And rightly so tempered!|
Fichte was a funny guy. His works has been massively undervalued in the
English speaking world mainly because until very recently there was
only one work of his available in English, and this was a near
unreadable rant on the Ego. Taken together with the fact that this guy
re-wrote his system almost annually and ended his days as a kind of
guru advising people on life-style, and that is after being banished
from Jena for atheism (while people like Goethe were managing to
popularise Spinoza) and openly supporting the Jacobins at a time when
Robespierre was executing people in batches of 50.
Nonetheless, not only do we owe the idea of Activity as a fundamental
category of philosophy (rather than mind/matter or subject/object
dichotomies) to Fichte, we also owe the idea of Recognition to Fichte,
not the Young Hegel who appropriated it from Fichte. Recognition is the
key concept in a lot of critical theory nowadays, creating conditions,
IMHO, ripe for a CHAT/CT reconciliation. Althusser's idea of
interpellation was also anticipated by Fichte, and would be worth an
examination in the context of a dramatic reading of Vygotsky, too.
Tony Whitson wrote:
On Wed, 15 Jun 2011, Andy Blunden wrote:
For this insight we must thank Johann
Gottfried Fichte. I am delighted to hear that Good old Charles Sanders
Peirce thought the same with his sign-activity.
This is definitely the meaning of CSP's concept of sign-activity
(although he still used the word "meaning" more conventionally).
And Peirce was familiar with the German idealists, although his
appreciation of their contributions was tempered by seeing their
idealism drawing them into some unfortunate tendencies.
Tony Whitson wrote:
Messages in this thread that have appeared
subsequently to the one from Andy that I'm responding to here have used
"meaning" as a noun (it seems to me), thereby referring to meaning as
something that is appropriately signified by a noun.
Andy's post suggests using "meaning" as a verb (gerund or participle),
which I think is much better. The meaning of a word is something the
word does (actually or potentially), not something it contains,
conveys, etc. A person's meaning (like a word's meaning) is also
something that the person does -- just as their dancing is something
that they do.
I am meaning this in the Peircean sense of meaning as sign-activity, or
semiosis. Andy is suggesting a consistency with LSV.
But is not the "this" that I mean, when I say "I am meaning this,"
something that can be signified by the pronoun "this" (or the nominal
phrase, "my meaning")? I would answer again that what I mean is like
what I dance. We can treat my "dance" as a noun that names a thing, but
it really is a nominalized term for the dancing -- for something that
is not some "thing," but (rather) some doing -- for what is
fundamentally an action or activity. (And dancing/dance seems to align
well with acting (action)/activity.)
We can still differentiate among valid, less valid, or completely
deranged ways a word can _mean_, as it's interpreted in the ongoing
semiosic generation of interpretants (Peirce), and such
differentiations can be along the lines of hermeneutical,
anthropological, or more juridical or "official" (as in David's Kangxi
example) in/validity; but the array of actual or potential meaning(s)
that a word can do are all within the potentiality of the word's
I read David's post as not inconsistent with what I'm reading from
Andy, except that instead of "meaning making," I would suggest "meaning
doing," or the doing, not the making, of my meaning, or the meaning of
What is your thinking?
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