Semiotics 1980 pp 475-484 | Cite as

Art and Objectivity

  • Frances Williams Scott


The search for an objective method of inquiry and the development of a comprehensive theory of semiotic form the core of Peirce’s work. This paper proposes that these two aspects are complementary and may be interrelated in such a way as to provide the potential for an aesthetic theory capable of revealing that which is objective in art. Although Peirce did not consider himself to be an authority on the arts, he frequently used works of art and the process of appreciating art for explicating particular ideas, and he numbered among his acquaintances several distinguished American artists. This paper will not be concerned with establishing his merit as an art critic, but will be addressing the possibility of using his theories to achieve an understanding of art which he might have foreseen but did not specifically pursue.


Semiotic Process Aesthetic Theory Existential Graph Reasoning Mind Semiotic Object 
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  1. Eisele, Carolyn. “C. S. Peirce’s Community of Inquirers.” This paper was read at a Semiotic Symposium at Brown University held in conjunction with meetings of the Semiotic Society of America and is on file at the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.Google Scholar
  2. Kepes, Gyorgy. The New Landscape in Art and Science. Chicago: Paul Theobold and Co., 1956.Google Scholar
  3. Peirce, Charles Sanders. In this paper CP refers to the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce vols. 1–6 edited by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss, 1935; vols. 7, 8 edited by Arthur Burks, 1958. Boston: Harvard University Press. N.E.M. refers to The New Element of Mathematics hy. Charles S. Peirce edited by Carolyn Eisele in four volumes. Mouton, 1976. MS refers to the Peirce manuscripts located in the Houghton Library, Harvard University; a xeroxed copy is on file at the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. ISP stands for the pagination assigned to the Peirce manuscripts by the Institute starting with the first page of the manuscript regardless of Peirce’s numbering.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frances Williams Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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