I agree with Chiasson's emphasis on the attitude and method that often
precede abduction. The attitude is what Peirce claims is not an attitude,
or frame of mind per se, but a "play of musement." It precedes the
awareness or flash of insight of abduction.

Berkeley, whom Peirce called the father of modern philosophy, rather than
Kant, is central to the larger discussion taking place. I am working
without a computer and cannot access quotes, but I think Berkeley posits a
"God" at the boundary of consciousness / perception that makes/can
make real what one perceives. I imagine it at the boundary of
inside/outside. I find the nature of this boundary related to that which
George Spencer Brown's " "Laws of Form"  discusses. The connection to
Peirce's existential graphs is clear, as is SpencerBrown's awareness of

Best, Mary Libertin

On Monday, September 19, 2016, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote:

> Clark- thanks for your very nice outline of the NA - I certainly agree
> with your view, that as Chiasson says, it's not just about a 'belief in
> God', because it's not deductive but is, as noted, abductive. Abduction
> inserts freedom and spontaneity - attributes outside of the range of a God.
> And agreed - the NA doesn't offer 'compelling reasons for why we should
> call this *ens necessarium* as god. I, as an atheist, prefer his outline
> of Mind as the *ens necessarium*.
> As Mind is an action of Reasoning [within all three modes], then, I think
> that ethics is grounded within it. You don't, in my reading, require a God,
> for ethics.
> Edwina
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Clark Goble <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','cl...@lextek.com');>
> *To:* Peirce-L <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','PEIRCE-L@LIST.IUPUI.EDU');>
> *Sent:* Monday, September 19, 2016 10:50 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking
> On Sep 18, 2016, at 4:57 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','jonalanschm...@gmail.com');>> wrote:
> I appreciate the suggestion, and Chiasson's article is interesting.
> However, I find it rather implausible that a work entitled "A Neglected
> Argument for the Reality of God" was somehow intended to be more about "the
>  *attitude *and *method *from which all decisions of importance to the
> conduct of a life should begin," such that the content of the hypothesis
> itself is secondary or even irrelevant.
> I think how most people (myself included) use the argument is as a way of
> illustrating how one could apply the pragmatic maxim to metaphysics in
> general. That is it’s a great example of understanding how abduction works
> to avoid the problems that say the Vienna Circle crowd had with their
> verification principle. While Chiasson isn’t limiting it in quite that
> fashion (although she early on acknowledges that use) she is focusing on
> using it as a type to understand broader application of the maxim. That’s
> helpful. I don’t think she neglects the NA as primarily about God. She
> addresses that early on but then goes off on the question of why Peirce was
> concerned with the NA for God. It’s not just about belief in God. I think
> she’s right in that.
> As I mentioned, while I think Peirce’s thrust is really about God, the
> argument as fashioned along those lines ends up being problematic simply
> because I bet most who read that essay are either atheists or at least
> dubious of Peirce’s theology. In turn that leads one to think through the
> problem of abduction relative to metaphysics in general. I’m not sure
> Peirce meant it as a proof for God in the normal sense of deduction since
> it’s clearly abductive in nature. And Peirce better than anyone knew the
> implications of that.
> Now I don’t think it not being a proof nor most accepting it is a problem
> since of course entities with weak evidence will be viewed differently over
> time. That’s why Peirce emphasizes the community in the long term. That
> said of course Peirce might say his conduction of the experiment is correct
> and others wrong. This isn’t just a problem for Peircean abduction
> (especially relative to metaphysical entities/structures) but is a common
> problem with armchair philosophizing in general. Thus it pops up in the
> more analytic tradition with intuitions of meaning such as in determining
> definitions. It also is a problem in phenomenology in the continental
> tradition.
> I am still intrigued after doing a Google search on the weekend how few
> papers engage with the difference of God the first and God the second in
> Peirce’s thought. It’s only God the first who is real but not actual.
> Chiasson’s paper is interesting in that she says,
> Certainly Peirce's self-proclamed core perspective of absolute idealism
> could have pointed him towards a belief in God. It's generally accepted
> that, even if Peirce didn't believe in a God, he--at the very least--wanted
> to. While most scholars who accept Peirce's pragmatism in other ways may
> believe that he failed in this attempt at proving God's Reality,
> it's generally agreed that Peirce did succeed remarkably in this essay at
> laying out what is perhaps his best description of the abductive reasoning
> process.
> This distinction between belief and hope for belief is interesting. It
> seems closer to what we typically associate with James rather than Peirce.
> Again though I think it’s the question of Jesus that I’d love to know what
> Peirce believed and why. As Chiasson notes the NA tends to adopt a near
> Hegelian conception of God that was becoming quite popular among religious
> intellectuals in the late 19th century. (As I recall it was primarily
> religious believers who kept Hegel significant in American thought)
> Against Chiasson I’d probably suggest the NA still provides as somewhat
> strong an argument for the *ens necessarium, *It's even done in a fashion
> many atheists would accept. It just doesn’t offer compelling reasons for
> why we should call this God. As many have noted the line between atheist
> and deist is blurry at best and often seems a nominalist distinction. i.e.
> more a distinction in name rather than content. Chiasson is right that
> really what Peirce is after is grounding ethics in some fashion. While
> there certainly are many atheists who are skeptical ethics can be grounded
> there are also many who are fine grounding them in some sort of realist
> conception.
> To my eyes the real question of God is more the question of theism and not
> what Peirce outlines in the NA. That is an interventionist God especially
> if that deity is embodied in life as the traditional conception of the
> incarnation requires. Peirce at least held somewhat to that view at times
> in his life.
> ------------------------------
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