Edwina, Jon, list,

Edwina: "My reading of the above outline, however, obviously does not
involve any metaphysical Agent [God]. As Peirce wrote: " You must not let
this interfere with or be interfered with by any religious belief. " [6.217
my emphasis]. "

Well, we've been through this before. It seems to me that while you
reference Peirce's earlier cosmological musings that you never make
reference to his 1898 comments on what I have called the proto-universe
(call it what you wish, but it is most definitely an analysis of the
conditions prior to the putative big bang). I think this discussion might
be able to move forward dramatically if participants in this discussion
could offer their interpretations of Peirce's remarks there. A short cut
might be to frist read those passages in Jon's paper related to them. In
any event, *Reasoning and the Logic of Things* (RLT) is available in an
inexpensive paperback edition; here's a link to to Jon's paper:
https://tidsskrift.dk/signs/article/view/103187/152244

Yes, of course Peirce holds that science as science must be single-mindedly
taken up with no interference by or thought of religion or even practical
matters. And, in fact, there is no mention of God whatsoever in Peirce's
1898 lectures. But what one 'does' with the *result* of any inquiry is
another matter there being, for example, practical arts and applied
sciences. But you are correct that to keep these inquiries 'pure' so to
speak, Peirce doesn't discuss God here at all. He makes a point not to.
Still, there is in Peirce's classification of science a religious
metaphysics in which he did some significant work himself.

You conclude: "And these writings are also the ground for my rejection
of Thirdness as a priori or primary; I continue to posit that Firstness,
understood as potentiality - is primary."

Well, again, in the last of the 1898 lectures Peirce posits *not 1ns *but
continuity as primary (I'm working from memory as I am still away from my
desk). The blackboard analogy offers the surface of the blackboard as that
ur-continuity. Now there is no concept more closely linked to 3ns I don't
believe than continuity, not even time (of course time doesn't exist in the
proto-cosmos conjectured in this lecture, nor is it there time even in the
early stages of the cosmos which is to issue forth* as this* universe).

The first chalk mark 'made' upon that board is the first discontinuity. As
Peirce writes (I'm quoting from Jon's paper):

The whole universe of true and real possibilities forms a continuum, upon
which this Universe of Actual Existence is, by virtue of the essential
Secondness of Existence, a discontinuous mark—like a line figure drawn on
the area of the blackboard. (RLT 162; 1898)


As Jon puts it in his paper turning to the later lecture in the series
which includes the blackboard analogy:

A chalk line drawn on the blackboard represents the spontaneous
introduction of a brute discontinuity. However, the mark itself it is not
really a line; it is a surface with its own continuity, which is entirely
derived from and dependent on that of the underlying blackboard. The only
true line is the limit of the white and black areas, and this is the
discontinuity—"the reaction between two continuous surfaces into which it
is separated" (CP 6.203). Peirce thus acknowledged that all three
Categories—whiteness or blackness (1ns), their boundary (2ns), and the
continuity of each (3ns)—are necessary for the reality of the chalk mark
(CP 6.205). However, *the continuity of the blackboard (3ns) is primordial,
in the sense that its reality precedes and sustains that of anything drawn
upon it; this is "its really commanding function.*" (emphasis added)


Note the short Peirce snippet in the quotation just above. Jon continues:


A chalk mark that persists, rather than being erased, represents the
establishment of a habit—which is also entirely derived from and dependent
on the continuity of the underlying blackboard: This habit is a
generalizing tendency, and as such a generalization, and as such a general,
and as such a continuum or continuity. *It must have its origin in the
original continuity which is inherent in potentiality.* *Continuity, as
generality, is inherent in potentiality, which is essentially general. (CP
6.204)* As additional marks are drawn and persist, they join together due
to other developing habits and become "reacting systems," which aggregate
and merge into larger such systems (CP 6.206-207). Eventually, "out of one
of these Platonic worlds is differentiated the particular actual universe
of existence in which we happen to be" (CP 6.208). (Emphasis added)


Well, that's all I have time for now and, as mentioned above, I'm hampered
in not having RLT at hand at the moment. I would strongly advise all here
who are truly interested in this topic to read Jon's paper and at least the
last lecture in RLT.

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 4:13 PM, Edwina Taborsky <tabor...@primus.ca> wrote:

> Gary R, Stephen,  list:
>
> Peirce also said that 'nothing' existed before the 'flash' or Big Bang
> [he used the former not the latter, term]. 1.411, 412.
>
> See also "To say that there was no action is to say there was no
> actuality"...before which all was absolutely motionless and dead 1.275.
>
>  And "The initial condition, before the universe existed, was not a state
> of pure abstract being. On the contrary, it was a state of just nothing at
> all, not even a state of emptiness, for even emptiness is something. If we
> are to proceed in a logical and scientific manner, we must, in order to
> account for the whole universe, suppose an initial condition in which the
> whole universe was non-existent, and therefore, a state of absolute
> nothing" 6.215.
>
> "You must not let this interfere with or be interfered with by any
> religious belief. Religion is a practical matter. Its beliefs are formulae
> you will go upon. But a scientific proposition is merely something you take
> up provisionally as being the proper hypothesis to try first and endeavor
> to refute"
>
> "We start, then, with nothing, pure zero. But this is not the nothing of
> negation....The nothing of negation is the nothing of death, which comes
> second to, or after, everything.. But this pure zero is the nothing of not
> having been born. there is no individual thing, no compulsion outward nor
> inward, now law. It is the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is
> involved or foreshadowed. As such, it is absolutely undefined and unlimited
> possibility - boundless possibility. There is no compulsion and now law. It
> is boundless freedom. So of potential being there was in that initial state
> no lack. 6.217
>
> "Now the question arises, what necessarily resulted from that state of
> things? But the only sane answer is that where freedom was boundless
> nothing in particular necessarily resulted" 6.218
>
> Then, Peirce goes on to say that he agrees [with Hegel] that the universe
> is rational - but- it is not constrained to be rational..."I will say that
> nothing necessarily resulted from the Nothing of boundless freedom. That
> is, nothing according to deductive logic. But such is not the logic of
> freedom or possibility. the logic of freedom or potentiality, is that it
> shall annul itself. For if it does not annul itself, it remains a
> completely idle and do-nothing potentiality; and a completely idle
> potentiality is annulled by its complete idleness" 6.219
>
> And we must remember 1.412 - where Peirce outlines the 'flash' where this
> potentiality becomes a specific quality...and that habits, or laws and
> mediation emerged.
>
> I think the debate about the emergence of the universe, whether within a
> Big Bang or not - is valid and will probably go on for some time - until we
> can get some empirical evidence!
>
> My reading of the above outline, however, obviously does not involve any
> metaphysical Agent [God]. As Peirce wrote: " You must not let this
> interfere with or be interfered with by any religious belief. " [6.217 my
> emphasis]. And these writings are also the ground for my rejection
> of Thirdness as a priori or primary; I continue to posit that Firstness,
> understood as potentiality - is primary.
>
> Edwina
>
>
>
>
> On Thu 17/05/18 3:28 PM , Gary Richmond gary.richm...@gmail.com sent:
>
> 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.howstuffworks.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>
> 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/
>>
>> 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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