Edwina, Mike, list,
I too don´t see a versus there. Maybe that is because I see sign, object, interpretant as examples for 1ns, 2ns, 3ns. But I guess that this is a subject both fundamental and controversial like some others (e.g whether sign is the same as representamen or not, whether the DO (same problem with the DI and the FI) is external to the sign, being the subject it is about, or the subject´s function in the sign, therefore internal, which controversalities appear as obstacles in every discussion again and again. I wonder what could we do about this.
Best, Helmut
 
 10. April 2018 um 14:35 Uhr
"Edwina Taborsky" <tabor...@primus.ca>
 

Mike, list

Nice post - I'll just comment briefly before specifically commenting on Gary R's post.

I'm not in the camp of 'signs and semiosis' vs the three categories. I don't see how the one can function without the other. I self-define my perspective as a focus on morphology - on how energy, so to speak, transforms into matter or how the unformed becomes the formed. This matter can be within the physical-chemical realm, the biological, the conceptual, the societal. I'm NOT focused on re-presentation, which is, in my view, a purely cerebral focus on words; or words to images. I'm focused on morphology, and view this transformation as taking place within the semiosic triad and the three categories.

So, a plethora of cells is transformed from one morphological primitive form into a more complex form via the habit formations [Thirdness]...But Thirdness is complex with three types [3-3, 3-2, 3-1] and this enables information exchange with the environment [via 3-2] rather than simple repetition of type [3-1]. So, Firstness is involved to enable adaptation, and Secondness is involved to enable direct contact with the local environmental realities. The result - is an adapted insect.

Edwina

 

On Mon 09/04/18 10:34 PM , Mike Bergman m...@mkbergman.com sent:

Hi Gary R, List,

I thought this exchange was very worthwhile, esp. your current response. I have read your points multiple times and tried to think clearly about what you said. I find that I am in 'general agreement' with all that you have written in this response. As a result, I changed the subject line from 'Re: Order of Determination' to reflect my view. We have found at least one overlap in the Venn diagram.

What I especially like is your basing your points on the universal categories. Thirdness is the mode of habit, mediation, generality, continuity. Genuine Thirdness must, as Peirce says and you quote, be a medium "between a Second and its First." In the sense I frequently use it, namely categorization of things for knowledge representation, this is the same as saying we find general types (Thirdness) of particulars (Secondness) by looking at their essences and shared qualities (Firstness). I frankly do not see why we need to use language such as "quasi-necessarily" as Edwina poses. I can not see where habit or any of the other senses of Thirdness may occur without Secondness and Firstness.

I also like your pointing to the use of prescission to look at these questions. One observation I would make is that there is a community of Peirce researchers who see their investigations primarily through the lens of signs and semiosis. I believe Edwina would place herself in this group. That is well and good and in the sense of sign use and making and representation may indeed be the best perspective. But, for me, I see the universal categories as the governing primitives. (I believe Peirce did as well.) For example, in the pure sense of the phaneron, the reality of Firstness, I presently believe, is outside of the process of semiosis. Once we try to signify Firstness, a reification of sorts, we make it actual, which places it as a monadic idea in Secondness. (Not dissimilar from quantum effects.) We can talk about it and describe it, but it remains removed from the essence of Firstness. One can take these viewpoints based on Peirce's own statements about the categories and prescission. (CP 1.353) I guess put another way, for me, the universal categories are the adjudicators in how I try to think about Peirce, not semiosis, which is a process of representation. However, of course, from the vantage of representation, semiosis naturally holds sway.

Thanks for trying to find common ground. From my perspective, you did an admirable job.

Mike

On 4/9/2018 6:10 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:
Edwina, list,
 
Thanks for responding to my post, Edwina. I'm sorry that it's taken me a couple of days to reply, but this weekend happened to be especially busy.
 
In the spirit of trying to see if it's possible to come to agreement on certain recent points of contention, I'd like to begin my response with a principle upon which we appear to be in agreement. You quoted me, then commented.
 
3] Gary R: Similarly Peirce uses the phrase "regulative hope" in consideration of just those habits of thought and action which, through hetero- and homo-correction (science as critical commonsense writ large) tend toward a belief wholly congruent with Reality, whatever you, I, Jon, or any given community of inquirers might think. 
EDWINA: Agree. 
 
