Dear list:

In *Pragmatism and the Normativity of Assertion,* Helmut Pape begins his
essay with a quote by Peirce:



“*No general description of the mode of advance of human knowledge can be
just which leaves out of account the social aspect of knowledge…*

*What a thing society is!...”*



Then he observes:



“Pragmatism is many things to many people…



According to Richard Rorty we are pragmatists, if we admit that we know the
criteria for truth whenever we know what we want…

Nevertheless, *knowing* what we want with any precision and to determine by
that knowledge coherent criteria for truth may be a harder task than Rorty
imagines.”

_______



To illustrate just how hard this task is of 1) knowing and stating what we
want with any precision and 2) determining coherent criteria for truth from
that knowledge; *here is what I want*.  Here is my normative assertion
stated explicitly.



*I want to condense, simplify and spread the complete meaning of
pragmaticism in a single maxim, one and only one*.



That is, I want to maintain the relevant complexity but present it in
simplicity.

The one stated in CP 5.402 (“Consider what effects…”, the “*received view”*)
is unsatisfactory, fragmentary and *incomplete*.



Alternatively, I present *this* pragmatic maxim, the one and only one that
faithfully and *completely* condenses pragmaticism, for “if you carefully
consider the question of pragmatism you will see that it is nothing else
than the question of the logic of abduction”:



The surprising fact, C, is observed.

But if A were true, C would be a matter of course.

Hence, there is reason to suspect that A is true.  (CP 5.189)



To say then, that CP 5.189 is that complete pragmatic maxim is to say that
it serves as the foundation for what it means to be a pragmaticist.

It is to say that exercising the will to adopt and use this maxim to solve
complex problems is to expect convergence of diverse minds to a single
truth in spite of *dark* conditions.

It is to say that this is the “right rule of logical analysis”.

Adoption of this preamble “makes things *a priori”*.

It is to accept this maxim as a “formal, and necessary presupposition of
all meaningful claims about reality”.

This “logical principles state conditions that make the objective
representation of states of affairs possible”.



CP 5.189 is an argument because *On a New List of Categories*.

If “to determine an interpretant is the function of arguments”, then
adopting this argument is to determine an interpretant.  It is to make
meanings clear.



If you examine this argument closely, you will find that *this* argument
(unlike CP 5.402) gives you a sequence; it “claims that the process of
sign-transformation involves *some* real sequential cognitive process:

*…all my own writings upon formal logic have been based on the belief that
the concept of Sequence, alike in reasonings and in judgments…could in no
wise be replaced by any composition of ideas.  For in reasoning, at least,
we affirm, or, affirmatively judge, the conjugate of the premises, the
judgment of the conclusion has not yet been performed.  There then follows
a real movement in thought.*



That is, CP 5.189 better than CP 5.402 because sequence.


When you examine it, this “*logical principle* considered as a proposition
will be found to be quite empty”.   That is, the argument must be
transformed into an argumentation for it to be not empty.


As you fill out terms C and A explicitly, *utter them out loud in public*,
you will realize “that no term has a connotation incapable of logical
analysis- there are no truly “simple” terms.”



In summary, it is precise to this extent.  Filling out terms explicitly
with a correct habit of mind (dialectic and not eristic) will lead to
making ideas clear because that is the function of arguments, to determine
interpretants.

This immerses you in the social aspect of knowledge construction and will
help you discover on your own what the criteria are for truth-making.

_______________



Now the difficulty:



Who gets to speak for all who investigate, especially about complex
situations?

Where is this proof for such a thing?



That is, if “knowledge, like the verb ‘to know’, means two things, of which
one is potential and one actual”, then where is this “teridentity of its
object that is developed in a sequence of interpretations, which is
complete and perfect because it contains the ultimate interpretant of every
sign”?



That is,

*if* “The higher ideas, my dear friend, can hardly be set forth except
through the medium of examples”,

*then* “What model is there which is small, and yet has any analogy with
the political occupation?”


