Thanks, Edwina, this is very helpful. I appreciate how much you were able to gather.

Thanks, again, Mike.


On 9/16/2016 7:34 PM, Edwina Taborsky wrote:
Mike - there are multiple sites...and it's spread throughout his work. Let's see...
 
6.13 and on, where he talks about the three theories of evolution - and rejects pure randomness. See also 6.33 - where he discusses randomness moving into 'taking of habits'
 
In 6.57 and on, he discusses 'everywhere the main fact is growth and increasing complexity 6.58..."by thus admitting pure spontaneity or life as a character of the universe, acting always and everywhere though restrained within the narrow bounds by law, producing infinitesimal departures from law continually and greaet ones with infinite infrequency, I account for all the variety and diversity of the universe" 6.59
 
6.102 'I have begun by showing that tychism must give birth to an evolutionary cosmology, in which all the regularities of nature and of mind are regarded as products of growth, and to a Schelling-fashioned idealism which holds matter to be mere specialized and partially deadened mind"
 
Then, he continues on with his explanation of synechism, the notion of continuity..."where ideas tend to spread continuosly and to affect certain others which stand to them in a peculiar relation of affectibility. In this spreading they lose intensity and especially the pow3r of affecting others, but g ain generality and become welded with other ideas' 6.104
 
So, see his outline in 6.202, where he doesn't want his theory of the evolution of diversity [and habits] to be simply tychism or chance, but, he considers that 'continuity or Thirdness...as well as Firstness and Secondness play a role.  Thirdness, .."this habit is a generalizing tendency...and "it must have its origin in the original continuity which is inherent in potentiality" 6.204
 
And, discussing his differences with Hegal..6.218...'It is true that the whole universe and every feature of it must be regarded as rational, that is as brought about by the logic of events. But it does not follow that it is constrained to be as it is by the logic of events, for the logic of evolution and of life need not be supposed to be of that wooden kind that absolutely constrains a given conclusion".  Here - I think Peirce insists on the reality of spontaneity, chance, freedom, along with the operation of Reason.
 
And - 'protoplasm feels. It not only feels but exercises all the functions of mind" 6.255
 
"Necessitarianism cannot logically stop short of making the whole action of the mind a part of the physical universe" 6.61...."we gain room to insert mind into our scheme, and to put it into the place where it is needed, into the position which, as the sole self-intelligible thing, it is entitled to occupy, that of the fountain of existence; and in so doing we resolve the problem of the connection of soul and body" 6.61.
 
Then, his very clear and long outline of 'evolutionary love' See 6.293 and on..where he rejects the mechanism of basic Darwinism...and discusses 'agapasm'. This is all too long to quote here..but he discusses the 'agapastic development of thought...by virtue of the continuity of mind" 6.306
-----------------------------
 
And of course, "Thought is not necessarily connected with a brain. It appears in the work of bees, of crystals and throughout the purely physical world; and one can no more deny that it is really there, than that the colors, the shapes, etc. of objects are really there" 4.551...
 
Not only is thought in the organic*world, but it develops there. But as there cannot be a General without Instances embodying it, so there cannot be thought without Signs" 4.551.
* I have seen this changed to inorganic, which I think makes more sense, including that crystal.
---------------------
And his focus on the diversity of nature, both its existential reality AND that this diversity grows..
..."what is the most marked and obtrusive character of nature? Of course, I mean the variety of nature"1.159.
"Now, I don't know that it is logically accurate to say that this marvellous and infinite diversity and manifoldness of things is a sign of spontaneity......" 1.160. He goes on to say this it IS spontaneity...
 
And 1.162 and on, where he says that "the universe is not a mere mechanical result of the operation of blind law. The most obvious of all its characters cannot be so explained. It is the multitudinous facts of all experience that show us this.....
 
And on..1.174 where he writes that 'mechanical law can never produce diversification'  [it can only produce like consequents]..and on into 1.175
 
That is, he acknowledges 'chance, freedom, spontaneity'..as well as the formation of habits'
----------------
Basically, he is outlining the action of Mind in the development of both diversity and habits -
 
Edwina
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 7:31 PM
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking

Hi Edwina,


On 9/16/2016 6:28 PM, Edwina Taborsky wrote:
Harold, list: Thanks for your comments.
 
