I agree with Edwina that all three elements are involved in the pragmatic
maxim. Itself it is a representamen of the possibility of (discovering) meaning
(or at least meaning differences). It is also, as an object, a methodology, but
understood not as some theory but was a way in which something, in this case
the determination of meaning, is done. As interpretant it gives the meaning of
meaning, or perhaps better, the meaning of how to determine meaning.
It is tempting to see the representamen as possible meaning (or difference in
meaning – the version I prefer), its object as meaning, and it gives the
meaning of meaning, its final interpretant being the integrated whole of
meaning. However I think this would ignore its pragmatic aspect, which places
emphasis on doing things like making mean9ngs clear.
Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
From: Jerry Rhee [mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, 15 October 2016 2:32 AM
To: Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com>
Cc: Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>; Peirce-L <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology
I apologize if I missed something but what you just stated was basically all
What I am asking for is to apply those generals to the question of the
pragmatic maxim and provide the argumentation, that is, the specific premisses
(e.g., what is the object or original stimuli?).
1) If the pragmatic maxim is the object,
then what is the representamen and what the interpretant?
2) If the pragmatic maxim is the representamen/index,
then what is the object/icon and what the interpretant/symbol?
Here is a clearer way of putting things. You said:
The Object of a syllogism is the minor premise (the surprising fact, C, is
the Representamen is the major premise (But if A were...)
the Interpretant is the Conclusion. (B, that which goes from surprise to
suspect is true).
So, is the following correct? If not, please correct me.
1) C = pragmatic maxim
A = Consider what effects…
B = lots of freedom for what I can conceive about which you will deny
2) C = pragmaticism
A = pragmatic maxim
B = Consider what effects…
For case 2), do you see why I object to “Consider what effects…”?
It doesn’t fully/wholly/completely capture the essence of pragmaticism, e.g.,
things like the categories, of which there are three; ordinality, philosophy of
Socrates, the commens, convergence to truth, etc...
Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you
conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those
effects is the whole of your conception of the object.
On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 7:22 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt
Gary R., List:
Thanks for the reminders about Sheriff's book; it was one of my first
introductions to Peirce's thought, and I even re-read it recently, but I need
to review the portions that you mentioned in light of the discussions in this
thread. Thanks also for the additional information on the role of the
categories in Peirce's classification of the sciences.
GR: I would tend to disagree with you, Jon, that this ur-continutiy is
"created" 3ns; rather, I see it as "creative" 3ns as distinguished from the 3ns
that become the habits and laws of a created universe. So, in a word, my view
is that only these laws and habits are the 'created' 3nses.
As I said, taking the blackboard to be created Thirdness is no more than a
working hypothesis at this point. If the diagram is confined to the blackboard
itself, as Peirce's description seems to indicate, then your characterization
makes more sense. I am still toying with a couple of other alternatives, as
GR: How can one deny Peirce's own words here?
Yes, any alleged "reading" or "interpretation" that directly contradicts what
an author explicitly states in the text is obviously untenable.
Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Gary Richmond
Jon, Edwina, Gary F, Soren, List,
John Sheriff, in Charles Peirce's Guess at the Riddle: Grounds for Human
Significance, in commenting on what Peirce calls the "pure zero" state (which,
in my thinking, is roughly equivalent to the later blackboard metaphor) quotes
Peirce as follows: "So of potential being there was in that initial state no
lack" (CP 6.217) and continues, " 'Potential', in Peirce's usage, means
indeterminate yet capable of determination in any specific case" (CP 6.185-86)
[Sheriff, 4). This "potential being" is, then, decidedly not the "nothing of
negation," but rather "the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is
involved or foreshadowed" (CP 6.217).
Sheriff had just prior to this written: "Peirce frequently drew the parallel
between his theory and the Genesis account" and discusses this in a longish
paragraph. I think it is possible to overemphasize this "parallel" (and, as
I've commented here in the past, Peirce's "pure zero"--or ur-continuity in the
blackboard metaphor--seems to me closer to the Kemetic Nun in the dominant
Ancient Egyptian creation myth; while it should be noted in this regard that
Peirce knew hieroglyphics and may well have been acquainted with this myth).
[M]y 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.
I would tend to disagree with you, Jon, that this ur-continutiy is "created"
3ns; rather, I see it as "creative" 3ns as distinguished from the 3ns that
become the habits and laws of a created universe. So, in a word, my view is
that only these laws and habits are the 'created' 3nses.
One way of considering this is via the Ancient Egyptian myths just mentioned.
In these Kemetic myths there is "one incomprehensible Power, alone, unique,
inherent in the Nun, the indefiniable cosmic sea, the infinite source of the
Universe, outside of any notion of Space or Time." At Heliopolis this Power,
the Creator, is given the name, Atum, "which means both All and Nothing
[involving] the potential totality of the Universe which is as yet unformed and
intangible. . . Atum must. . . distinguish himself from the Nun and thus
annihilate the Nun in its original inert state." (all quotations are from Lucie
Lamy's book, Egyptian Mysteries: New light on ancient knowledge, p 8, a
popularization of her grandfather, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz's, great scholarly
work in Egyptology, still not as influential in that field as it ought to be in
I won't go further into this myth now except to note that even at this 'stage'
of proto-creation that the above "first act is expressed in three major ways"
such that Atum, as tum in Nun, "projects" himself as Khepri (that is, becoming,
or potential). All the neteru ('powers' according to S. de Lubicz, but usually
translated incorrectly as 'gods') will follow from that priordial 'act'.
Although there might now be this disagreement as to what the ur-continuity
represents, I would not disagree with you whatsoever, Jon, in your view that it
was Peirce's belief that God is "Really creator of all three Universes of
Experience" since opposition to this view would fly in the face of Peirce own
words: "The word 'God' ... is the definable proper name, signifying Ens
necessarium; in my belief Really creator of all three Universes of Experience"
(CP 6.452). How can one deny Peirce's own words here?
Returning now to Sheriff's book, after a fascinating Preface (which, for one
example, makes pointed reference to Stephen Hawking's essay, "A Unified Theory
of the Universe Would Be the Ultimate Triumph of Human Reason"), Chapter 1,
"Peirce's Cosmogonic Philosophy" opens with this quote:"[T]he problem of how
genuine triadic relations first arose in the world is a better, because more
definite, formulation of the problem of how life came about."(6.322)
Moving on to another topic taken up in this thread, Edwina's claim that
everything is semiosic does not seem to acknowledge the pervasive use of the
categories throughout Peirce's oevre which does not pertain to semiotics as
such, including his classification of the sciences (as you mentioned), nor the
placement of the first of the cenoscopic sciences, viz., phenomenology, well
ahead of logic as semeiotic in this classification, nor the content of
phenomenology itself, concerned explicitly with categorial relations in
themselves (and there is much, much else which Peirce emphatically associated
with the categories which is not semeiotic).
But considering for now just Peirce's Classification of the Sciences, Beverly
Kent, who wrote the only book length monograph on the topic, Charles S. Peirce:
Logic and the Classification of the Sciences, has a number of things to say
about the categories in relation to the classification. For example, after
mentioning that one of his earliest classification schemes was based on the
categories, Kent comments: "Fearing that his trichotomic might be misleading
him, he set it aside and developed alternative schemes, only to find himself
ineluctably led back. Even so, it was some time before he conceded that the
resulting divisions conformed to his categories" (Kent, 19). Phyllis Chiasson,
as I recall, makes much the same point.
Kent later remarks that regarding his final Outline Classification of the
Sciences (which he stuck with, prefaced virtually all his subsequent works in
logic with, and thought "sufficiently satisfactory" as late as 1911), that
Peirce wrote that "most of the divisions are 'trichotomic' " (Kent, 121) in the
sense of involving the three categories (much as Jon outlined them in a recent
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
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