I don't find anything on /ens ut primum cognitum/ at Arisbe, and I find very little about it in connection with Peirce on the Internet. Be sure to put quotes around Peirce's name as well as around the sought phrase (like so: "Peirce" "ens ut primum cognitum"), otherwise Google includes results for "Pierce". Also be sure to type it cognitum, not cogitum, a typo that probably results from associating cognition with cogitation, but the words are not cognate.

I've read little Deely or Kant and no McGrath. There are a few passages of Aquinas that I read many times many years ago. Anyway I won't be able to address a good deal of what you've said. I might point out /à la/ Merleau-Ponty that one is in language as one is in one's body. (Also, as Peirce said, as the body is /in/ motion, so one is /in/ thought, all thought is /in/ signs, etc.) One can't get out of one's body but one can self-relate as by thumb against finger, hand against hand, etc., some sort of interplay of external and internal where the circuit is never quite closed. It's one's own body, extended and flexible in space and lingering with one in time, that lets one deals with one's own body from outside. One also finds other bodies that, from the outside, are like one's own. Body and language can access themselves from outside so to speak. Moreover, in or as one's body, one moves in the world. One pushes against the ground and thus moves oneself, and so on; motion is relative but, for example, a center of gravity is not merely perspectival. Something like pushing against or standing upon the past is how one can conceive of volition regarding the past, /pace/ the scholastics. We empower ourselves in one sense with things that our beyond our power in another sense. One does get to test, and learn about, oneself, one's body, one's language, in their interplay with things over which one has often very little control, and so external perspectives get further into one's awareness. The distinction and indeed struggle, between self and other, seem to appear within a whole of experience (or maybe I should say like Peirce, within the whole phaneron) which is already there. If one thinks of that interface and struggle as 'external', then one can get Peirce's view that knowledge of the internal world comes by surmise from external facts. At least from the external as struggled with by oneself. Now, a solipsistic world in which one has little or no control over many things and in which one is often surprised and is often unable, for example, to fully anticipate or emulate another's mind, - such a supposedly solipsistic world seems to lack any conceivable /practical difference/ from the world as we usually think of it. Something like that seems to be Peirce's view of it. Then solipsism seems as superfluous as the idea of the Ptolemaic epicycles, or the idea of the luminiferous ether. However, I don't know whether that view would keep philosophy from continually sliding toward solipsism as Deely describes; it feels above my paygrade to make an assertion about that. Peirce's view of self-other relations seems to have its locus in his phaneroscopy, or phenomenology, i.e., prior to logic (as formal semiotic). Now, I'm kind of ignorant here; I'm not sure to what extent he would view the idea of representation as the solution against solipsism; maybe he thought the problem needs to be revisited in semiotic in order to be solved, or maybe he could address representation enough to deal with solipsism in his phaneroscopy since representation and mediation are Thirdness, a topic in phaneroscopy. But in any case representation is how he has one expand beyond one's direct acquaintance with things, in prospective, generalizing, and at least conceivably testable ways.

As to ordinary discourse as the final cause of all intellectual endeavor, it's not clear to me why one shouldn't just as well view all intellectual endeavor as at least one of the final causes of ordinary discourse. Among such things it seems to me a two-way street, or a whole concourse, what with endeavors of imagination, sensory and so-called intuitive faculties, and concrete perception. A further final cause of all these things would seem some sort of evolution of humanity, or intelligent life, including the evolution both of ordinary discourse and of cognitive endeavors, among others.

I should note for the sake of some readers reading your Deely quote that Deely and a few others use the word "sign" otherwise than how Peirce uses it. For Peirce, "representamen" is a technical term just in case /sign/ as theoretically defined turns out to diverge from /sign/ as commonly understood. See "Representamen <http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/terms/representamen.html> " at the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms . Peirce eventually stopped using the word "representamen" (except in at least one late manuscript in which he seems to be working anew on a distinction between sign and representamen). But for Deely and some others, _sign_ refers to the whole semiotic triad of the representamen, the object (or the significate, or significate object, as Deely calls it), and the interpretant.

Best, Ben

On 5/13/2012 5:39 AM, Gary Moore wrote:

Dear Benjamin Udell,

Gary Moore: Although John Harvey’s reply was extremely good and very thought provoking, this is the best argued and most informative and just downright practically effective letter I have ever received on a philosophy thread on the internet in twelve years! I appreciate the distinction made in paragraph 2] very much. I did have trouble trying to find any sort of definition for precisely the terminological combination “prime necessity” which, though it combines two well known terms, is not at all self-explicative together as obviously Peirce wants them to be together. You are perfectly right in saying Peirce is just using it as an example. ¶

[_Addendum_ ] Gary Moore: To explain my interest I need to show an ongoing conflict with S. J. McGrath over another such combination term with a violent and variegated history: the /analogia entis/ which he says is the primary concept of Thomas Aquinas. He says it is absolutely necessary to all thinking as such as well as to any meaningful theology. He obviously treats it as a form of logical argument. But it is not. It is a literary trope. Now, that does not diminish its importance because literary explication always goes with using language. Literary explication shows that psychology, explicit and implicit, governs all our expression. Yet in logic and philosophy it is only rarely acknowledged, and then only as a minor concern when it fact it is the overwhelming concern of the whole of language. Its formation of language comes long before logic and philosophy. Deely demonstrates that the /analogia entis/ is NOT/a logical argument/ but does show the analysis of the word “God”, which Aquinas definitively says we can never really say anything ‘real’ about, acts as I see it as a black whole around which theology, philosophy, and psychology revolve around and . . . The term /analogia entis/ McGrath is so hot and bothered about does not even occur in Aquinas anywhere.

Gary Moore: But your further analysis, as well as the Peirce you quote [3], have been vastly rewarding! You quote “Necessity /de omni/ is that of a predicate which belongs to its whole subject at all times.” I take this to refer to “Firstness”. In turn, I take these to refer to John Deely’s use of Aquinas’ /ens ut primum cogitum/ which is literally the first ‘thing’ you know and gives you the ability to know everything else. This is the key to all of Deely’s thinking. I searched for /ens ut primum cogitum / at Arisbe and found absolutely nothing which is probably my fault. Is the identification accurate? ¶

[Addendum] Gary Moore: In */A Thief of Peirce: The Letters of Kenneth Laine Ketner and Walker Percy/ * , Percy makes the strange statement [page 6] that “To tell the truth, I’ve never seen much use in CSP’s “Firstness”, except to make the system more elegant.”]

Gary Moore: At paragraph 8], you say, “ordinary discourse itself can evolve and become less vague and more specialized”. This is true. That this evolution occurs is undeniable. But this indicates the nature of language itself which I am always ‘within’ and yet is the only viewpoint I have of it. This is why I disagree with Deely about his blanket condemnation of solipsism which, like Kant’s categories for the same reason, he is forced to do an about face. */FOUR AGES OF UNDERSTANDING/ * , page 588, “ “But this is not sufficient for the preclusion of solipsism for the species anthropos , and hence for each individual within it; for whatever may be the mechanism of representative consciousness, that does not change the basic situation admitted on all hands: nothing directly experienced has as such an existence also apart from our experiencing of it. This view is the hallmark of modernity. But the moderns never succeeded in figuring out /why/ they were speculatively driven, over and over again, into a solipsistic corner from which, as Bertrand Russell summarized the modern dilemma in the historical twilight of its dominance in philosophy, there seems no way out. For only the sign in its proper being can effect the needed passage. And ideas as /representations/ are emphatically not signs, but the mere vehicles and foundations through which the action of signs works to achieve, over and above individual subjectivity, the interweave of mind and nature that we call experience.”¶

Gary Moore: And on page 645, Deely grudgingly gives Kant credit for influencing Peirce: “ The second great scheme of categories was that of Kant. We passed over Kant’s categories without any discussion of their detail, except to point out that, in the nature of the case, they could provide no more than the essential categories of mind-dependent being insofar as it enters into discourse since, according to Kant, all phenomena are wholly the mind’s own construct. Nonetheless, do not be deceived by this fact into thinking that the Kantian scheme is not worth studying. It is filled with triads, which Peirce found very suggestive in finally arriving at his own categories, even though Peirce’s are categories of experience in precisely the sense that Kant tried to rule out and foreclose upon for all future philosophy.”¶

Gary Moore: The point is that, though solipsism must be ruled out as an overall system such as Berkeley’s, nonetheless it is based on one’s own and irrevocable experience. The problem is, how then does one then reconcile that one’s knowledge of language came from ‘elsewhere’ than one’s own creation in oneself as the only possible point of experience at all? Obviously, then, the ‘other’ truly and necessary exists but can only be interpreted from one’s absolutely unique vantage point. If all knowledge as known in the acting of knowing is wholly mine, then how do I come about having a language that is given to me somehow? The evolution of language, then, is inexplicable, paradoxical, and yet a fact. It truly comes from a process of learning which, from completely within one’s own experience, must acknowledge a source of experience from ‘elsewhere’ completely unmediated by myself. ¶

Gary Moore: Therefore “ordinary discourse” I only partially share in and partially change, and, being out of my control per se, is “the final cause of all intellectual endeavors.” That it becomes, as you say, “less vague and more specialized” shows an existential interface between myself and the ‘other’ to and for whom I write and speak. Therefore this is not an offhand observation of yours but an observation of the /aporia/ of existence itself. The fundamental real problem is not ‘fixing’ terminology but of aligning myself with others to communicate on the same plain of actual existence.



