• Mapping the Medium
    204
    Well, apparently my post in the Lounge was removed. I will try posting the written version in a new thread.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.1k

    Yes, I am glad to meet you on this site. I see that you have started a few conversations.I decided to dive in and write one on Freud.

    The only thing is that this forum can be a bit addictive. I nearly missed getting off the bus because I was busy writing on my phone...

    I will try to look up Searle's ideas. But I miss libraries so much as in England they have been shut since March. The Universities have reopened but not the libraries and if they never reopen I do fear the impact on philosophy if physical books become buried fossils of the past.
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    I think what the challenge is here is in trying to converse more generally in a forum very saturated with nominalists who only want to converse in particulars.Mapping the Medium
    Cathy
    I must have missed this topic 10 months ago. I'm sorry you have been getting the "religious nut" treatment on the forum. I think you are correct about the predominance of Nominalists, who may also be Materialists and Atomists. But in order to converse with them, you will need to try to speak their language, which may not include much Piercean metaphysics.

    Although I have no formal philosophical or scientific training, my mature thinking is more grounded in Pragmatic (William James) Materialism, as opposed to the Spiritualism of my youth. That may be why my attempts to read Pierce, and to follow your threads, tend to bog-down. Many of the words used are not in my vernacular vocabulary. For example, his "Synechism" (continuous) seems to be close to my understanding of Holism --- as originally defined by Jan Smuts in terms of Evolution, not as loosely used by New Agers. So, even though most posters are not interested enough to read voluminous links, It's OK to link to "expert" definitions as an extension of your personal opinions. But your key point must be made in the current post.

    Another loaded word that gets gored in this forum is Consciousness, especially "Universal Consciousness" and "Panpsychism". That's one reason I try to avoid those latter terms. Instead of implying that every atom in the world has a human-like perspective, I say that serious scientists are coming to the conclusion that mundane Information is universal. And Consciousness is a later emergent development in the evolution of fundamental Information.

    Personally, I am not so sure that human-like Consciousness is universal. But since planet Earth is over-populated with inter-communicating conscious creatures, some have speculated on the emergence of a Global Mind. It's a neat idea, but I don't know how to communicate with such a being. Plus, taking into consideration the chaos of the constituents, the whole system (Gaia?) might be half-crazy. :nerd:


    The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” ___ Socrates?

    Holism : https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_holism.html

    Ubiquitous Information vs Universal Consciousness : http://www.bothandblog.enformationism.info/page13.html
    Note : a non-expert opinion

    Is Information Fundamental? : https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/is-information-fundamental/
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I'm sorry you have been getting the "religious nut" treatment on the forum.Gnomon

    Well, history is filled with people who when they don't understand something automatically jump to thinking that it must have something to do with the 'supernatural'.

    I think you are correct about the predominance of Nominalists, who may also be Materialists and Atomists. But in order to converse with them, you will need to try to speak their language, which may not include much Piercean metaphysics.Gnomon

    Yes, this is the disappointing aspect of trying to have conversations here. It is common for nominalists to not realize that they are just as dogmatic in their perspectives as 'spiritualists'. Peirce (P-e-i-r-c-e, pronounced 'purse') is by all means not the 'whole ball of wax' for me. That's an important aspect of the expanding nature of the continuity that he termed 'synechism'. For me, there are several other thinkers that branch out the understanding into biology, physics, aesthetics, language, psychology, thought, and philosophical dual-aspect monism. There is a list of thinkers on my profile that I also draw from for my writing and teaching. What attracts me to Peirce is that he was a brilliant logician, and when one takes the time to learn some of the details of his logic, it is very helpful in understanding these ideas.....

