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PEIRCE-L Digest 1320 - March 6-7, 1998  
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Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Re: Of Laws and [Wo]Men
	by joseph.ransdell[…]yahoo.com (ransdell, joseph m.)
  2) Re: Thirdness as Love?
	by "Anne Marie Dinesen" 
  3) Re: The New List (Paragraph 6)
	by BugDaddy[…]cris.com (BugDaddy)

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Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 08:12:04 -0600
From: joseph.ransdell[…]yahoo.com (ransdell, joseph m.)
To: 
Subject: Re: Of Laws and [Wo]Men
Message-ID: <001e01bd4909$d894b6c0$25e5ead0[…]ransdell.door.net>

In response to Anne Freadman:

Thanks for that adroit selection of passages from Misak's book, Anne.  I
think her account is first rate and wish there were some way to get it
in wider distribution.  Several things occurred to me reading through
your post, but I only have time at the moment to remark on one point
which is, perhaps, something that I would be more likely to notice than
most others because of the special configurations of my own intellectual
interests, namely, how Socratic Peirce appears when his view is
approached, as Cheryl Misak does, from the point of view of
understanding inquiry.  Take the following passage from her which you
provide:

>"It is important to remember that the constraint on belief imposed by
>experience is a negative one.  The world affects our beliefs not by our
>finding out positive things about it, but rather, by providing
recalcitrant
>or surprising things which upset an expectation produced by a belief.
The
>role which the world plays is not one of providing something for our
>beliefs to correspond to, but rather, one of letting us know when we
have a
>belief that conflicts with it." (p.83)

This is of the essence of Socratism, too.  Whenever, in Plato, a
description is given of what Socrates does, it is terms of the elenchus
and aporia -- the bringing out of a contradiction and the consequent
state of bewilderment or (more literally) impasse.  ("Aporia" means
literally something like "no way to go" or "no way out of here", and has
a predominantly objective sense that is lost when it is translated in
terms of the subjective state of confusion or puzzlement, though of
course this is an aspect of it, too.)  The frustration that induces when
one doesn't understand the possible use of it, or is incapable of making
any use of it, is brought out beautifully in the Meno in particular in
Meno's statement of the so-called "paradox of inquiry" and Socrates
response to it.

The aporia is the necessary condition for the occurrence of reflective
thought, which is driven by the aim of overcoming that state of impasse
by taking up a vantage point from higher ground, as it were.  But to do
this supposes that one is capable of tolerating the condition of
unresolved contradiction and living within it interminably, as it were,
which in turn supposes that one can see that what at first appears to be
something intolerable is actually itself a form of life which can not
only be as stable as the undisturbed (non-aporetic) life but,
paradoxically, even more stable and solid, just as Socrates, always in
question, is nevertheless not rendered into a waffling, wishy-washy,
ditherer by his devotion to that condition but is, to the contrary, more
solid and unshakeable than anyone else in Athens, as the concrete
embodiment of the wisdom that consists in acceptance of inquiry (hence
aporia) as ultimate.

That is what baffles others about him and gives rise to the charges of
dissembling (ironeia) and of really being something other than he is.
According to Socrates himself, the real charges against him -- or
perhaps better, what is at the root of the charges against him -- is the
conviction that has built up over the years that he is a liar, a
fraud -- in reality either a Sophist or one of those inspired
subversives we call the "Pre-Socratics" -- but pretending to be
something else.   Because the people whom he attempts to lead into
aporia via the elenchic discursive strategy cannot themselves stand to
be in that state of germinal questioning and quest, which terrifies them
because of the sense of impotence one has when one realizes that one
doesn't understand something one has built one's life upon, they cannot
believe that Socrates lives in it at all times, and thus they perceive
him as just playing a denigrative game with them, reducing them to
dithering idiots publicly so they can be humiliated, while he himself
mockingly pretends to be in the same position but obviously is not.

What I am leading up to is saying that I think the seemingly unending
problem of getting people to recognize what the Peirce-Dewey type of
pragmatic stance is is sustantially the same as the problem Socrates had
of converting people from the idea that questioning or inquiry is a
symptom of deficiency, a weakness, a character flaw which nobody should
tolerate in themselves or others to acceptance of it as what human
strength actually is. The word "fallibilism" is the Peircean word for
acceptance of this as the proper human condition and means sustantially
the same as what Socrates tried to convey in saying that he did indeed
possess wisdom but -- strange though it may seem -- his wisdom actually
consists in giving up on the idea that wisdom as people ordinarily
understand it is either possible or desirable, which means adoption of
the life of inquiry as ultimate, not as a means to an end that can ever
come to an end.  .

More on this later, maybe.

Joe Ransdell



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Joseph Ransdell            or  <>
 Department of Philosophy, Texas Tech University, Lubbock TX 79409
 Area Code  806:  742-3158 office    797-2592 home    742-0730 fax
 ARISBE: Peirce Telecommunity website - http://members.door.net/arisbe
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



------------------------------

Date:          Fri, 6 Mar 1998 15:21:23 CET
From: "Anne Marie Dinesen" 
To: peirce-l[…]ttacs6.ttu.edu
Subject: Re: Thirdness as Love?
Message-ID: <256EB8266CC4[…]cfk.hum.aau.dk>



To Paul Kelly in reference to your question about the relation between 
Thirdness as Agapism and the concept of Love.

You ask, "Does it arise out of any theistic beliefs Peirce might hold?"
Peirces concept of God is related to both aesthetics and ethics; when considering 
the "reality" (not existence) of God Peirce talks about "aesthetic spiritual 
perfection" (CP. 6.510) - which in some sense is, in reference to Cathy - related 
to his idea on the continuum, that is, a mathematical deduction which implies 
that the hypothesis concerning such (formal) reality is "less false than true". 
When related to ethics I will quote a passage from 1893: 

"As far as it is contracted to a rule of ethics, it is: Love God and love your 
neighbour; "on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." It 
may be regarded in a higher point of view with St. John as the universal 
evolutionary formula. But in whatever light it be regarded or in whatever 
direction developed, the belief in the law of love is the Christian faith." (6.441)

Here Peirce talks about the Christian faith, but later in 1909 he mentions in a 
letter to William James: 

"(...) I can't help thinking that the mother of Christianity, Buddhism, is superior 
to our own religion. That is what one of my selves, my intellectual self says. But 
enough, I will keep my religion to myself and to One that does not scoff at it. 
(NEM III/2 p. 872)

The reason for the last sentence is a discussion Peirce had with William James 
who permitted himself to say to Peirce that he did not "deserve" his second wife 
Juliette, and Peirce says on that:

"but I hardly expected as great a student of psychology and of Religious 
experiences as you are to class me so. I think there is too much about deserve in 
the new Testament." (NEM III/2 p. 872)


For Peirce it was very important to avoid that ethics was identified with 
"moralism", and consequently with the act of judging the behaviour of the other. 
What is of importance is to understand the generality of the triadic judgement 
represented by the logical proposition. To understand the generality implies that 
the particular subject in question must not "interfere" and judge the "other". In 
the aesthetic contemplation it is important to avoid that which is related to the 
"ego - non-ego" dimension of the human subject, that is, the individual 
dispositions to judge the other from a moral point of view since the human 
subject is defined by it's imperfections and errors. In the dialogue with James, 
this latter judges Peirce and uses words like "deserve".  But the law of love - 
mentioned above - is not the typical law of a Christian God condemning 
individuals according to their behaviour - that is, a religious practise - but the 
law of understanding and recognising the general patterns of phenomena, 
instead of condemning the individual.
   Peirce mentions somewhere that "hate" is not the opposite of love but a defect 
of love. Hate is in this sense an individual passion related to the dual 
"ego-non-ego" reactions - while love corresponds to the understanding of the 
other. 
  Thirdness in evolution corresponds to natural habittaking which again is 
analogous to the so-called "social principle" due to its very generality - that is, 
patterns to which the individuals are subjected. It is not a new idea in the 
history of philosophy to connect love and intelligence (epistemology) but Peirce 
connects the two - love/understanding - the mental law - to the analogous 
characters of natural habittaking and gives preference to Thirdness because this 
represents the mental law which is that of understanding - that is, judging by 
means of logical, objective analysis the aim of which is to understand the true 
characters of the object in question, not react upon individual moral preferences. 

When Peirce refers to both Christian faith and Buddhism it seems to me that this 
is due to aesthetic contemplation and understanding as the "bridge" between the 
two. 
   One of the most well-known Christians, Jesus, never judged the individual but 
tried to understand which in his case was performed as "absolution" since he 
considered sins (hateful acts) as a result of ignorance. It seems to me that the 
idea of love in this sense is related to the understanding - or recognition - of the 
law. 


