• jgill
    1.5k
    ↪jgill By computation do you mean reasoning?

    Yes, I do mean that in a certain sense too. Do you suggest it is an example of reason and no computation?
    kudos

    In doing math research, one frequently uses previous results (theorems or axioms) to verify steps in logical arguments. And sometimes actual numerical computation is required as well. But it may be that your definition of computation means use of a computer in a larger sense than merely number crunching. Euclid's theorem you presented is a logical argument with no computation I can discern.
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    If one is not careful in reading Hegel he will simply get an interpretation of philosophy that is not less than schizophrenic
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    Phenomenology compounds the Cartesian error by building up the barrier made between mind and world. Semiotics instead breaks it down as epistemology is made ontology. A commonality of rational structure is claimed, and can also be tested as a model of reality.

    And I’m not seeing how phenomenology contributes any interesting comment on this particular OP or the general application of reasoning.
  • kudos
    166
    Phew is it just me or is there a great deal of anti-Hegel sentiment here! What gives? It’s like going to a physics forum and finding out that everyone hates Isaac Newton.
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    I love Hegel. I've read all his published books (except philosophy of right). You just have to be careful because he is easy to abuse
  • kudos
    166
    fair enough. To be clear, I’m not using the word ‘concept’ in that sense but with a somewhat different meaning. If that maybe gave you the idea I was attempting to butcher Hegel I’m sorry.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Phenomenology compounds the Cartesian error by building up the barrier made between mind and world.apokrisis

    I’ve hear quite a lot of readings of phenomenology, but claiming that phenomenology builds up a barrier between mind and word is about as far removed from Husserl
    as one can get. All I can figure is that you’re succumbing to a common tendency to misrepresent phenomenology as introspection, attending to the inner. No wonder you think it has nothing to offer the understanding of the application of reasoning.
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    No wonder you think it has nothing to offer the understanding of the application of reasoning.Joshs

    I'm thinking that because you are failing to show how it has. You are welcome to start showing any time soon.
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    Phenomenology has been developing since Kant. I don't think Peirce is so different from all those continental thinkers anyway
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    I don't think Peirce is so different from all those continental thinkers anywayGregory

    You could say the departure point was similar to Kant and Hegel. But he saw that the obvious project was to fix their shaky conceptions of logic and so cement what could even be meant by ontological structuralism, or the systems/process philosophy view.

    Phenomenology has been developing since Kant.Gregory

    You mean it has become increasingly inured to the failures of its early ambitions? :smile:
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    Phenomenology is about the unbreakable connection between the self and the world as long as we are alive. Peirce agrees with this. Kant, Reinhold, Fitche, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and yes Peirce provide variations on this theme. It doesn't seem right to be too dogmatic about the minor details
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    There’s a good essay here on how the detail matters….

    Is Peirce a Phenomenologist? - https://arisbe.sitehost.iu.edu/menu/library/aboutcsp/ransdell/PHENOM.HTM

    Note the Cartesian roots of phenomenology and its steady retreat into the primacy of subjectivity. Peirce argued for the irreducible triadicity of a semiotic modelling relation and an expansion of that from a statement about epistemology to a story of ontic and cosmic generality.
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    I vote that Peirce's works be permanently purged of odd words and replaced with human language
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    LOL. Continental philosophy campaign for ordinary language and commonsense thinking. Perhaps it could start closer to home. :up:
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    Yes. I was rereading Hegel and Heidegger today and I'm really annoyed when philosophers hide ideas behind pretention. I try to find the true meaning behind the bullshit
  • kudos
    166
    Philosophers do have sort of prerogative to elucidate essential meanings from a language that has been deformed by convenience.
  • schopenhauer1
    6k
    Peirce argued for the irreducible triadicity of a semiotic modelling relation and an expansion of that from a statement about epistemology to a story of ontic and cosmic generality.apokrisis

    The problem is the Cartesian monistic subject = the Peircean triadic model. If it's equivalent functionally, what does it matter? One calls it a hydrogen atom, another protons/neutrons/electrons, and another two up quarks and a down quark, two down quarks and an up quark, gluon particles, and an electron.

    Perhaps we are talking about cause.. but is that ontology? Ontologically, the mind is being what the mind is being. Or in a process approach.. The process is being what the process is being. But, you see, whether being, process, or whatever, there is a "there" going on "there". and that "there" is the thing that is highlighted not just the observable phenomena related to "there".
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    The problem is the Cartesian monistic subject = the Peircean triadic model. If it's equivalent functionally, what does it matter?schopenhauer1

    The three choices are the monisms of materialism and idealism, the Cartesian dualism of two varieties of substantial being,, and then the trichotomies of any holistic or systems causality.

