Hi John. First I added this to my trove on Abbot on Medium. https://medium.com/everything-comes/f-e-abbots-libel-case-against-josiah-royce-7e8dd3012457 The complete text of Abbott's defense against Josiah Royce for what appears to have been a rather complete misunderstanding of him on Royce's part. Peirce took Abbot's side in this dispute with predictably muted support from the usual suspects. I was being somewhat flippant in noting Abbot's suicide. But he was unified with his wife in a rare and important way it seems and he had reached the end of a long and productive time. I would not agree that he had wide influence or even that he could have had. He was closer to Pierce in that respect though he did publish books. He was booted by Unitarians which is wondrous when you think about it, but completely sensible. Unitarianism is not Peirce or Abbot.
I completely disagree that we live in a time of breakdown. The breakdown we experience is a necessary trauma as the world emerges from the vale of violence, patriarchy, exclusivism, and hierarchy that is part and parcel of what Peirce and Abbot were against. The civilization the two men aimed at philosophically is an integration of the best of inherited metaphysics with science, arriving at a post-religious spirituality. Of course it builds on the past, but not all of it. I do not look at suicide as negatively as I might, given my own stance which is nonviolent. But that is a long discussion. You mention Merton who managed to electrocute himself by accident. Then there was the former President of Union Seminary Henry Pitney Van Dusen who had a suicide pact with his wife and shot her and failed to finish himself off. Part of my reaction to Abbot was that he waited ten years exactly after his wife died and then succeeded. This was not ill-considered. That, and being more than a century ahead of where my alma mater Union was when I left in 1961 after an amusing meeting with the President, Dr. Van Dusen, seems a success of sorts. On the whole, the future belongs to Peirce and Abbot and the signs of the times are in their favor. Or so I think. amazon.com/author/stephenrose On Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 11:31 AM, John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net> wrote: > On 3/2/2018 8:25 AM, Stephen C. Rose wrote:> Entirely delightful with a > salutary flourish at the end. > >> The most salutary suicide I have ever encountered. >> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Ellingwood_Abbot > > That provides some good background about F. E. Abbot, and it's > significant that Peirce took his side. But I do not find anything > salutary about suicide, and certainly not by someone who might > have contributed much more if he had continued to write and preach. > > On a related point, I have a great deal of sympathy for religions > that have flourished for thousands of years. They integrate > metaphysics, normative science, a worldview, a social conscience, > and a way of life that appeals to people at every level of society. > > You can't say that about the currently fragmented "mainstream" > of philosophy, science, sociology, political thought, and life. > > In fact, that's one reason why I was attracted to Peirce's views, > because he did manage to integrate those fields. Unfortunately, > he wasn't able to communicate effectively to a wider audience. > > Abbot was able to preach to a large audience. If he had been > more circumspect in his choice of metaphors, he might have been > able to lead them where he wanted to go. Thomas Merton, for > example, was a Trappist Monk who managed to remain in good > standing with the Catholic Church while writing books about > Buddhism and Taoism. > > Following is a note that I recently sent to Ontolog Forum, which > includes a longer note from last July. It addresses some similar > issues. > > John > > -------- Forwarded Message -------- > Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Concepts, properties, views, events > Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 09:44:53 -0500 > From: John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net> > To: ontolog-fo...@googlegroups.com > > On 3/1/2018 7:26 AM, KI wrote: > >> Are the terms Language and Logic synonyms then? >> > > In a broad sense, you could say that. But to avoid confusion, > it's important to distinguish natural languages from artificial > languages -- and informal or natural logic from formal logics. > > With that distinction, every artificial language is a specialized > notation that could be translated to and from a subset of any > natural language. Wittgenstein would call that subset a > "language game". But a natural language is the potentially > infinite set of all possible language games that could be played > with a given syntax and vocabulary. > > Then every formal logic is an artificial language that is used > with precisely defined methods of reasoning and criteria for > distinguishing denotations and truth conditions. > > "To the ancient Greek Goēs, the world of the divine was not just >> shear chaos. The forces of the universe had a logic behind them >> that gave them shape. Their form could be accessed and interacted >> with using a special language. Hence, the reason for glossolalia." . >> >>  https://www.thepostil.com/the-logos-a-brief-history/ >> > > That description of the *logos* is from the Christian tradition. > From that perspective, it's reasonably accurate. From a wider > perspective, many scholars have found strong similarities among > the Greek logos, the Chinese Dao (or Tao), and the Buddhist Dharma. > In fact, the Chinese version of the New Testament translates > Logos to Dao. > > Heraclitus (Fragment 1), about 400 BC > >> all things come to be according to this logos >> > > About 500 years later, John the Evangelist wrote (in Greek) > >> In the beginning was the Logos. The Logos was with God. And the >> Logos was God. It was in the beginning with God. All things came to >> be through it, and without it nothing came to be that has come to be. >> > > Since John was my namesake, I have a lot of sympathy with the idea. > See below for a note I sent to Ontolog Forum in July 2017. > > John > > -------- Forwarded Message -------- > Subject: Abstract Objects > Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:54:55 -0400 > From: John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net> > To: ontolog-forum <ontolog-fo...