The first quote is from Peirce, and just shows that for him there is no dualism between mind and matter. Remember that he and Dewey published in _The Monist_. A question about material substrate would not arise for him. The world -- including the activities of thought and consciousness -- is a world of matter formed in habits taken, as the quote reflects.
The language in the second quote is not Peirce's language. Vince is one of the most reliable Peirce scholars, but I don't know how his language here could be justified, although I'm not seeing it in context. I have no idea what CN v. 3 is referring to -- it's not a standard form for CSP references, and it's not a typo for CP 3.290 which in its entirety is
"290. Let us assume a number of new units, A, I, J, K, L, etc., one more in number than the letters of the algebra, and every one except the first, A, corresponding to a particular letter of the algebra. These new units are susceptible of being multiplied by numerical coefficients and of being added together; but they cannot be multiplied together, and hence are called non-relative units."
The second sentence in quote #2 does refer to ("cf." = "compare to") 5.520, but it does not reflect CSP's own answer to the question he was addressing. This is in an important published article (a more reliable source than the unpublished manuscripts) "QUESTIONS CONCERNING CERTAIN FACULTIES CLAIMED FOR MAN." 5.250 is included in his response to
"QUESTION 5. Whether we can think without signs." Here's his complete response to that question: 250. This is a familiar question, but there is, to this day, no better argument in the affirmative than that thought must precede every sign. This assumes the impossibility of an infinite series. But Achilles, as a fact, will overtake the tortoise. _How_ this happens, is a question not necessary to be answered at present, as long as it certainly does happen. 251. If we seek the light of external facts, the only cases of thought which we can find are of thought in signs. Plainly, no other thought can be evidenced by external facts. But we have seen that only by external facts can thought be known at all. The only thought, then, which can possibly be cognized is thought in signs. But thought which cannot be cognized does not exist. All thought, therefore, must necessarily be in signs. 252. A man says to himself, "Aristotle is a man; _therefore_, he is fallible." Has he not, then, thought what he has not said to himself, that all men are fallible? The answer is, that he has done so, so far as this is said in his _therefore_. According to this, our question does not relate to _fact_, but is a mere asking for distinctness of thought. 253. From the proposition that every thought is a sign, it follows that every thought must address itself to some other, must determine some other, since that is the essence of a sign. This, after all, is but another form of the familiar axiom, that in intuition, _i.e._, in the immediate present, there is no thought, or, that all which is reflected upon has past. _Hinc loquor inde est_. That, since any thought, there must have been a thought, has its analogue in the fact that, since any past time, there must have been an infinite series of times. To say, therefore, that thought cannot happen in an instant, but requires a time, is but another way of saying that every thought must be interpreted in another, or that all thought is in signs.
So CSP's own answer to Question #5 is quite the opposite of what might be inferred from Vince's language, at least without more context.
On Sat, 26 Sep 2009, Andy Blunden wrote:
The second quote surprised me too. I always thought that Peirce had an objectivist conception of semiosis. I also thought that he said all signs had a material substratum. It's so hard to keep track of one's Peirce quotes!>>andy Michael Glassman wrote:Hey Andy,Interesting quotes. Sometimes I feel like Peirce is writing in another language, and then other times - I'm sure he's writing in another language. Sometimes I think he's a brilliant and revolutionary thinker, and sometimes I think he was just writing all this to piss everybody off. I would guess in your first quote the money line to me is The adoption of a synechisticperspective does not require the neglect of real differences; it only requires conceiving differences in such a way as not to block the road of inquiryMeaning to me that the process of inquiry supercedes either thinking about mind or thinking about matter.I think in the second quote you have to take in to account that Peirce was many things, but idealist is definitely not one of them. When he talks about thought preceding signs I would argue that he is actually talking about thinking preceding signs - and when he talks about thinking he is talking about acting and using signs. This was another thread a little bit back, but it seems he saying signs don't exist outside of the thinking that accompanies the actions that use the sign. He's not being an idealist, but as I said in my previous post he's tryng to annoy the realists as much as possible.
So is consciousness what we are thinking about what we are doing while we are doing it in the material world?Michael ________________________________ From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Andy Blunden Sent: Fri 9/25/2009 8:55 PM To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity Subject: Re: [POSSIBLE SPAM] Re: [xmca] Consciousness: Ilyenkov From: Peirce's Approach to the Self. A Semiotic Perspective on Human Subjectivity, by Vincent Michael Colapietro "In this context, mind and body do not designate two radically different substances but two empirically different aspects of the same substance. The adoption of a synechistic perspective does not require the neglect of real differences; it only requires conceiving differences in such a way as not to block the road of inquiry. 'In view of the principle of continuity, the supreme guide in framing philosophical hypotheses, we must ... regard matter as mind whose habits have become fixed so as to lose the powers of forming them and losing them, while mind is to be regarded as a chemical genus of extreme complexity and instability. It has acquired in a remarkable degree a habit of taking and laying aside habits'" (6.101; 1902). and "... meaning is something consciousness confers upon the signs it uses, rather than something these signs possess intrinsically (CN vol. 3, 290). Accordingly, thought must be seen as independent of and prior to the symbols in which it clothes itself" (cf. 5.250). make of that what you will! :) Andy Michael Glassman wrote:Andy,I think whether or not signs have a material substrate is irrelevant to Peirce, as to Pragmatists in general. Why argue about when you can never really know one way or the other anyway. The only thing we actually engage with in human action are the signs. Sort of a Willie Sutton type thing - "Why do you rob banks - because that's where the money is" "Why do you concentrate on signs and not argue about where they come from - because that's where human action is."This use to drive realists like Russell nuts (and actually still does if you raise the point to any realists or positivists).Michael ________________________________ From: email@example.com on behalf of Andy Blunden Sent: Fri 9/25/2009 11:49 AM Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity Subject: [POSSIBLE SPAM] Re: [xmca] Consciousness: Ilyenkov You are pointing to the form/matter distinction, is that right, Tony? I suspect that there may be a trap in this. Not sure. But the form/matter distinction is a different one from the consciousness/matter distinction. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/sl/slessenc.htm#SL129 The idea is that we can describe something as a distinct form of matter because although made of the same stuff, it is put together differently. OR, we can say the two things are made of different stuff. EG the different types of Carbon are all made of carbon atoms, likewise ice and water; but oxygen cannot be turned into carbon. I think this is a slightly different question. Cs rests on certain forms and not a distinct matter, but it is not itself a form of matter. CS Peirce has that all signs have to have a material substrate, doesn't he, whatever the form. Andy Tony Whitson wrote:On Fri, 25 Sep 2009, Martin Packer wrote:<We agree with Spinoza, who considered thinking to be a capability of certain kinds of material bodies. Bodies with this capacity can adjust their activities with respect to other material bodies. This is to saythat one of the attributes of substance (matter) is thinking.>I think it would help a lot to recognize the formal determinations of things (substances?) as well as their material determinations. What is reproduced in the mirror is not the matter, but the form. Thought is the activity of sign-relations in*formed by physical and semiosic relations within and among the objects of thinking.-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/ Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/ Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list email@example.com http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/ Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
Tony Whitson UD School of Education NEWARK DE 19716 email@example.com _______________________________ "those who fail to reread are obliged to read the same story everywhere" -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970) _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca