On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com>
> Ben, List:
> Thank you for sharing these comments. I will need to take a look at the
> text of Heidegger's speech, and then decide whether I have anything
> worthwhile to say about it myself. For now, I am simply renaming the
> thread topic for the sake of clarity going forward.
> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:34 PM, Ben Novak <trevriz...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Jon, Edwina, Helmut, Jerry, Gary:
>> This email chain, for me, has been one of the most interesting and
>> useful. I greatly appreciate the efforts of all of you to arrive at the
>> clarity of the last few emails in the chain. The reason I am writing this
>> is because it seems to me that we have reached quite a turning point. For
>> we are suddenly in the realm of talking about what metaphysics is, which
>> brings right back around to the Neglected Argument.
>> Let me explain. Helmut raised the question:
>> HR: Nothing cannot exist, because something that exists is, well,
>> something, and something is not nothing.
>> He also referenced Hegel's logic.
>> But a whole lot of water has gone under the bridge since Hegel's insight
>> into Nothing, and quite frankly, I think we need to take it into account in
>> talking about what Peirce is doing. For it is possible that later thinkers,
>> independently of Peirce, and sometimes from different disciplines or
>> traditions of thought, may have something to offer to the discussion--even
>> to the understanding of Peirce.
>> On the subject that Jon so capably raised in his emails today quoting
>> Nathan Houser, which I quote here simply to save you the trouble of going
>> back through the chain:
>> Indeed, Nathan Houser's introduction to Volume 1 of *The Essential
>> Peirce* (http://www.peirce.iupui.edu/edition.html#introduction) provides
>> a similar summary of Peirce's cosmology, as follows.
>> NH: In the beginning there was *nothing*. But this primordial nothing
>> was not the nothingness of a void or empty space, it was a
>> *no-thing-ness*, the nothingness characteristic of the absence of any
>> determination. Peirce described this state as "completely undetermined and
>> dimensionless potentiality," which may be characterized by freedom, chance,
>> and spontaneity (CP 6.193, 200).
>> NH: The first step in the evolution of the world is the transition from
>> undetermined and dimensionless potentiality to *determined *potentiality.
>> The agency in this transition is chance or pure spontaneity. This new state
>> is a Platonic world, a world of pure firsts, a world of qualities that
>> are mere eternal possibilities. We have moved, Peirce says, from a state of
>> absolute nothingness to a state of *chaos*.
>> NH: Up to this point in the evolution of the world, all we have is real
>> possibility, firstness; nothing is actual yet--there is no secondness.
>> Somehow, the possibility or potentiality of the chaos is self-actualizing,
>> and the second great step in the evolution of the world is that in which
>> the world of actuality emerges from the Platonic world of qualities. The
>> world of secondness is a world of events, or facts, whose being consists in
>> the mutual interaction of actualized qualities. But this world does not yet
>> involve thirdness, or law.
>> NH: The transition to a world of thirdness, the third great step in
>> cosmic evolution, is the result of a habit-taking tendency inherent in the
>> world of events ... A habit-taking tendency is a generalizing tendency, and
>> the emergence of all uniformities, from time and space to physical matter
>> and even the laws of nature, can be explained as the result of the
>> universe's tendency to take habits.
>> Now, many of the discussants have taken this quite further, and have
>> entered into a discussion of the nothing.
>> Well, I would like to propose the relevance here of Martin Heidegger's
>> maiden speech, "What is Metaphysics?" In that speech, Heidegger deals
>> directly with the issue Helmut raised shortly after Jon's email:
>> Nothing cannot exist, because something that exists is, well, something,
>> and something is not nothing. But now I am not still so sure of this logic.
>> Because who said, that a nothing has to exist to be nothing? Maybe it did
>> not exist, but merely was real?
>> Now that is precisely the issue that Heidegger deals with in his speech,
>> and claims a couple of things of immediate relevance here. First, he claims
>> that this nothing is the subject matter of a whole discipline and field of
>> thought, i.e., metaphysics. Second, he shows how this nothing can not only
>> be the subject of a discipline, but also something identified and
>> experienced in daily life.
>> But he even does more than that. He argues that the nothing can be
>> experienced by persons in certain moods, which he identifies as anxiety and
>> boredom. In a later work, *Introduction to Metaphysics*, he identifies
>> more moods, such as extreme happiness (e.g., on the day of one's wedding
>> for example). I suggest that this list may not he exhaustive, but may
>> include the "play of amusement" that Peirce refers to in the Neglected
>> If such a possibility is entertained, then there may be a basis for
>> seeing a major clarification resulting from relating Heideggher's
>> discussion of the Nothing to Peirce's comments as summarized by Houser, and
>> further elaborated by Jon, as well as seeing a connection between
>> Heidegger's understanding of nothing as the subject matter of metaphysics,
>> and Peirce's Neglected Argument.
>> Here is Heidegger's maiden speech at the University of Marburg, "What is
>> *Ben Novak <http://bennovak.net>*
>> 5129 Taylor Drive, Ave Maria, FL 34142
>> Telephone: (814) 808-5702
>> *"All art is mortal, **not merely the individual artifacts, but the arts
>> themselves.* *One day the last portrait of Rembrandt* *and the last bar
>> of Mozart will have ceased to be—**though possibly a colored canvas and
>> a sheet of notes may remain—**because the last eye and the last ear
>> accessible to their message **will have gone." *Oswald Spengler
>> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:27 PM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca>
>>> 1) Pure zero is NOT the continuum of Thirdness. Because Thirdness is
>>> made up of general habits.
