A Cosmology of Learning and Loving
Grounded within an edusemiotics framework and also exploring the iconic turn in semiotics and recent developments in biosemiotics, this is the first book-length study of Peirce’s contribution to the philosophy of education.
The argument developed in this book is that personal love is the foundation and rationale of education. Because education is a means to enhance learning towards proper research, it needs to follow the teleological evolution of the Universe of signs.
The principles of the modes of evolution, in Peirce’s semiotic account, are chance, necessity, and love. At first, we learn by chance, iconically. Further on, out of chance, learning proves necessary, and so we focus on learning specific matters. This indexicality proves to be a struggle, an effort. Its results are often unexpected. The struggle of necessity and the determination of chance and necessity are transcended by the principle of love. Love is the only principle of growth (Chapter 6, CP 2.287), and it is liberating. Growth is best expressed by personality (Chapter 5, Section C, CP 6.157), as agapism, the principle of evolutionary love, has its expression among personalities (Chapter 8, CP 6.288). An agapic student/teacher relation is understood, in Peirce’s terms, as Argument. Thus, learning is the passage from Icon to Argument. If the teacher does not accept the student’s icons, learning is artificially imposed and it becomes an empty formalism. Its structures of signification can be described as iconless symbols. If the student does not accept the teacher’s indices, learning remains spontaneous and it might become idle. The mediation of chance and necessity is the personal engagement with the other. It is the going out of the self, which we refer to...
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