List,

If one downloads Jon's paper and wants to quickly get to the discussion of
Peirce's cosmology in RLT--where he argues that 3ns not 1ns is primal,
contrasting this with his earlier views as expressed in "A Guess at the
Riddle" (the passage Edwina often cites)--scroll down to section page 9 in
section 4 beginning at "At first glance, this might seem to contradict
Peirce's earlier cosmological writings, such as an oft-cited narrative in
'A Guess at the Riddle' " through page 14 to section 6.

Of course for those interested in the how "all this" relates to the NA, the
entire paper is recommended.

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 5:27 PM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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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>>
>>
>>
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