Signs as Means for Discoveries. Peirce and His Concepts of 'Diagrammatic Reasoning,' 'Theorematic Deduction,' 'Hypostatic Abstraction,' and 'Theoric Transformation'

In . Springer (2005)
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The paper aims to show how by elaborating the Peircean terms used in the title creativity in learning processes and in scientific discoveries can be explained within a semiotic framework. The essential idea is to emphasize both the role of external representations and of experimenting with those representations , and to describe a process consisting of three steps: First, looking at diagrams "from a novel point of view" offers opportunities to synthesize elements of these diagrams which have never been perceived as connected before. Second, by forming those observed syntheses to "new objects" of thinking, and by signifying these objects through new signs , new means of thinking and acting are created . And finally, by applying these new means – in proofs, for instance – the "intelligibility" of new discoveries and their power to explain problematic facts must be tested



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Michael H. G. Hoffmann
Georgia Institute of Technology

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