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Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Interesting material on threefold divisions' having been taken curiously far in past anthropology was recently deleted by some editors from Wikipedia's "3 (number)" article. It lacks references but is, I thought, worth preserving, but I didn't know where, but then I thought, why not here? (The reason for the deletion was not the lack of references but the editors' desire to strip the article down).

One really would little expect the evolution of kinds of primates or any living thing to exhibit a pattern of threefold division. But maybe it really did seem that way for a while with primates, as the material's original writer suggests (I myself, before its recent deletion, did some mostly stylistic and link-embedding later edits of it at Wikipedia). As a four-ist myself, I would not expect a pattern of fourfold division in biological evolution either! Peirce, of course, had a few things to say about triadomany - in "Triadomany" - wherein he argues that trichotomies are not to be expected to abound in natural history, and that logical division is to be distinguished from, among other things, genealogical division; the text as rendered by the Collected Papers' editors ends with his noting, with a kind of twinkle in his eye, Huxley's division of vertebrates into Ichthyopsida, Sauropsida, and Mammalia.

So here it is, discarded from Wikipedia:


Attempts to recognize tripartite patterns in human evolution were somewhat popular in the early-mid 20th century. Today, with new knowledge about the fossil record and phylogeny, they are all but refuted. However, one must wonder why there ever was a recurring predilection for a tripartite organization instead of some other pattern, whether or not a specific enumerative identity (such as the "three") presented itself.

With the realization that the Bonobo represents another and very distinct chimpanzee, humans are instead being referred to as "third chimpanzee", as among living creatures they are most similar to the Bonobo and Common Chimp.

Material from Wikipedia Copyright Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Graphic Peirce

Long time no post! Happened upon a time upon a Trip to Berlin March 2010 post at the Thoughts in Progress blog of Aud Sissel Hoel. Read her whole post there. She visited a workshop "Peirce's Pictorial Thinking":
March 21 and 22 this year I took part in a scholarly event quite out of the ordinary. The focal point of this event was a tableau of drawings made by the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), exhibited here, in the premises of the Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment (Humboldt University, Berlin), for the first time in history. As it turns out, Peirce drew incessantly throughout his life, quite literally sketching out his philosophical ideas.
Having found that, I searched around a bit and added the following to External links at the Charles Sanders Peirce article at Wikipedia:
Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment: The Peirce Archive, John Michael Krois, Horst Bredekamp, Humboldt U, Berlin, Germany. Cataloguing Peirce's innumerable drawings & graphic materials.
Those are the drawings and graphic materials in Peirce's Nachlass in the Houghton Library at Harvard. The project was initiated by John Michael Krois.

Aud also says:
Similar attempts are made by the Graduiertenkolleg Schriftbildlichkeit at the Free University of Berlin, directed by Sybille Krämer, where Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer is currently pursuing a postdoctoral project focusing on Peirce’s notation systems.
Perhaps many already know about all this, but it was news to me at the time. (I should have posted this sooner, but I didn't find out till after the exhibition anyway.)

Correction: I originally embedded a linked search on Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer and Peirce inside Meyer-Krahmer's name in the quote from Aud, but I shouldn't add things to people's quotes! (Unless they obviously didn't embed a URL, like back in the 1800s.)