@googlegroups.com> > > Abstract objects include everything that can be transmitted as > bits rather than atoms. That includes all of mathematics and > any signs, symbols, notations, patterns, structures, languages, > or programs that can be stored or processed by a digital computer. > > For applied ontology, abstract entities are important things to > represent. Without an ontology that includes them, it's impossible > to talk about how anything in the computer relates to anything in > an application. But some philosophers have tried to eliminate > abstract entities as values of quantified variables. For example, > > Goodman & Quine (1947) http://www.ditext.com/quine/stcn-con.html > >> We do not believe in abstract entities. No one supposes that abstract >> entities -- classes, relations, properties, etc. -- exist in space-time; >> but we mean more than this. We renounce them altogether. We shall not >> forego all use of predicates and other words that are often taken to >> name abstract objects... But we cannot use variables that call for >> abstract objects as values. >> > > The logician Alonzo Church (1951) replied to G & Q: > > AC, http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/church51.htm > >> Let us take it as our purpose to provide an abstract theory of the >> actual use of language for human communication — not a factual or >> historical report of what has been observed to take place, but a norm >> to which we may regard everyday linguistic behavior as an imprecise >> approximation... We must demand of such a theory that it have a place >> for all observably informative kinds of communication — including such >> notoriously troublesome cases as belief statements, modal statements, >> conditions contrary to fact — or at least that itprovide a >> (theoretically) workable substitute for them. >> > > For anyone who hasn't read it, I strongly recommend Church's lecture > on "The ontological status of women and abstract entities" (1958). > He deliberately presented it at Quine's seminar at Harvard: > http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/church.htm > > For further discussion of these issues, see the article on "Signs, > processes, and language games", and the references cited there: > http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/signproc.pdf > > For historical developments, note that the distinction between > abstract and physical entities has dominated philosophy for over > two millennia. Around 400 BC, Heraclitus adopted the distinction > of Logos (logic, math, language, reasoning) and Physis (nature, > including all living or nonliving things and processes). > > Heraclitus (Fragment 1) > >> all things come to be according to this logos >> > > About 500 years later, John the Evangelist wrote > >> In the beginning was the Logos. The Logos was with God. And the >> Logos was God. It was in the beginning with God. All things came to >> be through it, and without it nothing came to be that has come to be. >> > > Heraclitus and John used the same words for all things (panta) > and come to be (gignomai). But there is an important difference > in their prepositions: for Heraclitus, 'according to' (kata); > for John, 'through' (dia). > > That distinction dominated Greek, Roman, Arabic, and European philosophy > for centuries. Heraclitus lived at the western end of the Silk Road in > the Greek colonies in Anatolia. Around the same time, Lao Zi in China > adopted the term Dao (AKA Tao, often translated as "The Way"), which > he distinguished from "the Ten Thousand Things". In fact, modern > translations of the New Testament to Chinese translate Logos as Dao. > > Around the same time, Gautama Buddha distinguished Dharma and Maya. > Maya has several meanings, such as everything perceptible including > illusions. Note Plato's metaphor of the cave, in which the perceptible > world is called an illusion. Since merchants, soldiers, and gurus > traveled along the Silk Road, this coincidence might not be an accident. > > In summary, the distinction between Logos and Physis is one of the > oldest and most widely accepted in philosophy. For applied ontology, > it expresses the fundamental distinction of computer applications: > everything stored or processed in a digital computer is abstract, > but it can be used to describe any physical processes, structures, > or interactions of any kind. > > John > > > ----------------------------- > PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON > PEIRCE-L to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to > peirce-L@list.iupui.edu . To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L > but to l...@list.iupui.edu with the line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the > BODY of the message. More at http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm > . > > > > > >
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