That was your best post ever!
You said explicitly this time:
“Instead, as I hinted in my original post, *someone has to draw them*”
*Athenian Stranger*. Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to
be the author of your laws?
*Cleinias.* A God, Stranger; in very truth a, God
“God, or Nature”, Deus, sive Natura: “That eternal and infinite being we
call God, or Nature, acts from the same necessity from which he exists” ~SEP
*Soc.* And this spontaneous recovery of knowledge in him is recollection?
*Soc. *The little matter of distinguishing one, two, and three --in a
*Soc.* Sophist, statesman, philosopher! O my dear Theodorus, do my ears
truly witness that this is the estimate formed of them by the great
calculator and geometrician?
*Soc.* I mean that you rate them all at the same value, whereas they are
really separated by an interval, which no geometrical ratio can express.
On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 4:00 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com>
> Gary R., List:
> I am rapidly becoming quite enamored with Peirce's blackboard discussion,
> as I think that it sheds considerable light on his cosmological
> speculations. No doubt the fact that he called it "a sort of diagram" is a
> big part of its appeal to me, given my research into diagrammatic reasoning
> and my thesis that it is the key to the "logic of ingenuity" that is
> routinely employed by engineers. For Peirce, this means that it is an icon
> that embodies the significant relations among the parts of the object that
> it represents.
> But that raises the question--which parts and which relations? At first
> glance, the only parts are the blackboard and the chalk mark; and the only
> relations are the discontinuity of the boundary between black and white,
> and how the continuity of the chalk mark depends on that of the underlying
> blackboard. Maybe this really is all that there is to it initially. Of
> course, additional chalk marks entail additional relations among the
> multiple chalk marks themselves--or at least, those that acquire the habit
> of persistence.
> After further contemplation, though, it occurs to me that chalk marks do
> not spontaneously *appear *on a blackboard--especially not in specified
> patterns such as the "new curve" that emerges when they "multiply
> themselves under the habit of being tangent to the envelope" (CP 6.206).
> Instead, as I hinted in my original post, someone has to *draw *them; and
> furthermore, must do so by means of a piece of chalk. Should we treat
> either or both of these as parts of the diagram, as well? If so, what (or
> Whom) do they represent, and what are the significant relations that
> involve them?
> Or am I overthinking this now? Typically diagrammatic reasoning--at least
> when theorematic, rather than merely corollarial--requires "drawing"
> features that are not included in the original construction, but are
> necessary in order to "see" relations that are not evident initially. The
> one doing both the "drawing" and the "seeing" is the *reasoner*, who is *not
> *part of the diagram itself; and neither is the instrument (if any) that
> is used to do the "drawing." In this case, Peirce seems to limit the
> diagram to the geometrical continuity (generality) of the blackboard, which
> represents potentiality (also generality).
> CSP: Let the clean blackboard be a sort of diagram of the original vague
> potentiality, or at any rate of some early stage of its determination.
> This is something more than a figure of speech; for after all continuity is
> generality ... Now the clue, that I mentioned, consists in making our
> thought diagrammatic and mathematical, by treating generality from the
> point of view of geometrical continuity, and by experimenting upon the
> diagram. (CP 6.203-204; 1898)
> However, is Peirce--the one who presumably drew the chalk marks while
> delivering the lecture--the reasoner who does the "experimenting upon the
> diagram"? Or is each audience member or reader the reasoner, such that
> Peirce--perhaps along with his piece of chalk--*is *part of the diagram
> itself? Or even more radically, is the whole point that *God *is the
> reasoner, such that all of Creation is a diagram upon which *He *
> CSP: ... the universe is a vast representamen, a great symbol of God's
> purpose, working out its conclusions in living realities. Now every symbol
> must have, organically attached to it, its Indices of Reactions and its
> Icons of Qualities; and such part as these reactions and these qualities
> play in an argument that, they of course, play in the universe--that
> Universe being precisely an argument. The Universe as an argument is
> necessarily a great work of art, a great poem--for every fine argument is a
> poem and a symphony--just as every true poem is a sound argument. (CP
> 5.119; 1903)
> As for "the Mind of God," Peirce associated the popular use of that very
> expression not with potentiality or (ur-)continuity, but with the kind of
> reaction and existence that qualities have when they spring up from it. If
> I am relating the following passage properly to the diagram that comes up a
> few paragraphs later, then this is represented not by the blackboard, but
> by the ideas of *possible *chalk marks and their interactions, which are
> being contemplated by the one who considers drawing them.
> CSP: Yet we must not assume that the qualities arose separate and came
> into relation afterward. It was just the reverse. The general indefinite
> potentiality became limited and heterogeneous. Those who express the idea
> to themselves by saying that the Divine Creator determined so and so may be
> incautiously clothing the idea in a garb that is open to criticism, but it
> is, after all, substantially the only philosophical answer to the problem.
> Namely, they represent the ideas as springing into a preliminary stage of
> being by their own inherent firstness. But so springing up, they do not
> spring up isolated; for if they did, nothing could unite them. They spring
> up in reaction upon one another, and thus into a kind of existence. This
> reaction and this existence these persons call the mind of God. I really
> think there is no objection to this except that it is wrapped up in figures
> of speech, instead of having the explicitness that we desire in science.
> (CP 6.199)
> Perhaps "by saying that the Divine Creator determined" the chalk
> marks--i.e., that God *deliberately chose* which possible marks to
> actualize, rather than that they somehow came about on their own--I am
> "incautiously clothing the idea in a garb that is open to criticism." I
> can live with that, since my own cosmology is basically the one described
> as follows.
