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

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.

Sheet of Assertion
existential graphs