Gary R., List:

GR:  This question of whether to consider "a continuum of possibilities" as
expressing 3ns or 1ns is a thorny one which is still being considered, for
example, by Fernando Zalamea and others.


Coincidentally, I just found out that Zalamea's book, *Peirce's Logic of
Continuity*, is waiting for me at the local public library.  Hopefully I
can swing by and pick it up on the way home this evening.

GR:  So, as I see it, the three categories are irreducible in this
universe, which is to say that no one of them can be said to constitute
reality in itself nor be prior to any of the others in this universe; since
once a universe (and it would seem to me that this would be so for any
possible universe), once, say, our universe is in the semiosic process of
forming itself, all three categories are necessarily required.


Yes, I am perceiving a need to make a distinction between "eternal"
Thirdness, God as "pure mind," and "created" Thirdness, the third Universe
of Experience that "comprises everything whose being consists in active
power to establish connections between different objects, especially
between objects in different Universes" (CP 6.455).  This seems consistent
with God being the Creator of all three Universes of Experience and
everything in them, without exception, while yet being entirely independent
of only two of them; created Thirdness partakes of eternal Thirdness in
some sense.

GR:  Yet, again, the theater of that formation is this ur-continuity, this
"pure mind" which in my last post I called the Mind of God.


And again, my current working hypothesis is that "Pure mind, as creative of
thought" (CP 6.490) is the Person who conceives the *possible *chalk marks
and then draws *some *of them on the blackboard, rather than the blackboard
itself as a "theater" where chalk marks somehow spontaneously appear;
instead, the blackboard represents *created *Thirdness.  However, I will
tentatively grant that your analysis may be closer to what Peirce himself
had in mind.

GR:  It seems to me that there might be good reason to consider this
ur-continuity as representing *pure potential *as 3ns, distinguished from *pure
possibility* as 1ns.


Distinguishing possibility (Firstness) from potentiality (Thirdness) is
where my thinking seems to be headed, as well, although it is still pretty
fuzzy to me at this point how to do so.  In *The Cambridge Companion to
Peirce*, John Boler describes Firstness as "pure possibility and so
different from potentiality which is Thirdness" (p. 72), although he does
not elaborate on this and even says in an accompanying note, "I admit to
not having a very firm grip on Firstness" (p. 84 n. 74).  Perhaps the
following passage is relevant, especially since the blackboard makes
another appearance.

CSP:  The *zero *collection is bare, abstract, germinal possibility.  The
continuum is concrete, developed possibility.  The whole universe of true
and real possibilities forms a continuum, upon which this Universe of
Actual Existence is, by virtue of the essential Secondness of Existence, a
discontinuous mark--like a line figure drawn on the area of the blackboard.
(NEM 4.345; 1898)


Here the array of chalk marks seem to represent "this Universe of Actual
Existence," rather than a Platonic world, while the blackboard represents
the continuum of "true and real possibilities."

