First I wish to express my appreciation to Gary f., to his lead and his commentaries on LL. - However, it seem to me that the discussions tend to get muddled on certain very, very basic respects.

Peirce's first formulation of the Pragmatic Maxims was about "practical bearings". So it was about doing something, more specifically it was about experimentation. Experimentation is about doing systematical observations (with some stated, conscious rules, mostly with non conscius habits of feeling). This applies to thought experiments just as well.

The second, later formulation of the Pragmatic Maxim is about understanding and interpreting the ideas an thoughts mediated by texts, diagrams (etc).

But to my knowledge CSP did not write down a third, strictly worded formulation of the Maxim. If there is one to be found, it must reside in his very latest writings.

However, he left a legacy on how to find and grasp the essence of The Third. - To my mind Peircean phenomenology is the Turning Point. And the key.

Writing down or drawing down means making one's ideas observable, objectifying them to be inspected. By oneself AND by others. But the self to write down was the former self, not exactly the same as the one(self) doing the writing down.

Husserlian Phenomenology is all about knowledge and consciousness. Nonconscious mind gets left out at the outset. (I have consulted several experts on Husserl, as well as thoroughly inspected some of his key writings.) I have good reasons to believe that Peirce resorted in choosing (for some time) not to use the same term in order to avoid confusing and muddling his phenomenology with that of Husserl. - Hegel's Phenomenology he partly accepted, but definitely not Hegel's Logic.

We do have conscious control (deliberation) in starting to write down our thoughts and ending it. But our minds are not simultaneously starting or ending feeling and thinking. Not with the first nor with last word (or line etc).

A living mind is continuously active, and any symbol lives as long as continuity gets created and recreated by new minds, in new contexts.

Any act of writing down one's thoughts and ideas is an experiment. We all (hopefully) reformulate what we write during writing. Up until it feels good enough. - Or should do so.

Peirce List is not supposed to be an arena for just opinions, in the the sense: "This is my opinion, and as such it is just as good as yours!". - A have seen such a response in the List. - The majority in Peirce's times voted him down, remember!

This list is and should by all means remain an arena for argumentation, not just expressing opinions. In philosophy and in sciences (including human sciences, i.e. humanities) soundness of grounds matters.

When I was a little child my mother sometimes used to respond to us children: "Auf dumme Fragen antworte ich nicht". I did not understand the language, but in time I got the message: There was something wrong with the question asked. The question was stupid, unanswerable.

Perhaps my interest in formulating questions, in relation with possible answers, stems from these early, preschool times.

I will leave below my earlier mail on ordinality and cardinality, which, to my mind, deserves a second reading. The choice if of course yours.

By the time of the FIRST Maxim, CSP was concentrating on Signs, later on (SECOND) he shifted towards Meaning, though not at all changing his subject. Just changing the main, but not only perspective.


Kirsti Määttänen kirjoitti 7.12.2017 11:57:
John & Jon,

The two paragraphs offered by John to clarify the meaning of the verb
'to indentify'  did not do the job for me. Quite the contrary.  Many
questions arose.

JFS:  "In mathematics, it is common practice to "identify" two
structures that are isomorphic.  Some mathematicians call that
practice "abuse of notation" and insist on adding some annotations to
the marks in order to distinguish the references.  But most do not
bother to clutter their notations with such annotations."

Question: Which (variety of) notations do you mean? 2 = 2 and a = a ?
Both can be read aloud as – equals – ,  OR – is identical with – .

The mark remains the same, but there is change of meaning, depending
on the (mathematical) context.
With cardinals,  2 = 2 can be taken as equal and identical with  1+1 =
1+1. With a = a the situation is not that simple.

With ordinals this does not apply.  As was shown by CSP in his
cyclical arithmetics.

Not only does "how many?" count, "how many times? " counts. (This is a
joke, mind you).

Positions within multiple cycles begin to mean a lot.

Also zero becomes very interesting, indeed.

When zero was introduced (by arabic influence) to our number system,
it brought with it not only calculus, but also the arabic numbering

Thus 000 = 000000 (etc.), but 10  and 100 and 1000 (etc.) make a huge
difference. (As we all may,  sorely or happily, know by looking at
one's bank accounts.)  This is not as trivial as it may seem to some.
Neither mathematically,  nor logically.

The first zero, the second zero, the third zero … acquire a  different
meaning by their relative position in the chain of numbers.  Which is
not trivial, either.

Relational logic is needed.  Which is just as complex ( and perplex)
as CSP has shown it to be.

I have presented my thoughts as simply as I possibly can, but it does
not follow that the thoughts are inherently simple.

With ordered chains of numbers (or other kindred marks) the problem of
reversibility and irreversibility acquire a new acuity.

CPS deals with the problem a lot in Lowell Lectures.

I'll leave my second question on the meaning of identifying to a later date.

Kirsti Määttänen

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