Peirce’s Diagrammatic Solutions to ‘Peirce’s Puzzle’

Ahti Veikko Pietarinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


We present Peirce’s own solution to what is known as ‘Peirce’s Puzzle’ in formal semantics and pragmatics. In his mostly unpublished writings, Peirce analyses some sentences in the modal extension of his Beta Existential Graphs (that is, in a diagrammatic system of quantified first-order logic with tinctures) and in algebraic logic. These diagrams represent the pragmatic idea of information states that support or fail to support sentences with (non-existential) indefinites and modalities. The interpretation of such sentences presupposes a graphic-pragmatic criterion of cross-identification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiagrammatic Representation and Inference
Subtitle of host publication12th International Conference, Diagrams 2021, Virtual, September 28–30, 2021, Proceedings
EditorsAmrita Basu, Gem Stapleton, Sven Linker, Catherine Legg, Emmanuel Manalo, Petrucio Viana
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783030860622
ISBN (Print)9783030860615
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2021
Event12th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams, Diagrams 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 28 Sept 202130 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
NameDiagrams: International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams


Conference12th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams, Diagrams 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Existential graphs
  • Indefinites
  • Line of identity
  • Modality
  • Peirce’s puzzle
  • Tinctures


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