>It's been a long while I don't write, but the subject interests me.
>I run the risk of repeating everything that was said here about entelechy, but a look up at the form of the word seems appropriate:
>entelechy in ancient greek is a form of saying (as literally as I can see) en telos echein, that is, something like "to have the end [aim?] in", "the obtaining of the end" (since the verb "echein" has a wide semantic range).
>In this sense, it is possible to think of it as a process rather than the final result of the process itself - if we think in analogy to the ultimate interpretant, it's perfectly fit: although the interpretant is called "ultimate", it's nonetheless still an interpretant, sign-process in sum.
>Now, the substantive "entelechia" seems to indicate exactly this, as I can see, in Aristotle: a process of attaining the end (telos), which should not as I see be defined as a definite outcome, final and not capable of being fowarded furthermore - because the idea of telos carries the notion of possible aim to be reached - the final cause is of the nature of a general desire, in Peirce's interpretation (which seems a very plausible way to read Aristotle's theory of the four causes - the formal cause being in the end the same as the final cause, the material cause the same as the efficient cause). So, entelechy would be a process of causation, the finalization of the process of attainment a telos, or of fulfillment of the end, if I can say this in English. So, it continues to be a process, as I tend to read it; not the same as before, but still a process.
>I hope I'm understandable in this poor English of mine, and I also hope I'm not completely out of the discussion.
>All the best to all,
>(from the Center for Studies on Pragmatism, Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC), Brasil).
I tend to see an entelechy as something which is stable but not merely exhausted, but instead "in working order" to do more. In its stability, it's not just a form but a structure, and it can serve as a foundation and basis for more, as for instance we say that knowledge is a basis and a grounding. So it's a settledness yet it contributes to a process, helps ground it more securely, sometimes precisely in order for the process not just to repeat but to evolve (through learning). It supports us, is our human supportedness by reality. So I tend to see entelechy as the confirmation, the solidification, of that action or culmination which is an end or is supposed to be an end -- but which may or may not hold up. If it holds up, stands stably, then it is, in that sense, confirmed. It's the difference between coming to an end, and being ended, being settled, settled in a constructive sense, ready for more. In a broader sense, I regard intelligent experience, formed as collateral to sign & interpretant in respect of the object, as the entelechy of semiosis as such. And they all keep on going, and cannot culminate except as "energy" or solidify except as basis -- energy and basis, for _more_ of themselves. Charles Olson once said that Edward Dahlberg pounded it into his head as a poet that "every perception leads DIRECTLY and IMMEDIATELY to another perception."
Culmination & entelechy. It's also the difference between the Thomistic "necessaries for the beautiful" -- "claritas" (which Joyce well translated as "radiance," as of a culmination, a bloom, the bright colors of flowers, the shiny colors of fish, etc.,) and "integritas sive perfectio" (which Joyce sonorously translated as "wholeness" but misunderstood as simple unity as provided by a bounding line drawn around an object. Aquinas instead meant structural integrity, as of something not "diminuta" (dashed to pieces or destructively violated) and thereby "turpia" (base, disgusting, "gross"). Diminuta http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3D%2314023 turpia http://lysy2.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe?turpis
But in my emphasis on entelechy as something cognitive and even epistemic, as confirmation, confirmed value, etc., (as opposed to a telos or teleiosis as more affective, a culmination, a value), I part with Aristotle, Aquinas, Peirce, and everybody but myself. I also think of entelechy as a causal principle like telos, in a sense like the formal cause, but deepened, just as a vital telos is something deeper than mere thermodynamic decay. With entelechy, there is dependence, often complex dependence, on sign and evidentiary conditions. E.g., knowledge & expectations are causes in markets. This is not "instead" of telic influence, nor does it leave teleology behind -- but it does take things to a new level, a level of ongoing evolution (mental, social), which distinguishes a human from, say, a vegetable organism which, in its way, is quite telically governed, but certainly does not evolve in its own lifetime.
So those are just my opinions.
Joe Ransdell sent the following post with some very useful quotes.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Ransdell" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 2:39 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] NEW ELEMENTS: entelechy
Turning to section 1 of Part 3 of the New Elements, the notion of the entelechy is introduced and defined. Here are, first, the entry for "entelechy" in the Century Dictionary, and, below that, four passages on the conception from the Collected Papers:
From CENTURY DICTIONARY p. 1946 (1889)
ENTELECHY (en-tel'e-ki), n. [( L. entelechia, (Gr. entelecheia, actuality, ( en telei echein, be complete (cf. Enteles, complete, full): ev, in; telei, dat. of telos, end, completion; echein, have, hold, intr. be.]
Realization: opposed to power or potentiality, and nearly the same as energy or act (actuality). The only difference is that entelechy implies a more perfect realization. The idea of entelechy is connected with that of form, the idea of power with that of matter. Thus, iron is potentially in its ore, which to be made iron must be worked; when this is done, the iron exists in entelechy. The development from being in posse or in germ to entelechy takes place, according to Aristotle, by means of a change, the imperfect action or energy, of which the perfected result is the entelechy. Entelechy is, however, either first or second. First entelechy is being in working order; second entelechy is being in action. The soul is said to be the first entelechy of the body, which seems to imply that it grows out of the body as its germ; but the idea more insisted upon is that man without the soul would be but a body, while the soul, once developed, is not lost when the man sleeps. Cudworth terms his plastic nature (which see, under nature) a first entelechy, and Leibniz calls a monad an entelechy.
