Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-04-15 Thread Määttänen Kirsti
 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 these laws and converts them in the mystery of 
 creation.” Lawrence’s philosophy of living spontaneity is of a piece with 
 Peirce’s outlook on this one point in my opinion—despite Peirce’s antipathy 
 to the “literary” mind—each allowing qualitative uniqueness and a living 
 spontaneity.
 Perhaps there is similarity of Lawrence’s idea of an 
 incommutable, non-idealizing spontaneous self, in Peirce’s idea of “Now it is 
 energetic projaculation (lucky there is such a word, or this untried hand 
 might have been put to inventing one) by which in the typical instances of 
 Lamarckian evolution the new elements of form are first created. Habit, 
 however, forces them to take practical shapes, compatible with the structures 
 they affect, and, in the form of heredity and otherwise, gradually replaces 
 the spontaneous energy that sustains them.”
  
 Gene Halton
  
  
  
  
  
  
 From: C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] On 
 Behalf Of Catherine Legg
 Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2012 9:42 PM
 To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
 Subject: Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism
  
 Tom that is a great quote in this context, thank you!
  
 Gene your passionate warning against a  “Pyrrhic victory of eviscerated, 
 abstract intelligence in the service of ideals” is important I think. It 
 would seem that Peirce did criticize himself along these lines at one point 
 where he compared his character unfavorably with that of James as “a mere 
 table of contents…a snarl of twine” (or similar words).
  
 Having said that, however, I worry that your comments, Gene, are predicated 
 on a Romantic view of thought and feeling as mutually undermining opposites, 
 which is actually the tail-end of modernism. Peirce’s semiotics on the other 
 hand gives us the means to get past that dichotomy - to be able to see for 
 the first time the elegant feelings of fine mathematicians and logicians, and 
 the rigorous critical structure of great art.
  
 I see Terry’s post on sociality as logic driving at this point from a 
 different direction.
  
 Cathy  
  
 From: C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] On 
 Behalf Of Tom Gollier
 Sent: Monday, 26 March 2012 3:47 a.m.
 To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
 Subject: Re: Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism
  
 Cathy,
 
 I'll have to wait for this discussion to develop further and/or the talk to 
 get posted, but I thought this quote from Peirce might be pertinent.
 
 The artist introduces a fiction; but it is not an arbitrary one; it exhibits 
 affinities to which the mind accords a certain approval in pronouncing them 
 beautiful, which if it is not exactly the same as saying that the synthesis 
 is true, is something of the same general kind. [CP 1.383]
 
 Tom
 
 On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM, Catherine Legg cl...@waikato.ac.nz wrote:
  
 
 On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Gary Richmond gary.richm...@gmail.com 
 wrote:
 I want to conclude this note with a passage near the end of the book
 which I very much liked and have been reflecting on since. Forster
 writes:
 
 On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
 mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
 transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
 ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
 no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
 Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
 thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
 pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
 self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op.
 cit., 245).
 
 Cathy, this brought to my mind the discussion of Peirce's esthetics
 following Tom Short's fine talk in the Robin session at SAAP. Any
 thoughts on that in this connection?
 ***
 
 Yes that discussion was interesting - I wish we had had the time to pursue it 
 further. This might not mean so much to people who were not at the talk 
 (perhaps Tom Short might be persuaded to post a copy of it here). But anyway, 
 Tom claimed the subject matter of Peirce's aesthetics was not the beautiful 
 but the *admirable*. To test this, and because I was worried that the talk 
 had mainly spoken at the general level, I asked about a specific example - 
 the Mona Lisa, and whether a Peircean aesthetics as described by Tom might 
 have anything to say about that work, and if so, what.
  
 I was worried it looked like I

Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-27 Thread Jon Awbrey

A Facebook acquaintance posted this on my wall ...

