Re: [peirce-l] Aesthetics, Axiology, and Artistic Truth

2012-03-29 Thread Catherine Legg
Thank you for posting your thoughts on this, Michael!

How does the concept of style which you elaborate below relate to Peirce's
distinction of 'tone' from 'token' and 'type'?

Cheers, Cathy

-Original Message-
From: C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] On
Behalf Of Michael Shapiro
Sent: Tuesday, 27 March 2012 9:59 a.m.
To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
Subject: Aesthetics, Axiology, and Artistic Truth

Dear Peirce Listers,

Apropos of the recent messages regarding the Peirce
Society meeting at SAAP earlier this month in New York, yes, I was there too
and
heard Tom Short's responses after his paper (unsatisfactory, in my
estimation;
but he told me that he hadn't slept the night before) with regard to
aesthetics.
One shouldn't forget that Peirce himself is completely unsatisfactory when
it
comes to aesthetics (as he is on ethics).

Whenever I teach my course on Peirce's theory of
interpretation, I tell my students (only half in jest) that my definition of
a
philosopher is someone who only solves problems of their own devising. By
contrast, someone who is confronted with the problem of having to explain
the
facts of language or literature or music is in a rather different position
vis-à-vis the data. My long experience with the analysis of aesthetic
objects
(mostly poetry and prose) convinces me that ultimately one has to deal with
them
axiologically, so to speak, by acknowledging the necessity of seeing them as
repositories of values. In that light, the question as to why the Mona Lisa
is
admirable always comes under the concept of STYLE and its
HISTORY. It is, moreover, on the grounds of style that one
can begin to approach the problem of artistic truth in the spirit of
pragmaticism.

In case this line of thought is of interest, here are
some further observations on the specific role of style. (Comments always
welcome.)

Style suffuses so much of what it means to be human, and
has been the subject of so much analysis, that in order to move it away from
problems of introspection and self-awareness one needs to redirect the
age-old
discussion into a more public arena where the contrast with custom allows
insight into the ontology of human activity in general. This can be
accomplished
when style as a phenomenon that cuts across disciplinary boundaries is
viewed
TROPOLOGICALLY as a fundamentally COGNITIVE category. A global theory of
style entails arguing more
closely for the concept of STYLE AS A TROPE OF
MEANING; and demonstrating how stylistic analysis can reveal itself
not just as a compendium of traditionally taxonomized information but as the
means whereby individual manifestations of style, their structural
coherences,
and their mirroring of signification can be identified and evaluated.


I. Form and content. Insofar as the
distinction can be clear at all, it does not actually coincide with but cuts
across the boundary between what is style and what is not. Style then
comprises
characteristic features both of what is said or performed or made and of how
it
is said/performed/made. If it is obvious that style is the regard that what
pays to how the faults of this formula are equally obvious. Architecture,
nonobjective painting, and most music have no subject, nor do they literally
say
anything. So the what of one activity may be part of the how of another.
No
rule based on linguistic form alone could determine, for instance, whether
or
not a discursive meaning is ironic. In considering linguistic style at
least,
and perhaps even style generally, it soon emerges that the relation between
form
and content must in part be described metaphorically.
II. Content and expression. One famous theory of
style, that of the French scholar Charles Bally, identifies linguistic style
with the affective value of the features of organized language and the
reciprocal action of the expressive features that together form the system
of
the means of expression of a language. From this Roman Jakobson fashioned a
definition of style as a marked––emotive or poetic––annex to the neutral,
purely cognitive information. Aside from the impossibility of consistently
separating cognitive from affective information without remainder, it is
equally
transparent that definitions of style that trade in feelings, emotions, or
affects go awry by overlooking not only structural features that are neither
feelings nor expressed but also features that though not feelings ARE
expressed.
III. Difference between stylistic and
nonstylistic. A feature of style may be a feature of what is said, of what
is exemplified, or of what is expressed. But not all such features are
necessarily stylistic. Similarly, features that are clearly stylistic in one
work may have no stylistic bearing in another locus. Nelson Goodman writes:
A
property––whether of statement made, structure displayed, or feeling
conveyed––counts as stylistic only when it associates a work with one rather
than another artist, 

Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos

2012-03-29 Thread Catherine Legg
Gary R wrote:
*
For my own part, I tend--as perhaps Jon does as well--to see
esthetic/ethics/logic as semeiotic as being in genuine tricategorial
relation so that they *inform* each other in interesting ways. Trichotomic
vector theory, then, does not demand that one necessarily always follow
the order: 1ns (esthetic), then 2ns (ethics), then 3ns (logic). One may
also look at the three involutionally (logic involves ethics which, in
turn, involves esthetic) or, even, according to the vector of
representation (logic shows esthetic to be in that particular relation to
ethics which Peirce holds them to be in). But only a very few scholars
have taken up tricategorial vector relations. Indeed, R. J. Parmentier and
I are the only folk I know of who have published work on possible paths of
movement (vectors) through a genuine trichotomic relation which does *not*
follow the Hegelian order: 1ns then 2ns then 3ns.

This is very interesting, thanks Gary :-)

Indeed, with a  few exceptions, there appears at present to be
relatively little interest in Peirce's categories generally speaking.
Given the way they pervade his scientific and philosophical work, and
considering how highly he valued their discovery, this has always struck
me as quite odd.
*

I have found that presenting on these concepts to non-Peirceans in
seminars and conference papers can be very hard work. It doesn't make much
sense to people who aren't already thinking within Peirce's system.

Cathy

-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L 
listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to 
lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body of the 
message.  To post a message to the list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


[peirce-l] Idealization (was: Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism)

2012-03-29 Thread Catherine Legg
That is a very rich reply, Gene, thank you.



You write:



”The problem of modern idealization involves what Max Weber called
rationalization, but it also involves the colonization of the sentiments by
idealizing rationality, in effect, disabling the spontaneous self and its
spontaneous reasonableness.”



Worth further thought to my mind is whether Peirce’s model of inquiry does
involve **colonizing** the sentiments, and if so, in what way. Certainly he
wants to **make use of them within a long-range evolutionary process**. But
that word **use** – what does it mean exactly? Does it mean something like *
*exploit**? Or could it mean something like **include**? In which case
Peirce is making room for spontaneity rather than suppressing it. Recall
the vital role he gives to instinct in generating abductions. That seems
spontaneous to me.



It seems to me that you are thinking something like the following – if
individual feelings form part of some kind of long-range communal project,
they cannot be spontaneous. (If this is not right please correct me.) But
does that follow? Isn’t the nature of final causes that they are bound to
happen at some point but not bound to happen at any particular time or in
any particular way? Thus leaving room for spontaneity and idiosyncracy to
harmonise with rationality - ?



Cheers, Cathy





*From:* C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] *On
Behalf Of *Eugene Halton
*Sent:* Tuesday, 27 March 2012 10:51 a.m.
*To:* PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
*Subject:* Re: Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism



Dear Terry, Gary, Cathy, et al.,

Thanks for your comments. But I don’t think you quite get my
point, namely; that the idealizing of the passions, including the
idealization of love, as a means of  “creative agents capable of
transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent ideals”
is wrongheaded. The statement I quoted suggests that narrow model of
inquiry (for which it is a good statement) can generalize to become a
general vehicle of world transformation. In my view Peirce would suggest
that is pushing it too far. I say that it is precisely such idealizing of
life to ratiocentric ends that has wrongly put the biosphere in jeopardy
today, and nominalistic science has been a key player. Replacing in
Forster’s words, the “vast cosmic mechanism” with “transforming the world
though the active realization of intelligent ideals,” may seem a better
option, but does not to my mind go to the heart of the problem of
idealizing conduct as determinant of practical life. Yes, Gary, I agree
that is where the common-sensist element of Peirce’s critical
common-sensism allows more.

Cathy, I don’t see “a Romantic view of thought and feeling as
mutually undermining opposites.” Quite the, uh, opposite. The idealizing of
the passions by “thought,” so that sentiment becomes a value rather than
passionate reasonableness was part of my criticism. The problem of modern
idealization involves what Max Weber called rationalization, but it also
involves the colonization of the sentiments by idealizing rationality, in
effect, disabling the spontaneous self and its spontaneous reasonableness.