Mike and John S suggested that it might be a valuable strategy to see if through dialogue here that there might be some significant ideas or principles of Peircean semeiotics and philosophy more generally with which we might come to at least some agreement. While I'm not looking for anything like "general agreement" on any point, I'd be interested to see if there's anyone in the forum who disagrees that this (stated perhaps too tersely above) is what Peirce means by the _expression_ "regulative hope," that is, in referring it to the sense of how inquiry taken up in the scientific spirit brings us closer to a grasp of the Real?
 
Now, on to the other points. 
1] Gary R: Edwina, all the things that you question, disagree, or reject here will be found in Peirce. He himself, for example, says that 'the subject matter of normative science consists of the relations of phenomena to ends'.
 
EDWINA: I'm not questioning their being 'found' in Peirce. One can cherry pick a zillion quotes from Peirce. I'm questioning their pragmatic use within an analysis.
 
I agree in a general sense. But in this particular matter of the quotation, 'the subject matter of normative science consists of the relations of phenomena to ends,'  I don't believe that there is any cherry picking going on whatsoever The subject matter of the other two branches of cenoscopic philosophy, phenomenology and metaphysics, are different from that of the normative sciences. One can agree or disagree with with what Peirce saw as the purpose of each of these three branches, but at least in a pragmatic analysis of his architectonic philosophy in consideration of scientific inquiry, it is important, I believe, to distinguish them. This is principally, I believe, because he develops his architectonic philosophy, outlined in his Classification of Sciences, as an aid to pragmatic inquiry, including what you referred to above as "their pragmatic use within an analysis."
2] Gary R: Similarly, the 'ideal end of semiosis is the development of habits that would never be confounded by subsequent experience - including, but not limited to, true beliefs' is a decidedly Peircean notion concerning an asymptotic tendency of scientific inquiry towards the Truth such that Truth == Reality. It is not Hegelian whatsoever in my view as Reality in Peirce's sense itself involves all three categories, not just 3ns.

EDWINA: Here, I question the view that 'the development of habits that would never be confounded by subsequent experience - including but not limited to, true beliefs'.  I'm not questioning this statement. I'm questioning the view that a 'final state' exists, where habits are no longer open to the realities of 1ns and 2ns. Let me explain. I can, for example, analyze the biological and chemical nature of a lion - such that I can determine the essentially true nature of it as a biological species.  And - this analysis would not be 'confounded by subsequent experience' of the lion species. It's a 'scientific truth'.

I agree that a final state does not, cannot exist in Peirce science exactly because it involves an evolutionary philosophy. That's why I suggested that the _expression_ 'final state' refers to a regulative principle, and so I earlier used the term 'asymptotic' to suggest that while one can, perhaps, get closer and closer to the complete facts, principles, laws regarding the truth of any reality into which one might inquire, one can never definitively or fully arrive there (this is not to suggest that we can't grasp many specific 'truths', such as the real characteristics of an plant or animal species--see below). Peirce's term 'final' is misleading if one doesn't keep this in mind. So, in my view Peirce's notion is not Hegelian in the sense the 3ns is the be all and end all. For as long is there is evolutionary growth of any sort in the cosmos, all three categories will be in effect.

In the case of the true (real) nature of the lion as a species, I fully agree that what we now know represents scientific truth even should that species evolve. Peirce suggests that there are no doubt many of these "scientific truths," but that we can't be certain that any one in particular will 'hold' in the future. But there's no reason to doubt what we've no reason to doubt as to what science has already discovered.

ET: BUT - just because I have analyzed the scientifically valid nature of this species - does NOT mean that its habits are closed to adaptation and evolution. They could - and probably will - evolve and change. So, habit formation and truth are not the same thing.

I agree that "habit formation and truth are not the same thing." What I suggested was that our human striving to understand the nature of reality together in a scientific way is the optimal way to arrive at whatever truths we may ever hope to achieve in whatever areas of inquiry we may take up. We could, of course, be wrong at any point in our inquiry, while the history of science will show that this has been the case any number of times. But, again, we clearly make scientific discoveries or we wouldn't see, for example, the development of the technologies we've witnessed even in our own lives--but our understandings remain fallible especially as we continue our inquiries. 