==========quote from E. Wallace=============
To express this aspect of the mental functions, Aristotle makes use of the word entelechy. The word is one which explains itself. Frequently, it is true, Aristotle fails to draw any strict line of demarcation between entelechy and energy; but in theory, at least, the two are definitely separated from each other, and energeia represents merely a stage on the path toward entelecheia. Entelechy in short is the realization which contains the end of a process: the complete _expression_ of some function -- the perfection of some phenomenon, the last stage in that process from potentiality to reality which we have already noticed. Soul then is not only the realization of the body; it is its perfect realization or full development.
---E. Wallace, Aristotle's Psychology, p. xlii.
PASSAGES IN THE COLLECTED PAPERS:
CP 6.36 (1891) The Doctrine of Necessity Examined I propose here to examine the common belief that every single fact in the universe is precisely determined by law. It must not be supposed that this is a doctrine accepted everywhere and at all times by all rational men. Its first advocate appears to have been Democritus, the atomist, who was led to it, as we are informed, by reflecting upon the "impenetrability, translation, and impact of matter (antitypia kai phora kai plege tes hule)." That is to say, having restricted his attention to a field where no influence other than mechanical constraint could possibly come before his notice, he straightway jumped to the conclusion that throughout the universe that was the sole principle of action -- a style of reasoning so usual in our day with men not unreflecting as to be more than excusable in the infancy of thought. But Epicurus, in revising the atomic doctrine and repairing its defenses, found himself obliged to suppose that atoms swerve from their courses by spontaneous chance; and thereby he conferred upon the theory life and entelechy. For we now see clearly that the peculiar function of the molecular hypothesis in physics is to open an entry for the calculus of probabilities.
CP 6.356 (1901) Baldwin's Dictionary: "Matter and Form" 356.
It must not be forgotten that Aristotle was an Asclepiad, that is, that he belonged to a family which for generation after generation, from prehistoric times, had had their attention turned to vital phenomena; and he is almost as remarkable for his capacity as a naturalist as he is for his incapacity in physics and mathematics. He must have had prominently before his mind the fact that all eggs are very much alike, and all seeds are very much alike, while the animals that grow out of the one, the plants that grow out of the other, are as different as possible. Accordingly, his dunamis is germinal being, not amounting to existence; while his entelechy is the perfect thing that ought to grow out of that germ. Matter, which he associates with stuff, timber, metal, is that undifferentiated element of a thing which it must possess to have even germinal being. Since matter is, in itself, indeterminate, it is also in itself unknowable; but it is both determinable by form and knowable, even sensible, through form. The notion that the form can antecede matter is, to Aristotle, perfectly ridiculous. It is the result of the development of matter. He looks upon the problem from the point of view of a naturalist. In particular, the soul is an outgrowth of the body.
CP 1.21-23 (1903) Lowell Lectures
. . . . The modern philosophers -- one and all, unless Schelling be an exception -- recognize but one mode of being, the being of an individual thing or fact, the being which consists in the object's crowding out a place for itself in the universe, so to speak, and reacting by brute force of fact, against all other things. I call that existence. Aristotle, on the other hand, whose system, like all the greatest systems, was evolutionary, recognized besides [existence] an embryonic kind of being, like the being of a tree in its seed, or like the being of a future contingent event, depending on how a man shall decide to act. In a few passages Aristotle seems to have a dim aper¨ue of a third mode of being in the entelechy. The embryonic being for Aristotle was the being he called matter, which is alike in all things, and which in the course of its development took on form. Form is an element having a different mode of being. The whole philosophy of the scholastic doctors is an attempt to mould this doctrine of Aristotle into harmony with christian truth. This harmony the different doctors attempted to bring about in different ways. But all the realists agree in reversing the order of Aristotle's evolution by making the form come first, and the individuation of that form come later. Thus, they too recognized two modes of being; but they were not the two modes of being of Aristotle.
My view is that there are three modes of being. I hold that we can directly observe them in elements of whatever is at any time before the mind in any way. They are the being of positive qualitative possibility, the being of actual fact, and the being of law that will govern facts in the future.
CP 6.341 (1908) "Some Amazing Mazes, Fourth Curiosity" 341.---
The mode of being of the composition of thought, which is always of the nature of the attribution of a predicate to a subject, is the living intelligence which is the creator of all intelligible reality, as well as of the knowledge of such reality. It is the entelechy, or perfection of being.
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber email@example.com
- [peirce-l] RE: Entelechy gnusystems
- [peirce-l] RE: Entelechy Neal Bruss
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Eugene Halton
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Kirsti Määttänen
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Jeffrey
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Jerry LR Chandler
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Eugene Halton
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Cassiano Terra Rodrigues
- [peirce-l] Entelechy, friends of wisdom,... Drs.W.T.M. Berendsen
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy, friends of... Cassiano Terra Rodrigues
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Benjamin Udell
- [peirce-l] Re: Entelechy Victoria N. Alexander