PEIRCE-L Digest 1307 -- February 23, 1998  

CITATION and QUOTATION from messages on PEIRCE-L is permissable if
the individual message is identified by use of the information on
   From PEIRCE-L Forum, Jan 5, 1998, [name of author of message],
   "re: Peirce on Teleology"   

If the type is too large and the message runs off the screen on the 
right you can shrink the size of the typeface by use of the option
on your browser.
Since it is mostly in ASCII format You can download the
whole document easily by using the SELECT ALL and COPY commands, then
PASTE-ing it into a blank page in your word processor; or you can
SELECT, COPY, and PASTE individual messages using your mouse.  

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: Persistent Conversation
	by Cathy Legg 
  2) Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
	by piat[…] (Jim L Piat)
  3) Re: A new liberation movement?
	by Joseph Ransdell 
  4) Re: A new liberation movement?
	by Hugo Fjelsted Alroe 
  5) Re: A new liberation movement?
	by pguddemi[…]
  6) Call for papers on cybernetics and semiotics, Namur August 98
	by =?iso-8859-1?Q?Brier_S=F8ren?= 
  7) Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
	by piat[…] (Jim L Piat)
  8) Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
	by piat[…] (Jim L Piat)


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 22:34:07 +1100 (EDT)
From: Cathy Legg 
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: Persistent Conversation

The conference looks interesting. So, what's the difference between 
*per*sisting and *ex*isting? I guess that's the issue. (Or should that be 


Cathy Legg, 
Philosophy Programme,


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 08:36:17 -0500
From: piat[…] (Jim L Piat)
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
Message-ID: <19980223.083618.8958.0.piat[…]>

On Sun, 22 Feb 1998 16:01:02 -0600 (CST) Charles Pyle
>Jim L Piat wrote:
>> Thomas,
>> In hope of being either affirmed or corrected I offer a distillation 
>> paraphrase of Kant three  thrusts:
>> I.  All of our knowledge of the world is achieved and limited by 
>(but not
>> to) the apparatus that is us.
>> 2.  Our knowledge of the world is in the form of propositions.
>> 3.  Our knowledge is of a world not entirely of our own construction 
>> of a reality that exists independent of our knowledge of it.  We are
>> limited in how we know the world but this does not mean we have
>> constructed the world or that the world is a figment of our 
>And apparently Thomas Riese agreed with this immediately saying:
>> Yes, Jim.
>in one message and presupposing point 2 saying in another message:
>> if knowledge is of propositional form 
>> then for the sake of self-consistency our theory should be of 
>> propositional form too.
>I have two questions. Is the claim here that these three points
>characterize Kant's view? And whether that is the case or not, it is
>apparently being assumed as obviously true that #2 is true. But it is
>not clear to me that it is true. I know how to ride a bicycle, but 
>knowledge is not in the form or a proposition. It seems to me that 
>is much I know that is not in the form of a proposition. Am I missing
>something here?
>Charles Pyle

In my original post referenced above I only intended to be summarizing
and inquiring about Peirce's comments on Kant (C.P. 6.95)  which Thomas
posted on 2/22.  My question was whether I had understood Peirce.  

But as to #2, it seems to me that even knowing how to ride a bike is
reducible to  some combination of propositions.  (I suppose a
competence/performance distinction may be relevant here but I'm not
sure.)  Considering only what you know you seem to know about bike
riding, what is that you know but can't assert?  What knowledge is, in
principle,  not capable of being put in the form of a proposition?  I
think the fundamental unit of meaning may require all of what constitutes
a proposition.  Just my guesses as I try to understand the new list.

Jim Piat     

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 07:54:43
From: Joseph Ransdell 
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: A new liberation movement?
Message-ID: <[…]>

Thanks for the response, Cathy.  Part of the problem, at least, is a
misunderstanding of what I was saying.  YOu say 

>I have now deleted the particular messages of yours, Joe, I was responding 
>to, but there was a passage describing with what I took to be approbation 
>a situation whereby the dead might not be honoured *as individuals*, with 
>respect to their individual talents and achievements at all. I thought, 
>no, there is something to be said against that.

I didn't express approval but said something quite to the contrary: 

I don't mean to suggest that a practice appropriate to a tribal society
which developed in circumstances very different from our own can provide
an adequate model or even that it is obvious on the face of it what we
can learn from their practice.  It is just that one can see that their
practice functioned to integrate the dead in a benevolent way into the
ongoing course of life by focusing primarily on the respect shown to
them as being the important thing, as distinct from focusing primarily
on celebration of their merits as individuals.  These are not exclusive,
of course, since due respect can be regarded as entailing just such a
celebration.  Tribal peoples do not in general tend to think of the
individual life as we do, though,. . .  I doubt that one
would ever find much attention paid to the special character of the
individual life [in the rituals of a tribal society].

For that to occur requires, I think, that the society have an internal
complexity that originates historically by the fusion of tribal peoples
of distinct type, . . .  But however that may be, I
think it is clear that we require the recognition of the individual as
such as part of any such practice in a way that a tribal society does
not, and thus a tribal practice such as the one described above cannot
provide an adequate  model in that respect.  It does, however, suggest
that we might want to look toward the practice of respect itself as
still being the most important thing, with the celebration of the
individual being regarded as benevolent because of what is effected
through the practice of respect rather than as causal consequences of
recognition of the merits of the individual.
END QUOTE-----------------------

You might disagree with the idea that it is more profitable to focus on the
function of the practice of respect itself as the most important thing
rather than thinking of it in terms of the causal consequences of the
recognition of the individual, but I am assuming that we require the
recognition of the individual as such, the celebration of their
achievements where possible, and so forth.  But in taking up the case of
the "bad guys" I was attempting to address the further problem that not all
individuals do things that are worthy of celebration as achievements, the
"monsters" mentioned being prima facie cases where one is going to be
hardpressed to justify celebration of achievement as part of the practice.  

Moreover -- though I didn't say this explicitly -- if emphasis is put upon
the celebration of individual achievement then the inevitable result is
going to be what it too often is at present, namely, a general tendency to
falsification of the reality of the person's life in order to "dress them
up" appropriately for the funerary occasion.  This is why I started with
the case of Nixon and the quite understandable though savage outburst of
Hunter Thompson in response to the falsification implicit in the response
to his death.  (A poor example for an international forum, I suppose.)  The
problem, I take it, is to get clear on what sort of thing IS appropriate,
in a general way, and cases like that of Tom, who was an exceptionally
gifted, accomplished, and highly regarded individual, where the problem of
falsification doesn't arise, don't throw much light on the general question.  

As regards 

>. . . the Peircean elevation of thirdness, the disembodied sign, 
>the individual as function of the 
>community to which they contribute over the long-term.  I count myself a 
>Peircean, but this is one aspect of his thought that I just can't 
>swallow, and Tom's death has brought this home to me. 

This doesn't sound Peircean to me since it is precisely the insistence on
the importance of secondness -- which is formally expressed in the general
formula for the category relationships -- that Peirce himself thought of as
what differentiated him from those who thought in terms of "disembodied
signs", like Hegel and Royce.  What is his pragmatism if not precisely the
requirement that thirdness not be thought of in that way?

>In closing, I'd like to say that I'm not averse to the philosophical 
>discussion of death. On the contrary, I think it's an interesting and 
>worthwhile topic. I do, however, disagree with some of what has been 
>said about it on the list. Probably the disagreement will come down to 
>one of emphasis in the end. But I felt that a point of view on the matter 
>was being neglected, and I wanted to try to deepen the conversation by 
>introducing it, even if this entailed creating a little secondness, as 
>I expected it would (and it did). I hope that's my right, as a member of 
>and long-time contributor to this active and unique list.

Who said anything about rights on the list, Cathy?  I thought you had
mischaracterized what I was doing as being exploitative, and although I did
not think that was actually your intent it seemed to me that was the way
what you said would have to be read, if not further qualified.  It didn't
seem to me likely that you meant to be criticizing the Sioux practices as
such, and I had myself remarked at some length on their inadequacy for us
for much the same reason you mention, so what else could you be saying?  I
just asked for a clarification  and I appreciate your providing it. But
this has nothing to do with rights on the list. 

Best regards,

Joe Ransdell 

Joseph Ransdell - joseph.ransdell[…]  
Dept of Philosophy - 806  742-3158  (FAX 742-0730) 
Texas Tech University - Lubbock, Texas 79409   USA (Peirce website - beta)


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:44:49 -0500
From: Hugo Fjelsted Alroe 
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: A new liberation movement?
Message-ID: <[…]>

Joseph Ransdell wrote in an interesting mail:

>I think what you might actually be wanting to say is rather that the dead
>author is no longer able to control the process in some important way, and
>I think that is right and that what that might mean, in semiotical terms,
>is that the dead author is no longer in position to supply indices other
>than those already supplied, whereas the living author can respond to an
>interpretation with "But I didn't mean THAT!"  

and more...

The issue of the dead living on in some intellectual sense, apart from the
physical, biological and social continuance, might be placed in a more
general context of communication, in line with Joe's mail. I remember a
lively thread on dialogue previously on Peirce-l, and I wonder whether the
death of an author is but an absolute end of a spectrum from personal, or
open, dialogue to the detached and closed text. The participation of each
unique partner in inquiry is more or less limited by the particular life,
and death, of that potential participant. Open dialogue is an ideal never
fully met; it is a possibility, based on and limited by actuality. Engaging
in dialogue is a precious opportunity, something to be cherished and
nourished; the door will be closed soon enough.

We each engage in our own 'dialogue' with the world, we each live our own
experiental lives; and this personal experience we may share to some extent
through dialogical interaction. The connection with the personal experience
can only be assured through the error elimination of dialogue. In this
perspective, the text lives, takes its meaning, from this dialogical
connection with the personal experience.  And the text only preserves
meaning to the extent that some dialogical connection is preserved. Our
common human nature is such a connection in all ordinary texts; or more
generally, understanding a closed text rests on some presumption of
context, often based on common nature.

Perhaps the internet (as a dialogical community based on new technology)
can be seen as a revival of open dialogue, or more precisely as an opening
or widening of the ongoing dialogical inquiry. The long history of
specialization of knowledge has brought with it a narrowing of the ongoing
dialogue, dialogue taking place more within groups of specialists and less
across the borders between. As a limited individual, this growth of
specialized knowledge is a problem in terms of sheer volume. As such, this
is an actual limitation on the open inquiry, a restraint on the
possibilities of dialogue.

The open groups of discussion on the internet, and mailing lists such as
this one, are, whether intentionally or not, opening up new possibilities
of dialogue, removing some blocks on the road of inquiry. There are still
blocks which cannot be moved; in an individualized culture, in an
intellectual society, the death of the individual seems more final than
would be the case in a more social culture, where the individuals shared
more common nature. In our society, here and now, the intellectual context
of the individual seems pretty decisive, as compared with common nature,
and hence dialogue seems crucial to inquiry. Texts are not enough. We need
dialogue, or substitutes of dialogue in terms of whatever context may be
made available.

In case there is some substance in these thoughts, they do concern some
issues of importance for the structuring of an electronic community. If
not, I still feel priviliged to be here and reluctant to let possibilities
of real dialogue get lost. 

Dialogically, from without


Hugo Fjelsted Alroe       alroe[…]      alroe[…]	


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 10:28:11 -0800 (PST)
From: pguddemi[…]
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: A new liberation movement?
Message-ID: <199802231828.KAA29951[…]>

I am a new participant in this list, and I have only really begun any sort
of serious study of Peirce.  I am, however, an anthropologist who has spent
two years among a tribal people in Papua New Guinea (the first visit was in
1986-88), and I do not recognize my friends in the discourse on this thread.

We have to distinguish between the nature of the soul, or ghost, or
what-have-you which is postulated to survive death, and the memory of the
person which lives in the bereaved.  Now I'm tongue-tied because I know I'm
talking to philosophers, and the piling of philosophical significance on top
of human experience often causes the latter to topple over.  But I want to
contribute that I hardly know what to say to phrases like 

        >Tribal peoples do not in general tend to think of the
        >>individual life as we do, though,. . .  I doubt that one
        >>would ever find much attention paid to the special character of the
        >>individual life [in the rituals of a tribal society].

I have been to a number of death rituals among the Sawiyanoo of Papua New
Guinea, and the intensity of the mourning and grief is not comparable to
anything here.  The body is for hours, for a night, sometimes for longer,
_right there_, and the bereaved are crying directly over it, touching it.
And the songs that they sing during the bereavement, especially the women,
are songs which are improvised on the spot and which memorialize the places
the mourner used to go with the deceased, the food they ate together, the
things they used to do together.  They are very specific and detailed.  In
the book, _The Sorrow of the Lonely and the Burning of the Dancers_, Edward
Schieffelin describes similar customs among another Papua New Guinea people,
who have the custom that at ceremonial dances long after a death, songs are
composed to provoke people into sorrow over deaths, by evoking a series of
very personal and specific allusions to places and events which can only
refer to what the bereaved shared with the deceased.  This actually provokes
the bereaved into a sort of anger, or taking of recompense, which is
ritualized and provides that society with its pre-eminent aesthetic experience.

Now it can be argued that this isn't about the individual, but about the
_relationships_ which that individual had with the people who were bereaved.
But sometimes when cultural comparisons are made about cultural conceptions
of the "individual" or the "person," I get lost anyway.  What is this
special Western concept of the "individual" -- a resume? a eulogy? a
biography?  A lot is lost in translating my, your, her, his lived reality
into one of those things.  Don't get me started on the "person."

But I want to be a functionalist and ask, if tribal peoples have sharp
rememberances and poignant mourning about those who have left them, what is
it then about these rituals which move the spirit of the dead further and
further away from the village?  This does seem to be a major theme of death
rituals, to move the spirit from particularity to generality, from
secondness to thirdness if you like.  To "liberate" the spirit from its
particular ties to the yet-living, into a general state of "ancestor-hood."
As a functionalist, a practitioner of a methodology which every
anthropologist knows to be obsolete and which every anthropologist practices
in secret, I would point out that the memories which grief gives us are not
only painful but also can be disruptive to social harmonies which may be
fairly tenuously maintained to begin with.  The desire for long-term social
harmony, for the re-knitting of the social bonds which have been torn
asunder by the death, may have something to do with the speeding of the soul
into thirdness and away from the village.  Note that the _malangan_
sculptures which are made for death ceremonies on the island of New Ireland
are not kept around but are destroyed right after the ceremony (or sold to
collectors, but that's the same thing isn't it).  This is sad, to think that
we have to destroy our memories in their particularity to move on.  Yet I
would not count it as disrespect to the dead; it is veneration -- and tribal
societies may be right, helping the dead to become free of us, of our
versions and our sorrow, _may_ be a way of liberating their spirits!

The practice of respect for our ancestral heritage, conceived generally as
it generally is, is in general a good idea of course.  Still, when the
particularities of the people who have died have been etherealized by ritual
and by time, much of their distinctive contributions have either become
anonymous (in the practices and myths and technologies which live on without
memories of their "inventors"), or have been altered by the dynamics of
people living in groups, dynamics which turn the people of the past into
somewhat mythic beings anyway.  

Of course I think that the Western "individual" is somewhat mythic too.
Joseph Campbell and the Jungians may have found its deep structure in the
hero tale, but whether our lives fit into hero tales without Procrustean
labors is doubtful, a Western cultural convention which is certainly not
universal.  I am not sure that people live any more comfortably in the
structure of being "individuals" than they do under any other cultural
regime, and I am not sure that they die any better under that regime either.
It can do violence to a life to make a biography out of it, whether after it
is lived or during the life.  That said, I certainly appreciate that writing
and education gives me the opportunity to interact with people in the past
who have made themselves available to the present, people I can treat almost
as if they were people present in my current experience.  I think that
writing, which enables me to interact with Plato or Aristophanes or Tolstoy,
is a wonderful thing and can enable relationships with the dead which were
not possible without it.  Now is this a thirdness which gives an illusion of
secondness, or what is it? a special case without a doubt.  I don't think
that details of afterlife beliefs are really as significant in the matter
(although the existence of account-books may have influenced the invention
of heaven and hell, come to think of it).

With all due respect for the trails you walked and the coconuts you ate with
your departed participant, 

Phillip Guddemi



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 19:23:35 +0100
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Brier_S=F8ren?= 
To: "'peirce-l[…]'" 
Subject: Call for papers on cybernetics and semiotics, Namur August 98
Message-ID: <29474D33259AD11199E9080009EB5A5A03613F[…]>

Dear all

In cybernetics, information science, computer science, behavioral
biology and library and informations science there are a growing
interest in semiotic approaches. I have therefore arranged this
symposium for those who want to contribute with their semiotic knowledge
to these areas that really needs it. A get together for at least two
very different cultures! Please join!

 I  apologize for possible cross-postings. Please post and distribute!

Symposium on Cybernetics and Semiotics
How can they supplement each other in the life-, information- and social
as part of
The International Association for Cybernetics conference in Namur 24 to
28 August 1998

Assoc. Prof., Ph.D. Søren Brier, Royal School of Librarianship, Aalborg
Branch, Langagervej 4, 9220 Aalborg Øst, Denmark. Tel:+4598157922.
Fax:+4598151042. E-mail:sbr[…] Homepage:

Cybernetics - especially in the form of second order cybernetics and
autopoiesis theory -  has become more and more important in the
understanding of the cognition of living and social systems focusing on
the importance of information and communication within and between these
systems. The theories of von Foerster, Maturana & Varela and Luhmann has
made an important impact here. Recently a socio-cybernetic group has
been formed under the International Sociological association organised
by Felix Geyer. 

For some years now the FIS (foundations of information science) group
has been active discussing the proper foundation for a transdisciplinary
information science But both within the life sciences and especially
within the electronic applications of communication and information
sciences  in AI and Cognitive Science there has been fundamental
problems in dealing with the semantic level when  pure scientific
approaches are pursued. As the present computer programs are based on
logically and algorithmically functions the models become purely
functionalistic or even mechanistic in great part of IA , cognitive
science and even in biological based approaches. They thereby seems to
be unable to simulate very basic aspect of  life and mind such as the -
maybe unique - human/animal capacity for producing and experiencing

In semiotics - especially the semiotics based on Peirce's triadic,
evolutionary and pragmatic philosophy - signification is a basic concept
in the understanding of cognition and  communication. To overcome some
of the foundational problems in the mechanistic biology  a Biosemiotic
special interest group has been formed and accepted within the Int.
Association for Semiotic Studies. In the book "Signs of Meaning in the
Universe" (Indiana University Press) Jesper Hoffmeyer lay down the
fundament  for a scientific understanding of living system based on
signification  as complementary to the mechanistic approach. But
important papers has also been published in "The Semiotic Web" by
Emmeche and Hoffmeyer and in "Cybernetics & Human Knowing" vol. 1, no.
2/3 (Brier) and vol. 3, no. 1 (Hoffmeyer and Brier) and a new thematic
issue is forthcoming vol. 5, no. 1. The journal  Semiotica is in the
process of producing a special issue on biosemiotics.

In LIS (Library and Information Science) and MIS (Management Information
Systems) semiotics is gaining foothold within this decade as the
pragmatic meaning of concepts and documents is the central factor for
their successful retrieval from any system - including the Internet. All
users has a specific background (in hermeneutics Gadamar speaks of
'horizon') and interest (Wittgenstein used the concept 'language game'
in his philosophy). No search algorithm or system of automated indexing
has so far been able to treat this semantic factor  as the meaning of
concepts is very much determined from pragmatic contexts of life and
culture.  D.C. Blair  has in 1990 written the groundbreaking book "
Language and Representation in Information Retrieval" (Elsevier Science
Publishers, New York) where he combine Peirce's semiotics and
Wittgensteins language game theory in document retrieval theory and
Liebenau, J. & Backhouse, J.  has in 1990 published the small but
paradigmatic important book " Understanding Information : An
introduction" (MacMillan, London) introducing a semiotic pragmatic
approach in management information systems. Brier has published an
integrative approach: "Cybersemiotics: A new interdisciplinary
development applied to the problems of knowledge organisation and
document retrieval in information science" , Journal of Documentation,
Vol. 52, no. 3, September 1996, pp.296-344.

The symposium call for papers proposing ways of  using the knowledge of
self-organisation in systems that cybernetics give us with the pragmatic
view of meaning in semiotics and  language philosophy to come to a
better understanding of living and social system's handling of
information and communication. Some outcomes could be: Better
understanding of  the special qualities of the living and its cognitive
abilities versus the computer, better understanding of the phenomenon of
consciousness, better understanding of the function of signification and
communication in social systems and a better understanding of
man-machine interactions and  therefore better ways to integrate machine
capabilities  to support human knowledge and action for instance in the
field of document retrieval.



Prospective contributors are invited to submit a 1-page (about 2K)
abstract (preferably including references), along with the author's
name, postal and email address and affiliations. The submission should
be sent by email to the symposium chair  Søren Brier. sbr[…]
The deadline for receiving submissions is March 10, 1998.

The proposals will be refereed by the journal's review board. You
will be notified about the acceptance (or rejection) of your proposal
as soon as possible, but not later than March 31, 1998. If accepted,
the full text of the paper, which must not exceed 6 typed,
single-spaced pages, is to be sent by postal mail to the congress
secretariat before May 31, 1998.

All papers that are personally presented by the author at the
congress will be published in the congress Proceedings. The authors of
the best papers will be invited to publish an extended version in the
journal Cybernetics & Human Knowing: A Journal of Second Order 
Cybernetics and Cybersemiotics, homepage:

If you wish you can submit a maximum of two papers in different
symposia of the congress. Submissions for other symposia should be
sent directly to the congress secretariat before  February 31
(originally January 31), 1998.


The 15th International Congress on Cybernetics will be held from
August 24 to 28, 1998, in Namur (Belgium) at the Institute for
Computer Sciences of the University of Namur. The International
Congresses on Cybernetics are organised triennially (since 1956) by
the International Association for Cybernetics (IAC). The
interdisciplinary domain of cybernetics, addresses subjects such 
as information, communication, organisation, intelligence, complex 
systems, and feedback loops.

Namur is a quiet little city on the confluence of the Meuse and
Sambre rivers, at the foot of a hill supporting impressive medieval
fortifications. Its charming old streets offer plenty of restaurants
and cafes. It is situated at an hour's drive by car or train from
Brussels, the capital of Belgium and of the European Union, at the
border of the beautiful forested region of the Ardennes.

The congress atmosphere is relaxed and informal, with several
symposia going on in parallel in adjacent rooms. Lunches can be taken
at the university restaurant, in the restored mediaeval Arsenal. The
congress normally includes a congress dinner, an excursion, and a
meeting room for coffee breaks. Participants are responsible for
making their own hotel reservations, but good quality and inexpensive
accomodation in students' rooms will be available. A list of hotels
will be forwarded on request.

The official languages of the Congress are English and French .



-       ANDONIAN Greg (Canada)
        Architectural Computing and Networking : Perspectives on Hi-Tech
        and Globalisation

-       ANDREEWSKY Evelyne (France)
        NICOLLE Anne (France)
        Dcision et Langage - la dialectique du savoir et du dire -
       Decision and Language; the Dialectic of Knowledge and Saying

-       BARANDOVSKA-FRANK Vera (Germany)
        Contributions de l'interlinguistique  la cyberntique de la
        communication humaine - Contributions of Interlinguistics to
        Communication Cybernetics

-       BETTA Jan (Poland)
        Gnie des systmes industriels : un champ nouveau d'applications
        de l'approche systmique - Engineering of Industrial Systems : a
new Field
       of  Applied Systemic Approach

-       BOUCHON-MEUNIER Bernadette (France)
        Fouille de donnes - Data Mining

-       BOYD Gary (Canada)
        ZEMAN Vladimir (Canada)
        The Cybernetics of Rational and Liberative Education

	   Mario Vaneechoutte
        Symposium on Memetics :  Evolutionary Models of  information

-       CARON Armand (France)
        Les rseaux neuronaux, l'acquisition des connaissances et leurs
        traitements - Neural Networks, Knowledge acquisition and

-       DUBOIS Daniel (Belgium)
        General Methods for Systems Modeling and Control
        FOMICHOV Vladimir (Russia)
        Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Philosophy for
        Social Progress

-       FRANK Helmar (Germany)
        Les media dits "modernes" en communication scientifique et
        didactique - So-called "Modern" Media in Scientific and Didactic

        The Development of Artificial Entities: An Interdisciplinary
          Approach toward the Understanding of Self Contained Systems

-       JDANKO Alexis (Israel)
        Essence and History of Cybernetics

 -     JEAN Roger (Canada)
        Biomathmatique et/ou biologie thorique - Biomathematics and/or
        Theoretical Biology

-       LASKER George (Canada)
        Synergistic Effects of Local and Global Developments on our
        Lives and on our Future

-       MURPHY Dennis (Canada)
        NARANJO Michel (France)
        L'image  travers les rseaux et l'ducation  la citoyennet - The
        Image through Networks and Education to Citizenship

-       NUNEZ E.A. (France)
        Functional Analogies between Biological, Social and
        Technological  Domains

      POLAKOVA Eva (Slovak Republik)
      Prospects and possibilities of objective international studies
      of border disciplines in respect to anthropocybernetics

-       SCHWARZ Eric (Switzerland)
        Holistic Aspects of Systems Science

-       STEG Doreen (USA)
        Communication, Control and Organization in Complex Systems

-       WARBURTON Brian (U.K.)
        Information, Context, and Meaning



The registration fee covers participation in the Congress, the
documents, a reception, the coffee-breaks and the Proceedings for the

        Before April 30, 1998     /  After April 30, 1998

          11 000 BEF             14 000 BEF

Special conditions for young researchers under 30 years (on presentation
a certificate issued by their university) (does not include the
                4 000 BEF               5 000 BEF

(1$ = about 37 BEF - Belgian Franc)

Payment can be made as follows :
* to bank account nr 250-0077851-45 with the Generale de Banque
* to giro account nr 000-0045356-57
* by cheque or international money order
made out to : Association Internationale de Cybernetique, Palais des
Expositions, B-5000 Namur (Belgium).


For registration, or further information about the congress,
contact the congress secretariat, using the application form below:

International Association for Cybernetics
Palais des Expositions, avenue Sergent Vrithoff 2
B-5000 Namur, Belgium
Phone  +32-81-71 71 71
Fax    +32-81-71 71 00
Email  Cyb[…]

Application Form

 15th Int. Congress on Cybernetics (Namur, 24-28 August, 1998)

Name : .......................................................
First name :..................................................
Profession and titles:........................................
Institution: .................................................
Address : ....................................................
Phone :   ....................................................
E-mail :......................................................

o   I would like to receive more information about the Congress
o   I would like to attend the Congress
o   I intend to present a paper to the following symposium :
Title of Paper  :.............................................

     Date :                       Signature:


Venlig hilsen/Best wishes/Sincerely yours

Søren Brier

Assoc. Prof. Royal School of Library & Information Science, Langagervej
4, DK-9220 Aalborg Øst, Danmark. + 4598157922, fax: +4598151042,

Ed. of Cybernetics & Human Knowing,


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 14:24:08 -0500
From: piat[…] (Jim L Piat)
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
Message-ID: <19980223.142409.4846.0.piat[…]>

On Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:50:27 -0600 (CST) BugDaddy[…] (BugDaddy)

>Hmmm...  I think that the statement that the primary unity is
>that of a proposition leads immediately to the denial of
>Firstness.  [It probably denies Secondness as well.]  For a First
>is what it is in itself.  White is white,not a proposition about

I hope some others join in on this issue of whether poopsitions are
fundamental.  To me this seems a central point but I'm very uncertain
about all of this.

>>>Continuing with Peirce: "The conception of being contains only
>>>that junction of predicate to subject wherein these two verbs
>>>agree."  I am not sure that I understand this.  The verb is the
>>>copula -- or the copula and predicate together.  So where do we
>>>get *two* verbs in agreement?
>>I think the two verbs Peirce is talking about in this sentence are 
>>verbs "is" (as in "A griffin is a winged quadruped")  and "would be" 
>>in if a griffin were present it "would be" a winged quadruped)
>Perhaps.  But then, I am not sure how they *agree.*

I think they agree in conferring being but not presence.

>Being is predicated across all ten of Aristotle's categories.
>But for Aristotle, the categories are mutually exclusive:  What
>is substance is not a quantity; what is time is not a place.  So
>if one asks which category being is in, we have a problem.  Yet,
>substances are beings; so are quantities, qualities, times,
>places...  Being can not exist synonymously in all categories....
>It is one thing to say that a man is.  It is another to say that
>white is.  It is another to say that a certain time is.  In each
>case, the word being means something different.  When one word
>takes on several different meanings, it is a homonym.
>Some would seek to avoid this by arguing that being is an
>analogy.  Thus they say that what I mean in predicating
>accidental existence is *something like* what I mean when I
>predicate substantial being.
>Personally, I believe that *all* words are analogies of some
>sort.  The classical example of analogy is found in the word
>*healthy.*  For when I say that a man is healthy, I mean one
>thing.  But if I say that food is healthy, I mean that food is
>the cause of health.  If I say that urine is healthy [another
>classical example] I mean that urine is a sign of health.  Thus
>the one word has slightly different -- analogous --  meanings
>when applied to different subjects.
>But I see a problem in saying that being is applied analogously
>across Aristotle's ten categories.  For no conceivable analogy
>applies to all things.  As Peirce says, being has no content.
>Indeed, for being to have content seems to destroy logic.
>Now if being is not synonymous or analogous it seems to be

Aha! Thanks.

>>>Continuing: "Though being does not affect the subject, it implies
>>>an indefinite determinability of the predicate.  For if one could
>>>know the copula and predicate of any proposition, as ". . . is a
>>>tailed-man," he would know the predicate to be applicable to
>>>something supposable, at least."  Hmmm.  It would seem that the
>No, you have it backwards.  He said that the predicate is
>determinable, not the subject.  The subject can be completely

I agree.  I didn't mean to state it backwards.