4] Gary R: It is Peirce who says that the habit-taking tendency is the primordial law of mind, I believe first in the essay "The Law of Mind" (1892). Habits, 3ns, in the involutional sense I recently commented on as it appears in "The Logic of Mathematics," involve the other two categories quasi-necessarily. 

EDWINA:  My view is that habit-taking is ONE of the primordial laws of Mind . Indeed, the formation of habits is vital. . . However, I don't see that habits 'involve' the other two categories quasi-necessarily.  That is, Thirdness does not, in its own nature, require 1ns or 2ns. . .

Here I will have to partially disagree. Although one can abstract (prescind) 1ns and 2ns from 3ns, it is of the very nature of the categories that in the phaneron and in reality that they are all present, that in particular that 3ns involves (cf 'involutional' as Peirce uses it) 2ns and 1ns. 
 
1903 | Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism: Lecture III | CP 5.66

Category the Third is the Idea of that which is such as it is as being a Third, or Medium, between a Second and its First. That is to say, it is Representation as an element of the Phenomenon.

You agree that this is so apparently only for semiosis: ET (continuing from above): . . .but semiosis certainly, absolutely, does. . .

I am beginning to see what you've been aiming at as regards habits in your writing, for example:

ET (continuing): . . .a universe made up only of habits is obviously dead - in the sense that all life has ended, all individuation has ended, and the universe is one huge crystal [see 6.33]. Peirce himself saw this only as pure theoretical speculation in the infinite [i.e., never] future.

And I see you as actually resolving the whole question in writing in the snippet above that for Peirce this virtual cessation of all life, growth, and evolution is but "speculation in the infinite [i.e., never] future" (which is why I just used the term 'virtual' and not 'actual').

ET: . . . [Semiosis] exists as Mind - which functions within all three primordial modes: 1ns, 2ns, 3ns - and I see all of them as equal and basic primordial forces.

I wouldn't use 'exists' or 'forces' as you have here because I associate both those terms with 2ns, but I agree that semiosis involves all three of Peirce's categories and further agree that they are 'equal', 'basic' and 'priordial'. I don't, however, see them in reality as ever occurring apart from each other even while one may (at least seemingly) dominate in any given situation.

ET: As for 'entelechy' - Peirce may have used the term, but what did he mean by it? 

I personally think that Peirce was clear enough by what he meant by entelechy in writing:
 
1904 [c.] | New Elements (Kaina stoiceia) | EP 2:304

. . . The entelechy of the Universe of being, then, the Universe qua fact, will be that Universe in its aspect as a sign, the “Truth” of being. The “Truth,” the fact that is not abstracted but complete, is the ultimate interpretant of every sign.

I expect that you'll disagree with much of what I've written above. But I believe that besides that one clear point of agreement at the top of this post as well as some apparent partial agreement in a few other points, that, with further inquiry, we might arrive at others.
 
Meanwhile, I very much look forward to your response to this message should you offer one. But, I think that for now I'll leave the last word to you. Thank you again for your very thoughtful response to my last post.
 
Best,
 
Gary
 
 
 
 
 
Gary Richmond
Philosophy and Critical Thinking
Communication Studies
LaGuardia College of the City University of New York
718 482-5690
 
On Sat, Apr 7, 2018 at 5:15 PM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote:
Gary R - see my responses below:



On Sat 07/04/18 1:06 PM , Gary Richmond gary.richm...@gmail.com sent:
Edwina, Jon, list,
 
1] Gary R: Edwina, all the things that you question, disagree, or reject here will be found in Peirce. He himself, for example, says that 'the subject matter of normative science consists of the relations of phenomena to ends'.
 
EDWINA: I'm not questioning their being 'found' in Peirce. One can cherry pick a zillion quotes from Peirce. I'm questioning their pragmatic use within an analysis.
-----------------------------------------------------

2] Gary R: Similarly, the 'ideal end of semiosis is the development of habits that would never be confounded by subsequent experience - including, but not limited to, true beliefs' is a decidedly Peircean notion concerning an asymptotic tendency of scientific inquiry towards the Truth such that Truth == Reality. It is not Hegelian whatsoever in my view as Reality in Peirce's sense itself involves all three categories, not just 3ns.