Bakhtin Meets Pocahontas --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GITVPh7GVSE

Cheers,

Jon

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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review • “Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism”

2012-03-26 Thread Jon Awbrey

Peircers,

Yet another attack of synchronicity -- I just now happened to be working on the 
markup of
some old work and I ran across this bit where I was trying to puzzle out a 
sensible picture
of how the normative science fit together within a pragmatic perspective on 
their objects.

| Questions about the good of something, and what must be done to get it,
| and what shows the way to do it, belong to the normative sciences of
| aesthetics, ethics, and logic, respectively.
|
} Aesthetic knowledge is a creature's most basic sense
| of what is good or bad for it, as signaled by the
| experiential features of pleasure or pain,
| respectively.
|
| Ethical knowledge deals with the courses of action
| and patterns of conduct that lead to these ends.
|
| Logical knowledge begins from the remoter signs
| of what actions are true and false to their ends,
| and derives the necessary consequences indicated by
| combinations of signs.
|
| In pragmatic thought, the normative disciplines can be imagined as three
| concentric cylinders resting on their bases, increasing in height as they
| narrow, from aesthetics to ethics to logic, in that order.  Considered with
| regard to the plane of their experiential bases, logic is subsumed by ethics,
| which is subsumed by aesthetics.  And yet, in another sense, logic affords
| a perspective on ethics, while ethics affords a perspective on aesthetics.
|
| 
http://mywikibiz.com/Directory:Jon_Awbrey/Papers/Inquiry_Driven_Systems_:_Part_6#6.2._A_Candid_Point_of_View

Regards,

Jon

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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-26 Thread Eugene Halton
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 these laws and converts them in the mystery of creation. 
Lawrence's philosophy of living spontaneity is of a piece with Peirce's outlook 
on this one point in my opinion-despite Peirce's antipathy to the literary 
mind-each allowing qualitative uniqueness and a living spontaneity.
Perhaps there is similarity of Lawrence's idea of an incommutable, 
non-idealizing spontaneous self, in Peirce's idea of Now it is energetic 
projaculation (lucky there is such a word, or this untried hand might have been 
put to inventing one) by which in the typical instances of Lamarckian evolution 
the new elements of form are first created. Habit, however, forces them to take 
practical shapes, compatible with the structures they affect, and, in the form 
of heredity and otherwise, gradually replaces the spontaneous energy that 
sustains them.

Gene Halton






From: C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] On Behalf 
Of Catherine Legg
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2012 9:42 PM
To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
Subject: Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

Tom that is a great quote in this context, thank you!

Gene your passionate warning against a  Pyrrhic victory of eviscerated, 
abstract intelligence in the service of ideals is important I think. It would 
seem that Peirce did criticize himself along these lines at one point where he 
compared his character unfavorably with that of James as a mere table of 
contents...a snarl of twine (or similar words).

Having said that, however, I worry that your

Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-25 Thread Catherine Legg
On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Gary Richmond gary.richm...@gmail.comwrote:

 I want to conclude this note with a passage near the end of the book
 which I very much liked and have been reflecting on since. Forster
 writes:

 On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
 mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
 transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
 ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
 no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
 Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
 thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
 pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
 self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op.
 cit., 245).

 Cathy, this brought to my mind the discussion of Peirce's esthetics
 following Tom Short's fine talk in the Robin session at SAAP. Any
 thoughts on that in this connection?

***


 Yes that discussion was interesting - I wish we had had the time to pursue
 it further. This might not mean so much to people who were not at the talk
 (perhaps Tom Short might be persuaded to post a copy of it here). But
 anyway, Tom claimed the subject matter of Peirce's aesthetics was not the
 beautiful but the *admirable*. To test this, and because I was worried that
 the talk had mainly spoken at the general level, I asked about a specific
 example - the Mona Lisa, and whether a Peircean aesthetics as described by
 Tom might have anything to say about that work, and if so, what.



 I was worried it looked like I hadn't really understood the very point Tom
 was trying to make, and Tom suggested that a painting of a beautiful woman
 is not the sort of thing Peirce has in mind, but Felicia Cruse said she
 wanted to hear what Tom had to say about it, and artworks in general.
 Then Rosa Mayorga pointed out that Peirce himself describes the subject
 matter of aesthetics as 'the growth of concrete reasonableness' (here is
 the connection Gary is pointing out) so we should work with that.




 So I guess the question is whether a painting by Leonardo da Vinci might
 somehow contribute to the growth of human concrete reasonableness. Doesn't
 seem to me it couldn't. That painting in particular, apparently people have
 been known to stand in front of it for hours and not necessarily be able to
 articulate why.


I hope I have captured an accurate enough snapshot of the discussion as
memory of such things is inevitably selective.

Regards to all, Cathy

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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-25 Thread Gary Richmond
Terry, Gene, Jon, List,

Methinks that you are quite correct, Terry, about reasonableness in
Peirce being centered on the social principle, and not just for
science. Critical commonsense ought play a significant role in all our
endeavors in Peirce's view.

And Gene, while I enjoy the passion of your rants (and passion *is* I
think missing from too much of contemporary philosophizing), and while
Peirce certainly made it clear that philosophy (one of the first
sciences in his classification of the sciences, one should note) ought
only very gradually be brought to bear on questions of vital
interest (see the first of his 1898 Lectures), still, he *was* for
all intents and purposes a practicing scientist, and a philosopher and
 logician. While he apparently loved the theater and music, etc., he
did not consider himself to be at all an artist, but always and
predominantly a scientist.

In my view the problem is not science, but the misuse of science (and
technology). Here I'd have to get into political-economic questions
which I'm not prepared to do. Art is important, and science is
important, and political-economy is important--and for all, as Terry
suggested, the 'social principle' could be--should be--be prominently
in play, the ideal of the community ought to be love, and that would
constitute our summum bonum: our ideal. That kind of ideal plays a
significant role in Peirce's pragmatism--it is a very humane idea.

Jon, thanks for the link to the lovely song by Paul Simon.

Best,

Gary

On 3/25/12, Terry Bristol bris...@isepp.org wrote:
 Methinks that the Peirce's 'reasonableness' is based on what he calls the
 'social principle' and that it is the reasonableness of evolutionary love.

 The ideal of the community is love.

 Terry

 On Mar 25, 2012, at 11:54 AM, Eugene Halton wrote:

 Forster: On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
 mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of transforming the
 world though the active realization of intelligent ideals. The ultimate fate
 of the world is indeterminate and there is no guarantee that the forces of
 reasonableness will triumph.
 Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
 thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the pursuit
 of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual self-interest, but
 by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op. cit., 245).

 I could not think of anything worse than a community transforming the world
 through intelligent ideals, and I do not think the statement accurately
 represents Peirce. This Pyrrhic victory of eviscerated, abstract
 intelligence in the service of ideals would be ruinous to life, just as
 Teilhard de Chardin's concept of a noosphere (in the sense of atmosphere,
 stratosphere) is, a film of planetary intelligence in which life's domain
 would be ruled by reason. Life from the neck up is ruinous to life: the
 noose sphere. Peirce, it seems to me, understood the limited place of
 science in the practice of life, which is why he thought pragmatically that
 science is impractical. Other people, such as Dostoyevsky and Melville and
 D. H. Lawrence, saw more deeply into the problem of the idealization of life
 than Peirce did, perhaps because they were artists.

 Life cannot be lived by ideals for long; life can be lived with ideals,
 never sustainably by them. Our age today, with its ideal religions and ideal
 science and technology, is fast realizing ideal ruination of the biosphere.

 We have butchered our spontaneous souls into ether, we have butchered our
 minds into believing that our bodies are machines and the universe is a
 machine, and we have butchered the earth: The poisoned fruit of our science
 and its cultural legacy. Scientific self-correction may be a matter of the
 long run. Hooray for it. The problem is that life is also a matter of once
 for all time. Cut its cord and it's gone.

 Creation issues forth as non-ideal spontaneous reasonableness, which may be
 an aspect of Peirce's understanding of the aesthetic as more encompassing
 than the ethical or logical and their concerns with the good and the true.
 The admirable, literally that which one wonders at, as an understanding
 of aesthetic (a word which means to perceive or feel), seems to have moved
 from its literal meaning of wonder toward one of idealizing, perhaps as an
 aspect of our idealizing, anesthetic age.

 Gene Halton

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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-23 Thread Stephen C. Rose
Here is a somewhat corrected version of my reply to Terry.

