Hi Jon,

Excellent quote; thanks, Jon. I had not seen (recalled?) it before, and it offers another example of Peirce's universal categories, plus is the clearest statement I have seen yet of Peirce's definition of nominalism v realism.


On 2/12/2018 11:00 AM, Jon Alan Schmidt wrote:

As the chief culprit for the recent glut of messages--apparently I was the sender of more than one-third of the 200+ over the first 11 days of February--I offer my sincere apology, and my promise to try to temper my enthusiasm for the current discussion topics, or at least "pace myself" (as the saying goes) in responding.  Please do not hesitate to contact me directly off-List if you think that I am getting out of hand again.

I am replying in this thread only because I believe that the following excerpt provides a direct answer to Stephen R.'s question about whether Peirce classified Aristotle as a nominalist.

CSP:  Aristotle held that Matter and Form were the only elements of experience. But he had an obscure conception of what he calls entelechy, which I take to be a groping for the recognition of a third element which I find clearly in experience. Indeed it is by far the most overt of the three. It was this that caused Aristotle to overlook it ... Aristotle, so far as he is a nominalist, and he may, I think, be described as a nominalist with vague intimations of realism, endeavors to express the universe in terms of Matter and Form alone ... It may be remarked that if, as I hold, there are three categories, Form, Matter, and Entelechy, then there will naturally be seven schools of philosophy; that which recognizes Form alone, that which recognizes Form and Matter alone, that which recognizes Matter alone (these being the three kinds of nominalism); that which recognizes Matter and Entelechy alone; that which recognizes Entelechy alone (which seems to me what a perfectly consistent Hegelianism would be); that which recognizes Entelechy and Form alone (these last three being the kinds of imperfect realism); and finally the true philosophy which recognizes Form, Matter, and Entelechy. (NEM 4:294-295; c. 1903?, emphasis added)

This is part of a lengthy passage where, as I have remarked in other recent threads, Peirce explicitly associated Form with 1ns (quality or suchness), Matter with 2ns (the subject of a fact), and Entelechy with 3ns (that which brings together Matter and Form; i.e., Signs).


Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman

On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 9:22 AM, Stephen C. Rose <stever...@gmail.com> wrote:

173. But fallibilism cannot be appreciated in anything like its true significancy until evolution has been considered. This is what the world has been most thinking of for the last forty years -- though old enough is the general idea itself. Aristotle's philosophy, that dominated the world for so many ages and still in great measure tyrannizes over the thoughts of butchers and bakers that never heard of him -- is but a metaphysical evolutionism.

Peirce: CP 1.174 Cross-Ref:††

Interesting. Has anyone done a study of Peirce and Aristotle. In what did Peirce's alleged tyranny consist?  This is in something I found in an old book I have but it is also in CP. Did classify Aristotle as a dualist or nominalist? Or more narrowly as here?  

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