EDWINA: Here, I question the view that 'the development of habits that would never be confounded by subsequent experience - including but not limited to, true beliefs'.  I'm not questioning this statement. I'm questioning the view that a 'final state' exists, where habits are no longer open to the realities of 1ns and 2ns. Let me explain. I can, for example, analyze the biological and chemical nature of a lion - such that I can determine the essentially true nature of it as a biological species.  And - this analysis would not be 'confounded by subsequent experience' of the lion species. It's a 'scientific truth'.

BUT - just because I have analyzed the scientifically valid nature of this species - does NOT mean that its habits are closed to adaptation and evolution. They could - and probably will - evolve and change. So, habit formation and truth are not the same thing.

--------------------------------------------

3] Gary R: Similarly Peirce uses the phrase "regulative hope" in consideration of just those habits of thought and action which, through hetero- and homo-correction (science as critical commonsense writ large) tend toward a belief wholly congruent with Reality, whatever you, I, Jon, or any given community of inquirers might think. 

EDWINA: Agree.

------------------------

4] Gary R: It is Peirce who says that the habit-taking tendency is the primordial law of mind, I believe first in the essay "The Law of Mind" (1892). Habits, 3ns, in the involutional sense I recently commented on as it appears in "The Logic of Mathematics," involve the other two categories quasi-necessarily. 

EDWINA:  My view is that habit-taking is ONE of the primordial laws of Mind . Indeed, the formation of habits is vital. Peirce himself said that without it - mass would at one instant weigh a pound and at the next instant, weigh a ton' [memory quote]. However, I don't see that habits 'involve' the other two categories quasi-necessarily.  That is, Thirdness does not, in its own nature, require 1ns or 2ns, but semiosis certainly, absolutely, does - for a universe made up only of habits is obviously dead - in the sense that all life has ended, all individuation has ended, and the universe is one huge crystal [see 6.33]. Peirce himself saw this only as pure theoretical speculation in the infinite [i.e., never] future.

 So, semiosis is, in my view, above all a dynamic process of Mind-becoming-Matter. There is no need for the 'sop to Cerberus of bringing in a human observer. Therefore, it is not a communication system, not an 'interpretation  system' but an actual pragmatic system of how matter exists in our universe. It exists as Mind - which functions within all three primordial modes: 1ns, 2ns, 3ns - and I see all of them as equal and basic primordial forces.

--------------------------------------------------------

4] Gary R: Finally, it is Peirce who calls the Sign an entelechy. 

EDWINA; Again, we have to each of us clarify what we mean by 'Sign'. I mean, by Sign, the full irreducible triad of DO-[IO-R-II]. The reason I insist on the relation of DO with this triad is because no Sign can exist in isolation; it is always within some interaction.

However, others mean by Sign - what I refer to only as the Repesentamen, the node of mediation.

So- I think one has to be very specific about this meaning.

As for 'entelechy' - Peirce may have used the term, but what did he mean by it? After all, his comparison of it with Thirdness does not mean that there is an a priori agenda of Mind-forming-Matter. As he says, Thirdness, as habits, providing predictive constraints, 'is essentially of a general nature, and cannot ever be completely fulfilled' 1.26. Again, "this mode of being which consists, mind my word, if you please, the mode of being which consists in the fact that future facts of Secondness will take on a determinate general character, I call a Thirdness" 1.26.

Thirdness is general and not specific; it is not 'a priori' and with a  specific potential/purpose [which is what is suggested in some uses of the term 'entelechy']  but, as general -its articulation within an individual form of matter -  is open to local stimuli. That is,  with the reality of both Secondness, which is the local individual 'articulation' of Mind-as-Matter [and thus, susceptible to local stimuli] and the reality of Firstness, which is the reality of chance deviations from the norm - then, this general character of habits, is open to adaptation and change. There is no predetermined future identity of the Universe or of how Mind-as-Matter will function.

Edwina

 

 


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