The Work of Secondness as Habit in the Development of Early Schemes


  • Donna E West Department of Modern Languages State University of New York at Cortland



This inquiry demonstrates the pivotal place of attentional phenomena in associating sign, Object, and Interpretant in Secondness. It identifies overt attentional habits (Indexes) and how they are modified/replaced in favor of more covert ones (symbols). The role of Peirce’s Object in securing attentional patterns to affairs in Secondness is highlighted. Alterations in use of attentional artifacts determine the kind and degree of reasoning. While use of Indexical signs in Secondness promotes assumptions of co-occurring cause-effect relations, use of symbols in Thirdness facilitates attenuation between cause and effect. As such, agency (human or otherwise) fails to wholly account for assignment of novel Interpretants to ground triads, particularly when the Object does so. Findings illustrate how unexpected eventualities in Secondness call for reconstruction of premises and inductive experimentation, and as such, how recognition of regularities in Secondness re-emerge to renovate patterns of reasoning – from diagrammatic to abductive reasoning.




How to Cite

West, D. E. (2015). The Work of Secondness as Habit in the Development of Early Schemes. Public Journal of Semiotics, 6(2), 1–13.