Best, S


I have little place for ethics in such a system as I have. I see ethics as
secondary to the willed application of values to the making of decisions.
To me the question is what are the ontological values. My pragmatic answer
came in the 1970s when a colleague and I taught a group of teenagers the
Gospel of Mark (the text of which I had turned into songs) and saw the
actual results of this process in events in their lives and those related
to them. I concluded that the ontological values can be described by the
words tolerance, democracy, helpfulness and that the overarching value in
which these rest is non-idolatry. I feel these are a reasonable
approximation of the active, accessible realities that - when activated by
individual will - create history. Insofar as history is a vale of tears it
is because we do not honor these values. Non-idolatry incidentally is the
basis of scientific method IMO. The good and justice are descriptions
of the goals of living, but the values I have named can be explicitly
willed by the individual. Insofar as they are understood and willed
together, they create a somewhat iconoclastic sort who is pragmatic and at
the same time actively promoting tolerance, democracy and helpfulness. All
of the movers of history on the just and good side have cleaved to these
values. Since individuals do possess will and this the freedom to embrace
these values, they can be spread by ... identifying them and activated in a
process that certainly can include reason but also involves what we call
passion or commitment or conscience or even impulse. When I resigned from
my fraternity at Williams in 1958 it was the result of a triad 1. My
experience of racial unity 2. The resistance of St. Anthony Hall to
considering an applicant from Jamaica and 3. My resignation when I was
told, If I believed that, I did not belong there. This helped set off a
train of events which led to the removal of fraternities from Williams.
Such an event resides in the realm of willed values not ethics. Ethics
would be the consideration of what course of action would yield up whatever
one designated as the goal of ethics - the good, justice. In other words,
ethics is secondary to the exercise of willed values which is essentially
impulsive. It is a corrective exercise.
*ShortFormContent at Blogger* http://shortformcontent.blogspot.com/

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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-22 Thread Stephen C. Rose
If the way history is made is through willed values, those values were
there before we were. They are ontological. I think the confusion in Peirce
is his relegation of ethics to the aesthetic. Kierkegaard did a similar
thing when he essentially sidelined the ethical. I muse that the semiotic
realm is infused with ontological values (the foundation of ethics) and
that history is made by the values we will. By our fruits  we are known.
Why is it I feel I understand Peirce when I have a dunce's capacity for
math and science? It is because he fits in to my evolving understanding of
 how to see the world and particularly how to identify and deal with the
nominalist binary consciousness that essentially has allowed us to arrive
at the ethical morass we are in. This is the century when we have t advance
out of that and achieve what Derrida called the unprecedented.

*ShortFormContent at Blogger http://shortformcontent.blogspot.com/*



On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:23 PM, Gary Richmond gary.richm...@gmail.comwrote:

 Michael, Cathy, List,

 Michael, I also want to thank you  for posting the link to Nathan
 Houser's review of Forster's *Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism*.

 I had begun reading the book a few week's before you sent the review
 and had gotten a bit bogged down, mainly in the style, I think. There
 is, in my opinion, a tendency in it towards unnecessary repetition,
 for example.

 I also think Nathan' criticisms in the last paragraph of his mainly
 positive review are on target: namely, that Forster mixes references
 to Peirce's early and late work, neglects some of his more developed
 ideas (such as the work he did in semeiotic in the 20th century),
 centering his argumentation around the icon/index/symbol distinction,
 while neglecting the two later trichotomies of signs (so neglecting
 arguments as well as other types of qualisigns). Nathan also correctly
 notes that Forster concentrates almost exclusively on Peirce's
 earliest proof of pragmatism in that discussion.

 Still, the review encouraged me to finish reading the book, and I'm
 certainly glad that I did! One sees, finally, just how central the
 nominalism/realism question is for Peirce--and, I'd hold, ought to be
 for us.

 I want to conclude this note with a passage near the end of the book
 which I very much liked and have been reflecting on since. Forster
 writes:

 On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
 mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
 transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
 ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
 no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
 Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
 thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
 pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
 self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op.
 cit., 245).

 Cathy, this brought to my mind the discussion of Peirce's esthetics
 following Tom Short's fine talk in the Robin session at SAAP. Any
 thoughts on that in this connection?

 Best,

 Gary

 On 3/13/12, Michael DeLaurentis michael...@comcast.net wrote:
  Glad to hear, Cathy - thanks. I agree with your assessment and, based
 only
  on what Houser presents, his criticisms. The book itself is probably a
  worthwhile read, perhaps worthy of further review here.
 
 
 
  From: C S Peirce discussion list [mailto:PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU] On
  Behalf Of Catherine Legg
  Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:43 PM
  To: PEIRCE-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
  Subject: Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of
 Nominalism
 
 
 
  Michael I just read the book review from Nathan Houser you shared - it is
  lucidly written over 6 pages and gives a commanding overview of Peirce's
  realism. I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for posting it.
 
  Cathy
 
  On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM, Michael DeLaurentis 
 michael...@comcast.net
  wrote:
 
  If there has already been a post about this, my apologies. Book review
 just
  in on CSP and nominalism.
 
