Kirsti M: “…The entelechy or perfection of being Peirce here refers to is something never attained to full, but strived at, again and again. Just as with science and scientific knowledge. It's about striving to approach, better and better, The Truth. If there ever would be an end, the absolute perfection of knowledge, that would mean an end, which would be in contradiction with  life and living. Life and living IS striving - with some kind of an end. Never the last possible…”

        I have to disagree, Kirsti. Life is more than “science and scientific knowledge,” and more than “striving to approach, better and better, The Truth.” And I mean this in a Peircean sense. Stated differently, science is part of life, not the determinant of it.

        By my lights life is participant in the entelechy of being, not a spectator looking at a scoreboard it can never reach. The perfection of being manifests all the time in realized aesthetic moments. Entelechy has Firstness, here and now, does it not?

        Perhaps something like this aesthetic perspective is what William Blake had in mind when he wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

        “…[T]he living intelligence which is the creator of all intelligible reality…”, as Peirce put it in the earlier quotation you comment on, means that ongoing creation involves more than chaos or chance, it involves a “reasonableness energizing in the world,” as Peirce put it elsewhere. If logic, as self-controlled thought, is a species of ethics, as self-controlled conduct, and ethics is itself a species of aesthetics, as the intrinsically admirable, then “The Truth” ultimately gives itself to Beauty, as the ultimate of entelechy, as I understand Peirce.

        And if so, as I see it, the perfection of being involves genesis, as well as development. Perfecting habits of conduct and even the laws of the universe itself, means the perfection of ongoing creation, not the “overcoming” of it in some Hegelian straitjacket. From this perspective the final entelechy of all being is itself such a moment, poem, painting, banquet, music, or better, mousike, rhythm-rhyme-dance-musicking, at least in the sense in which Peirce claimed that:

        “The Universe as an argument is necessarily a great work of art, a great poem -- for every fine argument is a poem and a symphony -- just as every true poem is a sound argument. But let us compare it rather with a painting -- with an impressionist seashore piece -- then every Quality in a Premiss is one of the elementary colored particles of the Painting; they are all meant to go together to make up the intended Quality that belongs to the whole as whole. That total effect is beyond our ken; but we can appreciate in some measure the resultant Quality of parts of the whole -- which Qualities result from the combinations of elementary Qualities that belong to the premisses.” CP 5.119

       
        Gene

---
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber archive@mail-archive.com

Reply via email to