I think one has to, as I said, first define the term 'God'. If by that term, one means a universal Reason or Mind, then, I acknowledge its reality, and always have.  One has only to, as Peirce said, consider the intricate forms and interactions of nature on this planet to acknowledge that randomness and natural selection didn't create or maintain such intricate and interactional complexity.

This interests me very much. Can you point to some references where Peirce states this?

Thanks, Mike

And Anselm's argument seems to me to be purely conceptual [if you think of it, then...] whereas my acknowledgement of the reality of Mind, a rational force of universal interactional and collaborative order within the universe, relies actually on observation of such an interactional order.
 
Edwina
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 7:01 PM
Subject: Fwd: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking

My previous message, attached below, didn't get to the Peirce list but only apparently to Ben Novak and Jerry Rhee.  The latest exchange, especially attacking Edwina for her personal beliefs about the EXISTENCE of God, i.e., the minority view of that small segment of the inhabitants of the 7th Rock from the Sun, does not interfere with her accepting the REALITY of THAT God, as Peirce apparently did.  But there is a persistent confusion on the part of those who apparently believe in the EXISTENCE of that God, which there is no evidence that Peirce ever did, with HIS REALITY.  Perhaps the list members might read Peirce's agreement, clearly  expressed on more than one occasion for his youthful friend, Francis E. Abbot's view on the matter.  Or of that of James, Dewey and Mead.

Harold L. Orbach 

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: <h...@ksu.edu>
Date: September 14, 2016 at 1:20:31 AM CDT
To: Ben Novak <trevriz...@gmail.com>
Cc: Jerry Rhee <jerryr...@gmail.com>, Peirce-L <peirce-L@list.iupui.edu>
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking

Pardon my intrusion into this unending mishmash:

1.  Peirce's neglected argument is for the REALITY of God  not  the EXISTENCE of God.

2. Anselm's ontological argument for the EXISTENCE of God is not "pretty nearly the most famous argument in the history of philosophy," only in the history of a small segment of the so-called WESTERN world, a minor part of the total areas and populations of what is termed "the earth" that came to dominate and "discover" most of the other areas for a few hundred years up to the present compared with other civilizations or empires that had dominance over larger and smaller areas for thousands of years.  

3.  Other lands and peoples have and have had different views on the nature of God or Gods or Goddesses or if there are any that EXIST and how anyone might come to know this.  They also have and have had different kinds of "things" that were believed to be gods or sacred.

Harold L. Orbach
PhD, University of Minnesota Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology
Emeritus, Kansas State University
Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 13, 2016, at 10:32 PM, Ben Novak <trevriz...@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Jerry, List:

You ask two questions. First, what is Anselm's ontological argument. Thankfully, that is easy to answer. It is short, and I append it to this email at the end.

Your second question is why "you are imposing the question on us, which includes me [Jerry Rhee]?

First. let me clarify for the record: I am not from Missouri, and only used that phrase assuming everyone is familiar with it, in order to get to the "show me" part. Further, I do not know whether everyone in Missouri has heard of Anselm's ontological argument, though I assume not.

However, I would expect (silly me!) that anyone with a Ph.D. would have heard of it, since it is pretty nearly the most famous argument about God's existence in the history of philosophy, and would be expected to be brought up in any introductory, or history of, philosophy course or in any conversation or study anytime anyone questions whether God exists.  

Further, since we are talking about Peirce's "Neglected Argument for the Reality of God," Anselm's argument would naturally come to mind as soon as anyone inquires into why Peirce thought his argument had been "neglected." In other words, the very title of Peirce's paper points to other arguments for God's existence in the context of which he is placing his. But it is worth noting that Peirce did not claim that he had a new argument, but suggests by his title that it may have arisen before and was merely "neglected." So he was bringing a long neglected argument back into view. At least I take that to be one possible interpretation of the suggestion in his title.(On the other hand, I take Peirce's title to imply that he felt his argument had been neglected because it was so simple!!!! that no one thought to dignify it previously. Silly me.)

