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From Map Projection to Semiotics

Evangelos Livieratos


Umberto Eco’s admiration for Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) for ... earning a living by drawing maps ... combined with the pleasure of knowledge given by the diving to the history of our cartographic discipline, reminded me of a relevant sixty-year-old text about the great scientist and authentic thinker – maybe the greatest of Logic of his time. It is based on unpublished (until then) manuscript material, in his collection of the same name in the Houghton Library at Harvard. The sixty-year-old mathematician Carolyn Eisele (1902−2000) – devoted scholar of Peirce’s work – wrote the text in the early 1960s; it was then published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. The subject of her text is the problem of cartographic projection. But what can a cartographic projection problem have to do with logic and its practical applications, which is the greatest challenge to Peirce’s thinking?


map projections; semiotic; Charles S. Peirce

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