Edwina, John, Jon, list,

Peirce's definition of belief is "that upon which a man is prepared to
act."

It is well known (Fisch 1954) that Peirce got his definition of belief from
Alexander Bain, of which he heard in the discussions of the Metaphysical
Club : [1] "In particular, he [Nicholas St. John Green] often urged the
importance of applying Bain's definition of belief, as "that upon which a
man is prepared to act." From this definition, pragmatism is scarce more
than a corollary; so that I am disposed to think of him as the grandfather
of pragmatism." ( Peirce CP 5.12, 1907) In "BELIEF AS A DISPOSITION TO ACT:
VARIATIONS ON A PRAGMATIST THEME" by Pascal Engel
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/91be/5413de00ed7d1e6bada9b8
df9c3dd5710221.pdf


Near the conclusion of the paper Engel writes:


What matters is that we can identify a species of pragmatism, theoria
pragmatism, which, without renouncing the dispositional conception of
belief as a basic tenet of pragmatism, does not throw by the board the
basic dualities between believing and willing, fact and value, theory and
practice (op. cit, 19) [as, for example, Richard Rorty tried to do-GR]


Now this view of belief (and pragmatism) seems to me to be essentially
correct, and I consider it so for most all our beliefs, especially to the
extent to which they have been critically evaluated. I would maintain that
this is so whether our belief pertains to science or religion or to some
ordinary aspect of our quotidian activity.

No doubt certain of our beliefs in science are so well founded, so well
tested , technologies, even advanced technologies, finally having been
developed out of them, that we can hardly doubt them--and we do *not* doubt
them. Those would indeed be "paper doubts." Indeed, some of our scientific
beliefs are so completely established--for example, the mechanical
ones--that really no sane, decently educated person would think of doubting
them.

But when we consider matters like the origin of the cosmos--whether our
belief is that the universe came into being as a result of a big bang or
was created by God--such beliefs are, in my opinion, of an entirely
different order. They cannot be formed in the way that, say, mechanical and
chemical laws are in our thinking, that is, experimentally. There are signs
and suggestions, but these can be and are variously interpreted. Still, we
(fallibly) believe what we believe in these matters.

Consider, for example, Jonathan Strickland in writing on the standard big
bang theory and, after offering reasons why some scientists (for example,
Robert Gentry, Hannes Alfven, Halton Arp, Goeffrey Burbridge, and even Sir
Fred Hoyle who coined the term "Big Bang"), "have questioned and criticized
the model" concludes:

There are several other models as well. Could one of these theories (or
other ones we haven't even thought of) one day replace the big bang theory
as the accepted model of the universe? It's quite possible. As time passes
and our capability to study the universe increases, we'll be able to make
more accurate models of how the universe developed.https://science.hows
tuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/big-bang-theory7.htm


But for some scientists the standard big bang theory has become as much a
dogma as certain religious dogmas are for some fundamentalist religionists.

I have been studying the Big Bang theory for decades as, no doubt, have
many on this list, and I find it wanting. For prime reason (although there
are many reasons relating more directly to physical phenomena), it doesn't
answer the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" so that
when, for example, the late Stephen Hawkings was asked what preceded the
Big Bang his short answer was "nothing."

On the other hand, Peirce outlines an earliest cosmology (that is, one of
the hypothetical quasi-'conditions' or quasi-'states' preceding the
supposed Big Bang or, in my understanding, the Creation of this, our,
Cosmos) in his highly conjectural musings in the concluding lecture of the
series published as *Reasoning and the Logic of Things: The Cambridge
Conferences Lectures of 1898*.
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674749672 Jon Alan Schmidt
has further developed those musings in a most interesting and creative way
in his recent paper which he's provided a link to. In my reading, these
speculations tend to support the hypothesis of God.

Best,

Gary






*Gary Richmond*
*Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
*Communication Studies*
*LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
*718 482-5690*

On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 1:42 PM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote:

> John, list:
>
> My understand of 'the Real' refers to generals rather than individual
> instantiations or existences of that generality.
>
> Now - we can presumably consider that IF truth, i.e., in this case,
> the Reality of X,  depends on an individual existentiality of X, then
> isn't this the Scientific Method - or Peirce's pragmatism?  But- when we
> say that the Reality of X depends only on our belief in it - then - heck -
> we've essentially moved into nominalism - even if that belief is held by a
> large population.
>
> Edwina
>
>
>
> On Thu 17/05/18 10:09 AM , John F Sowa s...@bestweb.net sent:
>
> On 5/17/2018 9:04 AM, Stephen C. Rose wrote:
> > My point is simply that reality has all sorts of permutations and that
> > to disclude things is to complexify.
>
> I agree. And I recommend the anti-razor by Walter Chatton, who engaged
> in years of debates with William of Ockham. Both Chatton and Ockham
> were students of John Duns Scotus. Ockham was a nominalist who rejected
> the realism of Scotus. But Chatton was a realist who defended Scotus
> in debates with Ockham. (All three of them were Scots at Oxford.)
>
> See https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/walter-chatton/
> <http://parse.php?redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fplato.stanford.edu%2Fentries%2Fwalter-chatton%2F>
>
> Brief summary of the anti-razor:
> If a proposition p is true and its truth depends on the existence
> of something x, then the existence of x must be assumed.
>
> But Chatton stated his anti-razor in several different versions,
> all of which imply my summary.
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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