Gestures and Propositions

  • Richard Kenneth Atkins Boston College
Keywords: Peirce, proposition, gesture, truth, index


On Peirce’s view, every proposition minimally consists of both an index and a rheme. To illustrate the role of the index in a proposition, he occasionally remarks that gestures may supply the index of a proposition, the gesture making it such that an utterance conveys information about something. I explore the role that gestures play in Peirce’s theory of the proposition and in information conveyance, and I argue that in some contexts a pointing index finger alone is sufficient to express a proposition.