*From: * Benjamin Udell <bud...@nyc.rr.com>
*Sent: * Saturday, May 12, 2012 2:10 PM

Gary M., list,
In the passage that you quote from EP 2: 266, what Peirce says is,

    [....] This scholastic terminology has passed into English speech
    more than into any other modern tongue, rendering it the most
    logically exact of any. This has been accomplished at the
    inconvenience that a considerable number of words and phrases have
    come to be used with a laxity quite astounding. Who, for example,
    among the dealers in Quincy Hall who talk of "articles of /prime
    necessity/ ," would be able to say what that phrase "prime
    necessity" strictly means? He could not have sought out a more
    technical phrase. There are dozens of other loose expressions of
the same provenance. Peirce isn't praising the phrase "prime necessity" by calling it most technical. He's just pointing out that people use, without knowing their meanings, phrases that are supposed to be reserved for technical senses. That much seems clear enough from the context. Less obvious is that "prime necessity" was no doubt in Peirce's view a good example because he thought pretty much nobody really knew what it meant.

    Still another threefold distinction, due to Aristotle (I Anal.
    post ., iv), is between necessity /de omni/ (/tò katà pantós/ ),
    /per se / (/kath autó/ ), and /universaliter primum / (/kathólou
    prôton/ ). The last of these, however, is unintelligible, and we
    may pass it by, merely remarking that the exaggerated application
    of the term has given us a phrase we hear daily in the streets,
    'articles of prime necessity.' Necessity /de omni/ is that of a
    predicate which belongs to its whole subject at all times.
    Necessity /per se/ is one belonging to the essence of the species,
    and is subdivided according to the senses of /per se/ , especially
    into the first and second modes of /per se/ . (Peirce, 1902, from
    his portion of "Necessity" in Dictionary of Philosophy and
    Psychology , James Mark Baldwin, editor, v. 2, p. 145 via Google
    and via Classics in the History of Psychology
. I don't know what Latin word is being translated as "necessity" in that paragraph but, given the neuter adjective in /universaliter primum/ (literally, "universally first"), if it's a word with the "necess-" element in it, then it is /necesse/ (= /necessum/ ) or /necessarium/ ("necessary", neuter adjectives) rather than /necessitas/ or /necessitudo/ ("necessity", feminine abstract nouns). Peirce can be terminologically demanding, but fortunately he defined many terms and phrases, in the Century Dictionary and in the Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology . As for Peirce's own terminology, he defines some of it in those books, but the first place to look is the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms <http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/dictionary.html> , edited by Mats Bergman and Sami Paavola, U. of Helsinki, and containing Peirce's own definitions, often many per term across the decades. Gary Fuhrman very helpfully took a list of Peirce entries at the DPP that I started in "Charles Sanders Peirce bibliography" in Wikipedia, and expanded it to include Peirce entries for letters P-W (which aren't at the Classics in the History of Psychology ). http://www.gnusystems.ca/BaldwinPeirce.htm . Where he has not also provided the text, he still provides the page number so that one can find it via Google Books' edition <http://books.google.com/books?id=Dc8YAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA145&lpg=PA145&dq=%22Still+another+threefold+distinction%22> or via Internet Archive's edition <http://www.archive.org/details/philopsych02balduoft> . The Century Dictionary is online for free <http://www.global-language.com/CENTURY/> ; it's bigger and more encyclopedic than the OED. I recommend installing the DjVu reader rather than settling for jpg images of pages. A list of the entries written or supervised/approved by Peirce is at http://www.pep.uqam.ca/listsofwords.pep . Peirce's work on the Century Dictionary will be in Writings vol. 7, now scheduled for 2013. Online software for W 7 is now planned (Peirce Edition Project April 2012 Update <http://www.iupui.edu/%7Epeirce/PEP-Update-April%202012.pdf> ). As regards ordinary discourse as the final cause of all intellectual endeavors, I'd say that ordinary discourse itself can evolve and become less vague and more specialized. Some ordinary discourse contains hundreds of ways to characterize snow; but not ordinary discourse in English, and most of us will not accumulate enough experience with snow to get what those characterizations are about. Yet for some those characterizations are very practical, often needful. Between highly developed ideas and ordinary ideas, there will usually be some struggle, it's a two-way street.
Best, Ben
On 5/12/2012 12:25 PM, Gary Moore wrote:
Dear John Harvey,

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