Regards,

Jon

On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 3:06 PM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Jon, List,
>
> Catching up with list posts returning from my trip South I apparently
> missed at least your post in response to Gary F.
>
> In my message yesterday I hope I made it clear that I associate
> *ur-continuity* (the blackboard metaphor) with 3ns not 1ns. Peirce is
> quite explicit about this as I hope the brief quotations from RLT I
> provided show. So, I would tend to strongly agree with your argumentation
> here:
>
> JS: Peirce's statement was not that one of the categories created all
> three Universes, but that all three Universes--or at any rate, two of the
> three--have a Creator who is independent of them.  I take this to mean that
> the Creator might not be *entirely *independent of one of the three
> Universes.  Of course, my basic argument is that Peirce unambiguously
> described God as "pure mind" and the Universe that corresponds to Thirdness
> as that of "Mind," so the alignment seems pretty clear.
>
>
> As I see it this ur-continuity represents a kind of aboriginal 3ns, that
> is to say one involving the potential of the other categories coming into
> being, one *involving* them potentially, which is another way of saying
> that the categorial triad is *potentially* always-already *there* in that
> ur-continuity. So as chance possibilities (1nses) emerge and eventually
> interact (2nses) with others forming habits (3nses) of interaction, that a
> universe (say, this universe) *may* come into being. Yet, as I see it,
> those 3nses of habit formation are 'later' expressions (were Time, but in
> this proto-cosmos there is not yet Time) of that aboriginal continuity. For
> this reason I have consistently said (or at least implied) that the
> argument that the early cosmos 'begins' with 1ns is, in my thinking,
> tantamount to saying that the universe comes out of nothing, while, as I
> see it, *nihil fit ex nihilo*.
>
> This brings me to your interesting group of questions regarding "a
> continuum of possibilities."
>
>
> JS: [Peirce] steadfastly associated possibility with Firstness and
> continuity/generality with Thirdness, but his mathematical definition of a
> continuum evolved toward the notion of an infinite range of indefinite
> possibilities.  Is a continuum of possibilities more properly considered to
> be an example of Thirdness (as a continuum) or Firstness (as possibility)?
>
>
> This question of whether to consider "a continuum of possibilities" as
> expressing 3ns or 1ns is a thorny one which is still being considered, for
> example, by Fernando Zalamea and others. It seems to me that the jury is
> still out, but that in any case that this is essentially a mathematical
> question concrning *this existent universe,* not the early cosmology
> which we've been considering. This proto-cosmological 'sporting' of 1ns
> (those individiual chalk marks in the blackboard example) may point to a
> underlying continuum of possibilities (and qualities, etc.) which *will
> be* selected. But while they 'play' within (or upon, or in some way are
> created by) that ur-continuity, they do in themselves respresent a
> continuum (at least not *yet*).
>
> So when one asks, if the tendency to take habits arose by chance, I think
> (1) it is that second kind of 3ns, viz., habit-taking, that so arises from
> the original continuity (3ns), and that (2) there would be no possibility
> of ours or any actual universe existing were this 'tendency' not to arise,
> and that saying it "arose by chance" is just a "manner of speaking" given
> the ur-continuity.
>
> So, as I see it, the three categories are irreducible in this universe,
> which is to say that no one of them can be said to constitute reality in
> itself nor be prior to any of the others in this universe; since once a
> universe (and it would seem to me that this would be so for any possible
> universe), once, say, our universe is in the semiosic process of forming
> itself, all three categories are necessarily required. Yet, again, the
> theater of that formation is this ur-continuity, this "pure mind" which in
> my last post I called the Mind of God.
>
> I'll conclude by responding to another of your good questions. It seems to
> me that there might be good reason to consider this ur-continuity as
> representing *pure potential *as 3ns, distinguished from *pure
> possibility* as 1ns. But I'm still not completely clear on this.
>
> Best,
>
> 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>*
>
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 3:07 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <
> jonalanschm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Gary F., List:
