Discursive habits: A representationalist rethinking of teleosemiotics
Cathy Legg (Deakin University, University of Waikato)

April 2, 2019, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Department of Philosophy, PHI research group, Deakin University

C2.05 Burwood Campus. Ic1.108 Waurn Ponds. *VMP 522 39354
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood 3125

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Deakin University

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Enactivism has greatly benefitted contemporary philosophy by showing in detail how the traditional intellectualist ‘act-content’ model of intentionality is simply insufficient both phenomenologically and naturalistically, and minds are built from ‘operative intentionality’ – world-involving bodily habits. It has been assumed that this insight must entail non-representationalism concerning at least basic minds. But what if we could show that representation is itself a form of skilled performance? I sketch the beginnings of such an account, drawing on Peirce’s pragmatic semiotics, which understands signs as habits whose connections with rich schemas of possible experience render them subject to increasing degrees of self-control. This new framework, I argue, enables us to take a crack at the Information Processing Challenge (Hutto 2011), and offers the prospect of a new, entirely habit-based epistemology.


Dr Cathy Legg is Senior Lecturer at Deakin University. She holds a BA (hons) from University of Melbourne, a MA in Philosophy from Monash University and a PhD from ANU, where her thesis (“Modes of Being”) concerned Charles Peirce’s philosophical categories. After a spell of hands-on ontological engineering she returned to academia. Her current research bridges philosophy of language, logic, pragmatism, speculative metaphysics and ‘applied ontology’, with particular recent focus on the Pittsburgh philosophical school.

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La Trobe University

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