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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Peirce Pages

In the sidebar you'll find links to a Peirce Blog adjunct The Peirce Pages at . (I would have put "csp3" into the URL but Google Sites demands at least six characters for the folder name. The "mem" is for "memory".) Right now there are just a few things there, and I've been wondering what else I could put or start there in the short term.

Joe gave me an idea with his recent post here when he said, "...this is an excellent definition of "normal" and it should be picked up on for the Commens definitions of Peirce's terminology." If I gather enough such definitions I could start a miniature supplement to the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms with the understanding that the definitions in the "supplement" would not necessarily reflect, as the Commens entries seem to reflect, a thoroughgoing search for definitions of a given word. They would be material for such, that's all.

Umm...does anybody have any other ideas? If so, please post a comment on it.


gnox said...

Ben, i think this is a great idea. The Commens glossary is a wonderful resource but doesn't include a lot of words that are, well, common ... words like "normal" or "fact" or "existence", of which Peirce did give explicit definitions here and there, but they're not easy to systematically search for because they're not technical terms like "immediate object" which occur much less frequently. I'd like to have a place to put those Peirce definitions when i happen to come across them, for later reference. (This would also be quite different from the Century and Baldwin dictionaries because the definitions Peirce wrote for those were intended to reflect widespread usage rather than Peirce's more specific usage of the term defined.)
Here's an example, for "fact" from CP 6.67: "Mill seems to have thoughtlessly or nominalistically assumed that a fact is the very objective history of the universe for a short time, in its objective state of existence in itself. But that is not what a fact is. A fact is an abstracted element of that. A fact is so much of the reality as is represented in a single proposition. If a proposition is true, that which it represents is a fact."

Ben Udell said...

Let's go ahead with it then. Give me a day or two to figure out how to set it up. Google Sites is an environment where it's best to get the setup right the first time. A problem is that their list feature doesn't allow italics, but if I set up a table there's no automatic way to reorder alphabetically, I think. One can attach a file, an Excel file, for instance, but I think we want it embedded not just attached. However, if we could link to such a file directly from the home page, then it would be just like another page. Google has a spreadsheet app, maybe it allows italics and wouldn't require the person to have a program installed on his or her computer.

Well, obviously I have to investigate further.

Ben Udell said...

This looks like the solution to our problem. It would also mean that I don't even need to embed a Google Docs table. And I could put a scrollable fixed-position sidebar (mimicking a frame but no link problems), now that most current browsers recognize fixed positioning.

gnox said...

Wow, i had no idea all these tools existed.

Now if somebody other than you wants to contribute a definition to Peirce's Terms, what's the best way of doing that? Post it as a comment, and then you can move it into the list when you find the comment?

Ben Udell said...

I sent you a Google invitation to collaborate. I'll send another.

I just went there to send it and saw that you've received it and joined.

You can modify the table directly. I think that you know what you're doing but if you mess it up, don't worry. Just be very careful about creating a new page. If you click on "back" and try to start over, the Google Sites program will insist on adding a hyphen and number to the page's URL and there seems no way to get rid of it.

(Actually we probably don't even need the Firefox add-on for table sorting, but go ahead and use it if you want. Google Sites displays the html table markup in sort of the way that Outlook Express displays it, so it's pretty easy to copy and paste a row in the html. For my part I don't relish editing html through Firefox, it keeps rewriting valid html, especially color and background values in inline style expressions, into lengthier html sometimes littered with special attributes which Firefox has been promoting. "Standards evangelism" it ain't.)

gnox said...

Ah, OK, i see the "Edit" button now -- didn't see it earlier this morning, maybe it wasn't there yet. I inserted the dates into the 2 entries in the table.

So anyone (new) who wants to add to the table should contact you to be added to the collaborator list?

Ben Udell said...

Maybe the Edit button doesn't appear while somebody else is editing it as I was doing earlier.

Yes, people should contact me to be added to the collaborator list. If they can't handle html, they should email me when they do an edit of a table so that I can put the table into alphabetical order, which I'll do anyway as I visit the page occasionally. One can practice with HTML in Outlook Express when editing an email: View, Source Edit. Then Source becomes an option along the bottom pane of the email window; one can switch back and forth between views to see how one's html is working. Anyway, that's how I learned.

Ben Udell said...

I've seen your edits. Welcome aboard!