>>
>> GF:   I think it would be less of a stretch to identify the *contents* of
>> those Universes as Firsts, Seconds and Thirds, i.e. as subjects or objects
>> in which Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness (respectively) inhere.
>>
>>
>> I have generally been reluctant to talk about Firsts/Seconds/Thirds,
>> rather than Firstness/Secondness/Thirdness.  I am not sure that the
>> former terminology is completely appropriate and consistent with Peirce's
>> usage, especially late in his life, although I am open to being convinced
>> otherwise.  In fact, he seems to have shifted toward discussing "Universes"
>> rather than "categories," perhaps in order to emphasize that they are
>> objective constituents of reality, not mere labels that we apply to
>> organize our experience.
>>
>> GF:  This leaves open the possibility of identifying *one* of the
>> categories as *Creator* of all three Universes.
>>
>>
>> Peirce's statement was not that one of the categories created all three
>> Universes, but that all three Universes--or at any rate, two of the
>> three--have a Creator who is independent of them.  I take this to mean that
>> the Creator might not be *entirely *independent of one of the three
>> Universes.  Of course, my basic argument is that Peirce unambiguously
>> described God as "pure mind" and the Universe that corresponds to Thirdness
>> as that of "Mind," so the alignment seems pretty clear.
>>
>> GF:  To me it seems logical enough to regard this insubstantial Being,
>> this *capacity*, as the Creator of all three Universes.
>>
>>
>> Again, it is not that the Creator is *identified *with one Universe or
>> its contents, it is that He might not be entirely *independent *of one
>> Universe.  And "mere capacity for getting fully represented" does not
>> strike me as equivalent to "capacity for creation," especially of other
>> Universes.  In "A Neglected Argument," the only description of a Universe
>> that mentions the other two is that of the third.
>>
>> GF: This would be somewhat analogous to regarding abduction as Creator of
>> the hypothesis which, my means of deduction, creates a theory which through
>> inductive testing becomes more and more substantial. As we all know,
>> abduction is the only source of new ideas; perhaps Firstness is the only
>> source of Ideas. Likewise we might regard the dreamer as Creator of the
>> dream *and* of the fact of the dream *and* of whatever might be
>> predicated of it (i.e. of its meaning, if it has any).
>>
>>
>> But abduction is *not *the creator of the hypothesis, it is the
>> reasoning process by which a *person *creates the hypothesis.  Reasoning
>> is thought, which is Thirdness.  Peirce characterized a person as a symbol
>> or as a continuum, both of which are Thirdness.  Likewise, the dreamer who
>> creates the dream, the fact of it, and whatever might be predicated of it
>> is a person (again, Thirdness).
>>
>> 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 ...
>>
>>
>> This brings up one of the great puzzles for me in Peirce's writings.  He
>> steadfastly associated possibility with Firstness and continuity/generality
>> with Thirdness, but his mathematical definition of a continuum evolved
>> toward the notion of an infinite range of indefinite possibilities.  Is a
>> continuum of possibilities more properly considered to be an example of
>> Thirdness (as a continuum) or Firstness (as possibility)?  Should we
>> perhaps distinguish *possibility *as Firstness from *potentiality *as
>> Thirdness?  If so, on what basis?
>>
>> GF:  ... 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.”
>>
>>
>> From browsing through the List archives, I took Gary R. to be suggesting
>> that the blackboard or "ur-continuum" is Thirdness, consistent with my
>> initial post in this thread.  Perhaps he can weigh in on this himself.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> 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 9:59 AM, <g...@gnusystems.ca> wrote:
>>
>>> Jon, list,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On the question of which of the three Universes may *not* “have a
>>> Creator independent of it,” I’d like to offer an argument that it could be
>>> the Universe of Firstness rather than Thirdness. However I won’t have time
>>> this week to construct an argumentation as thoroughgoing as your argument
>>> for Thirdness as Creator; so instead, I’ll just insert a few comments into
>>> your post, below. I’ll put Peirce’s words in bold.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Gary F
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> } God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more
>>> divine in the lapse of all the ages. [Thoreau] {