Since the original questions that commenced this chain include "How exactly is "this theory of thinking" logically connected with "the hypothesis of God's reality"? I assumed that that was to be one of the major questions dealt with in the discussion, which Jon thought to begin by asking his four questions.

Now, the ontological argument has evoked a stupendous literature in philosophy and logic, because it seems to prove the existence of God by a purely logical and non-empirical method. That is why it is called ontological, i.e., the argument proceeds only from being (_onto_=being).  Philosophers agree that Anselm makes at least two different arguments in chapters II and III, though some philosophers find three and even four separate arguments. Many logicians have wrestled with it, and some logicians see it as a "modal" argument.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy gives a very brief and readable description of Anselm's ontological argument: Be sure  to read sections 1, 2a, 3, and 4.


I hope that you will agree, after reading the brief account in the link above that Anselm is quite relevant to placing Peirce's "neglected" argument into context. The connection is that both Anselm and Peirce seek to prove God's existence purely from a thought process. 

Now, if you want to read a different take on Anselm's understanding of what is meant by "existence," I invite you to read my article entitled "Anselm on Nothing," in the International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 48, Issue 3, September 2008, pages 305-320, which you may read on line here:


For this second link, it must be borne in mind that Anselm wrote two tracts relating to God's existence (or being), and the first link deals with his second work, the Proslogion, where his famous ontological argument is found (appended below), while the second link (my article) deals mostly with Anselm's arguments in his first work, the Monologion. (Understand, too, that my views though increasingly cited are nevertheless minority.)

Understand too that Peirce's works were constantly on my mind throughout writing "Anselm on Nothing," and that I planned to write a second article on Peirce and Anselm, but was largely discouraged from doing so by the realization that Peirceans would disagree with just about everything a simple person like me would say about Peirce's thought---which is why I was so excited when Jon posted his questions that began this chain.For example, I thought the example I gave of simple firstness, secondness, and thirdness was safe, but I received a private email from an observer of this list that such is not the case: 

Echoing others, the Firstness-Secondness-Thirdness ordering in your example is too linear. It should be Firstness-Thirdness-Secondness. That is, some shock meets your habitual conditioning which determines the reaction. How else could we have different reactions?

So, I need a lot of enlightenment, which is why I appreciate this forum so much. 

In any event, appended below are Chapters II, III, and IV of the Proslogion, which contains Anselm's famous ontological argument;

 
Ben

Chapter II

Therefore, O Lord, who grantest to faith understanding, grant unto me that, so far as Thou knowest it to be expedient for me, I may understand that Thou art, as we believe; and also that Thou art what we believe Thee to be. And of a truth we believe that Thou art somewhat than which no greater can be conceived. Is there then nothing real that can be thus described? for the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Yet surely even that fool himself when he hears me speak of somewhat than which nothing greater can be conceived under stands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding, even if he do not under stand that it really exists. It is one thing for a thing to be in the understanding, and another to understand that the thing really exists. For when a painter considers the work which he is to make, he has it indeed in his understanding; but he doth not yet understand that really to exist which as yet he has not made. But when he has painted his picture, then he both has the picture in his understanding, and also under stands it really to exist. Thus even the fool is certain that something exists, at least in his understanding, than which nothing greater can be conceived; because, when he hears this mentioned, he understands it, and whatsoever is understood, exists in the understanding. And surely that than which no greater can be conceived cannot exist only in the understanding. For if it exist indeed in the understanding only, it can be thought to exist also in reality; and real existence is more than existence in the under standing only. If then that than which no greater can be conceived exists in the understanding only, then that than which no greater can be conceived is something a greater than which can be conceived: but this is impossible. There fore it is certain that something than which no greater can be conceived exists both in the under standing and also in reality.

