Monday, May 17, 2010

Mormon Metaphysics on Peirce and Ereignis.
In Peirce we have the notion of firstness which is a phenomena as it is purely in itself with no reference to anything else. Now of course what enables a moment of firstness is contextual. My experience of love is made possible by meeting my wife, living in a culture in which love of a sort is given a sense, a set of practices, and so forth. But the absolute phenomena of love is something purely singular. Being, although rarely discussed by Peirce, is often seen as something prior to firstness which enables firstness. (Kelly Parker has argued that Peirce adopts a nearly neo-Platonic cosmology of Being)

What is key is that Being isn’t simply a collection of events but a transcendental move of what makes the events possible as the kind of events they are.

The difference between Peirce and Heidegger is that Peirce isn’t only doing phenomenology. That is he sees phenomenology as one category within existence. Whereas Heidegger is doing phenomenology (although with his move to “thinking” he clearly expands beyond pure phenomenology). The question then becomes what makes not just phenomena but all things ontically what they are. Is Heidegger’s Ereignis up to the task? I don’t think it is.
Not by itself. Ereignis needs a clearing, in which things, cultures, practices, etc., show up.
That's true but not what I was getting at. Heidegger through all his phases is focused on a particular kind of ground: the phenomenological ground. But he never asks what grounds things ontically. That is why are the de-worlded entities the kind of entities they are. Certainly in terms of a world Ereignis needs a clearing for the background practices to enable an entity to show itself as the kind of entity it is. It's not clear that this explains the ontic issue unless one moves to a particular sort of pantheism. (Which perhaps Heidegger moves a little towards in his various discussions of Schelling - although I'd hesitate to claim that on the basis of those class notes.)
Pierce isn't a traditional platonist really (I have only "phil. writings" but don't see much phenomenology, or relation to Heideggerian Being--Pierce doesn't care for cartesianism in any form--) . He did suggest something like monism (not sure that has to be equivalent to "pantheism" ala spinoza), though he's not really an anti-rationalist, and had a keen interest in linguistic and scientific issues...
Clark, I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Ontically things are grounded like they are in Aristotle, they are particular objects of a certain type; e.g., this chair. It sounds like you are asking how they transition from being ontological to ontic? Which sounds Platonic - how does a form become a particular object - so I'm misinterpreting what you are looking for.
Re-perusing Pierce's chestnuts on phenomenology, aka phaneroscopy, one notes he identifies Firstness with quality-- universals, more or less: Quality is the monadic element of the world. Quality is 1st-ness; fact, 2nd-ness; thought, 3rd- ness.

So in the usual jargon, CP did suggest metaphysical realism--yet at various writings he distinguishes his schema from dualism. Ergo, it would seem to a type of immanentism--possibly neo-aristotelian (tho' Pierce also evolutionary in a sense)--, perhaps not altogether free of...quackery, but not Heideggerian (which I contend follows from Parmenides {via...theology}, ie sort of pre-platonism, NOT Heraclitus, or his acolytes Aristotle, or Hegel, tho' at times Hei. sounded vaguely Hegelian...probably for effect).
Well I agree Peirce isn't a traditional Platonist. (i.e. in terms of what Platonism was taken to be in the British tradition) That's not really Kelly Parker's point. (See "The Ascent of Soul to Nous: Charles S. Peirce as NeoPlatonist") Also check his review of Frazer's book on Berkley. (Sorry, forget the reference of the top of my head)

As for whether he's a phenomenologist, he's not a Husserlian phenomenologist. But he definitely does a lot of phenomenology and that's an important aspect of his categories. I noticed that one of his major writings on phenomenology are online. The criticisms of Peirce as a phenomenologist (such as by Joe Ransdell) distinguish his thought more from Hegel and Husserl however precisely the differences are of interest to those reading Heidegger and say Derrida. Derrida indeed says it is Peirce who comes closest to Desconstruction. If one reads the later works of Peirce on signs (especially the Lady Welby correspondence) then the parallels to Derrida are profound. (I rather doubt Derrida read more than the same papers most read of Peirce)

Also, Peirce doesn't just identify firstness with universals, although universals by their nature are an example of firstness in some senses. In other senses they are habits and thus examples of thirdness. It really depends upon the context one is speaking of. Relative to phenomena any moment of phenomena will as it is in itself be an example of firstness. That is a kind of unified experience. When Peirce speaks of firstness as universals he's speaking of pure potential independent of any particular examplification. This is opposed to pure action (roughly the discussion of the Other in Levinas or Derrida) which is secondness. Then signs are thirdness.

Regarding what I'm after. What is it that let's a chair hold itself as existing. Not as phenomena to a dasein. But rather in the ontic deworled "realm." We can talk about the chair's parts grounding the chair. For Aristotle eventually the four elements while for us moderns electrons, quarks, photons and the like. But what grounds those? For Aristotle this gets us to the problematic question of prime matter.

