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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance


Thanks for joining my word game! I hope others are inspired to play. As we all know the function of play in zopeds. :)

I would like to ask for you to make for me your connections to what I proposed more explicitly so there is no room for my misinterpretation. I think I see connections, but rather than implied, I'd like to see them more explicitly.

Thanks as well for offering a paper for reference, I will attempt to hunt it down. But yes, agency and subjectivity are themes of interest to me, so these notions you have introduced to this thread certainly fall into that pocket. 

One surface-thought I have is that Schopenhauer studied the Upanishads, and it would not surprise me if he appropriated concepts from them. It is hard not to do because the texts are ripe with relevance, which I mean abstractly and to no specific experience. It is on my to-do list to read Schopenhauer to understand what he actually lifted and whether it was done correctly. I suspect it was not, given his interpretation of women's minds.

There is so much in your email that I'm sure I will have to read it a few times to really wring out the meaning. So if I am firstness and you are secondness, is your post thirdness? :)

I'm not quite clear about the notion of "subsumption." Where does the word, as used, come from? Champagne? Peirce? Schopenhauer? or Merriam-Webster?

This circle of mind, body, world is interesting too. It reminds me of Heidegger's Hermeneutic circle, which I find reminiscent of Vygotsky's everyday and scientific concepts. 

You have added to my rising curiosity, if there are connections there. Thank you for adding to my quest[tion]!

If I am understanding what you are saying, I think I agree that realization is the moment one recognizes the connectedness of things, there is an appearance of this being an event to the individual (the aha-moment), but that connectedness was always there, just not in the mind, which was in a state of ignorance. This dynamic is explained by how knowledge in the mind reflects knowledge in the world, but this presumes a different definition of knowledge than is considered in academic circles, I believe.

Et voilá, now I've taken a big dive into epistemology that may not be welcome here. 

I guess it just depends on how much meaning, or systems of meaning, means to you! :)

Kind regards,


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 9:55 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance

That is a very interesting quest [question]
Brings to mind David's way of construing his mashing up style and how David
portrays Andy's style of having clear and distinct terms.
I will bring Peirce to this game as he has had much practice in this type
of playing with narrations, constructions, constitutions, and realizations.
[to mention the terms circulating this week on XMCA]

He used the terms "firstness" "secondness" and "thirdness".
I am going to reference an article that is exploring the concept of
"agency" [will, volition] through a Perciean categorical scheme using the
three categories.
The article is by Marc Champagne "Just Do It: Schopenhauer and Peirce on
the Immediacy of Agency" in SYMPOSIUM  Volume 18 No.2 Fall 2014 pages

Firstness is singularity
Secondness indicates "polarity" a relation of resistance and constraint.
Peirce observed "where there is no effort there is no resistance but where
there is no resistance there is no effort.
Thirdness brings in triadic relations of interpretation. This is the realm
you are exploring above in the search for "terms"

Marc Champagne is articulating the relation of "secondness" and "thirdness"
as a relation of "subsumption" His model is attempting to show the relation
of subsumption binds "representation" and "action". He writes,

"Peircean semiotics insists that representation presupposes a mediating
INTERPRETATION that brings into relation two things [secondness] - but not
the other way around. Armed with this categorical scheme we can recast
Schopenhauser's thesis by saying that represented acts of will are a
three-place relationship between a mind, a body, and a world [each broadly
construed]. Yet, if we strip away what is responsible for the
interpretation, we get an unrepresented event that IS a two-sided
altercation between a body and a world. While this altercation entails that
the structures of agency and thought are very different, such a difference
does not thereby translate into incompatibility. On the contrary, we are in
a position to see how these two realms interlock, insofar as every triadic
relation logically PRESUPPOSES a dyadic one"

Annalisa, if this relation [subsumption] has merit, then both secondness
[polarity as constraint, resistance] AND thirdness are critical. To bring
to consciousness [realization??] is a triadic act of interpretation, but
this relation REQUIRES dyadic secondness.

Marc Champagne is playing with the themes of narrators, constructors,
realizers, through Peirce's relation of subsumption. The tridadic relation
requires the dyadic relation but the dyadic relation does not require the
dyadic relation UNLESS this dyadic relation is rising to "consciousness" as
 This model refers to three "levels" mind, body, world. In other words
"embodied mind" "psychological mind" and "situated mind" translated into
cognitive science.

"Elements" as firstness are singularity which cannot be "known" When
encountering polarity secondess is constituted, when rising to thirdness
realization AS INTERPRETATION COMES INTO BEING, but this categorical
relation for Peirce is not reciprocal

On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 10:28 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

> Hello my fated discussants,
> In company with others who are struggling with the components of things
> and their relationship to causes (and you know who you are), I decided to
> look up in the thesaurus what comes up from the word "element," just to
> stir up the imaginations of those on this thread and see what comes up.
> This is what I got:
> aspect
> bit
> component
> detail
> factor
> fundamental
> ingredient
> item
> material
> matter
> member
> part
> piece
> principle
> view
> basic
> basis
> constituent
> drop
> facet
> hint
> particle
> particular
> portion
> root
> section
> stem
> subdivision
> trace
> unit
> It seems a worthy effort to decide on a good word that does pass the test
> of not being misconstrued or misunderstood when trying to convey a concept,
> particularly a difficult concept.
> Philosophy of course spends a lot of time on word-meaning before really
> moving into the harder work pertaining to dynamics of concepts and I think
> this to be a thrifty and scrupulous preparation that yields results, if
> only because the work is built upon the careful considerations of words and
> what they mean.
> Vygotsky was in a hurry, and with good reason. So we have in some cases
> the sloppiness of words, but that's likely because he was chasing ideas,
> along the lines of inner speech.
> As someone who has worked with computer technology, which has never
> existed before in the history of humans until the past 50-60 years or so,
> there are always going to be necessities for new vocabularies. Believe me I
> wouldn't not mind the removal of so many acronyms and replace them with
> real words.
> Also, there is the idea that in dealing with concepts pertaining to the
> mind and to social realities, there are going to be discoveries of absences
> in our language to express these concepts, because they are not things we
> have "seen" before. This is why metaphors are so powerful to me, anyway,
> because they can ground a concept, even if it is a feeble construct, it is
> a "point of lift off" that can be developed more fully through the use of
> speaking it.
> I have been a casual student of Sanskrit for some years, and one of the
> marvels of that ancient language is its exactness to meaning. To witness
> this is something to experience for oneself. Sanskrit also affords the
> creation of new words.
> I tend to think word- or phrase-construction should be done when coming
> across "new" concepts. I say new-in-quotes, because these dynamics or
> phenomenon have always happened in some form, but we just never had the
> need to see them. I believe the cause is because life was "easier" (that is
> my short explanation for now so that I might move forward on the use of
> words in terms of exactness for meaning).
> So to address the notion of "constituent," even if there is a recent trend
> to adopt that word, it has some problems perhaps, as David has discussed.
> I'm not saying that I have an answer, but rather than deal with words that
> have already been used that may not fit the need, I ask why not then make
> up a word?
> This is why Gibson likely made up the word, "affordance," because there
> was not such a word to describe what they are. I'm not sure if it seems
> contrived to create new words in an academic setting, or if it is
> considered a cop-out, but I think creating a new word for a specific
> purpose is not a bad idea if only because it has a specific utility to
> reference a concept observed in the world not observed distinctly before.
> As a starting point about thinking about words, based on the list above,
> if we must retain an already-existing word, I sort of like the idea of
> using the word "fundamentals." Maybe because it sounds like "elementals,"
> but provides the sense of the basic part of importance, such as when we
> consider "a unit for analysis." Thus a unit for analysis is a fundamental,
> but a fundamental is not necessarily a unit for analysis. Or should it be
> the other way around?
> Perhaps we could say that a fundamental is made of elementals, in the
> sense that the water molecule is the fundamental (of oceans) and oxygen and
> hydrogen are elementals that constitute the fundamental (the molecule).
> Furthermore, I propose that the primary relationship I am fabricating here
> be that of elementals to fundamentals to also pertain to functional