>>> I agree that 'nothing in particular necessarily resulted' - i.e., there
>>> was no agential Mind and no necessary model of the universe. Our universe
>>> could have spontaneously generated some other atom/chemical/whatever as
>>> 2) I don't confine 'freedom' to persons. Molecules and cells have it!
>>> Birds, animals, insects..have freedom.
>>> 3) The worst thing about a religious [or other?] group is that it is
>>> made up of flawed people? I would say that is one of the best things, for
>>> 'being flawed' means that we are aware of our existentiality as 'merely a
>>> version of a Type'...and can enjoy our differences.
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> *From:* Jon Alan Schmidt <jonalanschm...@gmail.com>
>>> *To:* Helmut Raulien <h.raul...@gmx.de>
>>> *Cc:* Peirce-L <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> *Sent:* Tuesday, October 18, 2016 2:04 PM
>>> *Subject:* Re: Re: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology
>>> Helmut, List:
>>> HR: Nothing cannot exist, because something that exists is, well,
>>> something, and something is not nothing.
>>> This led me to think of the following quote from Peirce.
>>> CSP: We start, then, with nothing, pure zero. But this is not the
>>> nothing of negation. For *not *means *other than*, and *other *is
>>> merely a synonym of the ordinal numeral *second*. As such it implies a
>>> first; while the present pure zero is prior to every first. The nothing of
>>> negation is the nothing of death, which comes second to, or after,
>>> everything. But this pure zero is the nothing of not having been born.
>>> There is no individual thing, no compulsion, outward nor inward, no law.
>>> It is the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is involved or
>>> foreshadowed. As such, it is absolutely undefined and unlimited
>>> possibility--boundless possibility. There is no compulsion and no law. It
>>> is boundless freedom. So of *potential *being there was in that
>>> initial state no lack. (CP 6.217; )
>>> What he wrote next is consistent with a point that I have been trying to
>>> make recently.
>>> CSP: Now the question arises, what necessarily resulted from that state
>>> of things? But the only sane answer is that where freedom was boundless
>>> nothing in particular necessarily resulted. (CP 6.218)
>>> The key word here is *necessarily*, since obviously Peirce's cosmology
>>> requires that *something *resulted. He went on to contrast his
>>> approach with Hegel's, and then gave this conclusion.
>>> CSP: I say that nothing *necessarily *resulted from the Nothing of
>>> boundless freedom. That is, nothing according to deductive logic. But
>>> such is not the logic of freedom or possibility. The logic of freedom, or
>>> potentiality, is that it shall annul itself. For if it does not annul
>>> itself, it remains a completely idle and do-nothing potentiality; and a
>>> completely idle potentiality is annulled by its complete idleness. I do
>>> not mean that potentiality immediately results in actuality. Mediately
>>> perhaps it does; but what immediately resulted was that unbounded
>>> potentiality became potentiality of this or that sort--that is, of some
>>> *quality*. Thus the zero of bare possibility, by evolutionary logic,
>>> leapt into the *unit *of some quality. This was hypothetic inference.
>>> (CP 6.219-220)
>>> Here he used the word "freedom," which is again something that we
>>> attribute to *persons*. He suggested that, "Mediately perhaps," bare
>>> possibility (Firstness) results in actuality (Secondness); i.e., something
>>> (or Someone) else must *mediate *(Thirdness) that transition. He then
>>> referred to the immediate process of "unbounded potentiality" becoming "the
>>> unit of some quality" as "hypothetic inference," which can only take place
>>> within a mind (or Mind).
>>> HR: So I want to remain an agnostic.
>>> I can understand the sentiment--I often say that the worst thing about
>>> any religious group is that it is made up of flawed people--but I hope that
>>> you will continue inquiring.
>>> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
>>> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
>>> www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt
>>> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM, Helmut Raulien <h.raul...@gmx.de>
>>>> Edwina, Jon, Gary, list,
>>>> I think I am an agnostic. "Everything could come from nothing" (Edwina)
>>>> reminds me of having read (merely) the (very) beginning of Hegels, I think
>>>> it was "Science of logic". Hegel showed how dialectics leads to the
>>>> evolution from "nothing" to "something", and then on to all other things,
>>>> like life. I have understood it like: "Nothing" is a thesis, which cannot
>>>> exists of its own, because existence requires that it is something, i.e.
>>>> "The nothing", which means that "nothing" is "something", and there is a
>>>> something else, which is not nothing, as antithesis. Or something like
>>>> that. I found this argumentation quite catchy. Nothing cannot exist,
>>>> because something that exists is, well, something, and something is not
>>>> nothing. But now I am not still so sure of this logic. Because who said,
>>>> that a nothing has to exist to be nothing? Maybe it did not exist, but
>>>> merely was real? A real but nonexistent nothing might remain in its
>>>> sleeping mode forever, if no God shows up. I cannot pin it down, but have
>>>> the feeling, that the difference between real and existing requires theism,
>>>> and if you do not see the difference, one (eg.I) may be an agnostic. I am,
>>>> because I thought I had understood the terms "existing", "real", "being"
>>>> (this thing about the predicate), but somehow lost it again. Like faith: It
>>>> is an on-off-relationship somehow. I feel I cannot pin down God. But I like
>>>> this state better than to be somebody who claims to know God well. These
>>>> folks are dangerous, you just have to switch on the TV. So I want to remain
>>>> an agnostic.
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