    So there is no equivalency. Reductionism ain’t holism.
  • Joshs
    2k
    The three choices are the monisms of materialism and idealism, the Cartesian dualism of two varieties of substantial being,, and then the trichotomies of any holistic or systems causality.apokrisis

    No, there are four choices. The 4th is interactionism, which doesn’t begin, like Pierce , with a ‘firstness’ consisting of an intrinsic in-itself content. Such a concept, contrary to Pierce’s claim, is not an entity feee of suppositions but a construct depending on a very old notion of substance. This is a variant of empiricism , and suffers from the limitation of any empiricism, that which it has in common with idealisms of various stripes.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Is a Phenomenologist? - https://arisbe.sitehost.iu.edu/menu/library/aboutcsp/ransdell/PHENOM.HTM

    Note the Cartesian roots of phenomenology and its steady retreat into the primacy of subjectivity. Peirce argued for the irreducible triadicity of a semiotic modelling relation and an expansion of that from a statement about epistemology to a story of ontic and cosmic generality.
    apokrisis

    Yes, let’s note that more closely:

    “ it might be more misleading than helpful to do so [consider Peirce a phenomenologist] is encouraged by Husserl's intellectual affinity with the Cartesian philosophy, which is evident not only from his explicit self-identification with that tradition and his characterization of phenomenological method as starting from a Cartesian methodic doubt process, but also from his insistence on the necessity of finding or establishing absolutes of one sort and another: absolute starting points, absolute foundations, absolute clarity, absolute indubitability, absolute certainty, absolute givenness, absolute data, absolute immanence, absolute self-evidence, and so on.“

    It sounds to me like this author is relying on superficial summaries from secondary sources. Only in the most general way did Husserl borrow from Descartes .In all specifics phenomenology isvastly different from the Cartesian project. Rather than focusing on the word ‘absolute’, the author should describe what this starting point is for Husserl, an irreducible interaction between subjective and objective poles of experience. This means there is reified self. But neither are there intrinsic qualia ( first ness) of experience. This is what the reduction shows us, but Pierce rejects
    the reduction. According to your author:



    what "phenomenology" primarily meant to him was the idea that the objects of phenomenological study as such are not studied with any implicit or explicit assumptions, presuppositions, or assertions as to their reality status, which made it possible to develop semiotic or logic (in the broad sense) in a way that presupposes no metaphysical framework, and therefore involves no a priori assumptions about, say, the mental or physical status of the phenomenal entities.

    But by founding experience in intrinsic firstness Pwirce begins with a major presupposition , that objects of perception are self-present entities. He need to reduce
    this naturalistic idea in order to see that it is an idealization deriving from
    continually changing senses of experience that become constituted i to a single ‘this’.

    “The power we have of "creating meanings" is not creational in that sense but only in the more modest sense in which we have the power of creating houses out of wood or pots out of clay: we take words--and, of course, other signs or representations--and put them together, i.e. arrange and rearrange them, just as we do other materials, and if we are good at this then of course we create unique artifacts, but there is no creation ex nihilo here. Given the frequent talk by phenomenologists about "constituting meanings" and the like, it seems important to stress here that one will find nothing like that in the Peircean philosophy. (This has important implications for the way in which intentionality is treated by Peirce, about which I will say only that it is not a topic of the first importance in his thought because he regards it as a conception to be explicated by more fundamental conceptions rather than as itself a fundamental explicating conception.)”

    Peirce maintains a notion of objects of experience as independent of the subject who does the experiencing. His focus on the social might at first appear to be compatiblewith Wittgenstein’s notion of language, but Pierce doesn’t seem to see the intrinsic role of subjective and intersubjective context in the experience in perceiving and in language.
  • Joshs
    2k


    You may find the following from enactivist Evan Thompson from his latest book, Mind in Life, useful:

    READERS FAMILIAR WITH MY EARLIER BOOK, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Varela, Thompson, and Rosch 1991), might be surprised by the importance I give to Husserlian phe-nomenology here, given the cridcal attitude toward Husserl that book expressed. What accounts for this change of atdtude? The purpose of this Appendix is to clarify this matter.

    In The Embodied Mind, we asserted (i) that Husserl was a method-ological solipsist (p. 16); (ii) that his theory ignored "both the consen-sual aspect and the direct embodied aspect of experience" (p. 17); (iii) that his theory of intentionality was a representational theory (p. 68); (iv) that his theory' of the life-world was reductionistic and representa-tionalist (that he tried to analyze the life-world "into a more funda-mental set of constituents" (p. 117) consisting of beliefs understood as mental representations (p. 18)); and (v) that his phenomenology was a purely abstract, theoretical project lacking a pragmatic dimension (pp. 19,117). We concluded that the Husserlian project was a "failure" (p. 19) and even wrote about the "breakdown of phenomenology" more generally (p. 19). This assessment then motivated our turn to the tradition of Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness-awareness medita-tion as a more promising phenomenological partner for cognitive sci-ence.