	Best,

	Anne Marie 

***********

Date:          Wed, 4 Mar 1998 17:10:09 -0600 (CST)
Reply-to:      peirce-l[…]ttacs6.ttu.edu
From:          Paul Kelly 
To:            Multiple recipients of list 
Subject:       Re: Thirdness as Love?


	I'm presently preparing a paper whereby I'm attempting to relate
the category of Thirdness with Peirce's doctrine of agapasticism.  In his
essay "Evolutionary Love" Peirce is quite explicit that Empedocles as well
as the Gospel of John have convinced him of the importance of love in
terms of the evolutionary growth of knowledge.  Yet I question whether
Peirce has any basis for his application of Thirdness to agape?  Surely
there must be more to it than its likeness to warmth, growth, etc.  Does
it arise out of any theistic beliefs Peirce might hold?

Paul Kelly




______________________________________________________________

Anne Marie Dinesen										tels:    +45 8942 4470 
																															+45 8942 4466 & 4499 (secr.)
Research Fellow, Ph.D. 								 fax:	   +45 8610 8228
Center for Semiotic Research	  		home: +45 8616 1116      (tel & fax)
Aarhus University												e-mail: semdinesen[…]cfk.hum.aau.dk
Finlandsgade 26,
8200 Aarhus N														 Homepage:
Denmark																			http://www.hum.au.dk/semiotics
______________________________________________________________



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Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 03:41:34 GMT
From: BugDaddy[…]cris.com (BugDaddy)
To: peirce-l[…]ttacs6.ttu.edu
Subject: Re: The New List (Paragraph 6)
Message-ID: <3504b807.5005473[…]pop3.cris.com>

Peirce wrote:

>     6. The facts now collected afford the basis for a
> systematic method of searching out whatever universal elementary
> conceptions there may be intermediate between the manifold of
> substance and the unity of being. It has been shown that the
> occasion of the introduction of a universal elementary
> conception is either the reduction of the manifold of substance
> to unity, or else the conjunction to substance of another
> conception. And it has further been shown that the elements
> conjoined cannot be supposed without the conception, whereas the
> conception can generally be supposed without these elements.
> Now, empirical psychology discovers the occasion of the
> introduction of a conception, and we have only to ascertain what
> conception already lies in the data which is united to that of
> substance by the first conception, but which cannot be supposed
> without this first conception, to have the next conception in
> order in passing from being to substance. 

>     It may be noticed that, throughout this process,
> introspection is not resorted to. Nothing is assumed respecting
> the subjective (W2.52) elements of consciousness which cannot be
> securely inferred from the objective elements.

I'm not sure I can add anything to what he said, but we must move
on or die...

"The facts now collected afford the basis for a systematic method
of searching out whatever universal elementary conceptions there
may be intermediate between the manifold of substance and the
unity of being."  Ah, finally!

"It has been shown that the occasion of the introduction of a
universal elementary conception is either the reduction of the
manifold of substance to unity, or else the conjunction to
substance of another conception."  I'm not sure that these things
have been *shown.*  I am willing to suspend disbelief, at this
point...

"And it has further been shown that the elements conjoined cannot
be supposed without the conception, whereas the conception can
generally be supposed without these elements."  Yes, I can know
*red* even though I am not currently looking at a red object.

"Now, empirical psychology discovers the occasion of the
introduction of a conception, and we have only to ascertain what
conception already lies in the data which is united to that of
substance by the first conception, but which cannot be supposed
without this first conception, to have the next conception in
order in passing from being to substance."  Sounds simple enough.
 
"It may be noticed that, throughout this process, introspection
is not resorted to. Nothing is assumed respecting the subjective
(W2.52) elements of consciousness which cannot be securely
inferred from the objective elements."  Sure, but we better keep
an eye on Peirce to see if he is true to his word.



----------------------------------------------------------
The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us.
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to
dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

Henry David Thoreau, *Walden*

http://www.cris.com/~bugdaddy/sophia
-----------------------------------
 Life is a miracle waiting to happen.
http://www.cris.com/~bugdaddy/life.htm
-----------------------------------
         Bill  Overcamp
-----------------------------------

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