>>>
>>> http://gnusystems.ca/wp/ }{ *Turning Signs* gateway
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> *From:* Jon Alan Schmidt [mailto:jonalanschm...@gmail.com]
>>> *Sent:* 9-Oct-16 22:45
>>>
>>> List:
>>>
>>> As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I started the thread on "Peirce's
>>> Theory of Thinking," there is an intriguing paragraph about cosmology in
>>> the first additament to "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God."  It
>>> did not actually accompany the article originally, but nevertheless is in
>>> the Collected Papers as CP 6.490.  Before discussing it directly, a few
>>> preliminaries are in order.
>>>
>>> In the very first sentence of the published article itself, Peirce
>>> stated, "The word 'God,' so 'capitalized' (as we Americans say), is the
>>> definable proper name, signifying *Ens necessarium*; in my belief
>>> Really creator of all three Universes of Experience" (CP 6.452, EP 2.434).
>>> In the second additament, the one that did appear in *The Hibbert
>>> Journal*, he added, "It is that course of meditation upon the three
>>> Universes which gives birth to the hypothesis and ultimately to the belief
>>> that they, or at any rate two of the three, have a Creator independent of
>>> them …" (CP 6.483, EP 2.448).  Furthermore, in three different manuscript
>>> drafts of the article that are included in R 843, Peirce explicitly denied
>>> that God is "immanent in" nature or the three Universes, instead declaring
>>> (again) that He is the Creator of them:
>>>
>>>    - "I do *not* mean, then, a 'soul of the World' or an intelligence
>>>    is 'immanent' in Nature, but is the Creator of the three Universes of
>>>    minds, of matter, and of ideal possibilities, and of everything in them."
>>>    - "Indeed, meaning by 'God,' as throughout this paper will be meant,
>>>    the Being whose Attributes are, in the main, those usually ascribed to 
>>> Him,
>>>    Omniscience, Omnipotence, Infinite Benignity, a Being *not*
>>>    'immanent in' the Universes of Matter, Mind, and Ideas, but the Sole
>>>    Creator of every content of them, without exception."
>>>    - "But I had better add that I do *not* mean by God a being merely
>>>    'immanent in Nature,' but I mean that Being who has created every content
>>>    of the world of ideal possibilities, of the world of physical facts, and
>>>    the world of all minds, without any exception whatever."
>>>
>>> These passages shed light not only on Peirce's concept of God--he was
>>> clearly a theist, not a pantheist or panentheist, at least as I understand
>>> those terms--but also on what exactly he had in mind with his three
>>> Universes of Experience that the article describes as consisting of Ideas,
>>> Brute Actuality, and Signs.  These evidently correspond respectively to (1)
>>> ideal possibilities, matter, and minds; (2) Ideas, Matter, and Mind; and
>>> (3) ideal possibilities, physical facts, and minds.  Of course, it is
>>> barely a stretch, if at all, to identify these with his categories of
>>> Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness.
>>>
>>> *[GF: ] *I think it would be less of a stretch to identify the
>>> *contents* of those Universes as Firsts, Seconds and Thirds, i.e. as
>>> subjects or objects in which Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness
>>> (respectively) inhere. This leaves open the possibility of identifying
>>> *one* of the categories as *Creator* of all three Universes. As you
>>> have pointed out already, Peirce begins by defining “Idea” as “anything
>>> whose Being consists in its mere capacity for getting fully represented,
>>> regardless of any person's faculty or impotence to represent it.” These are
>>> clearly contents of the *first* Universe, and Peirce certainly asserts
>>> their Reality (after defining that term): “*Of the three Universes of
>>> Experience familiar to us all, the first comprises all mere Ideas, those
>>> airy nothings to which the mind of poet, pure mathematician, or another
>>> might give local habitation and a name within that mind. Their very
>>> airy-nothingness, the fact that their Being consists in mere capability of
>>> getting thought, not in anybody's Actually thinking them, saves their
>>> Reality.*”
>>>
>>> *[GF: ] *I think it is worth noticing that Peirce defines the contents
>>> of the first Universe by quoting from *A Midsummer Night’s Dream*, Act
>>> V – which is largely a dialogue about reality and dreams; and that his
>>> definition of Reality (in the previous paragraph) uses a dream as an
>>> example of something that is unreal in one sense but real in another: “
>>> *“Real”** is a word invented in the thirteenth century to signify
