Gary R - you wrote:

"I am not an atheist because, for one thing, I refuse to 'reduce' the origins 
of this cosmos to an improbably singularity (a Big Bang--and, as you probably 
know, there is not one version of this theory, but several, and competing 
theories as well, although the current scientific dogma won't allow for that). 


Nor do I see self-organization (a sound enough principle) and self-creation 
(whatever that may mean) as the only principles of semiosis, life and 
evolution."

I certainly won't critique or comment on your rejection of atheism as that's 
hardly my right, but I'd like to comment on the 'singularity of origin of our 
universe' [Big Bang] and self-organization.

With regard to the singular explosive origin, there certainly are numerous 
theories, including for or against the Big Bang. Since I am rejecting a 
metaphysical origin [God] as the origin of the universe, I stick with the Big 
Bang for now. I refer to Peirce's 'A Guess at the Riddle'...

"The original chaos, therefore, where there was no regularity, was in effect a 
state of mere indeterminacy in which nothing existed or really happened. 
Our conceptions of the first stages of development, before time yet existed, 
must be as vague and figurative as the expressions of the first chapter of 
Genesis. Out of the womb of indeterminacy we must say that there would have 
come something, by the principle of Firstness, which we may call a flash. Then 
by the principle of habit there would have been a second flash. Though time 
would not yet have been, this second flash  was in some sense after the first, 
because resulting from it. Then there would have come other successions ever 
more and more closely connected, the habits and the tendency to take them ever 
strengthening themselves, until the events would have been bound together into 
something like a continuous flow.....' 1.412

What i read from the above is the self-organized emergence of the Universe. 
There is no metaphysical Agent [God- which requires an a priori agency, 
something which the Scholastics dealt with by not dealing with it except within 
belief] - but - the basic principles of organization of the three categories 
ARE there. And that's all three - pure spontaneity, discrete instantiations, 
and regularity or habit-taking. These are all aspects of Mind - and matter, as 
Peirce constantly wrote, is 'effete Mind'. So, Mind seems to be primal...and 
even, self-organized.

As Peirce outlined in his examples of crystals as instantiations of Mind, or 
the decapitated frog which, lacking a brain, 'almost reasons. The habit that is 
in his cerebellum serves as a major premiss. The excitation of a drop of acid 
is his minor premiss. And his conclusion is the act of wiping it away. All that 
is of any value in the operation of ratiocination is there, except only one 
thing. What he lacks is the power of prepatory meditation" 6.286.  

Just so- the above triad is a semiosic action - and equally applicable to a 
crystal, which also lacks the power of prepatory meditation but does have the 
entire semiosic act/syllogism within it.

Edwina


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Gary Richmond 
  To: Peirce-L 
  Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 7:21 PM
  Subject: Re: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology


  Helmut, List,


  Helmut wrote: ""Atum", the ancient Egyptian myth, as you wrote, is the state 
of the beginning, and it is nothing and everything at the same time."

  I do not  subscribe to and am certainly not proselytizing the Kemetic myth, 
just offering it as a possible source (along with Tohu Bohu, and the other deep 
and/or dark and/or vague and/or oceanic-watery creation myths), a mere possible 
source for Peirce's more scientific musings (or, as he wrote, pre-scientific) 
musings on early cosmology. Or, perhaps it's just a suggestive parallel. You 
wrote:


    So the Egyptians concluded that at the beginning there should have been a 
situation which is both, "all" and "nothing" at the same time. But all is the 
opposite of nothing, isnt it.


  and then go on to suggest that there is something "patronizing" in  
suggesting that it may be possible to see "all" and "nothing"  "at the same 
time." Yet in Peirce's more scientific (or, perhaps, less mythological) view, 
in this early cosmological context this is exactly what he does in suggesting 
that here it is a matter of a kind of proto-state of "everything in general and 
nothing in particular." This has always made some sense to me, but if it 
doesn't to you, well, so be it. But there is absolutely nothing patronizing in 
it, that's for sure.


  As for Time, that is ceratinly too vast a topic even in Peirce's thinking 
alone to attempt to summarize anything which might be of value here. But I will 
note that in the context of his early cosmological thinking he is at pains to 
say that even when it is necessary to write, say, "this then that," that 
strictly speaking, there was not yet TIme, so that "this then that" can only be 
a manner of speaking and can't be taken literally.


  I am not an atheist but, as I believe Peirce was not, I am also not a 
doctrinaire or dogmatic theist. It is possible to be a religious person and 
still maintain a scientific attitude. In my opinion, Peirce is  one of the most 
extraordinarily developed examples of this kind of person.


  I am not an atheist because, for one thing, I refuse to 'reduce' the origins 
of this cosmos to an improbably singularity (a Big Bang--and, as you probably 
know, there is not one version of this theory, but several, and competing 
theories as well, although the current scientific dogma won't allow for that). 


  Nor do I see self-organization (a sound enough principle) and self-creation 
(whatever that may mean) as the only principles of semiosis, life and evolution.


  Best,


  Gary R
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