    SYNECHISM is the name, from the Greek synechismos, syneches (continuous), Charles Peirce gave to a set of related ideas:

    (1) "the doctrine that all that exists is continuous" (CP 1.172);
    (2) the rejection of atomism and the existence of ultimate elements;
    (3) the view that continuity of being is a condition for communication (CP 7.572);
    (4) the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect (CP 7.569);
    (5) the view that "all phenomena are of one character" consisting of a mixture of freedom and constraint that tends in a teleological manner to increase the reasonableness in the universe (CP 7.570);
    (6) the view that consciousness has a bodily and social dimension, the latter originating outside the individual self (7.575);
    (7) "the doctrine . . . that elements of Thirdness cannot entirely be escaped" (CP7.653);
    (8) a theoretical synthesis of pragmatism and tychism (the doctrine that chance events occur);
    (9) the fallibilist view that our scientific facts are continually subject to revision;
    (10) "a purely scientific philosophy [that] may play a part in the onement of religion and Science" (CP 7.578).

    It's OK to link to "expert" definitions as an extension of your personal opinions. But your key point must be made in the current post.Gnomon

    The key point is that in severing the continuity, it breaks the relational aspects.

    I am not here to preach ideas, promote anything, or even 'win' debates. I need the perspectives of others to help me grow in my understanding so that I may become a better writer and teacher. Nominalism is what ails our world, and talking with nominalists helps me learn how to help them broaden their perspectives.

    I do think my other post (Thirdness, Induction, Top Down and Bottom Up, .. and symbols) answers most of the questions posed to me on this one, but I can't help the fact that many here have no interest in reading it. It is certainly much shorter than an opening debate in Congress. ;-) Ha!

    A couple of things mentioned by others in this thread that I would like to respond to are these, but they have to be responded to in a synechistic context...

    1) Peirce DID NOT believe in the existence of God. However, Peirce did believe that God (as in Thirdness, Logos) is 'real'.

    2) Agapasm IS NOT the same as agape-ism.


    serious scientists are coming to the conclusion that mundane Information is universalGnomon

    Ah.... 'universal' to whom? ;-)
    taking into consideration the chaos of the constituents, the whole system (Gaia?) might be half-crazyGnomon

    Lol .... You and I are on the same page regarding that, for sure!
    It's exactly why I have taken on writing about the tragic effects of nominalism.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    303

    please point me to your post in "the Lounge". I do not know how to find that.

    thanks, and doing well in the WFH model and avoiding indoor crowds, etc. be well.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204


    I have several new posts, but here is the only recent post I have in 'the Lounge".
    Lounge post

    I'm always glad to hear that others are doing well in these difficult times. :)
  • Mapping the Medium
    204


    I just realized that this is the post you may have been referring to. It ended up not being in the Lounge. ..

    Thirdness, Induction, Top Down and Bottom Up, ... and symbols
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    303

    yes, Nominalism was off topic. the 3rdness is very long, but I'll scan it over for anything that catches my eye/mind.

    thx.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I'm sorry you have been getting the "religious nut" treatment on the forum. I think you are correct about the predominance of Nominalists, who may also be Materialists and Atomists. But in order to converse with them, you will need to try to speak their language,Gnomon

    Being on this forum, and trying to converse with "the predominance of Nominalists, who may also be Materialists and Atomists" would be very helpful for me to try and learn from their perspectives, and hopefully add to making me a better writer and teacher. However, after several attempts of trying to get into deeper discussions of emergence and continuity, and being shut down or having my posts deleted for not being brief enough or not parsing out statements for nominalistic analyzation, there's no reason for me to stay here. It seems that those are the only perspectives that this forum exists for, and just as nominalism does so well in its divisiveness, I am severed away from really being able to participate.

    I am in total agreement with Peirce when he said.....

    "If the captain of a vessel on a lee shore in a terrific storm finds himself in a critical position in which he must instantly either put his wheel to port acting on one hypothesis, or put his wheel to starboard acting on another hypothesis, and his vessel will infallibly be dashed to pieces if he decides the question wrongly, Ockham's razor is not worth the stout of any common seaman. For stout belief may happen to save the ship, while Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem would be only a stupid way of spelling Shipwreck. Now in matters of real practical concern, we are all in something like the situation of that sea captain."

