a vast investment of manual effort and judgment: a huge, constantly evolving tapestry of concepts and relations that is being applied to a host of tasks. This article provides a comprehensive description of this work. It focuses on research that extracts and makes use of the concepts, relations, (...)
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  14. Samuel Sarjant, Catherine Legg, Olena Medelyan & Michael Robinson (2009). “All You Can Eat” Ontology-Building: Feeding Wikipedia to Cyc. IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI-09), 15 – 18 September 2009 Università Degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Milano, Italy.
    In order to achieve genuine web intelligence, building some kind of large general machine-readable conceptual scheme (i.e. ontology) seems inescapable. Yet the past 20 years have shown that manual ontology-building is not practicable. The recent explosion of free user-supplied knowledge on the Web has led to great strides in automatic ontology building, but quality-control is still a major issue. Ideally one should automatically build onto an already intelligent base. We suggest that the long-running Cyc project is able to assist here. (...)
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  15. James Campbell, Cornelis De Waal, Richard Hart, Vincent Colapietro, Herman De Regt, Douglas Anderson, Kathleen Hull, Catherine Legg, Lee A. Mcbride Iii & Michael L. Raposa (2008). Teaching Peirce to Undergraduates. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 64 (2).
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  16. James Campbell, Cornelis De Waal, Richard Hart, Vincent Colapietro, Herman De Regt, Douglas Anderson, Kathleen Hull, Catherine Legg, Lee A. Mcbride Iii, Michael L. Raposa, Matthew Caleb Flamm, Jaime Nubiola, Lucia Santaella, Rosa Maria Mayorga & André De Tienne (2008). Teaching Peirce to Undergraduates. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (2):189 - 235.
    Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...)
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  17. Catherine Legg (2008). Argument-Forms Which Turn Invalid Over Infinite Domains: Physicalism as Supertask? Contemporary Pragmatism 5 (1):1-11.
    Argument-forms exist which are valid over finite but not infinite domains. Despite understanding of this by formal logicians, philosophers can be observed treating as valid arguments which are in fact invalid over infinite domains. In support of this claim I will first present an argument against the classical pragmatist theory of truth by Mark Johnston. Then, more ambitiously, I will suggest the fallacy lurks in certain arguments for physicalism taken for granted by many philosophers today.
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  18. Catherine Legg (2008). Catnesses. In Stephen D. Hales (ed.), What Philosophy Can Tell you About your Cat. Carus.
    An introduction to cat metaphysics..........
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  19. Catherine Legg (2008). Letting Reality Bite. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy 44 (2):208-212.
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  20. Catherine Legg (2008). Making It Explicit and Clear: From "Strong" to "Hyper-" Inferentialism in Brandom and Peirce. Metaphilosophy 39 (1):105–123.
    This article explores how Robert Brandom's original "inferentialist" philosophical framework should be positioned with respect to the classical pragmatist tradition. It is argued that Charles Peirce's original attack (in "Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man" and other early papers) on the use of "intuition" in nineteenth-century philosophy of mind is in fact a form of inferentialism, and thus an antecedent relatively unexplored by Brandom in his otherwise comprehensive and illuminating "tales of the mighty dead." However, whereas Brandom stops short (...)
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  21. Catherine Legg (2008). The Problem of the Essential Icon. American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (3):207-232.
    Charles Peirce famously divided all signs into icons, indices and symbols. The past few decades have seen mainstream analytic philosophy broaden its traditional focus on symbols to recognise the so-called essential indexical. Can the moral now be extended to icons? Is there an “essential icon”? And if so, what exactly would be essential about it? It is argued that there is and it consists in logical form. Danielle Macbeth’s radical new “expressivist” interpretation of Frege’s logic and Charles Peirce’s existential graphs (...)
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  22. Olena Medelyan & Catherine Legg (2008). Integrating Cyc and Wikipedia: Folksonomy Meets Rigorously Defined Common-Sense. Proceedings of Wikipedia and AI Workshop at the AAAI-08 Conference. Chicago, US, July 12 2008..
    Integration of ontologies begins with establishing mappings between their concept entries. We map categories from the largest manually-built ontology, Cyc, onto Wikipedia articles describing corresponding concepts. Our method draws both on Wikipedia’s rich but chaotic hyperlink structure and Cyc’s carefully defined taxonomic and common-sense knowledge. On 9,333 manual alignments by one person, we achieve an F-measure of 90%; on 100 alignments by six human subjects the average agreement of the method with the subject is close to their agreement with each (...)
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  23. Catherine Legg (2007). Ontologies on the Semantic Web. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 41:407-451.
    As an informational technology, the World Wide Web has enjoyed spectacular success. In just ten years it has transformed the way information is produced, stored, and shared in arenas as diverse as shopping, family photo albums, and high-level academic research. The “Semantic Web” was touted by its developers as equally revolutionary but has not yet achieved anything like the Web’s exponential uptake. This 17 000 word survey article explores why this might be so, from a perspective that bridges both philosophy (...)
