The triad concept

Peirce’s structural categories are a triad concept. Buber’s three fundamental relations in his dialogics are too.

Jaynes’ analyses of the origins of consciousness and the I’s control system reflect this. In the following, I take the liberty of comparing Peirce’s three structural categories, Buber’s three fundamental relations and Jaynes’ analyses. This is based on the following hypothesis:

Firstness - the I (which is really “me”) is pure quality, pure being or sensing, “consciousness without self-awareness”. The I/me imagines a consciousness which includes recognition of shape and colour, heat and cold, attention and distraction, etc. It is controlled by the emotions and by inner voices which means that the person acts on the basis of arbitrariness and proximity and where the action is spontaneous in relation to any given situation.

Secondness - Thou/It ensures that the I can deal with experience, to the encounter or rather the confrontation with the world around him, to the Thou or the It, with contrasts, opposites and contradictions, the decisive active-passive constellation.

Events or encounters turn up or occur completely irregularly (and, as such, cannot be planned in advance). The environment with all its Thous and Its exists if for no other reason then because the I actually bangs into them and thus registers the I and/or that which is not I in a conscious and self-aware form.

Thirdness - It/Thou is the situation, the knot which ties life’s loose ends together forming a loop of comprehension, conclusion or a symbol of what has occurred.

In Peirce’s system (within the logical investigative sphere) there is legitimate development from icon via index to symbol. Thirdness is a triad, an “intentionality”, an awakening, where a sign stands for an object which stands for an interpretant.

Peirce (1.369, 5.358) states laconically that Man does not like to study logic because anyone at all can think that he is clever at reasoning - but this will seemingly be reasoning which limits itself to one’s own thoughts and not to others’ opinions.

The comparison between Peirce’s structural categories, Buber’s dialogics and Jaynes’ theory converted to a theory of play will hereafter be examined as the following possible construction: a play triad.



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