    I just have more effective things to do with my time than to go nowhere in nonsensical back and forths with nominalists.

    See you around, Gnomon! I'm sure we'll bump into each other again somewhere. :wink:
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.7k


    As someone with nominalist inclinations, I still find this charming, right down to the note of pragmatism:

    My taste is for keeping open house for all sorts of conditions of entities, just so long as when they come in they help with the housework. Provided that I can see them work, and provided that they are not detected in illicit logical behaviour (within which I do not include a certain degree of indeterminacy, not even of numerical indeterminacy), I do not find them queer or mysterious at all…. To fangle a new ontological Marxism, they work therefore they exist, even though only some, perhaps those who come on the recommendation of some form of transcendental argument, may qualify for the specially favoured status of entia realissima. To exclude honest working entities seems to me like metaphysical snobbery, a reluctance to be seen in the company of any but the best objects.Paul Grice

    Not everyone who reads this site posts, or even if they do, they don't participate in every conversation. Thus one of the points of posting is to explain to lurkers the alternative you offer. An excellent model for this is @Andrew M, who has been patiently, succinctly, and graciously explaining his worldview to the rest of us for years. Search up any of his posts explaining hylomorphism and you'll find a model for how to be on this forum among people who either disagree with you or, more often, don't even know about or understand the alternative on offer.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    Thank you for your kind response. For me it's a matter of time. I have other discussion outlets that won't require years. Besides, there are already many excellent shoulders to stand on in history who have already devoted those years. The research and writing is out there for any inquiring mind. I am only picking up the baton.

    right down to the note of pragmatismSrap Tasmaner

    There is Peirce's pragmaticism, and then there is what was 'parsed out' from it by William James and perverted into nominalistic pragmatism. The difference is precisely why I shouldn't stay here.

    Thanks again for conversing. :)
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    Is it just me or are Peirce fans rather a cultish bunch? I have yet to meet anyone with a moderate and critical interest in Peirce. It seems like anyone who talks about Peirce more than in passing is almost religiously devoted to him.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    is almost religiously devoted to him.SophistiCat

    That's so ironic.... That's precisely how I feel about nominalists.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    moderate and critical interestSophistiCat

    I think I would be remiss if I also didn't point out that nominalism and Cartesianism were born out of the Catholics wanting to justify God's Will, and then the Humanists taking the 'man being formed in God's image' view to justify the Will of man, and the "I think therefore I am" close-minded mirror perspective, ultimately elevating man to a self-centered, exceptionalist status, and subsequently causing some of the daunting challenges we face today.

    Peirce's logic is not born out of any religious dogma. That's the whole point, and possibly why you run across some 'differentness' in those who have actually taken the time to understand it. It's extremely freeing to be rid of the religious monkey that dogmatic perspectives carry, whether they be religious or nominalist.
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    That's so ironic.... That's precisely how I feel about nominalists.Mapping the Medium

    Ooh, burn!

    Just curious, what does "nominalist" even mean to you? You don't seem to use it in its usual meaning, but more like "motherfucker."
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    You don't seem to use it in its usual meaning, but more like "motherfucker."SophistiCat

    Not at all. Although, that's not a word that I would ever use, I would think that a 'm-fer' is informed enough to be intentionally destructive. On the contrary, I think that our culture is so immersed in nominalism that most people don't even realize how their perspective negatively affects others and our biosphere.
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    Just curious, what does "nominalist" even mean to you? You don't seem to use it in its usual meaning, but more like "CENSORED."SophistiCat
    The founders of modern materialistic Science deliberately limited their investigations to Specific and Reductive elements of reality. In doing so, they abandoned Universals and Wholes to "feckless" philosophers, who deign to dabble in Metaphysics (First Philosophy). From the nominalist perspective, the human Mind is just a name for brain-work. And that's OK, if you are studying Physiology, but not if you study Psychology or Ontology.

    So a "nominalist philosopher" seems to be a misnomer, doing non-empirical word-processing instead of Hard Science. They appear to be motivated by "physics envy" in their search for particular Knowledge instead of universal Wisdom. They speak of Time & Space as-if they are real things, instead of just names for general concepts. :cool:


    Nominalism : the doctrine that universals or general ideas are mere names without any corresponding reality, and that only particular objects exist; properties, numbers, and sets are thought of as merely features of the way of considering the things that exist. Important in medieval scholastic thought, nominalism is associated particularly with William of Occam.

    Metaphysics :
    1. the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
    2.abstract theory with no basis in reality.
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    As someone with nominalist inclinations, I still find this charming, right down to the note of pragmatism:Srap Tasmaner

    Yes, this sounds like where I am at as far as ontology is concerned, though I could never put it as gracefully as Grice does here. I'll have to dig up this paper.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I would like to point out that I do not think of Peirce's perspective as the 'end all be all' explanation of everything. He even spoke of future readers of his work examining and building upon it. Again, that is the whole point (if you understand Peirce).

    I look to Peirce for logic. He was a brilliant logician. Many people have a difficult time following 'logic' as a discipline, and that's ok. But the point is that people really shouldn't jump to conclusions about things they don't understand.

    I look to many other highly skilled, highly admired thinkers for other angles of perception on Being and Reality. Along with Peirce, I think it's extremely important to examine any worthwhile topic from different angles (as long as they are not immersed in nominalism or religion). Emergence, chance, and continuity certainly demand that we do that.

    2.abstract theory with no basis in reality.Gnomon

    I personally think this is the biggest misunderstanding about Peirce's logic. For Peirce, there is a very big difference between what exists and what is real. I also think this is a chasm between Peirce and Philosophy of Mind. This is why I tried to broach the subject of Thirdness, cognitive archetypal forms, Induction, Abduction, and Deduction on this forum, but even though the thread was active and had a real conversation going, it has been deleted. I received a message that I had a comment to reply to there, but when I went to read it I found that the whole thread no longer exists.

    Perhaps another person who also understands these features of logic will have more time to devote to this forum than I do.
  • Andrew M
    1.3k
    As someone with nominalist inclinations, I still find this charming, right down to the note of pragmatism:Srap Tasmaner

    Thanks for the shoutout. And a great Grice quote.

    Along Grice's lines, a value of the forum is that one gets to try out one's tools on a variety of interesting problems and either improve them further, or learn about other tools that might do a better job.

    The trick is to be actually using the tools to do the work (and, one hopes, making progress on the problems), and not just admiring them as they sit all shiny and untouched on the shelf.
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    For Peirce, there is a very big difference between what exists and what is real.Mapping the Medium

    amen to that. It's one of the principles I've been sporadically arguing for since Day One of my participation on forums. My main argument for it, is that intelligible objects (such as mathematical proofs), are real, but not existent; that their existence is purely intelligible, but they're real, albeit in a different way to material existents. It's an argument found in Augustine and is at odds with both materialism and nominalism.

    I'm reading from a book called Pierce and the Threat of Nominalism. Not far into it yet, but the introduction contains a succinct summary of what 'nominalism' comprises, and why it's a false doctrine.

    I just found your thread on Gillespie's book, Theological Origins of Modernity. Agree that it's an important and under-rated book.

    I don't know why your threads would have been deleted, it seems a shame they were.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.7k


    Absolutely, and I want to say your use of "shiny" is not coincidental.

    Let's call a concept (method, habit, algorithm, whatever) robust if it is improved by use, and a concept (etc.) brittle if it breaks when you try to use it. In between would be concepts that are "okay", adequate within a quite limited domain perhaps, but not leading past themselves much.

