Charles Sanders Peirce’s pragmatic maxim establishes the criterion for meaning as production of real effects: ‘Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object’ (Peirce, CP 5.402). The purpose of this paper is to address the concept of ‘intuition of education’ (Noddings & Shore, 1984) from the pragmatic viewpoint so as to assert its place in the cognitive, that is inferential, learning process. The structure of the paper, consistent with the spirit of Peirce’s triadic semiotics, will be threefold. As a point of departure, I will revisit Nel Noddings’s monumental work on intuition that has enjoyed a recent revival by being chosen as an educational classic. I am going to expand the boundaries of the concept by drawing from selected excerpts in the works of John Dewey and Gilles Deleuze and asserting the similarity between the two based on their analogous approach to formal logic as semiotics. Deleuze (1986; 1989) acknowledged, albeit implicitly, the influence of Peirce’s theory of signs on his own philosophical thinking, and Dewey was indebted to Peirce in developing his logic as the theory of inquiry (Dewey, 1938). The locus of this paper is, specifically, Peirce’s notion of abductive inference, and I suggest hereafter a novel model of abduction and connect it with the concept of intuition for the purpose of exploring the possible educational implications of both ‘Firstnesses’. At the conclusion of this paper I would like to suggest a possible solution, partially derived from Deleuze and Guattari’s asignifying semiotics, for the so-called learning paradox. While paradox per se cannot be overcome, the very existence of what common sense considers a paradox is a feature of triadic semiotics based on a logic of non-non-contradiction. What seems to be a paradox is in fact the Firstness of intuition that is always already present within the Thirdness of cognition. As such, it is inherent in the semiotic thinking and is a precondition for the meaning production in the learning process.
Educational Philosophy and Theory Vol. 36, Issue 4, p. 433-454