Iconicity of logic - and the roots of "iconicity" concept

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It seems to be a standard assumption that Charles Morris originated the concept of “iconicity” on the basis of Peirce’s icon-index-symbol discussion. This paper locates the origin in Peirce himself, in the context of judging the merits of different mathematical and logic representations – the more iconic such representations generally being preferable to less iconic ones, for scientific purposes. In Peirce’s Collected Papers, “iconicity” occurs in the discussion of different conventions in the logic representation system called “Existential Graphs”. This paper provides the context of logic representations in order to show how Peirce’s articulation of the concept of “iconicity” comes out of the attempt to find as iconic a way as possible to depict logical relations. Moreover, this indicates a use of “iconicity”, from the very beginning, which addresses not only similarities between different visual representations – but also visual representations of abstract contents.


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