    Considering the material to use a tool on, or its field of application, I find myself reminded of Wittgenstein's remark about ice: because conditions are, in one sense, "perfect", no progress is possible -- back to the rough ground!

    Now imagine a hiking boot with a glass sole: you can "demonstrate" how remarkable it is by sending the unoccupied boot all the way across the frozen pond with one push. This is one way of doing philosophy.

    That's a demonstration of something, but not of something anyone really needs. Back to the rough ground, and to tools that will improve with use on rough ground, and that means no glass-soled boots.
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    For Peirce, there is a very big difference between what exists and what is real.Mapping the Medium
    Can you elaborate? I'm not very familiar with Pierce's writing. What little I've tried to read is way over my head. But I too, make a distinction between "what exists" and "what is physically real". For example, mental Abstractions are a prominent component of human experience, even though they have no physical instances. In what sense do they exist? :smile:
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    Can you elaborate?Gnomon

    Not fair, Gnomon. ;-) You know I am trying to bow out.

    In what sense do they exist? :smile:Gnomon

    Don't you actually mean "In what sense are they real?

    We abstract information provided in our surrounding medium by signs that we interpret. Triadic sign systems flow throughout the existence of all life forms, even within our bodies as genetic and epigenetic coding and decoding. This is in essence 'biological dialogue'. Does it exist? As in can you touch it? Can you measure it? No. ..... But isn't it real? Absolutely.

    Peirce focused on laws and habits regarding the difference between what exists and what is real. Laws of nature. Laws of mathematics. Laws of physics. Laws of logic. ....etc..

    The term 'Synechism' is what Charles Peirce gave to a set of related ideas:

    (1) "the doctrine that all that exists is continuous" (CP 1.172);
    (2) the rejection of atomism and the existence of ultimate elements;
    (3) the view that continuity of being is a condition for communication (CP 7.572);
    (4) the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect (CP 7.569);
    (5) the view that "all phenomena are of one character" consisting of a mixture of freedom and constraint that tends in a teleological manner to increase the reasonableness in the universe (CP 7.570);
    (6) the view that consciousness has a bodily and social dimension, the latter originating outside the individual self (7.575);
    (7) "the doctrine . . . that elements of Thirdness cannot entirely be escaped" (CP7.653);
    (8) a theoretical synthesis of pragmatism and tychism (the doctrine that chance events occur);
    (9) the fallibilist view that our scientific facts are continually subject to revision;
    (10) "a purely scientific philosophy [that] may play a part in the onement of religion and Science" (CP 7.578).

    Even though I fully understand each of the above.... For me, I also interpreted #4 to be akin to Heraclitus's Unity of Opposites. Think of Herclitus's example of the bow or the lyre. The tension that exists in the opposing forces. It is that tension that is inherent in all of life, and it is what causes life to strive against entropy. Life ceases in stagnation. Opposing forces exist as a law that encourages life to strive. Also, an individual identity is dependent on others and differences. We only understand 'self' in relation to that which is 'not self'.

    Peirce found in his work on these fascinating results of logic (akin to Heraclitus's 'Logos') that the 'whole' of life is striving 'towards', and when following the logic step by step, it really is a fascinating journey.

    mental Abstractions are a prominent component of human experienceGnomon

    Abstraction is only one step in the process. Alfred Korzybski focused on abstraction, but without understanding the steps that lead up to abstraction, and also what follows, the idea of abstraction can fall into bed with nominalism. We mustn't 'parse out' abstraction.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I'm reading from a book called Pierce and the Threat of Nominalism.Wayfarer

    I am very familiar with that book. :smile: Some of the reviews say that Forster's position and argument are lacking, but I suggest that you keep in mind while you are reading it that more and more of Peirce's work has been examined and become better understood even in the last decade. That, and the fact that nominalists are always going to pounce on any book expressing how their view is a 'threat'.

