Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Auxier, Randall


The central argument of this project is that meaningful and intelligible experience is conditioned by the determinate relationship between realms of reality, and that our humanity is grounded on the semiotic process of symbolic references, which is manifest in Charles S. Peirce’s and Robert C. Neville’s theories of determination. However they are contained by the past such processes of determination can be extended to the future through transformative effort. My investigation ranges over multiple paths that lead toward determinate processes, by suggesting that the problem of interpretation and of the intelligibility of experience can be solved only in reference to the full purview of determinate features of experience. In his theory of determination, Peirce considered two processes of determination, the semiotic process and epistemology. The semiotic process is an extensional process from object to interpretant that consists of an infinite chain of references that can be spatially reversible. The epistemological process of determination is temporal and irreversible, where the idea grows into the individual mind, as the universe is unfolded by the agency of mind. Peirce’s study of the logic of individuals of Duns Scotus is to find answers for the problem of individuality. For Peirce, God is individualized in the course of determination and at the same time determines all possible determinations. Due to his adopting the Scotian sense of necessity, Neville also adopts Duns Scotus’s logic of individuals to his theory of determination and valuation. As revealed in his theory of determination, in the ontological act of creation God becomes individual as a creator, an individual as the determiner of all possible determinations. In his theory of determination, Neville proposes modes of determination at the ontological level, as well as a collection of cosmological determinations. Neville works “inter-cosmologically” in order to account for the fundamental conditions of our knowing that brings ontological and cosmological determinations together. In their theory of interpretation, Peirce and Neville suggest a triadic system of semiotic network. Among other things, Neville provides a more sophisticated version of theory of interpretation, which involves realms of intelligibility. Both Peirce and Neville symbolism allows for the pragmatic semiotics based upon a brokenness of signs, which opens for further interpretation.

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