Dear list:

Here is an explanation of the last post.

61. Modern methods have created modern science; and this century, and
especially the last twenty-five years, have done more to create new methods
than any former equal period. We live in the very age of methods. Even
mathematics and astronomy have put on new faces. Chemistry and physics are
on completely new tracks. Linguistics, history, mythology, sociology,
biology, are all getting studied in new ways. Jurisprudence and law have
begun to feel the impulse, and must in the future be more and more rapidly
influenced by it.

67. Now although a man needs not the theory of a method in order to apply
it as it has been applied already, yet in order to adapt to his own science
the method of another with which he is less familiar, and to properly
modify it so as to suit it to its new use, *an acquaintance with the
principles upon which it depends will be of the greatest benefit.* For that
sort of work a man needs to be more than a mere specialist; he needs such a
general training of his mind, and such knowledge as shall show him how to
make his powers most effective in a new direction. That knowledge is logic.

68. To this great end a young man's attention ought to be directed when he
first comes to the university; he ought to keep it steadily in view during
the whole period of his studies; and finally, he will do well to review his
whole work in the light which an education in logic throws upon it."
Jay Rosen brings attention to the importance of this correct filter:

Jerry R

On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:52 PM, Jerry Rhee <> wrote:

> Best,
> Jerry R
> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Jon Alan Schmidt <
>> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Regards,
>> Jon
>> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:34 PM, Ben Novak <> 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* (
>>> 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
>>> Argument.
>>> 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
>>> Metaphysics?"
>>> degger.Martin..What%20Is%20Metaphysics.htm
>>> Ben
>>> *Ben Novak <>*
>>> 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 <>
>>> wrote:
>>>> 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
>>>> basic.
>>>> 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.
>>>> Edwina
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> *From:* Jon Alan Schmidt <>
>>>> *To:* Helmut Raulien <>
>>>> *Cc:* Peirce-L <>
>>>> *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.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
>>>> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
>>>> -
>>>> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM, Helmut Raulien <>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> 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.
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Helmut
>> -----------------------------
>> PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON
>> PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to
>> . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L
>> but to with the line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the
>> BODY of the message. More at
>> -l/peirce-l.htm .
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L 
to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to . To 
UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to with the 
line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at .

Reply via email to