>>There can be no Socrates without some qualities that are Socrates.  
>>other words, I think he is saying we can speak of qualities as 
>>without referencing a particular subject of which they are predicated 
>>we can not speak of subjects as existing with no specific qualities.  
>>least this is what I think he's saying.  Seems to me that Sartre 
>>that man was an exception to this notion in that for man qua man
>>existence (presence) preceded essence.  That is to say man's essence
>>(anything that can be predicated of him) is indeterminate and a 
>matter of
>>continuous free choice.  For Sartre, predicating anything of man is 
>>reduce him to a mere object.  Thus man chooses his essence. 
>Man *is* an object of logic.  I know that when you read the
>messages I send you interpret them according to certain
>conventions which have meaning only in terms of my objective
>Is man an object to himself?  In some sense, perhaps not.  But if
>not then man can not know himself.

Well, in some sense man can not know himself.  His truth lies outside
himself.  He only knows himself in his choices.

>But what Peirce says is not that every subject must be qualified,
>but that every qualification *is* qualified.  This is the
>opposite sort of question from what you attribute to Sarte.

Well, I think its the same question but an opposite answer.  I think
Sartre would argue that both the expression "There is man" and the
expression "Man is an indeterminate quality"  are meaningful.  I think
Peirce says only the first is meaningful. 

>>>Continuing: " Accordingly, we have propositions whose subjects
>>>are entirely indefinite, as "There is a beautiful ellipse," where
>>>the subject is merely something actual or potential; but we have
>>>no propositions whose predicate is entirely indeterminate, for it
>>>would be quite senseless to say, "A has the common characters of
>>>all things," inasmuch as there are no such common characters."
>>>Perhaps this explains what he meant in the previous sentences.
>>>Certainly the weight of a proposition rests on its predicate.
>>>The predicate must always exist for a proposition to have
>>>meaning.  The subject must exist only if the predicate requires
>>Except, one could argue along with Sartre, for the case of man
>You seem to be thinking backward -- even granted Sarte's claims.

 In addition to my usual backwardness, I think where you an I are going
in opposite directions is over the issue of how "being" and "presence"
are to be used.  I equate the word "exist" with "present" and take the
word "being" to add, join or couple "quality" to that which is present.

>The *predicate* must exist.  If sickness did not exist then it
>makes no sense to say "Socrates is sick."  This is true whether
>we are talking about a man named Socrates, or a dog.  The same is
>true of Sarte.  It would make no sense to say "Sarte is sick" if
>there was no such thing as sickness.  Whether Sarte is an
>*object* or not is irrelevant.  We are concerned about the
>predicate, sickness -- or whatever -- not about Sarte, or

I think I agree with this in so far as you are speaking of man as mere

>>>Thus the sentence "Socrates is sick" would mean nothing if there
>>>were no such thing as sickness.  Socrates must exist for the
>>>proposition to be true, because the predicate is positive in
>>>meaning and must be linked to an existing subject in order to
>>>express truth.  On the other hand, the proposition "Socrates is
>>>not sick" would be true if there were no Socrates at all.  For
>>>*not sick* being a negation is indefinite and does not require
>>>that its subject exist.
>>>Continuing:  "Thus substance and being are the beginning and end
>>>of all conception."  This seems clear enough.  I think it to be
>>>compatible with what Aristotle said.  But what is a substance?
>>>Are we dealing with Aristotle's substance, a stove or a man?  Or
>>>are we dealing with something indeterminate, something *there.*
>>I'd say something more like *there*.
>OK.  So perhaps Peirce should have said "There is black."  But
>what he wrote was "The stove is black."  So I am left with a

Yes, I have the same nagging uncertainty about this.

Thanks again.  

Jim Piat

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]


Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:04:26 -0500
From: piat[…] (Jim L Piat)
To: peirce-l[…]
Subject: Re: The New List (Paragraph 4)
Message-ID: <19980223.160426.4054.0.piat[…]>

I meant propositions!  Maybe I'm just too full of the former.  Sorry

Jim Piat

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]



This page is part of the website ARISBE
Last modified March 7, 1998 — J.R.
Page last modified by B.U. May 3, 2012 — B.U.

Queries, comments, and suggestions to:
Top of the Page