¬Peirce’s Creative Hallucinations in the Ontogeny of Abductive Reasoning

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Donna E West


This inquiry proposes that Peirce’s ultimate concept of dreams, which can be sub-divided in seven different functions, supply the raw material for habit-change inherent in every plausible inference. With references to developmental literature, I propose that dreams represent an outlet whereby children rely upon vivid directional icons of events (virtual habits) in reconciling logical anomalies provoked by unexpected happenings. Accordingly, dreams supply insights into how potential happenings materialize – identifying which factors can enhance/enrich the effectiveness of potential event outcomes. Dreams of this creative kind are not obsessional or socially driven but rather form the bedrock for conceiving of many meritorious insights, as shown in phenomena like children’s prelinguistic habits, word substitutions, overextensions, role-play and perspective taking.

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Author Biography

Donna E West, State University of New York at Cortland Department of Modern Languages

Donna E. West is Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the State University of New York at Cortland (USA). For more than twenty-five years she has been presenting and publishing internationally in semiotic studies using Peirce's sign system, and comparing it to semiotic properties in the works of Karl Bühler, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget