• Mapping the Medium
    204
    I get lost in a labyrinth of enigmasGnomon

    Something I should have included in my last response to you. It might help to ponder on this in the in between time. As simply as can be stated, and to kick off how I will most likely approach my responses to you, think on this....

    Peirce's three categories frame his entire work. They are the three irreducible modes of being.

    Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness.
    Possibility, Actuality, and Law.

    Peirce assigns habit to Thirdness.

    I'll be back, but that's a starting place for my responses and elaborations. Later. :wink:
  • jorndoe
    1.2k
    Hmm...
    What would non-individuated self-awareness be? Doesn't seem right.
    Maybe just consciousness without self-awareness then?
    Isn't consciousness conscious of something? (Didn't someone once comment on that, maybe Kant, Hume, Descartes?)
  • Mapping the Medium
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    I suppose that Pierce (*Peirce, as in 'purse') intended to reconcile Realism & Idealism in his philosophy.Gnomon

    I think that one of the biggest difficulties others have in understanding Peirce is that nominalists are approaching him from a distorted, distant view of the end of his path, without taking the time to see how he traveled there. Being a logician, he wanted to get down to the bottom of the problem and then walk forward with very deliberate, highly skilled, logical steps. Misunderstanding negation is another problem many people have in understanding Peirce. I think that's also a skewed, nominalist perspective. I think that any person who wants to get serious or even dabble in philosophy should start with a very clear understanding of negation. <<< I'll get back to that later.

    In my episode 5, I talk about how Peirce focused quite a bit on the era of Scholasticism and how he began by talking about one of its pioneers, Peter Abelard. Peter Abelard was really the beginning of the out-of-control nominalism we have today. It was the beginning of ontological individualism. It's fascinating to research and learn about how it was seeded during that time.

    One of my heroes is a man/physician who lived during the mid 17th century named Henry Stubbe. I only learned of him by really devoting the time to the research that it takes to fully understand how we got to where we are today. Armchair philosophers can sit in the here and now, and throw opinions around about what's what, and what's wrong, but there won't be any real progress accomplished by wallowing in a series of wrong turns unless one is willing to follow the breadcrumbs all the way back to the beginning and be aware enough to avoid those wrong turns. Around the time of Scholasticism, Muslim and Jewish Scholars were also analyzing Greek philosophy, and the goal of each of these religions was to reconcile Aristotle etc., with their own holy books and cultures. .... Henry Stubbe was a brilliant man who loved research and learning. He had read Greek philosophy, and he understood in the mid-1600s what John Locke later in the 1600s explained in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, that the three classifications of the sciences were physics, semiotics, and ethics. Henry Stubbe was so concerned about what he learned and understood from his own research, and how British society viewed Muslims, that he took it upon himself to try and teach people about the history of the Medieval perspective wrong turns, and how it was causing humanity to become more and more divisive. I purchased a copy of the book he wrote, which is listed as a culturally significant artifact. The title is 'An Account of the Rise and Progress of Mahometanism'. ..... Henry Stubbe was not a promoter of Islam. He was a brilliant scholar and teacher, who just wanted to make a difference in the wrong turn he saw humanity making. It wasn't about religion in any way. It was about understanding humanity's place in the natural course of existence.

    My point is that nominalism/materialism/ontological individualism dropped the third crucial aspect of natural understanding to focus on the physical sciences and the ethics that promoted 'individual' human rights. This was the major wrong turn that began in the 14th century and developed over time. ... America was founded at the height of this frenzy. Charles Peirce followed a path without the religious influences that split Western Civilization into extreme Conservative Christianity and Cartesian Scientism. ........

    Ok.... that's a start for my response. I'll be back with more. :smile:
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.7k
    what John Locke later in the 1800s explained in An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingMapping the Medium

    ?
  • Mapping the Medium
    204

    '1800s' was a typo. I am editing it.
  • Mapping the Medium
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    I really should also point out that Henry Stubbe and John Locke were not approaching these 'turns' of humanity in the same way. Locke was certainly familiar with Stubbe's writings about semiotics. Stubbe had created a bit of a stir, and Locke had his sights on the politics of the day. In that chapter of 'An Essay Concerning Human Understanding' he wrote "that which man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness:". His reference to voluntarism clearly expressed the amount of emphasis on 'Will', that had begun with Abelard, and set in with Ockham, that God could 'Will' whatever He wanted. And because Man is made in God's image, Man had this same individual Will. Humanism took that and ran with it.

    Nominalists and followers of Descartes are steeped in religion. Most just have no clue.
    .
    Here's a bit on Descartes and Voluntarism......
    "From 1630 to 1649, Descartes endorses theological voluntarism, the claim that God's will determines aspects of reality typically thought independent of it." ....... "an exhaustive look at the texts shows Descartes affirming voluntarism unambiguously from 1630 right to the end of his life."
    Springer Link .... Is Descartes’ Theological Voluntarism Compatible with His Philosophy?
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    I think you will appreciate this essay if you haven’t previously encountered it.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I think you will appreciate this essay if you haven’t previously encountered it.Wayfarer

    Thank you. :smile:
    Yes, I've read that one. Many good points in it.

    I refer to nominalism as a 'thought virus'.
  • Mapping the Medium
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    I think you will appreciate this essayWayfarer

    This is one of my favorite paragraphs in that essay. I have an interesting relationship with the philosophy of David Hume. I like his style. :cool: ..... This tidbit is something that @Gnomon might also want to comment on.

    "It is commonly said that modern science neglects formal causes but attends to efficient and material causes; but classically understood, efficient and material causes cannot function or even be conceived without formal causes, for it is form which informs matter, giving concrete objects their power to act on other objects. The loss of formal causality is thus in a sense the loss of efficient and material causality as well—an implication that is not quite fully realized until we see it brilliantly explored in the philosophy of David Hume"
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    I hadn't noticed that paragraph, but now you mention it, it is right on the mark.

    To my mind, the high point of that essay is:

    Thomists and other critics of Ockham have tended to present traditional realism, with its forms or natures, as the solution to the modern problem of knowledge. It seems to me that it does not quite get to the heart of the matter. A genuine realist should see “forms” not merely as a solution to a distinctly modern problem of knowledge, but as part of an alternative conception of knowledge, a conception that is not so much desired and awaiting defense, as forgotten and so no longer desired.

    Characterized by forms, reality had an intrinsic intelligibility, not just in each of its parts but as a whole. With forms as causes, there are interconnections between different parts of an intelligible world, indeed there are overlapping matrices of intelligibility in the world, making possible an ascent from the more particular, posterior, and mundane to the more universal, primary, and noble.

    In short, the appeal to forms or natures does not just help account for the possibility of trustworthy access to facts, it makes possible a notion of wisdom, traditionally conceived as an ordering grasp of reality.

    You will notice that an 'ordering grasp of reality' is almost entirely absent from the modern scientific picture, which has splintered into a trillion conjectural worlds, which only the mathematical literati can even comment on.

    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?Gnomon

    A neo-scholastic analysis:

    if the proper knowledge of the senses is of accidents, through forms that are individualized, the proper knowledge of intellect is of essences, through forms that are universalized. Intellectual knowledge is analogous to sense knowledge inasmuch as it demands the reception of the form of the thing which is known. But it differs from sense knowledge so far forth as it consists in the apprehension of things, not in their individuality, but in their universality.

    From here

    IN this picture, the intellect ('nous') is what grasps the form of things - which is their essence, meaning, or type. The physical senses receive the physical signals but the mind, nous, apprehends the form, and thereby knows what it is seeing, in a way which non-rational creatures cannot.

    Nowadays, due to the influence of empiricism, we generally take the sensory domain as possessing an inherent reality, indeed as being the yardstick against which all judgement is validated. However, reason itself, which is the basis of judgement, is grounded in the recognition of the universal forms of things, which in no way can be accounted for by experience alone.

    Aristotle, in De Anima, argued that thinking in general (which includes knowledge as one kind of thinking) cannot be a property of a body; it cannot, as he put it, 'be blended with a body'. This is because in thinking, the intelligible object or form is present in the intellect, and thinking itself is the identification of the intellect with this intelligible. Among other things, this means that you could not think if materialism is true… . Thinking is not something that is, in principle, like sensing or perceiving; this is because thinking is a universalising activity. This is what this means: when you think, you see - mentally see - a form which could not, in principle, be identical with a particular - including a particular neurological element, a circuit, or a state of a circuit, or a synapse, and so on. This is so because the object of thinking is universal, or the mind is operating universally.

    ….the fact that in thinking, your mind is identical with the form that it thinks, means (for Aristotle and for all Platonists) that since the form 'thought' is detached from matter, 'mind' is immaterial too.
    — Lloyd Gerson

    So what is 'real' is the form or idea of the individual particular, and the ability to discern that form is the basis of rational thought.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    So what is 'real' is the form or idea of the individual particular, and the ability to discern that form is the basis of rational thought.Wayfarer

    There are a couple of other things I would like to hone in on in the essay about Ockham and nominalism.
    First, this...
    "If Gregory and Dupré can condemn Ockham for such polar opposite theological exaggerations—elevating God above the reach of reason, or demoting Him to the realm of creatures—we should wonder whether we should start our investigation somewhere other than in theology."

    I couldn't be more in agreement with that statement. Although you make some excellent points in regard to Thomism, I have always preferred not to dwell long in any of the thought camps that have such strong ties to religious doctrine. I definitely take Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and other religious histories into account when doing my research, because I think it's very important to understand how splits in thinking and cultural changes took place as new information and ideas have presented themselves, but my intentions in all of my studies is to stay on a path of natural science. I see it as a sort of hypocrisy to criticize nominalists and Scientism followers of Descartes for being so grounded in religion, only to argue their points with more theology based philosophy. Please don't misunderstand me on this. A human is a human, and no human walking this earth is without having been affected in some way or another by how religion has influenced cultures all over the world. To a certain degree, it is unavoidable. ... But the thinkers I find most compelling in their research, writings, and logical rationalities are those who approach their studies with similar intentions as my own.

    Second, this...
    "“No universals, only individuals, exist outside the mind, and it is from those extramental realities that knowledge has its first beginnings.”

    It is easy to see in the above statement how nominalism (and its voluntarism) is a direct descendant of theology. As if each individual was separately formed of clay by God's hands. This nominalism has instilled an exceptionalist attitude in humanity, and actually into each individual person, creating a world saturated with narcissism.

    "And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, land crawlers, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it."

    Our actual reality though, is that each human being develops their identity only in relation to others and their environment. An individual child recognizes their uniqueness because of the inherent aptitude to differentiate. Yes, it is true that we each carry a uniquely combined genetic code, but it is one that is influenced by our environment and experiences (epigenetics), and now science has evidence that these epigenetic changes (nervous system memory) can be carried into subsequent generations. The point is that there is continuity, and all life is dependent on other lifeforms, not only for what other lifeforms can 'supply' as in 'resources', but for personal identity itself. There are no detached individuals, and nominalism is a destructive thought virus that has wreaked havoc on humanity and our biosphere.

    I have some other thoughts I would like to expand on in regard to Locke and the relationship between rationality and voluntarism, and at some point I want to get back to the topic of Peirce and continuity, but my day is tugging at me. I will have to post again later.
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    I think it's very important to understand how splits in thinking and cultural changes took place as new information and ideas have presented themselves, but my intentions in all of my studies is to stay on a path of natural science.Mapping the Medium

    I have noticed your aversion to religion. I think it's unfortunate. A distinction needs to be made between reflexive, inherited religious belief and an understanding of the symbolic meaning of religious symbols and ideas.

    One of the major undercurrents in today's thinking is the Enlightenment attitude to religion, shaped as it was by the preceeding centuries of religious conflict and the upheavals of the 30 Years War and other such horrors. Consequently Western culture proceeded to draw a line around anything deemed a matter of religious belief and exclude it from their reckonings. This is the background to the modern conception of naturalism.

    However, I say we don't know enough about nature to know what is 'super' to it. Accordingly, that line, that boundary, which excludes anything deemed religious, is itself a matter of social consensus, there's nothing either scientific or natural about it. It's artificial and historical.

    Furthermore, many of the fundamental ideas of Greek philosophy became absorbed into theology over the course of centuries, and rejection of theology often results in exclusion of those perspectives as well. 'Naturalism' becomes defined, often unconsciously, in opposition to those ideas. For example, I notice that in all of the primary traditions of philosophy, East and West, there is a place accorded to the concept of the 'unconditioned', 'unmade', 'unborn'. This is not necessarily a theistic conception. But there is no longer anything corresponding to that conception in modern philosophy.

    Of course all of these are massive historical and philosophical issues and I don't expect ever to find any kind of consensus on it. But both the Michael Allen Gillespie book which you've mentioned previously, and the Joshua Hothschild essay we're discussing, pinpoint the abandonment of the acceptance of the reality of universals as the watershed that ultimately leads to today's barren philosophical materialism, of which medieval nominalism was one of the main precursors. My understanding of Peirce is rudimentary, but I do know that he felt obliged to adopt scholastic realism, that is, acceptance of the reality of universals. And the kind of reality they posses is central to the issue. So rejecting metaphysics because of its association with religion is precisely to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


    //incidentally found this article on Peirce 'synechism'.//
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    A distinction needs to be made between reflexive, inherited religious belief and an understanding of the symbolic meaning of religious symbols and ideas.Wayfarer

    I completely agree with you. However, my goal is to write and teach in a manner that is as easy as possible to understand by the broadest possible audience that, more often than not, has a limited education. Just as in what happened when I joined this forum, readers/listeners latch onto the concepts, words, and references they are most familiar with, and then attach their 'already ingrained cognitive map' meanings to them, often overlooking the actual intended meaning. I have to be very careful in my writing if I am to get my intended message across. These kinds of topics are aggressively scrutinized by people who are just itching to label me a 'holy roller' or 'atheist'. Most people are only used to two general worldviews, theism and atheism. Of course, there is now a huge population of 'spiritual, but not religious'. .... So there are 'beliefs' in spirituality, and there are 'beliefs' in the scientific community. As a very intelligent friend of mine titled his book, 'A Third Window', there are even differences in those. You might enjoy that book, if you would like to do a search for it. He and I aren't perfectly in sync in our perspectives, but his book is definitely worth a read. :nerd:

    My understanding of Peirce is rudimentary, but I do know that he felt obliged to adopt scholastic realism, that is, acceptance of the reality of universals. And the kind of reality they posses is central to the issue. So rejecting metaphysics because of its association with religion is precisely to throw the baby out with the bathwater.Wayfarer

    As you get to know me better, I think you'll find that there is a lot more to Peirce's views on Scholastic realism than appears on the surface, and that my metaphysical perspectives are much more involved than what might appear at this point in our discussions. :halo:
  • Wayfarer
    11.9k
    Sure. Third Window is just the kind of book I like to read. I guess my research interest is tangential to yours - I'm very much interested in the history of ideas, of how today's scientific-secular attitude developed. I guess my profile is that of 'spiritual quest' - hence the moniker. Again, though, appreciate your input and find much of interest in your work. :up:
  • Mapping the Medium
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    But that rebellion never succeeded in completely overthrowing the role of Faith in the popular mind.Gnomon

    I think it actually encouraged them to dig in their heels! In the Humanists' desire to hurriedly free their 'Will" from Church bondage, they unknowingly created a much more complicated dilemma.

    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.Gnomon

    Are you speaking only of Darwin? Or are you including Lamarck?

    But without such beliefs, how could humans make sense of the world? :smile:Gnomon

    Have you read Charles Peirce's The Fixation of Belief?
  • Mapping the Medium
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    But without such beliefs, how could humans make sense of the world? :smile:Gnomon

    My other reference to this was just highlighting specifics of 'belief'. This is where the full text can be most easily accessed. It was the very first of his papers that I ever read. Written in the style of the brilliant logician that he was, it captured my attention, and made me want to read even more. ....The Fixation of Belief

    Pointing to what I posted previously about Peirce's three categories (irreducible modes of being), in paragraph 3 you will find this statement.... "The particular habit of mind which governs this or that inference may be formulated in a proposition whose truth depends on the validity of the inferences which the habit determines; and such a formula is called a guiding principle of inference." ..... Note how this is what Peirce would assign to Thirdness (since 'habit' is assigned to 'Law').
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    This ties in with my last post about logic and 'The Fixation of Belief'.

    A perfect example of ignorance is how someone could possibly think I have something against 'individual rights'. Yep, some people get nasty when they don't take the time to learn. This is what happens when one of the three crucial aspects of human understanding is dropped from our culture. If that discarded aspect (that even John Locke had referred to) had been kept and properly taught and incorporated into Western Civilization's culture, so many of the challenges we are dealing with today would not have come about. <sigh> So sad.

    Our culture should teach ALL children how to apply critical thinking, logic, an understanding of triadic semiotics, and proper dialogue beginning in elementary school.

    But I do disagree with Locke's voluntarism, and his last nominalist words in his essay below: "wholly separate and distinct one from another". They are not, and it is why we are in the shape we are in today. :sad:

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

    This also reminds me of Gregory Bateson's comments at 3:02 in this video about 'Ecology of Mind'.
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    Have you read Charles Peirce's The Fixation of Belief?Mapping the Medium
    I have now. Or at least, the linked synopsis. Ironically, I assume that Nominalists take the fourth method as their guide. But they interpret the intent to mean : reject Ideality. Ideas about reality fall into the Aristotelian category of Metaphysics. So, if they can't see, hear, touch or smell it, it ain't admissible as evidence for the "fixation of belief".

    Unfortunately for them, Philosophy is all about Ideality. It doesn't study real physical objects, but human ideas & opinions about the real world. That's what Aristotle called "First Philosophy". Maybe Pierce should have added a fifth method for confirming beliefs : Reasoning from all forms of evidence to Logical conclusions about Reality. :smile:

    Four Methods for Fixing a Belief : 4. Scientific: test your beliefs against reality.
    https://users.manchester.edu/Facstaff/SSNaragon/Online/texts/201/05-PeirceClifford.pdf
    Note -- Beliefs about Reality are ideas abstracted from sensory information. Beliefs are inherently metaphysical -- ideal, not real. That includes "grounded" Nominalist beliefs.

    Reality : the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

    Ideality : The mental aspects of Reality. Ideas as contrasted with Objects. Metaphysics, as contrasted with Physics. Mind, as contrasted with Matter. Memes as contrasted with Genes.

    Aboutness : Knowledge of relationships. Intentionality.
    " Brentano made it the defining feature of the mental. Phenomenologists try to pin down the aboutness-features of particular mental states. Materialists sometimes claim to have grounded aboutness in natural regularities. "
    https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691144955/aboutness
  • Ignance
    24
    I'm a materialist and very opposed to New Age Ken Wilbur "we are all one" stuff. If you commit a crime, that doesn't make me do it or have done it.Gregory

    i pray this is a purposeful misinterpretation, no? because that’s not what “we are all one” means when one is talking about it within a spiritual context.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    Ironically, I assume that Nominalists take the fourth method as their guide. But they interpret the intent to mean : reject Ideality. Ideas about reality fall into the Aristotelian category of Metaphysics. So, if they can't see, hear, touch or smell it, it ain't admissible as evidence for the "fixation of belief".Gnomon

    This does point to where nominalists make a real error in reasoning. They don't realize that they are 'jumping' ahead, bypassing the continuity in reasoning that emerges up from instinct to induction, to abstraction, and then to deduction and a fully, well thought out, rational belief. This is what I meant when I said previously that 'abstraction' should not be 'parsed out'. That's just not how our biology works.

    Inductive reasoning is where evidence of 'habit' lies, but is not fully conscious (an example of Thirdness, as a Law). We can see this in how we respond when driving a car. We are not fully conscious of every action. Induction is the bridge between instinct and abstraction. The momentum of continuity moves us back and forth between instinct and abstraction by way of inductive reasoning. We may be driving along, casually using inductive reasoning, and then suddenly abstract something in our environment, and depending on the amount of time we have and the severity of the information we abstract, we may either take the time to apply deductive reasoning, or we may just react via our 'less than fully conscious' inductive 'habit', perhaps swerving to miss something in the road.

    This reverting back to inductive 'habit' might save us from something in the road if we are driving, but when our existential beliefs feel threatened, the negative effect could be that it prevents us from engaging in the better method of taking the time to apply deductive reasoning. And when an entire community of inquirers engages in this better method, actually challenging those habitual beliefs, errors can be averted, and the entire community can move forward with a better understanding of each other and the world in which they live.

    Thirdness/law, and the example of 'habit', explains that there are 'tendencies' in Being. This is an innate feature of the continuity that is inherent in all of existence.

    As in what I posted about synechism...
    (7) "the doctrine . . . that elements of Thirdness cannot entirely be escaped" (CP7.653)

    Thirdness, whether as in the tendency to take 'habits', or as in other manifestations of natural laws, is very real, even if you can't see, hear, touch, or smell it. This 'habit' as tendency is a feature of formal cause, both physically and cognitively.
  • Mapping the Medium
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    @Gnomon
    I took these excerpts you wrote in another thread because I'd like to touch on our commonalities and differences.
    Quoting you...
    "In my Enformationism thesis, that "underlying something" is mundane Information." ..... "For humans, Information is Knowledge & Awareness. For me, it's a monism that unites the dualism of Mind & Matter."

    Like you, I also refer to myself as a 'dual-aspect monist', but not specifically because it unites mind and matter, although I do see mind and matter as two expressions of the same continuity. The dual-aspect in my monist perspective is because I have always agreed with what I read in number 4 of Peirce's set of related ideas regarding synechism...
    (4) the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect (CP 7.569);

    As I mentioned before when I referred to Heraclitus's Unity of Opposites, a child develops a personal identity of self only in relation to that which is not self. Recognizing short or tall, blonde or brunette, skin color, personality traits, and even where one lives on a map, all of these differentiations contribute to individuation. You may call this 'mundane' information, but from my perspective, there is nothing mundane about it.

    I suppose your 'information' could be seen from a different perspective on Charles Peirce's 'triadic semiotics'. In my episode 3, I used sounds to illustrate how we can each interpret meanings differently, depending on the context in which they are used, and depending on the listener's previously ingrained cognitive building blocks of inference.

    Here is an excerpt from episode 3......

    "What all of these types of signs have in common is that they are all relative to a person’s experience, and how those building blocks of inference have shaped the cognitive mapping in an individual’s mind as an ‘extension’ of the person’s culture. To reference Gregory Bateson again, you may think you’re thinking your own thoughts, but you’re not. You’re thinking your culture’s thoughts. Biology and the understanding of emergence, process, and relational dynamics is quite clear on the matter of ‘thought and extension’. There is no detached individual, and it is through our observance of ‘otherness’ that we develop a sense of ‘self’ in relation to that which is ‘not self’. Sign observance is inference processing of the otherness that is the medium we are navigating, and it is how we orient what we know of ‘self’, and recognize that among others we too are alive. It is the mechanism by which everything is born, interacts, grows, and dies. In essence it is biological dialogue… that begins simply and develops into more complex systems. In human beings it has reached the level of complexity that has become language. This being the reason dialogue is so crucial to a healthy society. … And by written word, one human being can express and communicate to another human being the types of signs that are icon, index, and symbol into a quick to communicate package consisting of only a few letters. The power in that can have much more impact than we often realize, and can be either nurturing or destructive. … So it was that, in the beginning, there really was the Word, as in ‘sign’, and creation cannot exist without semiosis. It is an innate aspect of our being. Charles Peirce held that “The entire universe is perfused with signs, if it is not composed exclusively of signs.” Semiotic causality is what we cognitively experience as the flowing, universal momentum of cause and effect determinism. And as Mikhail Bakhtin said, “The better a person understands his determinism (his thingness), the closer he is to understanding and realizing his true freedom.” … When we realize that what we ‘think’ is our individual mind when we hear, read, or encounter something with our senses, is actually inferences we make based on cognitive, semiotic cause and effect scaffolding within our own mind (and that of other minds that by way of extension we have incorporated into our own), we can better understand how our expressions and reactions are then received by others, ultimately creating a more responsible culture."

    End Quote from episode 3.

    You see, for me, matter is the fossil record of life's activity within this medium in which all life forms engage and interact. The signs that we interpret and create are expressions of the flowing biological dialogue throughout our universes of experience. I have noticed in philosophy how the term 'universe' mostly refers to man's universe of experience. Understanding how triadic semiotics really works opens us up to better understanding the universes of experience of all life forms. Charles Peirce devoted many years to developing extensive definitions of the signs, and to explaining how triadic sign systems work.

    At the end of episode 3, I asked the listeners to listen to a sound that referred to a previous episode, and to try to separate the sound from the inference of its meaning as it was in the previous episode, making it purely sound with no meaning at all. It's a very difficult exercise. I then suggested that they practice doing this a few times each day with something they see, read, or hear. Engaging in this exercise definitely opens the world up to being bigger, more colorful, and much more dynamic. Not mundane at all. These information vessels (signs) are everywhere.

    I think our culture would be much more responsible if these aspects of human understanding had not been neglected in favor of nominalism, dualism, and materialism.

    And on another note of interest regarding my reference above to 'thought and extension', ... In the last decade of his life, Peirce repeatedly praised Spinoza, saying that they were akin in their works and understanding. Spinoza was also a dual-aspect monist. And along with Peirce and a few others, he also holds very high ranking among my favorite thinkers. :smile:
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    I took these excerpts you wrote in another thread because I'd like to touch on our commonalities and differences.Mapping the Medium
    I suspect that a major difference between our worldviews is our jargon. My Enformationism thesis is primarily derived from Physics, and is only secondarily related to Metaphysics. That's one reason I refer to "Information" as "mundane", as opposed to "spiritual" or "otherworldly".

    Although I am posting on a philosophical forum, I am not very well-informed about abstract & abstruse modern philosophical worldviews, such as Semiology and Synechism. I am somewhat familiar with ancient philosophy, such as Platonic and Aristotelian views. So, your posts are often like a foreign language to me. For example, "the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect", simply sounds like a contradiction. Yet, I suppose that to you it may be merely an apparent paradox, which makes sense in terms of Synechism (Holism??) or Semiology (Semantics??).

    I think our culture would be much more responsible if these aspects of human understanding had not been neglected in favor of nominalism, dualism, and materialism.Mapping the Medium
    I agree. Although I was not familiar with Nominalism, until you brought it up.

    Peirce repeatedly praised Spinoza, saying that they were akin in their works and understanding.Mapping the Medium
    I too, relate to Spinoza's worldview, except that I update it with our current understanding of the Big Bang origin of the world, and the immaterial Quantum foundation of the world.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    I suspect that a major difference between our worldviews is our jargon. My Enformationism thesis is primarily derived from Physics, and is only secondarily related to Metaphysics.Gnomon

    Okay :smile: I'll switch my language to Physics. I'll write more in the morning when I have some time and quiet.

    Semantics??Gnomon

    I get a bit on edge when it comes to Semantics, mainly because it is not the same as Semiotics, and because there is Saussurean semiotics and Peircean semiotics. There are major differences. ... I mentioned Alfred Korzybski previously. He launched General Semantics in 1933 with his book Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. I have had some strenuous forum discussions in the past about what I see as nominalism in General Semantics. This was before I became a little more skilled at stating my case. General Semantics focuses on abstraction, which, as I've mentioned previously in this thread, should not be 'parsed out'.

    The Difference Between Semantics and Semiotics

    Anyway, let's change our language for now and focus on Physics. After all, Peirce was a scientist, and he had plenty to say about Physics. :grin:
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    Semiology and SynechismGnomon

    Synechism (Holism??) or Semiology (Semantics??)Gnomon

    Before I switch to the language of Physics, and since the original purpose of this thread is to discuss Consciousness, I want to point out the differences between Saussurean and Peircean semiotics (dyadic vs triadic thinking). This really shines a light on another symptom of the 'nominalism thought virus', and how it has affected the way Western Civilization thinks. It is also my hope that you will eventually see how this even connects back to Physics.

    After so much time that I've devoted to studies to uncover these wrong turns in branches of thinking, that I liken to the difference between following a singular line in an intricate math pattern, or actually understanding the underlying Law (Thirdness) that causes the pattern to blossom (by the way, Peirce was also a brilliant mathematician, and often used diagrams to illustrate his work), I've gotten to the point where whenever I see the word 'General' in a coined term (General Semantics, General Linguistics), I become a bit suspicious. It often points to nominalism in a desperate attempt to try and capture generality after having travelled too far down the wrong path. Saussurean semiotics is dyadic (dualistic). Whereas Peircean semiotics breaks away from that dyadic, dualistic, wrong path. I could delve deeper into the differences here, and anyone reading this is free to look further into the two, but I do want to switch our language and discussion to the topic of Physics.

    Regarding semiotics, keep in mind what I said previously about signs being 'information vessels'. They can present to our senses in many ways (icon, index, symbol, sounds, chemical signals, etc), but the complexities brought about by evolution have taken what originally and fundamentally is 'biological dialogue' to a level that has become words and writing in human culture. So semiotics is the study of the 'delivery method' of meaning (In other words, the 'delivery method of information' (and even the delivery method of 'Enform'ation). As I mentioned previously, Thirdness/Law, as represented in the 'habit' we see in Inductive reasoning, is a feature of Formal Cause, both Physically and Cognitively.

    That was a good segue into Physics, which I will pick up on in the next post. :nerd:
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    derived from PhysicsGnomon

    Okay....

    I plan to walk through this part of our discussion somewhat slowly, because anyone else reading this (not necessarily referring to you) may have difficulty following this, and it is my hope that they may want to, or at least try.

    It's important to remember that C. S. Peirce was first and foremost a brilliant logician, and he approached all of his work with that mindset.

    your posts are often like a foreign language to me. For example, "the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect", simply sounds like a contradiction. Yet, I suppose that to you it may be merely an apparent paradoxGnomon

    What some might read as a 'contradiction' when I referred to "(4) the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect (CP 7.569); " and you referred to as possibly being a paradox, is actually a 'polarity'. .... This also relates to Heraclitus's 'Unity of Opposites' that I mentioned in a previous post.

    More on 'Polarity'

    Peirce reached his conclusions by way of his correct understanding of negation, and the Law of the Excluded Middle. As a matter of fact, the misunderstanding of this by some of his 'Logic' students at Johns Hopkins (Dewey, James, and others) due to their immersion in the popular nominalism of the day, was of great frustration to Peirce.

    Peirce's Law allows one to enhance the technique of using the deduction theorem to prove theorems. This work points to 'inference' in consciousness, and what I spoke of previously about 'habit' as law (Thirdness) as evidenced in Inductive reasoning. .... Let me know if you want to delve into this topic in more detail at any point in our discussion, but for now I'm moving on to Physics.

    Peirce's Law

    Peirce asserted that "the continuity of space so acts as to cause an object to be affected by modes of existence not its own, not as participating in them but as being opposite to them. . . . So again, when a force acts upon a body the effect of it is that the mean of the states of the body not actual, but indefinitely approximating to the actual, differs from its actual state. So in the action and reaction of bodies, each body is affected by the other body's motion, not as participating in it but as being opposite to it. But if you carefully note the nature of this generalized formula you will see that it is but an imperfect, somewhat particularized restatement of the principle that space presents the law of the reciprocal reactions of existents." (CP 6.84)

    Take a look at the attached link on Peirce's Law, and then please tell me what you've written in your thesis about Polarity. This may be where our jargon polarities come together. :grin:

    One more thing to add....
    Here is an excellent video explaining the sequence of events involving Peirce, James, Dewey, and the different perspectives and splits.......

