Sheets in the Wild

This paper investigates how Peirce’s formal idea of a “Sheet of Assertion” (SA) from his Existential Graphs may be generalized to cover certain simple classes of signs in the wild. In the EGs, a graph is asserted if scribed on a “Sheet of Assertion”, and several such graphs side by side express the assertion of the logical conjunction of the represented propositions. In the wild, we find a lot of different cases where “Sheets”, that is, delimited areas of attention within the field of perception, have the same function: signs placed on such a Sheet are cognized as fused together into one asserted proposition. Such ‘sheets in the wild’ fulfil an overlooked function in many media from paintings, posters, billboards, movies to the internet – to fuse signs into propositions, facilitating the quick cognitive processing of truth claims. This paper gives a first overview over types of sheets in the wild.

Frederik Stjernfelt

Aalborg University Copenhagen
stjern@hum.aau.dk

professor at Aallborg University Copenhagen, where he is co-director of the Humanomics Center, and a Visiting Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research of RWTH Aachen University. His main research interests cover cognitive semiotics, philosophy of science, intellectual history, theory of literature and political philosophy.

keywords
Sheet of Assertion
existential graphs
perception
proposition
cognition