    As Chapter 2 indicates, however, I no longer subscribe to this assess-ment of Husserlian phenomenology. Our earlier interpretation of Husserl was mistaken. Husserlian phenomenology has far more resources than we realized for productive cross-fertilization with both the sciences of mind (Petitot et al. 1999; Varela 1996) and Buddhist thought (Thompson 2005; Varela 2000b; Varela and Depraz 2003). In particular, I now believe (i) that Husserl was not a methodological solipsist; (ii) that he was greatly concerned with the intersubjective and embodied aspects of experience; (iii) diat his theory of intentionality was not a representational theory; and (iv) that his theory of the life-world was not reductionistic and representationalist. Furthermore, al-though I think phenomenology has tended to overemphasize theoret-ical discussion in the form of textual interpretation (to the neglect of phenomenological pragmatics as well as original phenomenological analyses and philosophical argumentation), I think it is too facile to say simply that phenomenology is a purely abstract, theoretical project lacking a pragmatic dimension. It follows that I would now not charac-terize Husserlian phenomenology as a "failure." Nor would I assert that phenomenology suffered a "breakdown" owing to its neglect of phenomenological pragmatics.

    My viewpoint has changed for two reasons. The first is that when Varela and I were writing The Embodied Mind (during 1986-1989; Eleanor Rosen joined the project near the end of 1989) our knowl-edge of Husserl was limited. We were familiar with the main published works in English translation (Logical Investigations, Ideas I, Cartesian Meditations, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenome-nology) but had not studied them carefully enough, and we did not know about Husserl's writings on passive synthesis (then untranslated) and intersubjectivity (still untranslated). We were both more familiar with Heidegger and were influenced by his (largely uncharitable) reading of Husserl. We also had little knowledge of other phenomeno-logical thinkers who were deeply influenced by Husserl (Merleau-Ponty excepted), and we had studied only a litde of the secondary lit-erature on Husserl.

    The second reason is that we accepted Hubert Dreyfus's (1982) in-fluential interpretation of Husserl as a representationalist and pro-tocognitivist philosopher, as well as his Heideggerian critique of Husserl thus interpreted. Dreyfus has been a pioneer in bringing the phenomenological tradition into the heardand of the cognitive sci-ences through his important critique of artificial intelligence (Dreyfus 1972, 1992) and his groundbreaking studies on skillful knowledge and action (Dreyfus 2002; Dreyfus and Dreyfus 1986). Yet his work is also marked by a peculiar interpretation of Husserl. Dreyfus presents Husserl's phenomenology as a form of representationalism that antici-pates cognitivist and computational theories of mind. He then re-hearses Heidegger's criticisms of Husserl thus understood and deploys them against cognitivism and artificial intelligence. Dreyfus reads Husserl largely through a combination of Heidegger's interpretation and a particular analytic (Fregean) reconstruction of one aspect of Husserl's thought—Husserl's notion of the noema. Thus the Husserl Dreyfus presents to cognitive science and analytic philosophy of mind is a problematic interpretive construct and should not be taken at face value.”
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    According to your author:Joshs

    Ok. Philosophy professor and president of the CS Peirce Society vs some random angry dude on the internet. Gee, it’s tough to decide who to give greater credence to.

    Peirce maintains a notion of objects of experience as independent of the subject who does the experiencing.Joshs

    I don’t believe so. I agree it would be problematic if Firstness were understood as bare qualia. But the whole point of his triadic systems approach is that it is an irreducibly complex scheme. So firstness becomes so from the point of view of it being embedded within secondness and thirdness.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Philosophy professor and president of the CS Peirce Society vs some random angry dude on the internet. Gee, it’s tough to decide who to give greater credence to.apokrisis

    I don’t mean to come across as angry. I’m not angry, I’m enthralled with ideas and use every opportunity to discuss them. I chose to debate with you because I admire your knowledge of physics and logic. Your author may be a Pierce scholar but he is not a Husserl
    scholar. I have published articles on phenomenology in journals like the Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology, so yes, I think I’m more of an authority on Husserl than he is. I also collaborated with Gene Gendlin, one of the central figures in American phenomenology. But I don’t think credentials are the issue here. We should stick with the arguments.

    https://independent.academia.edu/JoshSoffer?from_navbar=true
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    That’s amusing. And I can easily believe Husserl had a sophisticated take which his followers assimilated to their more conventional prejudices.

    But you seem to want to make this some kind of war between the glory of phenomenology and the glory of Peirce. That is also amusing, and while I can play that game, I hardly take it seriously.

    I have no beef with phenomenology. I just see it as a quasi psychological enterprise that adds little to the psychological science I already know. I was doing embodied ennactivism before it suddenly became a thing.