The community of variescent life, inclusive of humans,  rather
than a community of human inquirers, might be the better agent of world
transformation. But the human element of it would have to be more than
inquirers, in Peirce’s sense. It would have to be whole human beings,
passionately alive to their living habitats rather than to idealized
conduct. That might also be a virtual definition of an artist engaged in
creating a work.

Consider, Terry, where the “gospel of greed” that Peirce names in his essay
on evolutionary love derives from. Dostoyevsky and D.H. Lawrence
understood, in my view, that the idealization of love (and more broadly the
idealization of the sentiments) would culminate in its opposite, the
idealization of hate or greed. The nominalistic state of nature of Thomas
Hobbes seems a good example of that, nature as the “warre of every man
against every man.” Melville in 1851, Dostoyevsky in The Brothers
Karamazov, and Lawrence in various writings, each showed how the idealizing
of life and love is a mark of the tragic nature of modern life. But each
also showed alternatives, which seem to me congruent with Peirce’s larger
outlook, involving yes, sociality, but the sociality of the community of
the earth and of the spontaneous self. The living self bodying forth here
and now and not fixed by some idealized horizon.

Lawrence: “Every single living creature is a single creative
unit, a unique, incommutable self. Primarily, in its own spontaneous
reality, it knows no law. It is a law unto itself. Secondarily, in its
material reality, it submits to all the laws of the material universe. But
the primal, spontaneous self in any creature has ascendance, truly, over
the material laws of the universe; it uses 

Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos

2012-03-29 Thread Khadimir
I can confirm that last bit about the difficulty of explaining these
concepts, though I do so as a Deweyan always wondering exactly how did he
borrow and deviate from Peirce's concepts.  I do hear a number of people
say that they like Peirce, but it is never clear to what they are
referring.  That might be due to my ignorance of the received view of
Peirce.  Perhaps someone could enlighten me?

Jason

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:08 AM, Catherine Legg cl...@waikato.ac.nz wrote:

 Gary R wrote:
 *
 For my own part, I tend--as perhaps Jon does as well--to see
 esthetic/ethics/logic as semeiotic as being in genuine tricategorial
 relation so that they *inform* each other in interesting ways. Trichotomic
 vector theory, then, does not demand that one necessarily always follow
 the order: 1ns (esthetic), then 2ns (ethics), then 3ns (logic). One may
 also look at the three involutionally (logic involves ethics which, in
 turn, involves esthetic) or, even, according to the vector of
 representation (logic shows esthetic to be in that particular relation to
 ethics which Peirce holds them to be in). But only a very few scholars
 have taken up tricategorial vector relations. Indeed, R. J. Parmentier and
 I are the only folk I know of who have published work on possible paths of
 movement (vectors) through a genuine trichotomic relation which does *not*
 follow the Hegelian order: 1ns then 2ns then 3ns.

 This is very interesting, thanks Gary :-)

 Indeed, with a  few exceptions, there appears at present to be
 relatively little interest in Peirce's categories generally speaking.
 Given the way they pervade his scientific and philosophical work, and
 considering how highly he valued their discovery, this has always struck
 me as quite odd.
 *

 I have found that presenting on these concepts to non-Peirceans in
 seminars and conference papers can be very hard work. It doesn't make much
 sense to people who aren't already thinking within Peirce's system.

 Cathy


 -
 You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L
 listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to
 lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body
 of the message.  To post a message to the list, send it to
 PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


-
You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the PEIRCE-L 
listserv.  To remove yourself from this list, send a message to 
lists...@listserv.iupui.edu with the line SIGNOFF PEIRCE-L in the body of the 
message.  To post a message to the list, send it to PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU


Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos

2012-03-29 Thread Benjamin Udell
I said this wrong. Changed below between pairs of asterisks. Sorry! - Best, Ben

- Original Message - 

Jason, list,

That's interesting. What aspects of synechism do they reject?
  a.. Continuity of space and time? Lorentz symmetries seem to make such 
continuity pretty credible. 
  b.. Idea of espousing continuity of space and time for philosophical reasons 
instead of physics reasons? 
  c.. Real infinitesimals? 
  d.. Continuity of semiosis and of inference process? **Idea that incapacities 
such as that of a cognition devoid of determination by inference help** prove 
the reality of the continuous and therefore of the general? (Some Consequences 
of Four Incapacities)
Or if discussions of synechism don't get into such detail, still what do they 
say is wrong with synechism?