> systems. So there can be elemental systems which constitute fundamental
> systems. Does this hold water???? Please tell me! :)
> "Ingredients" is also good, because they are units combined (in different
> measures) to contribute to the whole, in the sense that once mixed cannot
> be separated out or removed. "Ingredients" are combined in cooking and they
> do take on different forms when combined with other ingredients. I suspect
> though that this seems too much like cooking which is women's work and
> therefore not legitimate, or not scientific enough, perhaps too folksy.  (I
> am purposely being facetious there, so I know you are all smart enough to
> fall into that bear-trap, I mean... NOT fall into that bear-trap).
> Then, to continue thinking out loud: perhaps "ingredient" might be
> appropriate when dealing with artificial constructs, ones that are
> human-made. It doesn't really work in consideration of phenomenon that may
> arise. Phenomena don't possess ingredients. Perhaps "facet" or "aspect"
> would be useful? I don't like them, but I sort of do. How's that for
> commitment?
> I know that this is odd coming from someone who loves to use metaphor, but
> I can't help to add that using words that pertain to material constructs
> are not always useful as functional constructs, if only that material
> elements tend to be used as gears in a machine (smallest parts), rather
> than systems in an environment (units in motion, perspectives, dynamics). I
> think that this misuse of words is why there is difficulty in understanding
> the concepts they are intended to reference.
> LSV's use of "rudimentary functions" vs "artifacts" seems to reveal our
> problem of taking a word or words (as references) to describe functions and
> reducing them into nouns (even though I realize "function" is a noun). I am
> guessing there are more sophisticated ways to describe this, but I am not a
> linguist. It seems that when functions reduce to nouns happens, the word
> loses the concept's "verbness," because an artifact is a word that reminds
> me of pottery shards or arrowheads uncovered in an archeological dig. So
> there is the specific object (the string round the finger), and then the
> movement create meaning with such objects (rudimentary function - tying of
> string to remember something). In this sense, it seems the rudimentary
> function *results* in an artifact.
> Take all of these meanderings as just an invitation to consider a better
> design of a word that might proffer more exactness to meaning we mean, so
> as to be effective and hardy. That is, if the meaning has been agreed upon
> beforehand. Which is probably a different email altogether!
> If a word *were* to be created anew, and we forfeit employing an
> already-existent, what might it be? I would engage the poets within you and
> ask you to share what emerges?
> What do you think about about "poignance" which I think is made up. There
> is "poignancy" or "poignant", but not "poignance," I don't think. When I
> consider poignance, I think of something fluid converging into meaning and
> importance. I sense movement in the word-meaning as used. It doesn't lose
> its "verbness."
> So elementals constitute fundamentals, and fundamentals can create
> poignances, which are ingredients of meaning. You are welcome to tear that
> apart and remake if you like. But only tear apart if you can remake. Those
> are the rules of my game here. :)
> One reason this word poignance is growing on me is because it can pertain
> to affect and to intellect equally with no favoring of one or the other.
> Such is my humble offering to this thinking project.
> Kind regards,
> Annalisa
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:55 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance
> On Nov 19, 2014, at 4:56 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> > "objective"
> > just means that something is seen as not subject to change by a
> > discourse community, even where that discourse community consists of
> > just me and my lonely self.
> Perhaps, David. But with time and effort and study we can come to view
> that something differently, no?
> There's a small but growing literature on "constitution" - the way that a
> water molecule is constituted of, not caused by, hydrogen and oxygen. And
> the article I was reading today was making an interesting distinction
> between 'internal constitution,' as in the case of water, and 'external
> constitution,' as in the case of money. What makes a coin a token of
> monetary value is *external* to it: the social institutions of banking and
> the practices of buying and selling. These don't cause it, they constitute
> it. The coin, taken at face value, is objective. But once we study it as it
> circulates through these practice and institutions, we come to see that its
> objectivity does not mean it cannot change. On the contrary.
> Although LSV like to talk about the constituents of a meaningful word as
> 'internal' to that word, it seems more accurate to see them as external in
> the same sense as the constituents of a coin or a bill are necessarily
> external to it.
> Martin