This from a response in a thread on the Peirce list.
It seems to me that the thread has sought to describe how the mind works, and that Peirce thought it worked by accessing the general which I call reality and he calls first and having it bump up against an index which he calls second and which I call ethics and having it transit in some melded way to a third which he calls a third and I call aesthetics and take to be an action or expression whose effects can be empirically validated and measured. Now if Peirce’s threes do not refer to what can be a conscious process then to what do they refer? And if to a conscious process, then am I justified in saying that thinking in threes can involve accessing whatever is rising in your mind and subjecting it to an ethical challenge and then seeing that the result of that encounter issues in something that you take to aim for truth/beauty? There are surely myriad other ways to think in threes, just as triangles can be infinitely iterated. But just as Hegel and Marx developed what we call dialectics that have influenced thought, who is to say that a mode of triadic thinking cannot come to bear on the challenges we face – the primary one being whether we can morally evolve beyond what Veblen aptly described as our predatory nature?