Matt, List:

Creation and causation are not exactly the same thing, especially since
Peirce consistently held that God's creative activity is *ongoing*.  In any
case, he drew a very specific analogy in the quoted passage between
becoming acquainted with a person by studying his works and becoming
acquainted with God through "contemplation and study of the
physico-psychical universe."  Therefore, unless we can say that the author *is
*the book, such that Aristotle *is* his works, we likewise cannot say that
God *is *"the physico-psychical universe."


Jon S.

On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 11:47 AM, Matt Faunce <>

> Jon, are you warranted in saying "not", in "not 'the physico-psychical
> universe' itself". Isn't the relation of God the Creator to His Creation,
> viz., the physico-psychical universe, for all we know, the same as the
> relation of force to acceleration?
> CSP: "Whether we ought to say that force *is* an acceleration, or that it
> *causes* an acceleration, is a mere question of propriety of languageā€¦"
> Matt
> On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 11:08 AM Jon Alan Schmidt <
>> wrote:
>> Edwina, Stephen R., List:
>> Robert Lane's new book, *Peirce on Realism and Idealism*, helpfully
>> clarifies Peirce's verbal and pragmaticistic definitions of "real," and how
>> he carefully distinguished that term from "external."  On Peirce's account,
>> the "real" is "that which is independent of what anyone thinks *about it*,"
>> while the "external" is "that which is independent of what anyone thinks 
>> *about
>> anything at all*" (Lane, p. 3).  The upshot is that there are *internal
>> realities*, such as the fact that I had a particular dream last night;
>> but this by no means entails that *what I dreamed* was real.  On the
>> contrary, since the contents of my dream are directly dependent on my
>> (unconscious) thoughts *about them*, what I dreamed is most definitely *not
>> *real (cf. CP 6.453).
>> Likewise, according to Peirce a belief is not a reality merely by virtue
>> of someone holding it; on the contrary, in order to be real, the *Dynamic
>> Object *of the belief must be such as it is independently of anyone *holding
>> *that belief.  Hence when Peirce described God as "*Ens necessarium*; in
>> my belief Really creator of all three Universes of Experience" (CP 6.452),
>> he was not merely asserting his (subjective) belief in God; he was
>> explicitly claiming that the referent of the vernacular word "God" is
>> (objectively) Real--"having Properties, i.e. characters sufficing to
>> identify their subject, and possessing these whether they be anywise
>> attributed to it by any single man or group of men, or not" (CP 6.453).
>> Based on this and other writings, those attributes include necessary Being,
>> creative power/activity, omniscience, omnipotence, benignity, transcendence
>> (vs. immanence), infinity, supremacy, and infallibility.
>> Since you mentioned CP 6.502, I think that it is worth quoting at greater
>> length.
>> CSP:  If a pragmaticist is asked what he means by the word "God," he can
>> only say that just as long acquaintance with a man of great character may
>> deeply influence one's whole manner of conduct, so that a glance at his
>> portrait may make a difference, just as almost living with Dr. Johnson
>> enabled poor Boswell to write an immortal book and a really sublime book,
>> just as long study of the works of Aristotle may make him an acquaintance,
>> so if contemplation and study of the physico-psychical universe can imbue a
>> man with principles of conduct analogous to the influence of a great man's
>> works or conversation, then that analogue of a mind--for it is impossible
>> to say that *any *human attribute is *literally *applicable--is what he
>> means by "God" ... the discoveries of science, their enabling us to *predict
>> *what will be the course of nature, is proof conclusive that, though we
>> cannot think any thought of God's, we can catch a fragment of His Thought,
>> as it were.
>> Peirce is clearly saying here that by carefully reading the "book of
>> nature," we become acquainted with its Author, which is what we mean by
>> "God"--not "the physico-psychical universe" itself, but the One who created
>> it and is still creating it.
>> Regards,
>> Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
>> Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
>> -
>> On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 7:09 AM, Edwina Taborsky <>
>> wrote:
>>> Stephen, list:
>>> This refers to the 'reality' of belief - as outlined by Peirce in his
>>> Fixation of Belief.
>>> In my view, a belief is - as you say, supposition. It does not function
>>> in the realm of facts. However, since, as Peirce also pointed out, our
>>> universe operates within the mode of Reason [Thirdness], then - can we
>>> presume that all of our beliefs are not merely logical but also - real?
>>> That is - because we rationally THINK of something, does this make that
>>> belief a reality? The same kind of reality as, for instance, the reality of
>>> generals - which are the commonality of the instantiation?
>>> I don't think that we can conclude that IF we think of something, THEN,
>>> this means that 'something' is real. That would commit the error of
>>> 'affirming the consequent'. We can't declare that something is real.
>>> BECAUSE we think of it. Therefore - my view is that views of 'the divine'
>>> or any name you want to call it - can only be beliefs. And this is what I
>>> see as a key problem: definitions. Until we define what we mean by our
>>> terms, such as 'God' , 'theism', ...then, our arguments for or against them
>>> are empty and subjective.
>>> Peirce himself called this 'force' by many names, eg, Nature, as 'in
>>> 'Can there be the slightest hesitation in saying, then, that the human
>>> intellect is implanted in man, either by a creator or by a
>>> quasi-intentional effect of the struggle for existence?...and "among the
>>> inscrutable purposes of God or the virtual purposes of nature" [8.211]
>>> ..."Man seems to himself to have some glimmer of co-understanding with God,
>>> or with Nature" [8.212]. And see 6.502, where Peirce writes that 'the
>>> analogue of a what he means by "God".
>>> In the scientific realm, which is built around the acceptance of the use
>>> of reason, when we come up with a hypothesis - this must then be tested
>>> within the existential world. As Peirce said, "deduction is certain but
>>> relates only to ideal objects" [8.209] So, "induction gives us the only
>>> approach to certainty concerning the real that we can have
>>> [ibid].... Therefore, my point is that claims based around only deduction
>>> remain beliefs - held by tenacity or authority - but still, only beliefs.
>>> But are our beliefs only valid - and I mean valid as differentiated from
>>> 'real' - if they can be empirically proven? I think that as a species,
>>> almost unique in our requirement for social networking and our use of
>>> symbolic language - then, beliefs are necessary for social stability and
>>> even, our individual psychological health. Again, this does not make our
>>> beliefs 'real'; it makes them socially valid - and, as such, open to change
>>> when the societal need for them changes.
>>> Edwina
>>> On Thu 17/05/18 5:17 AM , "Stephen C. Rose" sent:
>>> In Triadic Philosophy if something is a matter of supposition like
>>> theism the definition will not be anything more than supposition.
>>> Wittgenstein understood this. This is why TP calls this mystery. It is real
>>> but it is also a mystery. We can talk about our experience of what we call
>>> the divine or any other name you want to give it. The replies to my post
>>> about life beyond this planet are similar to posts about theism. They
>>> reference mystery. Since we have no proof we do not know. It is just as
>>> significant that something is not present as that it is. The triadic maxim
>>> says the substance is practical and ordinary and accessible. That is what I
>>> drive at. Everything else to me is binary thinking that often shields
>>> another purpose than arriving at truth and beauty which I take to be the
>>> aim of al consideration. You can reply to this in the list if you think it
>>> is worth noting. Otherwise no problem. Cheers, S
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