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  24. Catherine Legg (2006). Review of Anne Freadman. The Machinery of Talk: Charles Peirce and the Sign Hypothesis. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):642-645.
    This book, officially a contribution to the subject area of Charles Peirce’s semiotics, deserves a wider readership, including philosophers. Its subject matter is what might be termed the great question of how signification is brought about (what Peirce called the ‘riddle of the Sphinx’, who in Emerson’s poem famously asked, ‘Who taught thee me to name?’), and also Peirce’s answer to the question (what Peirce himself called his ‘guess at the riddle’, and Freadman calls his ‘sign hypothesis’).
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  25. Catherine Legg (2005). The Meaning of Meaning-Fallibilism. Axiomathes 15 (2):293-318.
    Much discussion of meaning by philosophers over the last 300 years has been predicated on a Cartesian first-person authority (i.e. “infallibilism”) with respect to what one’s terms mean. However this has problems making sense of the way the meanings of scientific terms develop, an increase in scientific knowledge over and above scientists’ ability to quantify over new entities. Although a recent conspicuous embrace of rigid designation has broken up traditional meaning-infallibilism to some extent, this new dimension to the meaning of (...)
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  26. Catherine Legg (2004). Review of Holland (Ed.) "Machine Consciousness&Quot;. [REVIEW] Metapsychology Reviews Online 2004 (Sep).
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  27. Catherine Legg (2003). This is Simply What I Do. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):58–80.
    Wittgenstein's discussion of rule-following is widely regarded to have identified what Kripke called "the most radical and original sceptical problem that philosophy has seen to date". But does it? This paper examines the problem in the light of Charles Peirce's distinctive "scientific hierarchy". Peirce identifies a phenomenological inquiry which is prior to both logic and metaphysics, whose role is to identify the most fundamental philosophical categories. His third category, particularly salient in this context, pertains to general predication. Rule-following scepticism, the (...)
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  28. Catherine Legg (2002). Review of Naomi Cumming, "The Sonic Self: Musical Subjectivity and Signification&Quot;. [REVIEW] Recherches Semiotiques / Semiotic Inquiry 22 (1-2-3):315-327.
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  29. Catherine Legg (2002). Reading Peirce Reading. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):388 – 390.
    Book Information Reading Peirce Reading. By Richard A. Smyth. Rowman and Littlefield. Maryland. 1997. Pp. ix + 327. Hardback, US$64.50. Paperback, US$24.95.
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  30. Catherine Legg (2001). Predication and the Problem of Universals. Philosophical Papers 30 (2):117-143.
    Abstract This paper contrasts the scholastic realisms of David Armstrong and Charles Peirce. It is argued that the so-called ?problem of universals? is not a problem in pure ontology (concerning whether universals exist) as Armstrong construes it to be. Rather, it extends to issues concerning which predicates should be applied where, issues which Armstrong sets aside under the label of ?semantics?, and which from a Peircean perspective encompass even the fundamentals of scientific methodology. It is argued that Peirce's scholastic realism (...)
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  31. Catherine Legg (2001). Naturalism and Wonder: Peirce on the Logic of Hume's Argument Against Miracles. Philosophia 28 (1-4):297-318.
    Peirce wrote that Hume’s argument against miracles (which is generally liked by twentieth century philosophers for its antireligious conclusion) "completely misunderstood the true nature of" ’abduction’. This paper argues that if Hume’s argumentative strategy were seriously used in all situations (not just those in which we seek to "banish superstition"), it would deliver a choking epistemological conservatism. It suggests that some morals for contemporary naturalistic philosophy may be drawn from Peirce’s argument against Hume.
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  32. Catherine Legg (1999). Extension, Intension and Dormitive Virtue. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (4):654 - 677.
    Would be fairer to call Peirce’s philosophy of language “extensionalist” or “intensionalist”? The extensionalisms of Carnap and Quine are examined, and Peirce’s view is found to be prima facie similar, except for his commitment to the importance of “hypostatic abstraction”. Rather than dismissing this form of abstraction (famously derided by Molière) as useless scholasticism, Peirce argues that it represents a crucial (though largely unnoticed) step in much working inference. This, it is argued, allows Peirce to transcend the extensionalist-intensionalist dichotomy itself, (...)
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  33. Catherine Legg (1999). Real Law in Charles Peirce's Pragmaticism. In Howard Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature. Kluwer. 125--142.
    How scholastic realism met the scientific method.
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  34. Catherine Legg (1999). Review of Brunning and Forster (Eds), The Rule of Reason. [REVIEW] Metascience 8 (1):170-174.
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  35. Catherine Legg (1998). Review of Liszka, "An Introduction to the Semeiotic of Charles Sanders Peirce&Quot;. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):122-124.
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  36. Catherine Legg (1996). Review of WVO Quine,“From Stimulus to Science”. [REVIEW] Metascience 5 (1):209-213.
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