Where is this thing to "take these in the case of one instance, and so
understand them in the case of all"?



“: — O wonderful being, and to what are you looking?



Are we to find this “truth of the pragmatic maxim by relying on findings in
biology and psychology”?

For “every man seems to know all things in a dreamy sort of way, and then
again to wake up and to know nothing.”



*Now* “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.”



I realize I am liable to the penalties of the social law for producing this
act of assertion.  But I believe in the act of assent as an act of the mind
by which one endeavors to impress the meanings of the proposition, so that
it shall govern conduct, including thought under conduct.



But when you “understand an assertion made by someone other than ourselves,
we see ourselves confronted with a demand which other person makes on us:
she asks us to think in a certain way, namely to accept as our belief what
the assertion says.  So our public assertion commits us to defend a
proposition if called upon, and to abandon it if we cannot, while private
assent obligates us to be prepared to act on it as a habit.”



Let us acknowledge, then, that we have this preamble.

Let us acknowledge that



*CP 5.189 is the one and only one single best pragmatic maxim.    *



Best,
Jerry Rhee



In addition to Pape’s essay, I embedded quotes from various Plato
dialogues, which is justified because “It appears to have been virtually
the philosophy of Socrates.”  Moreover, I transmogrified statements from
Paul Forster’s *The Logic of Pragmatism: A Neglected Argument for Peirce’s
Pragmatic Maxim*.