 
 
  Michael J DeLaurentis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-22 Thread Terry Bristol
A couple of comments on this passage from Forster and relating to S. Rose's 
response:
1.  The 'plan' by which the universal intelligence works is not a 'fixed' or 
time(-space)-invariant 'plan'; (cf. likewise in Plato's Timaeus).
There is no way to reason forward to 'deduce' a better world without 
experimenting. We learn was is more valuable (better) only by a sort of blind 
effort.

What is 'really' valuable – the good – is inherently, by its very nature, 
incomprehensible. (Kantian insight)
(Incomprehensible because it develops qualitatively; the good keeps getting 
better. Socrates speech in Symposium: Love is never satisfied (closed).

2. The ultimate fate is not 'indeterminate' just locally 'underdetermined' – 
which is tied up with the developmental framework.
Each stage enables the exploration of the next possible stage of betterment.
The 'plan' and the 'intellect' self-referentially and recursively develop. They 
 emerge so that the important problems and questions for each generation are 
new and different yet built on previous advances. Like intellectual history – 
each advance is a sort of convergence and yet it opens new 'types of questions' 
and so is qualitatively emergent.

So the issues facing each generation are always qualitatively different.
The continuity of the narrative – what holds it (each generation and each era) 
together is what Hegel called the 'unfolding of an idea' – and the idea is 
freedom.
Freedom is the ability to bring novel value into the world – to make the world 
better.

Dewey later called this – the construction of the good.'

Terry

On Mar 22, 2012, at 1:23 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op.
cit., 245).


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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-22 Thread Stephen C. Rose
It seems to me that if there is a conflict between nominalism and
realism/idealism which plays out in history that it is important to delve
deeper. Peirce made spiritual or transcendent or musement matters subject
to experiment - human progress had to be real. Where I think I disagree is
in not venturing to say what the ethical values are that are ontological
and that therefore might we seen as an image of where we are meant to go.
The plan is not invariant but the values may be - and the good is not a
value but a description of what happens when these values are enacted. If
as I maintain we do not learn, we already know. The values are not novel.
Nor are they characteristics or virtues. The construction of the good has
always been possible in every generation because the values are ontological
and universal. I think this rises as much from what can be drawn from
Pierce as anything else.



*ShortFormContent at Blogger* http://shortformcontent.blogspot.com/



On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM, Terry Bristol bris...@isepp.org wrote:

 A couple of comments on this passage from Forster and relating to S.
 Rose's response:
 1.  The 'plan' by which the universal intelligence works is not a 'fixed'
 or time(-space)-invariant 'plan'; (cf. likewise in Plato's Timaeus).
 There is no way to reason forward to 'deduce' a better world without
 experimenting. We learn was is more valuable (better) only by a sort of
 blind effort.

 What is 'really' valuable – the good – is inherently, by its very nature,
 incomprehensible. (Kantian insight)
 (Incomprehensible because it develops qualitatively; the good keeps
 getting better. Socrates speech in Symposium: Love is never satisfied
 (closed).

 2. The ultimate fate is not 'indeterminate' just locally 'underdetermined'
 – which is tied up with the developmental framework.
 Each stage enables the exploration of the next possible stage of
 betterment.
 The 'plan' and the 'intellect' self-referentially and recursively develop.
 They  emerge so that the important problems and questions for each
 generation are new and different yet built on previous advances. Like
 intellectual history – each advance is a sort of convergence and yet it
 opens new 'types of questions' and so is qualitatively emergent.

 So the issues facing each generation are always qualitatively different.
 The continuity of the narrative – what holds it (each generation and each
 era) together is what Hegel called the 'unfolding of an idea' – and the
 idea is freedom.
 Freedom is the ability to bring novel value into the world – to make the
 world better.

 Dewey later called this – the construction of the good.'

 Terry

 On Mar 22, 2012, at 1:23 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

 On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
 mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
 transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
 ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
 no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
 Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
 thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
 pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
 self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness (Forster, op.
 cit., 245).


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Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-22 Thread Terry Bristol
Stephen – Your points are well taken. Might we say that we 'know' the eternal 
good by our very nature without being able to articulate it or convince others 
'rationally'. 
I am a little unclear what you mean by 'ethics'  here. I guess I must side with 
Nietzsche and Royce (and Rorty) here and the recent formulation of Essentially 
Contested Concepts (viz coined by pragmatist, W.B. Gallie, 1956; 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentially_contested_concept).