    Who Founded Pragmatism.....
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    What some might read as a 'contradiction' when I referred to "(4) the view that to exist in some respect is also to not exist in that respect (CP 7.569); " and you referred to as possibly being a paradox, is actually a 'polarity'. ....Mapping the Medium
    I don't know what the point of such a statement might be. What is he really trying to say? That there is no such thing as a paradox? I sometimes say that all paradoxes are resolved in Enfernity (eternity & infinity). But that has nothing to do with the real world. :smile:

    Peirce asserted that "the continuity of space so acts as to cause an object to be affected by modes of existence not its own, not as participating in them but as being opposite to them. . . .Mapping the Medium
    Again, this statement makes no sense to me. Is it referring to "modes of existence" other than reality? What other kinds of existence are there? Do ghosts exist in a parallel universe? Are entangled particles a polarity of different modes of existence? What is the point of such an abstruse assertion? :cool:
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    What is he really trying to say? That there is no such thing as a paradox? I sometimes say that all paradoxes are resolved in Enfernity (eternity & infinity). But that has nothing to do with the real world. :smile:Gnomon

    Okay, Devil's Advocate. I'll play. :naughty:

    No, Peirce is not saying that there is no such thing as a paradox, but there is a very clear difference between a polarity and a paradox. A polarity has external relation influence. A paradox does not.

    Here is how Peirce explains this using the Liar's Paradox (links below excerpt) ....

    "In Lecture 1 he discusses the sentence, "This very proposition is false."; in Lecture 3 he examines the sentence in the form "What is here written is not true." This sentence, as we know, leads to paradoxical conclusions. I will first consider Peirce's analysis of the problem and then his solution to it.

    1.1 The Problem Stated

    S1 This very proposition is false.
    S2 What is here written is not true.

    Peirce argues that the problem with this sentence is that it is logically meaningless or logically nonsense, where nonsense is defined as "that which has a certain resemblance to a symbol without being a symbol. "Each genuine symbol is subject to three systems of formal laws; these are the laws of (1) grammar, (2) logic, and (3) rhetoric. Each symbol to be meaningful must satisfy the formal conditions of grammar, of logic, and of the intelligibility of symbols. This symbol is grammatically correct but
    fails to be a genuine symbol because it does not satisfy the formal conditions of logic.
    In the case of the above sentence, SI, a logical law, the law of the excluded middle, does not apply. Peirce says,
    This is a proposition to which the principle of the excluded middle, namely that every symbol must be false or true, does not apply. For if it is false, it is thereby true. And if not false, it is thereby not true.
    A logically meaningful sentence will satisfy the laws of logic. Peirce argues that this logical law does not apply to SI because this symbol has no object. Logic, Peirce says, is concerned with assertoric propositions. He says of assertoric propositions, "Propositions which assert always assert something of an object, which is the subject of the proposition."In the case of SI, however, the proposition "does itself state that it has no object. It talks of itself and only of itself and has no external relation whatever." That is, the subject of the proposition being the proposition itself, the predicate makes no assertion of an object to which the proposition refers. An assertoric proposition, then, makes reference to an external object, but this proposition "talks of itself and only of itself and has no external relation whatever." "Logical laws," however, "only hold good as conditions of a symbol having an object."

    Similarly concerning S2 Peirce says that we get an infinite number of
    propositions:
    What is here written
    The statement that that is false
    The statement that that is false
    The statement that that is false
    and so on to infinity." <<< There is your infinity that has nothing to do with the real world. :wink:

    As you read further into the essay, you will see that Peirce also points out that there is a difference between what is explicitly asserted versus what is tacitly asserted.

    Liar's Paradox

    Peirce's Paradoxical Solution to the Liar's Paradox

    referring to "modes of existence" other than reality? What other kinds of existence are there? Do ghosts exist in a parallel universe? Are entangled particles a polarity of different modes of existence?Gnomon

    The part of his statement that you are leaving out is "So in the action and reaction of bodies, each body is affected by the other body's motion". He is not referring to ghosts. :razz: .... Whether or not this can be applied to parallel universes is left for the quantum physicists to figure out. One of the reasons there has been such interest in Peirce (and renewed interest in Spinoza) is because the most recent findings in physics have pointed to how correct and far ahead of their time these brilliant men were, and all by working these things out by using highly skilled logic. ... And again, 5 centuries BCE, Heraclitus was on the right track with his Logos.

    I will write more later, but for now Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful to have a friend like you that I can banter with about such things. :blush:
  • Athena
    1.3k
    ↪Brett Just trying to help the guy in the improbable case he is actually not just promoting and actually interested in discussion since the topic isn't completely useless... foolish hope, I guess.

    Probably should stop replying since the potential promoter seems to no longer be active and we shouldn't make his promotion more visible.
    Qmeri

    I have empathy for anyone who wants us to read a book so it can be discussed. Complex concepts are not easily put in simple posts and it can be futile to discuss some things when others do not have an adequate background for understanding.
  • Mapping the Medium
    204
    But I too, make a distinction between "what exists" and "what is physically real".Gnomon

    Gnomon,
    Upon re-reading some of this thread's posts, I realized that I somehow overlooked this. Try switching these when contemplating our discussions. I think it may help you get a better grasp of Peirce. Switch them to making a distinction between 'what is real' and 'what physically exists. :nerd:
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