Gary f., list,

Your response presented as full an understanding of essential points in my post as I could ever hope. Even more, I was greatly and happily surprised.

And yes, of course there are any formulations of the ideas conveyed by the two short expressions he gave a final stamp of his approval by explicitly NAMING them AS The first and The second formulation of The Pragmatic Maxim (in EP vol 2). (Note the cardinals!)

He writes about them all the time, of course. In search of as good a linguistic expression as he was ever able to come up with.

But, at a later date he takes up the First of these feeling a need for a Second, which does not (in any way) contradict with accepting the First, but taking it into a further stage, so to speak.

I have not read your book, Gary. I do not read about Peirce, have not done so for centuries. Which, just as you write, gives much more weight and value to us both.

If you see my point on ordinality and cardinality, it is very, very exceptional. Simplest math is most difficult for both philosophers and mathematicians to understand. There is this cultural aura around math which seems to make people bow there heads and kneel. Instead of approaching the questions at hand head on.

I have always preached that it takes courage and guts to think properly and face the consequences of one's own thinking.

I am very happy to have had the experience of feeling understood in my old age with some issues I've almost given up hope with.

My sincere thanks to your, Gary f.

 kirjoitti 14.2.2018 19:32:

I did give your post on ordinality and cardinality a second reading,
and I think I see your point, but I don’t have any particular
response to it, except to say that these logico-mathematical issues
are likely to arise again as we move on to Lowell Lectures 4 and 5,
where Peirce has much to say about “_multitude”_.

I guess it’s time to start on Lowell 4, which I’ll do any day now
… my transcription is already up on my website, [1] .

About Peirce’s formulations of the pragmatic maxim, I’m pretty
sure there are more than two in his writings, so it would help if you
would quote exactly the two that you refer to as the “first” and
“second.” Then we can look for a third.

I think your new post makes a very important point when you say that
“the self to write down was the former self, not exactly the same as
the one(self) doing the writing down.” Or as I might put it, When
one decides to write down what one is thinking, one often finds that
the thought is changed by the act of writing it down. And it may
change again when you read what you’ve written. So, as you say,
“We all (hopefully) reformulate what we write during writing. Up
until it feels good enough. - Or should do so.”

Some of us who post here usually do go through such a process. Others
are so eager to have their say that they usually hit “Send”
without even looking over what they’ve written. That’s one extreme
which tends to increase the quantity, and decrease the quality, of
posts on the list,— which makes many subscribers impatient. At the
other extreme are those who formulated their ‘positions’ years
ago, but never tire of repeating those same formulations or opinions,
usually in the context of agreeing or disagreeing with somebody
else’s formulation. That habit also increases the quantity, and
decreases the overall quality, of posts on the list, because it
usually generates repetitive “debates” instead of developing a
genuine _argument_ (in the full Peircean sense of that word).

I think the ideal kind of post on the list is somewhere between those
two extremes. It’s the kind of post that has already gone through a
formulation and reformulation process, but takes the result of that
prior process as an “experiment,” and genuinely hopes to learn
something new from the result, i.e. from whatever response it gets. As
you say, “A living mind is continuously active, and any symbol lives
as long as [its] continuity gets created and recreated by new minds,
in new contexts.” For instance, I’ve said very similar things in
my book, but your statement is every bit as _original _as mine was,
because it was formulated based on _your_ experience and _your_ way of
using the language. Both of us have “recreated” the symbol by
reformulating it, “replicating” it in different ways, and thus
taken its expression a step or two further. That’s part of what I
call a genuine _argument_ (as opposed to a debate, which is a kind of
context between two fixed positions). It’s the sense in which Peirce
said that the Universe is “an argument”, “a vast representamen
… working out its conclusions in living realities” (EP2:193-4, CP

I hope you don’t find this presumptuous. At least I can assure you
that it’s been formulated with some care, including careful
attention to your post. So if you think I got you wrong, I’d really
like to know that!

Gary f.

} Poetry is a search for the inexplicable. [Wallace Stevens] { [2] }{ _Turning Signs_ gateway

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 14-Feb-18 08:14
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Pragmatic Maxims and mediation (Was Lowell


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

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

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

By the time of the FIRST Maxim, CSP was concentrating on Signs, later

(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

'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

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

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

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

Neither mathematically,  nor logically.

The first zero, the second zero, the third zero … acquire a

meaning by their relative position in the chain of numbers.  Which

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

not follow that the thoughts are inherently simple.

With ordered chains of numbers (or other kindred marks) the problem

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



Kirsti Määttänen


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