Best, Ben

- Original Message - 
From: Khadimir
To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU 
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos


Steven,


This seems to be a plausible judgment of contemporary scene, if a sparse one.  
If I continue with this, then might I ask exactly what constitutes being a 
scientific dualist on your view?  I would agree that many contemporary 
positions are prima facie crypto-dualist, if that is what you mean, a 
hypothesis that would be verified or not in individual cases (thinkers).  
However, when I claim that of a view and indicate why, they always reject the 
view, and about the only widespread commonality that I've seen is a rejection 
of scholastic realism (realism about universals) and of continuity (synechism). 


Best,
   Jason




On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Steven Ericsson-Zenith wrote:

  Dear Cathy,

  Non-Peirceans, if you will forgive the over simplification, are in two 
camps:

 1. the religious dualist,
 2. the scientific dualist.

  Often they are in both.

  One does not know how to ground what Peirce calls Thirdness (more 
generally, the mind) in their conception of God, the other does not know 
how to ground Thirdness in their conception of Physics. In-other-words, there 
are two dogmas working against the Peircean.

  It produces precisely the problem that Stanley Fish alludes to, and that I 
respond to (see my comment at the bottom of the page), here:

 Citing Chapter and Verse: Which Scripture Is the Right One?
 
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/citing-chapter-and-verse-which-scripture-is-the-right-one/?comments#permid=72

  This is a reference to an article that Stephen Rose gave a few days ago.

  Peirce's objection to the Russelization of logic is relevant here, because 
the eradication of psychologism placed the mind (esp. Thirdness) beyond 
the reach of 20th Century science and logic.

  It has become clear to me that Charles Peirce, and his father Benjamin, did 
indeed conceive of the mind, and in particular what Charles called Thirdness, 
as grounded in both a conception of God and a conception of Physics. Now I 
rush to add that, despite the language of the time, this God conception is 
not the usual one but one that is really non-theistic in the modern sense, in 
that it is without personification and clearly not the god of popular western 
conception.

  This, in my view, is the proper way to interpret the apparent contradiction 
in this matter when it is naively read into Benjamin Peirce's Ideality in the 
physical sciences and in the writings of Charles Peirce. Their view is more 
like that of Taoism than Judeao-Christianity (although it maintains the passion 
of the later).

  So, in presenting Peirce's view in relation to contemporary arguments it is 
important, I think, to highlight these points and challenge the dogma. If you 
do, then Peircean concerns and questions may become more clear to the audience 
unfamiliar with them.

  With respect,
  Steven


  --
 Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
 Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering
 http://iase.info



  On Mar 29, 2012, at 2:08 AM, Catherine Legg wrote:

   Gary R wrote:
   *
   For my own part, I tend--as perhaps Jon does as well--to see 
esthetic/ethics/logic as semeiotic as being in genuine tricategorial relation 
so that they *inform* each other in interesting ways. Trichotomic vector 
theory, then, does not demand that one necessarily always follow the order: 1ns 
(esthetic), then 2ns (ethics), then 3ns (logic). One may also look at the three 
involutionally (logic involves ethics which, in turn, involves esthetic) or, 
even, according to the vector of representation (logic shows esthetic to be in 
that particular relation to ethics which Peirce holds them to be in). But only 
a very few scholars have taken up tricategorial vector relations. Indeed, R. J. 
Parmentier and I are the only folk I know of who have published work on 
possible paths of movement (vectors) through a genuine trichotomic relation 
which does *not* follow the Hegelian order: 1ns then 2ns then 3ns.
  
   This is 

Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos

2012-03-29 Thread Khadimir
Ben and list,

In part it is a reflection of what I like to talk about, but they tend to
reject a variant of your fourth bullet point, especially either the direct
or indirect implications of Four Incapacities, Consequences of Four
Incapacities, and the continuity of inference and semiotic.  However, the
discussion never reaches that level of detail.