On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Jerry Rhee <jerryr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear list:
>
>
>
> Wonderful!  Thank you for stating your position clearly.
>
>
>
> So now, all we need decide is whether CP 5.189 is or is not a pragmatic
> maxim.
>
> But before that, we need to decide whether it is or is not a maxim.
>
> For a pragmatic maxim belongs to the set of maxims.
>
>
>
> Here are some standards for “maxim”:
>
>
>
> ‘*Every man who has seen the world knows that nothing is so useless as a
> general maxim’*, wrote Lord Macaulay in 1827.
>
>
>
> In Macaulay’s view, outlined here, maxims are essentially for the purpose
> of regulating conduct by preventing foolish action, but do not often work.
>
>
>
> General maxims’ are for the improvement and education of the masses and
> might occasionally prevent folly..
>
>
>
> But in pre-theoretical thought, maxims are a way of preserving truth, a
> way of ‘thinking memorable thoughts’, the very stuff of knowledge, replete
> with communal values.
>
>
>
> They are used by, and of, the socially-elevated as much as the common
> people; by and of women; in a casual, ordinary ‘*ofost is selost’* (haste
> is best) way, as well as for narrative, rhetorical and emphatic purpose. “
>
> *~* Paul Cavill, Maxims in Old English Poetry
>
>
>
>
>
> “A *form*, consisting in universality; and in this view the formula of
> the moral imperative is expressed thus, that the
>
> maxims must be so chosen as if they were to serve as universal laws of
> nature.”
>
> ~Kant
>
>
>
> As to reasons for why pragmatic maxim, I would refer to Jon and John’s
> arguments.
>
>
>
> But what I would also like to point out are their reasons for why CP 5.189
> is *NOT* a maxim, much less a pragmatic one, for there must also be
> reasons to suspect A is *not* true.
>
>
>
> I would challenge you to defend that position.
>
> That is, the *reasons* for why CP 5.189 as a pragmatic maxim is
> surprising and/or suspicious to you.
>
>
>
> Thank you for the conversation.
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Jerry Rhee
>
> On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 1:43 PM, John Collier <colli...@ukzn.ac.za> wrote:
>
>> I agree with Jon, of course. He is right about the confusion, and the
>> issue I tried to address in my previous post was to find some common
>> unifying factor, not necessarily the best statement of the pragmatic maxim.
>> Nonetheless, I believe there are better and worse versions, and that these
>> are far outweighed by partial versions (not to mention outright
>> misunderstandings).
>>
>>
>>
>> The non-existence of a single or best pragmatic maxim in Peirce makes
>> Jerry’s request of me impossible to satisfy., as I tried in a rather around
>> about way to explain.
>>
>>
>>
>> John Collier
>>
>> Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
>>
>> Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
>>
>> http://web.ncf.ca/collier
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* Jon Alan Schmidt [mailto:jonalanschm...@gmail.com]
>> *Sent:* Saturday, 15 October 2016 8:24 PM
>> *To:* Peirce-L <peirce-l@list.iupui.edu>
>> *Subject:* [PEIRCE-L] Pragmatic Maxims (was Peirce's Cosmology)
>>
>>
>>
>> List:
>>
>>
>>
>> Per Gary R.'s request, I am shifting this discussion to a new thread
>> topic.  I would appreciate it if others would do likewise when extending
>> any of the other ongoing conversations about pragmatic maxims or other
>> subjects besides Peirce's cosmology.
>>
>>
>>
>> There seems to be a confusion here between "*the *pragmatic maxim,"
>> which is a very specific principle of *methodeutic *with multiple
>> formulations in Peirce's writings, and "*the best* pragmatic maxim,"
>> which is not something that Peirce ever discussed as far as I can tell.  In
>> particular, CP 5.189 is not *the *pragmatic maxim, nor even *a*
>> pragmatic maxim in the same sense, so it is certainly not *the best* 
>> pragmatic
>> maxim.  For one thing, as we established recently in another thread, it is
>> the form of inference for abduction *only*, and thus falls under logical
>> *critic*.  *The* pragmatic maxim subsequently serves as a tool for
>> admitting hypotheses that are amenable to deductive explication and
>> inductive evaluation, and rejecting those that are not.
>>
>>
>>
>> In any case, there is no need to guess or speculate *which *pragmatic
>> maxim Peirce had in mind when he wrote the following ...
>>
>>
>>
>> That is, pragmatism proposes a certain maxim which, if sound, must render
>> needless any further rule as to the admissibility of hypotheses to rank as
>> hypotheses, that is to say, as explanations of phenomena held as hopeful
>> suggestions; and, furthermore, this is *all *that the maxim of
>> pragmatism really pretends to do, at least so far as it is confined to
>> logic, and is not understood as a proposition in psychology. (CP 5.196;
>> 1903)
>>
>>
>>
>> ... because he told us *in the very next sentence*.
>>
>>
>>
>> For the maxim of pragmatism is that a conception can have no logical
>> effect or import differing from that of a second conception except so far
>> as, taken in connection with other conceptions and intentions, it might
>> conceivably modify our practical conduct differently from that second
>> conception.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>>
>> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
>>
>> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
>>
>> www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 12:14 PM, Jerry Rhee <jerryr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> John Collier, John Sowa, Kirsti Maatanen, Edwina Taborsky, list:
>>
>>
>>
>> John Collier:
>>
>> But that is my point.  Isn't a pragmatic maxim to be taken strictly since