    Encountering Peirce was utterly different. It had such a crystallising effect on the circle of systems theorists and theoretical biologists I was part of that they all suddenly started calling themselves biosemioticians. Peirce is the only one to really get to the heart of things with his focus on the science of symbols and codes. His philosophy was causal and not merely descriptive.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Let me ask you this. Do you think affectivity , which has become a major topic in psychology these days, plays an important role in the understanding of logic and rationality, and doe Perice accord an important place for it in his model?
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    so yes, I think I’m more of an authority on Husserl than he is. But I don’t think credentials are the issue here. We should stick with the arguments.Joshs

    Credentials become an issue to the degree we make arguments from authority rather than actual arguments. But I’m glad you could cite someone as good as Evan Thompson. It shows you do have something to back up your statements.

    Again I find it weird how the social history of all this goes. In the 1980s, Varela and his autopoiesis was always off to the side of biological systems thinking in being both boldly correct yet missing the essential semiotic chunk that completes its story. So it was funny to always be looking across the water over several decades, seeing that enactive camp develop momentum in psychology, while I had gone from psychology to biology in pursuit of the fuller perspective available there.

    Even biosemiotics was fractured into two major camps, one that got completely the wrong end of the stick. :razz:

    So what I am saying is that human discourse always divides itself into camps - leaders with followers. You have to have fun with that while also seeing what they generally hold in common, while picking out the critical mistakes holding them back.
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    Do you think affectivity , which has become a major topic in psychology these days, plays an important role in the understanding of logic and rationality, and doe Perice accord an important place for it in his model?Joshs

    I think the term affect is already pointing up completely wrong paths. An affect would be instead a habit of interpretance in a Peircean scheme.

    Cartesian representationalism is in error as it leads to the cogsci model of the brain as a system that turns sensory inputs into cognitive outputs - some kind of neural data display … witnessed by some kind of homuncular regress. The central problem of dualism is built in.

    A Peircean semiotic approach fits the Bayesian Brain/embodied cognition story that reverses this to say the brain instead outputs states of expectation that attempt to predict its sensory inputs … so that it can ignore them. Consciousness is based on this negative exercise of doing your best not to have to feel, think, attend or otherwise react in a way that would disrupt the persistent collection of habits which constitutes the self.

    So that is rather Buddhist - thinking of Evan Thompson here. By being able to suppress affect in a general pragmatic way - treat the world as already comprehended and unremarkable - we then make it possible to have actually meaningful responses to whatever could count as some actual shock to this self our habits of interpretance constitute.

    Encountering the unpredicted, our brains go aha! They have to stop for a split second of confused disorientation and do the attentional work that brings the world back into frame. We re-establish a new state of interpretance that updates our large collection of world-ignoring automaticisms.

    So you can see why talk of affect is already signposting a wrong direction for me, and for a Peircean approach too. Consciousness is not built on the successful representation of phenomena but a generalised suppression of the need to react in anyway that is not already fully involuntary and automatic.

    Sure, that is then followed by the intense affect of being disoriented and then doing work to reorientate. But the demand of introspection - to be that kind of self that is aware of all its qualitative and affective contents - gets the cognitive neurobiology entirely wrong. The first rule is to predict the world so well that it has nothing at all to teach you. So there is an anticonsciousness that results in the thing of an experiencing ego lost in its own little semiotic umwelt or private habits of interpretation.
  • schopenhauer1
    6k
    umwelt or private habits of interpretation.apokrisis

    Doesn’t this become constructivist woo just as wooey as any Cartesian subject?
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    A snappier summary is that Peirce nicely reflects where the science of psychology was getting started with Helmholtz, Wundt, Donders and others who understood the mind as a collection of habits or reflexes. That was the big contribution science made - and got immediately forgotten as cognitive Cartesianism came rushing in with its mind-body atavistic tendencies.

    So a psychology of habits is all about a deep buried structure of rationality that develops in a considered way over a long durations and many situations.

    And affect, or the fleeting minor updates of disorientation and reorientation that indeed highlight a momentary disconnect between self and world, is thus something fairly epiphenomenal rather than central. The rational structure is the ground. The affect arises to the degree we just fell out of our pragmatic state of automaticism - the feeling of being mindlessly in the flow.

    As I keep emphasising, there is this background Cartesianism that is a cultural dichotomy that folk want to play out in the serious science too. The enlightenment produced its own social reaction of romanticism. This rocks on into even modern philosophy as rationalist AP vs woke and feels touchy Continentalism.

    All good fun. So long as we realise that Peircean rational structure is the correct answer in the end. Romanticism can’t be taken seriously as it is atavistic dualism.
  • apokrisis
    5.4k
    Doesn’t this become constructivist woo just as wooey as any Cartesian subject?schopenhauer1

    What are you talking about? Constructivism is just the standard social science position. It’s well founded in theory and evidence.
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