Instead, I ask such questions as--as I did at a conference last weekend to
a superbly inviting, mostly analytic audience--why do you think that
conscious intentionality must begin as a conscious (noetic/attentive)
phenomenon rather than in bodily intentionality?  In this case, the
interlocutor was treating conscious intentionality as if it were ex nihilo
and was insouciant on the point, though one does not need Peircean
continuity to answer that question.  This is the kind of Cartesian
dualism that I see in the wild, i.e., a species of discontinuity.

Jason

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 2:17 PM, Benjamin Udell bud...@nyc.rr.com wrote:

 **
 I said this wrong. Changed below between pairs of asterisks. Sorry! -
 Best, Ben

 - Original Message -

 Jason, list,

 That's interesting. What aspects of synechism do they reject?

- Continuity of space and time? Lorentz symmetries seem to make such
continuity pretty credible.
- Idea of espousing continuity of space and time for philosophical
reasons instead of physics reasons?
- Real infinitesimals?
- Continuity of semiosis and of inference process? **Idea that
incapacities such as that of a cognition devoid of determination by
inference help** prove the reality of the continuous and therefore of the
general? (Some Consequences of Four Incapacities)

 Or if discussions of synechism don't get into such detail, still what do
 they say is wrong with synechism?

 Best, Ben

 - Original Message -
 *From:* Khadimir
 *To:* PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
 *Sent:* Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:44 PM
 *Subject:* Re: [peirce-l] The Pragmatic Cosmos

 Steven,

 This seems to be a plausible judgment of contemporary scene, if a sparse
 one.  If I continue with this, then might I ask exactly what constitutes
 being a scientific dualist on your view?  I would agree that many
 contemporary positions are prima facie crypto-dualist, if that is what you
 mean, a hypothesis that would be verified or not in individual cases
 (thinkers).  However, when I claim that of a view and indicate why, they
 always reject the view, and about the only widespread commonality that I've
 seen is a rejection of scholastic realism (realism about universals) and of
 continuity (synechism).

 Best,
Jason



 On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Steven Ericsson-Zenith wrote:

 Dear Cathy,

 Non-Peirceans, if you will forgive the over simplification, are in two
 camps:

1. the religious dualist,
2. the scientific dualist.

 Often they are in both.

 One does not know how to ground what Peirce calls Thirdness (more
 generally, the mind) in their conception of God, the other does not
 know how to ground Thirdness in their conception of Physics.
 In-other-words, there are two dogmas working against the Peircean.

 It produces precisely the problem that Stanley Fish alludes to, and that I
 respond to (see my comment at the bottom of the page), here:

Citing Chapter and Verse: Which Scripture Is the Right One?

 http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/citing-chapter-and-verse-which-scripture-is-the-right-one/?comments#permid=72

 This is a reference to an article that Stephen Rose gave a few days ago.

 Peirce's objection to the Russelization of logic is relevant here,
 because the eradication of psychologism placed the mind (esp.
 Thirdness) beyond the reach of 20th Century science and logic.

 It has become clear to me that Charles Peirce, and his father Benjamin,
 did indeed conceive of the mind, and in particular what Charles called
 Thirdness, as grounded in both a conception of God and a conception of
 Physics. Now I rush to add that, despite the language of the time, this
 God conception is not the usual one but one that is really non-theistic
 in the modern sense, in that it is without personification and clearly not
 the god of popular western conception.

 This, in my view, is the proper way to interpret the apparent
 contradiction in this matter when it is naively read into Benjamin Peirce's
 Ideality in the physical sciences and in the writings of Charles Peirce.
 Their view is more like that of Taoism than Judeao-Christianity (although
 it maintains the passion of the later).

 So, in presenting Peirce's view in relation to contemporary arguments it
 is important, I think, to highlight these points and challenge the dogma.
 If you do, then Peircean concerns and questions may become more clear to
 the audience unfamiliar with them.

 With respect,
 Steven


 --
Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering
http://iase.info


 On Mar