I enjoyed reading your message. - My own expressions must have been
inadequate, and misleading, because, as it happens, I fully agree with
all you say in the following:
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.
Although I'm not sure whether I fully understand your meaning here:
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
To my mind Truth and Beauty become One, a unity. But perhaps my English
just fails me. "giving itself to Beauty" sounds to my nonnative ear as
something like surrending to something superior.
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.
I fully agree, again,
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
“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
My favorite quote! - That "the total effect is beyond our ken" was
what I was striving to express. And that we only "can appreciate in
some measure the resultant Quality of parts of the whole".
Thank you for your response! Back in the 1980's I read two articles of
yours. They were the first ones on Peirce I had met, which I agreed
with. Used to go around recommending them to everyone.
With best regards,
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