> In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was
> without form and void [*tohu bohu*], and darkness was over the face of
> the deep [clean blackboard]. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the
> face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was
> light [white chalk mark]. And God saw that the light was good [habit of
> persistence]. And God separated [discontinuity] the light [whiteness] from
> the darkness [blackness]. God called the light Day, and the darkness he
> called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day
> [time]. (Genesis 1:1-5)
> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
> www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
>> Jon, Gary F, List,
>> Gary F wrote:
>> *[GF: ] *But I think you will agree that *possibility* is the logical
>> equivalent of Firstness, not Thirdness. Peirce at this stage in his
>> thinking often identified continuity with generality, and he wrote c.1905
>> that “The generality of the possible” is “the only true generality” (CP
>> 5.533). So I don’t think continuity is confined to Thirdness; and I think
>> Gary Richmond has argued that the ur-continuum or *tohu bohu* represented
>> by the blackboard in Peirce’s famous cosmology lecture is the first
>> Universe, which comprises “vague possibilities.”
>> In some comments on cosmic origins in "One, Two, Three" (1886) Peirce
>> ". . . we must suppose that there is an original, element
>> al, tendency of things to acquire determinate properties, to take habits.
>> This is the Third or mediating element between chance, which brings forth
>> First and original events, and law which produces sequences or
>> " (
>> would emphasize "original" and "elem
>> ental" in such passages. But
>> I have tended to base my argumentation regarding this topic on the later
>> cosmological lecture
>> of the 1898 Cambridge
>> series. In the final
>> lecture Peirce offers his famous blackboard analog
>> For those on the list not familiar with it, I'll briefly rehearse it
>> begins by placing
>> a chalk mark on the board, a bit of spontaneity (1ns) which doesn't last
>> (it is "indifferent as to continuity"
>> he writes
>> ). "It tends itself readily to generalization but is not in itself
>> general. The limit betwee
>> the whiteness and the blackness is essentiall
>> discontinuous, antigeneral" (RLT:282).
>> But note: "The original potentiality
>> [represented by the blackboard]
>> is essentially continuous, or general."
>> However, nothing can
>> until the mark has some staying power, that is, begins to take on habits.
>> "Once the line will stay a lit
>> le after it is marked, another line may be drawn beside it. Very soon our
>> eye persuades us there is a
>> *new* line, the envelope of those others."
>> He goes on at some length to describe this proto-universe. But it is,
>> again, a* proto*-universe.
>> It is *not* *this* universe.
>> "At the same time all this, be it remembered, is not of the order of the
>> existing universe, but is merely a Platonic world" of which there are many
>> and it is out of these one is "differentiated" in an "actual universe of
>> existence" (RLT:283)
>> And, ". . .if we suppose the laws of nature to have been formed under the
>> influence of a universal tendency of things to take habits, there are
>> certain characters that those laws will necessarily possess" (RLT:283).
>> For prime example, these laws
>> themselves evolve
>> , involving the introduction of chance elements (1ns)
>> , although I don't recall
>> he discusses that
>> in this lecture.
>> He will later discuss two continuities of this,* our*, universe, that of
>> Time and that of Space.
>> For me, that
>> discussion is one of the high points of a lecture which in my opinion is
>> as anything he produced (the whole series is
>> , imo
>> But moving
>> past Time (as fascinating as his discussion is in RLT)
>> to Space since
>> haven't discussed 2ns
>> at all yet
>> , he remarks that while Space is a continuity "and, therefore, a
>> Thirdness, the whole nature and function of space refers to Secondness. It
>> is the theatre of the reactions of particles."
>> I should add as an aside that Peirce sometimes speaks of 3ns as
>> lawfulness and 2ns as the embodiment of laws in actuality.
>> As for the application of vectors here, Peirce at one points remarks that
>> his various musings on early cosmology are pre-scientific (or something
>> like that). So, while he'll say in some places re: this early cosmology,
>> 1ns -> 3ns -> 2ns, in my thinking you cannot factor out the original
>> or there would be no theater
>> in which
>> these proto-events
>> might occur., and that is exactly where he commences in the 1898
>> blackboard analogy.
>> Note, finally, this passage on Synchecism which one finds immediately
>> preceding the blackboard metaphor in RLT.
>> 1898 | Cambridge Lectures on Reasoning and the Logic of Things: The
>> Logic of Continuity | RLT 261; CP 6.202
>> … the characteristic of my doctrine, namely, that I chiefly insist upon
>> continuity, or Thirdness, and, in order to secure to thirdness its really
>> commanding function, I [find it indispensable] that it is a third, and that
>> Firstness, or chance, and Secondness, or Brute reaction, are other
>> elements, without the independence of which Thirdness would not have
>> anything upon which to operate. Accordingly, I like to call my theory
>> because it rests on the study of continuity.
>> So, one sees here that Peirce does indeed in 1898 associate these
>> "elements" (chance, brute reaction, and continutiy) with the categories,
>> that they must have their own independent characters, but that 3ns has a
>> "commanding function."
>> On the other hand, to repeat: Peirce considers his cosmological musing
>> prescientific. So it's OK to refer to synechism as a scientific theory
>> once this universe has evolved from a vast spectrum of
>> possibilities (there's also a multi-universe theory implied here, btw), but
>> if one wants to consider the Peircean equivalent to the question "What
>> preceded the Big Bang," you have to go to this ur-continuity (which I've
>> sometimes personally thought of as the Mind of God, not the God of this
>> universe, but of all possible universes).
>> Gary R
>> [image: Gary Richmond]
>> *Gary Richmond*
>> *Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
>> *Communication Studies*
>> *LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
>> *C 745*
>> *718 482-5690 <718%20482-5690>*
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