Chapter II

Not only does this something than which no greater can be conceived exist, but it exists in so true a sense that it cannot even be conceived not to exist. For it is possible to form the conception of an object whose non-existence shall be inconceivable; and such an object is of necessity greater than any object whose existence is conceivable: wherefore if that than which no greater can be conceived can be conceived not to exist; it follows that that than which no greater can be conceived is not that than which no greater can be conceived [for there can be thought a greater than it, namely, an object whose non-existence shall be inconceivable]; and this brings us to a contradiction. And thus it is proved that that thing than which no greater can be conceived exists in so true a sense, that it cannot even be conceived not to exist: and this thing art Thou, O Lord our God! And so Thou, O Lord my God, existest in so true a sense that Thou canst not even be conceived not to exist. And this is as is fitting. For if any mind could conceive aught better than Thee, then the creature would be ascending above the Creator, and judging the Creator; which is a supposition very absurd. Thou therefore dost exist in a truer sense than all else beside Thee, and art more real than all else beside Thee; because whatsoever else existeth, existeth in a less true sense than Thou, and therefore is less real than Thou. Why then said the fool in his heart, There is no God, when it is so plain to a rational mind that Thou art more real than any thing else? Why, except that he is a fool indeed?

Chapter IV

But how came the fool to say in his heart that which he could not conceive? or how came he to be able not to conceive that which yet he said in his heart? For it may be thought that to conceive and to say in one’s heart are one and the same thing. If it is true—nay, because it is true, that he conceived it, because he said it in his heart; and also true that he did not say it in his heart because he could not conceive it; it follows that there are two senses in which something may be understood to be conceived or said in the heart. For in one sense we are said to have a conception of something, when we have a conception of the word that signifies it; and in another sense, when we understand what the thing really is. In the former sense then we may say that God is conceived not to exist: but in the latter, He cannot by any means be conceived not to exist. For no man that understandeth what fire and water mean, can conceive that fire is really water; though he may have this conception, as far as the words go. Thus in like manner no man that understandeth what God is can conceive that God does not exist; although he may say these words [that God does not exist] either with no meaning at all, or with some other meaning than that which they properly bear. For God is that than which no greater can be conceived. He who well under standeth what this is, certainly understandeth it to be such as cannot even be conceived not to exist. Whosoever therefore understandeth in this way that God exists, cannot conceive that he does not exist. Thanks be to Thee, O good Lord, thanks be to Thee! because that which heretofore I believed by Thy grace, I now by Thine illumination thus understand, so that, even though I should not wish to believe in Thine existence, I cannot but understand that Thou dost exist.








Ben Novak
5129 Taylor Drive, Ave Maria, FL 34142
Telephone: (814) 808-5702

"All art is mortal, not merely the individual artifacts, but the arts themselves. One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be—though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes may remain—because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone." Oswald Spengler

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 5:11 PM, Jerry Rhee <jerryr...@gmail.com> wrote:
Ben, 

What is Anselm's ontological argument, for it is my opinion that someone from Missouri is expected to know it. 

If I, being from Missouri, is not expected to know about Anselm's ontological argument, then why are you imposing the question on us, which includes me?

Best,
Jerry R

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 3:05 PM, Ben Novak <trevriz...@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Jon Alan Schmidt:

I would like to go back to the point that this chain of emails began. Jon Alan Schmidt asked about something he found Peirce had said in the Neglected Argument, which had been omitted in the version published in the Essential Peirce:


CSP:  Among the many pertinent considerations which have been crowded out of this article, I may just mention that it could have been shown that the hypothesis of God's Reality is logically not so isolated a conclusion as it may seem.  On the contrary, it is connected so with a theory of the nature of thinking that if this be proved so is that.  Now there is no such difficulty in tracing experiential consequences of this theory of thinking as there are in attempting directly to trace out other consequences of God's reality.

Jon said that raised "a few interesting questions," namely:
  1. To what specifically was Peirce referring here as "a theory of the nature of thinking"--the three stages of a "complete inquiry" and their "logical validity," as laid out in sections III and IV of the paper, or something else?
  2. How exactly is "this theory of thinking" logically connected with "the hypothesis of God's reality"?
  3. What would be some "experiential consequences of this theory of thinking" that we could, with comparatively little difficulty, deductively trace and inductively test?
  4. What exactly would it mean to "prove" Peirce's "theory of the nature of thinking," such that "the hypothesis of God's reality" would thereby also be "proved"?
I have some tentative thoughts about these matters, including a couple of ideas that I found in the secondary literature, but would appreciate seeing what others have to say initially.