Now for Heidegger the ontic is taken as already there. (At least if you adopt the realist reading of Heidegger - obviously not all do) The question of grounds then becomes what lets the chair be a chair for dasein. But the other question just isn't engaged with, that I can see, by Heidegger.
As for whether [Pierce is] a phenomenologist, he's not a Husserlian phenomenologist. But he definitely does a lot of phenomenology and that's an important aspect of his categories

Yes, but he's not only not a Husserlian, but uses the term phenomenology in quite a different sense than germans do,e.g. "phaneroscopy"--he seems to suggest metaphysics taken as a whole.

Derrida indeed says it is Peirce who comes closest to Desconstruction. If one reads the later works of Peirce on signs (especially the Lady Welby correspondence) then the parallels to Derrida are profound. (I rather doubt Derrida read more than the same papers most read of Peirce)

I'm not a postmod, but dimly recall a few passages in Of Gram. where Derrida brings up Peirce, but ...I think Derrida overlooked the realist aspects (ie realism in metaphysical sense, not literary..)...not to say logic.

Pierce says somewhere that he won't bother with something like a correspondence theory of truth, but he's not an anti-realist (or anti-rationalist). Or so it seems...in brief Pierce held to a pragmatist account of science--process, functionalism, measurable effects, etc--but that was not his entire ...weltanschaaung, which resists easy classification (tho' I guess that may appeal to pomos). Quine quotes Pierce at times....
J, I take Derrida as a realist so I don't think he's overlooking Peirce's realism. Rather the "gap" between the dynamic object and immediate object in Peirce's semiotics leads to a lot of Derrida's points.

I'm more cautious about calling Peirce a metaphysical realist of the sense say Putnam uses it. I just don't think that's true.

Peirce's sense of truth is what an ideal community of inquirers would believe. That allows him to compare like to like. (i.e. our beliefs versus some potentially hypothetical beliefs in the future) This avoids the problem of correspondence between thought and reality typical in metaphysical realism since what corresponds are our thoughts and that ideal inquirer's thoughts. It's a realism since reality acts on inquirers eventually leading to stable beliefs.

This ends up being pretty similar to Derrida's conception where you have the selection by greater forces. (See, for example, his interview at the end of Limited Inc.)
Regarding phaneroscopy, I think you have to distinguish it from metaphysics in general in Peirce. Peirce sees phaneroscopy as what is present to mind. The difference in Peirce is that he doesn't limit himself as Hegel or Husserl did to merely the experience of things present to mind but rather to the things themselves. An example of this distinction can be found famously in his critique of Kant's things in themselves. Peirce argues that the thing in itself is present in experience even if it isn't part of phenomena in the sense Husserl would have it. I discussed that aspect of Peirce's phenomenology a few months back relative to the question of Heidegger and correlationism.

For Peirce philosophy had three main categories. The first is phenomenology or as he later called it phaneroscopy. The next is normative science which investigates laws of relating phenomena to ends. The third division is metaphysics. So while there are relationships between phenomenology and metaphysics, Peirce sees them as ultimately different endeavors. (See "The Three Normative Sciences", EP 2:196)
OK, thanks for clarifications, but Pierce at least suggests that normativity and metaphysics follows from the phenomenology (ie phaneroscopy)--that's mentioned in his essay Philosophy and the Sciences, and in Principles of Phenom. as well. Pro. philosopher I'm not, but my sense is that for CSP, his phenomenology was a type of first philosophy--grundrisse (perhaps "ontology" in Heideggerian sense). He also consistently criticized nominalism, and conceptualism.

So perhaps CSP's Firstness does not equal Platonism with a capital P, but ...he does affirm the existence of mind-independent entities (like universals...whether logico-mathematical relations, or adjectival...redness, etc). That or he's inconsistent...so perhaps I agree with the neo-platonic reading in part
Phenomenology for Peirce is 1stness. Normative Science is Phenomena relative to an other. Metaphysics is habit or patters (laws) and is thus a kind of sign relation and thus 3rdness. So they are all related to phenomenology proper but differ based upon the extra entities they depend upon.

I think Peirce's categories were a kind of first philosophy meant to replace the categories of Kant. In a certain way he's quite Hegelian in that despite his many attacks on Hegel. (Peirce himself called his system objective idealism following Schelling and recognized a lot of parallels between his thought and Schelling's)

He does attack nominalism and conceptualism but primarily due to his form of externalism. (An externalism that obviously Heidegger also holds to)

Peirce's universals or generals are only mind independent in a certain way. They arise out of habits in the sign processes of the universe. Literally an organic evolution conceived of semiotically. This only works due to a pantheism.

The way Peirce rescued realism from this sort of idealism (since all metaphysics and physical laws are a sort of mind-relation) is by saying they are independent of what any finite set of inquirers would believe. So the notion of infinity is very key to avoiding a lot of traditional problems for Peirce.

Peirce's firstness proper are pure potential and as such he sees them basically as a kind of platonic form. Just forms that exist only as potential and not as actuals (as some Platonists take them).
Post a Comment

<< Home
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

View mobile version