>>> having Properties, i.e. characters sufficing to identify their subject, and
>>> possessing these whether they be anywise attributed to it by any single man
>>> or group of men, or not. Thus, the substance of a dream is not Real, since
>>> it was such as it was, merely in that a dreamer so dreamed it; but the fact
>>> of the dream is Real, if it was dreamed; since if so, its date, the name of
>>> the dreamer, etc. make up a set of circumstances sufficient to distinguish
>>> it from all other events; and these belong to it, i.e. would be true if
>>> predicated of it, whether A, B, or C Actually ascertains them or not.*”
>>>
>>> *[GF: ] *Peirce is saying that the *substance* of the dream is not
>>> Real, although the *fact* of the dream is. But he has just defined
>>> “idea” in the *vernacular* sense as “*the substance* of an actual
>>> unitary thought or fancy” and contrasted that sense with “Idea,” defined as
>>> “*anything whose Being consists in its mere capacity for getting fully
>>> represented, regardless of any person's faculty or impotence to represent
>>> it*” – which has the Reality proper to the first Universe, the Reality
>>> of a *possibility*. (and *not* the reality of a *substance*. Once this
>>> “airy nothing” or “anything” does get fully represented, then it has the
>>> Actual (and perhaps substantial) Reality proper to the second Universe, and
>>> if it actually represents something *to somebody* (insert sop to
>>> Cerberus), then it has the Reality proper to the third Universe. To me it
>>> seems logical enough to regard this insubstantial Being, this *capacity*,
>>> as the Creator of all three Universes. This would be somewhat analogous to
>>> regarding abduction as Creator of the hypothesis which, my means of
>>> deduction, creates a theory which through inductive testing becomes more
>>> and more substantial. As we all know, abduction is the only source of new
>>> ideas; perhaps Firstness is the only source of Ideas. Likewise we might
>>> regard the dreamer as Creator of the dream *and* of the fact of the
>>> dream *and* of whatever might be predicated of it (i.e. of its meaning,
>>> if it has any). Thirdness, on the other hand, has *connective* rather
>>> than *creative* power: “*The third Universe** comprises everything
>>> whose Being consists in active power to establish connections between
>>> different objects, especially between objects in different Universes.*”
>>>
>>> [resuming JAS:]  What I quoted above from CP 6.483 and EP 2.448
>>> suggests the possibility that only two of the three Universes have a
>>> Creator independent of them, which raises the question of which one might
>>> not.  Peirce provided a major clue in CP 6.490:
>>>
>>> A full exposition of the pragmaticistic definition of *Ens necessarium*
>>> would require many pages; but some hints toward it may be given.  A
>>> disembodied spirit, or pure mind, has its being out of time, since all that
>>> it is destined to think is fully in its being at any and every previous
>>> time.  But in endless time it is destined to think all that it is capable
>>> of thinking … Pure mind, as creative of thought, must, so far as it is
>>> manifested in time, appear as having a character related to the
>>> habit-taking capacity, just as super-order is related to uniformity.
>>>
>>> According to Peirce, then, God is "pure mind," and thus in some sense
>>> may not be *completely *independent of the Universe of Mind (i.e.,
>>> Thirdness), while nevertheless being the independent Creator of the other
>>> two Universes--of Ideas and ideal possibilities (i.e., Firstness), and of
>>> Matter and physical facts (i.e., Secondness).
>>>
>>>  What does all of this have to do with cosmology?  By 1908, Peirce
>>> apparently no longer held (if he ever did) that Firstness came first, so to
>>> speak; God *created* Firstness (and Secondness), but God Himself *is*
>>> Thirdness.  Furthermore, what exactly did God create when He created
>>> Firstness?  Peirce once again supplied the answer in CP 6.490:
>>>
>>> In that state of absolute nility, in or out of time, that is, before or
>>> after the evolution of time, there must then have been a tohu-bohu of which
>>> nothing whatever affirmative or negative was true universally.  There must
>>> have been, therefore, a little of everything conceivable.
>>>
>>> In other words, there was an infinite range of vague possibilities,
>>> consistent with Peirce's evolving mathematical definition of a
>>> *continuum*, which is a paradigmatic manifestation of Thirdness.
>>>
>>> *[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.”   —Anyway, that’s
>>> all I have time for today, so I’ll leave the rest to you, for now!
>>>
>>
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