The good and justice are ECCs. Here is an image, a sort of thought experiment: 
If you put a group of republicans on an island they will soon divide into 
republicans and democrats and likewise if you put a group of democrats on an 
island. Each of their (perhaps) complementary themes are successful special 
cases in the emergence of the good. As Connally puts it: enlightened dialogue 
begins with everyone realizes that the each approach is valuable yet incomplete 
– viz when the two sides recognize that the good and justice are ECCs. (Think 
of the Parliamentary Attitude: accepting that folks that don't even seem to 
make sense are still treated as 'the loyal opposition'.)

((Notably – I think – the new physics (qm and relativity) arises from failure 
of the interface of the two most highly successful research programs – 
Newtonian and Maxwellian. The consequence of accepting Bohr's complementarity 
can be characterized as accepting that 'physical reality' is a ECC.))

Think of life and the way forward to a better world as a path. The problem, so 
to speak, is to stay on the winding path. One ideology says when in doubt 
always turn left – the complementary ideology says always turn left. These 
ideologies self-destruct. The path forward, given the ECC nature of the good, 
requires respectful dialogue – the middle-way, which is always somewhat 
experimental. The way forward is always a sort of compromise in the sense of 
accepting that your current understanding of how to move forward is inherently 
incomplete – as are all current understandings. The way forward requires a 
judgment – a creative third; (Cf. Stephen Covey's recent book, The Third 
Alternative. Incidentally I think Covey is one of the best, yet unrecognized 
American Pragmatists. I don't think he sees this either.)
 
The way forward involves the formation of qualitatively novel win-win 
progressive relations (viz. ontology of love?). Since these are emergent there 
is no way to 'logically' reason the way forward.

The way forward then is, as you say Stephen, in some sense always the same and 
yet always different because always novel and open-ended.
Perhaps the way forward, the creative formation of these novel social relations 
(viz 'reasoning' in terms Peirce's 'social principle') – is what Peirce was 
pointing at in his theory of evolutionary love.

Terry

===
On Mar 22, 2012, at 6:16 PM, Stephen C. Rose wrote:

It seems to me that if there is a conflict between nominalism and 
realism/idealism which plays out in history that it is important to delve 
deeper. Peirce made spiritual or transcendent or musement matters subject to 
experiment - human progress had to be real. Where I think I disagree is in not 
venturing to say what the ethical values are that are ontological and that 
therefore might we seen as an image of where we are meant to go. The plan is 
not invariant but the values may be - and the good is not a value but a 
description of what happens when these values are enacted. If as I maintain we 
do not learn, we already know. The values are not novel. Nor are they 
characteristics or virtues. The construction of the good has always been 
possible in every generation because the values are ontological and universal. 
I think this rises as much from what can be drawn from Pierce as anything else.


   
ShortFormContent at Blogger



On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM, Terry Bristol bris...@isepp.org wrote:
A couple of comments on this passage from Forster and relating to S. Rose's 
response:
1.  The 'plan' by which the universal intelligence works is not a 'fixed' or 
time(-space)-invariant 'plan'; (cf. likewise in Plato's Timaeus).
There is no way to reason forward to 'deduce' a better world without 
experimenting. We learn was is more valuable (better) only by a sort of blind 
effort.

What is 'really' valuable – the good – is inherently, by its very nature, 
incomprehensible. (Kantian insight)
(Incomprehensible because it develops qualitatively; the good keeps getting 
better. Socrates speech in Symposium: Love is never satisfied (closed).

2. The ultimate fate is not 'indeterminate' just locally 'underdetermined' – 
which is tied up with the developmental framework.
Each stage enables the exploration of the next possible stage of betterment.
The 'plan' and the 'intellect' self-referentially and recursively develop. They 
 emerge so that the important problems and questions for each generation are 
new and different yet built on 

Re: [peirce-l] Book Review: Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

2012-03-13 Thread Catherine Legg
Michael I just read the book review from Nathan Houser you shared - it is
lucidly written over 6 pages and gives a commanding overview of Peirce's
realism. I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for posting it.

Cathy

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM, Michael DeLaurentis
michael...@comcast.netwrote:

 If there has already been a post about this, my apologies. Book review
 just in on CSP and nominalism. 

 ** **

 Michael J DeLaurentis

 ** **

  

 ** **

 ** **

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