I may have mentioned this many moons back.
The paper "Thinking with machines" by Peter Skagestad, ties Peirce, Popper,
Engelbart, and others up into one paper.
"What brings the sign into connection with its object is some material
quality it possesses, which enables it to represent its object in a
particular way. A picture signifies by means of an association that connects
it, in the interpreter's brain, with its object (the picture resembles the
object in some way). A weathervane or a tally signifies simply by being
physically connected with its object by a chain of causation. Words,
finally, can function as signs only because they are capable of being
connected into sentences by means of a copula (what we would call an
abstract or convention-based connection).(62) Later, Peirce was to classify
all signs as: icons, which signify by virtue of resemblance, indices, which
signify by virtue of a physical connection with the object, and symbols,
which signify by virtue of the existence of a rule governing their
The exact physical embodiment of symbols is of course largely, but not
entirely, a matter of convention. The choice of Roman versus Old English
lettering may be purely conventional, but that is certainly not the case
with one's preference for Arabic over Roman numerals for the purpose of
performing long division -- a point also made by Peirce, and later by
Engelbart(64). The important observation Peirce made in 1868, and was later
to develop in depth, as we shall see below, is that the existence of symbols
depends crucially on the existence of a notation that is capable of symbolic
interpretation, and moreover that our thinking is facilitated or impeded by
the specific physical features of our notation."
Notice that the paper is embedded at a web site that covers C.S. Peirce.
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