    Yes, Peirce was a fierce 'anti-nominalist', and after decades of research and study, I am right there with him. :brow:
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    thanks. Your work is interesting. :clap:
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    thanks.Wayfarer

    I should be thanking you. My subject matter is not exactly mainstream. When I happen to come across someone I can converse with about it, I just can't help but smile. :grin:
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    Not fair, Gnomon. ;-) You know I am trying to bow out.Mapping the Medium
    Sorry to interrupt your exit. Maybe, like a stage performer, you can take a second and third bow. :joke:

    Don't you actually mean "In what sense are they real?Mapping the Medium
    OK. I'll bite. In what sense are mental Abstractions "real", as opposed to "existent"? I suppose that Pierce intended to reconcile Realism & Idealism in his philosophy. But his explications are so complex and technical, that I get lost in a labyrinth of enigmas. Maybe you can 'splain it to me.

    In my attempt at a common-sense answer to that query, I simply point-out that our meta-physical ideas are as much a part of our "reality" (our worldview) as our physical sensations. But that doesn't imply that they have the same ontological status. They "exist" in different senses : Objective and Subjective. These distinctions are as old as Philosophy. So, it's not a question of Either/Or, but of BothAnd.

    However, the advent of Modern Science began to drive a wedge between objective "Facts", and mere "Beliefs" -- which were banished, to reside in an imaginary never-never-land of Platonic Ideality. That flip-flop of primacy for Facts over Faith made sense when early scientists were seeking to escape from bondage to Church hegemony. But that rebellion never succeeded in completely overthrowing the role of Faith in the popular mind. So, perhaps "hard" Nominalists are still fighting that old revolutionary war against the power of political/religious dominance. But today, even staunch Catholics accept the validity of most empirical facts. Yet, the Cold War of Real vs Ideal may never be over for some.

    I assume that a "hard" Nominalist would have to say that Ideas are un-real, so un-important. However, I don't know many people who go that far with their worldview of Materialism. The theory of Evolution is merely an Idea, but is has some physical evidence to support its generalization from specific fossils to an elaborate "myth" of Life's struggle to survive. Yet, the act of synthesis is itself an abstraction from real things to essences.

    The human mind abstracts concepts from percepts by "sucking-out" only their logical structure (essence or meaning), and leaving behind the physical husk that our senses detect. So, which is real, and which is ideal? I don't have a problem with making that distinction, when it serves a purpose. That's why my thesis has a technical definition for the term "Ideality" to supplement the usual notion of "Reality". So yes, mental concepts are "nominal" in the sense that they are beliefs about Reality -- not objective reality itself. But without such beliefs, how could humans make sense of the world? :smile:

    BothAnd-ism :
    An inclusive philosophical perspective that values both Subjective and Objective information; both Feelings and Facts; both Mysteries and Matters-of-fact; both Animal and Human nature.
  • Andrew M
    1.3k
    Absolutely, and I want to say your use of "shiny" is not coincidental.Srap Tasmaner

    Yes, tools not sullied by having any practical use in the world. Yet, as ideals, often attractive and tempting...

    That's a demonstration of something, but not of something anyone really needs. Back to the rough ground, and to tools that will improve with use on rough ground, and that means no glass-soled boots.Srap Tasmaner

    That's it. And I think this is an insightful way to think about ordinary language. It's often written off as naïve, pre-scientific, imprecise, plain wrong, and so on. But it has traction on the rough ground of everyday life. It's been thoroughly tested by constant use and evolution, and continues to get the job done. To riff off Austin, it may not be the last word, but it's worth taking the time to understand why it qualifies as the first word.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    Maybe, like a stage performer, you can take a second and third bow.Gnomon

    You are one of my favorite people to converse with on a forum, so I'm sure you realize that this could end up being a long and productive discussion. If you will be patient with my limited time to devote here, I will continue our dig and excavation into these topics.

    Your last post has many things in it that I would like to respond to and elaborate on. Please give me a little time. I'll be back. :cool:
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.