So, let me respond. 

I thought I understood firstness, secondness, and thirdness when  our discussion began. This is the example I had in mind.  I am a student sitting in a class listening to an interesting lecture, when suddenly an explosion occurs. It could be a firecracker under behind the professor's desk, or a truck wreck on the street right outside the classroom windows. The sound of true explosion, whatever it is, is  sudden, unexpected, and immediate.  The sound or other shock waves hitting my body constitute firstness--I feel them. Secondness is what my body does in reaction, which is to  immediately and involuntarily, raise my head, flinch, and commence other bodily reactions to the explosion waves reaching me. Thirdness occurs next, when my mind begins to wonder what just happened. All this  can happen in far less than the blink of an eye.  Peirce's analysis of it by breaking it down in this way was thought to be a fertile way of beginning to understand thinking, or to begin a theory of thinking.

Please correct me again, Jon, if that is not an elementary example of firstness, etc. 

However, I soon got lost in the subsequent discussion of these, where thirdness became intertwined with secondness and firstness, and so on, in the subsequent emails.  I do  not doubt that all of you are correct that Peirce did take this rudimentary example to far heights of thinking which I may just be constitutionally unable to rise to. But my reading of Peirce suggests that he was a very pragmatic person who appreciated someone from Missouri showing up and saying "show me." In any event, so much of the subsequent discussion involved concepts going back and forth with no examples that allowed them to be brought to earth for examination. At least, that is what it seemed to me.

So, is it possible to get back to the original question. Remember that Peirce thought that all this became clear to him his daily walks through the woods, and he wrote this essay suggesting that its thinking would be available to anyone of ordinary intelligence who pondered the three universes suggested on their own daily walks through the woods.

So, let's go back to Jon's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th questions, because I think he  is on to something:
  1. How exactly is "this theory of thinking" logically connected with "the hypothesis of God's reality"?
  2. What would be some "experiential consequences of this theory of thinking" that we could, with comparatively little difficulty, deductively trace and inductively test?
  3. What exactly would it mean to "prove" Peirce's "theory of the nature of thinking," such that "the hypothesis of God's reality" would thereby also be "proved"?
In response, some raised the ontological argument of St. Anselm. But the raising of it was not followed through. Here is my question (which I hope "nests" all three of Jon's questions): 

What would Anselm's ontological argument look like if it were restated in Peirce's terms? In other words, could Anselm have discovered the same argument as Peirce? Would this give us any insight into the theory of thinking? Peirce says that we could, with comparatively little difficulty, deductively and inductively test such a theory of thinking. Someone from Missouri might say, "Show me."

Ben Novak




Ben Novak
5129 Taylor Drive, Ave Maria, FL 34142
Telephone: (814) 808-5702

"All art is mortal, not merely the individual artifacts, but the arts themselves. One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be—though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes may remain—because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone." Oswald Spengler

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 12:34 PM, Clark Goble <cl...@lextek.com> wrote:

On 9/13/2016 3:29 AM, John Collier wrote:
I used Peirce’s ideas fairly prominently in my philosophy of science courses in the 1980s and 90s. I also used his work to cast light on Kuhnian issues both in my classes and in my doctoral dissertation. Although the last was accepted enthusiastically, I continually got grumblings about how  was not teaching the Standard View properly.

Maybe things have improved, with more naturalistic approaches becoming more prevalent, but the culture wars really made a mess of trying to bring in Peircean ideas because the view that science was a mere social construct seemed to be supported by naïve interpretations of Peirce. So I found myself apparently fighting myself at some times.

Yes, the culture wars (which are still with us) are rather annoying. Not just because of how they try to make science into something we can control and thereby reject but because of how often they just read philosophers so badly. Lots of figures who make more careful subtle distinctions about science’s social aspects are appropriated for tasks they’d be aghast at. (Kuhn is the classic example although it’s not hard to find others)


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