>> it is carefully crafted, with logographic necessity, then it shouldn't be
>> handled loosely.  To say that such things are in the pragmatic maxim (the
>> pragmatic maxim and not a pragmatic maxim) also implies that it is in ONE
>> pragmatic maxim, the best one.  So, which one?  I think this is the matter
>> that does not get criticized enough.
>>
>> ______
>>
>>
>>
>> John Sowa, Edwina:
>>
>>
>>
>> "*logos* means something rather like calculation than religion..."
>> ~Strauss
>>
>>
>>
>> “The little matter of distinguishing one, two, and three --in a word, number
>> and calculation: --do not all arts and sciences necessarily partake of
>> them?
>>
>>
>>
>> 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?”
>> ~Plato
>>
>>
>>
>> “By understanding both sophistry (in its highest as well as in its lower
>> meanings) and statesmanship, one will understand what philosophy
>> is.”~Strauss
>>
>>
>>
>> “When a reputable witness makes, or witnesses make, an assertion which
>> experience renders highly improbable, or when there are other independent
>> arguments in its favor, each independent argument *pro* or *con*
>> produces a certain impression upon the mind of the wise man, dependent for
>> its quantity upon the frequency with which arguments of those kinds lead to
>> the truth, and the algebraical sum of these impressions is the resultant
>> impression that measures the wise man’s state of opinion on the whole.”
>> ~Peirce
>>
>>
>>
>> The way begets one;
>> One begets two;
>> Two begets three;
>> Three begets the myriad creatures.
>>
>> ~Lau 42
>>
>> ____________
>>
>>
>>
>> Kirsti,
>>
>>
>>
>> You said:
>>
>> I just wished to point out that it indeed is very important to study in
>> detail the exact wording CSP worked with for decades. Especially those
>> wordings he stick up with in his latest years.
>>
>>
>>
>> Peirce is greatly enhanced through a direct examination of nature.
>>
>> “That is why I prefer the study of nature,” said Goethe, “which does not
>> allow such sickness to arise. For there we have to do with infinite and
>> eternal truth that immediately rejects anyone who does not proceed neatly
>> and honestly in observing and handling his subject. I am also certain that
>> many a person who is dialectically sick could find a beneficial cure in the
>> study of nature."
>>
>> And Plato because “It (pragmaticism) appears to have been virtually the
>> philosophy of Socrates.”
>>
>>
>>
>> And Aristotle because, “The principles therefore are, in a way, not more
>> in number than the contraries, but as it were two, nor yet precisely two,
>> since there is a difference of essential nature, but three…”
>>
>>
>>
>> So, if Aristotle, Plato and Nature to understand Peirce, then how many
>> years for each and how would you resolve any differences, should any
>> conflicts arise?  Which should take precedence?
>>
>>
>>
>> I would recommend starting with Nature, then all three; more or less…
>>
>> If true, then there should be no conflict and the problem would lie with
>> me.
>>
>>
>>
>> "Now the partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about
>> the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of
>> his own assertions. And the difference between him and me at the present
>> moment is merely this — that whereas he seeks to convince his hearers that
>> what he says is true, I am rather seeking to convince myself; to convince
>> my hearers is a secondary matter with me." ~Plato on the attitude in
>> dialectic
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>> Jerry Rhee
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 12:01 PM, John Collier <colli...@ukzn.ac.za>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Jerry, there are various differently stated versions of the pragmatic
>> maxim, and it is also implicit in other work by Peirce.
>>
>>
>>
>> One way of putting the maxim is that any difference in meaning implies a
>> difference in the possibilities of (external) experience on which they are
>> grounded. You can experience this as a feeling (what might be true) as an
>> inferred difference, or as an explanation of the difference. Of course,
>> separating the three except in the abstract, is impossible. That is what I
>> meant when I said I thought Edwina was right about inseperability. She may
>> have meant more or less that I didn’t notice.
>>
>>
>>
>> This sort of thinking is found throughout Peirce’s writing. I don’t think
>> there are any grounds for controversy about that. The interesting thing to
>> me, in this case, is that it can be applied reflectively.
>>
>>
>>
>> John Collier
>>
>> Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
>>
>> Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
>>
>> http://web.ncf.ca/collier
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* Jerry Rhee [mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com]
>> *Sent:* Saturday, 15 October 2016 6:31 PM
>> *To:* John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net>
>> *Cc:* Peirce-L <peirce-l@list.iupui.edu>
>> *Subject:* Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology
>>
>>
>>
>> John Collier, list:
>>
>>
>>
>> You said:  I agree with Edwina that all three elements are involved in
>> the pragmatic maxim.
>>
>>
>>
>> Do you mind stating where, in the pragmatic maxim, it says this?
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm not questioning whether it is or not.  I'm just not sure to what you
>> are referring.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> Jerry R
>>
>>
>>
>> -----------------------------
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>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
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