Re: [xmca] Peirce as Hegel, but "in costume"

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 16:49:52 PDT

Paul, I don't see this correspondence at all.
Both were fans of the number 3, but I don't see any more than that.
At 02:18 PM 3/11/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>Although it might be totally superficial, I’ve always been struck by the
>parallel between Peirce’s 9 categories of signs and the 9 fundamental
>sections of Hegel’s logic.
> Being
> Cualisigno ­ Quality
> Icono ­ Quantity
> Rhema ­ Measure
> Essence
> Sinsigno ­ Ground
> Índice ­ Appearance
> Dicisigno ­ Actuality
> Notion
> Legisigno ­ Subjective
> Símbolo ­ Objective
> Argumento - Idea
> Is there any connection here or is it just coincidental?
> Paul
>Andy Blunden <> wrote:
> Here's some more Peirce on Hege; (and to bed)
>The truth is that pragmaticism is closely allied to the Hegelian absolute
>idealism, from which, however, it is sundered by its vigorous denial that
>the third category (which Hegel degrades to a mere stage of thinking)
>suffices to make the world, or is even so much as self-sufficient. Had
>Hegel, instead of regarding the first two stages with his smile of
>contempt, held on to them as independent or distinct elements of the triune
>Reality, pragmaticists might have looked up to him as the great vindicator
>of their truth. (Of course, the external trappings of his doctrine are only
>here and there of much significance.) For pragmaticism belongs essentially
>to the triadic class of philosophical doctrines, and is much more
>essentially so than Hegelianism is. (Indeed, in one passage, at least,
>Hegel alludes to the triadic form of his exposition as to a mere fashion of
>* * *
>Had I more space, I now ought to show how important for philosophy is the
>mathematical conception of continuity. Most of what is true in Hegel is a
>darkling glimmer of a conception which the mathematicians had long before
>made pretty clear, and which recent researches have still further illustrated.
>Among the many principles of Logic which find their application in
>Philosophy, I can here only mention one. Three conceptions are perpetually
>turning up at every point in every theory of logic, and in the most rounded
>systems they occur in connection with one another. They are conceptions so
>very broad and consequently indefinite that they are hard to seize and may
>be easily overlooked. I call them the conceptions of First, Second, Third.
>First is the conception of being or existing independent of anything else.
>Second is the conception of being relative to, the conception of reaction
>with, something else. Third is the conception of mediation, whereby a first
>and second are brought into relation. To illustrate these ideas, I will
>show how they enter into those we have been considering. The origin of
>things, considered not as leading to anything, but in itself, contains the
>idea of First, the end of things that of Second, the process mediating
>between them that of Third. A philosophy which emphasizes the idea of the
>One is generally a dualistic philosophy in which the conception of Second
>receives exaggerated attention; for this One (though of course involving
>the idea of First) is always the other of a manifold which is not one. The
>idea of the Many, because variety is arbitrariness and arbitrariness is
>repudiation of any Secondness, has for its principal component the
>conception of First. In psychology Feeling is First, Sense of reaction
>Second, General conception Third, or mediation. In biology, the idea of
>arbitrary sporting is First, heredity is Second, the process whereby the
>accidental characters become fixed is Third. Chance is First, Law is
>Second, the tendency to take habits is Third. Mind is First, Matter is
>Second, Evolution is Third.
>* * *
>The Hegelian philosophy is such an anancasticism [evolution by necessity].
>With its revelatory religion, with its synechism (however imperfectly set
>forth), with its reflection,the whole idea of the theory is superb, almost
>sublime. Yet, after all, living freedom is practically omitted from its
>method. The whole movement is that of a vast engine, impelled by a vis a
>tergo, with a blind and mysterious fate of arriving at a lofty goal. I mean
>that such an engine it would be, if it really worked; but in point of fact,
>it is a Keely motor. Grant that it really acts as it professes to act, and
>there is nothing to do but accept the philosophy. But never was there seen
>such an example of a long chain of reasoning, - shall I say with a flaw in
>every link? - no, with every link a handful of sand, squeezed into shape in
>a dream. Or say, it is a pasteboard model of a philosophy that in reality
>does not exist. If we use the one precious thing it contains, the idea of
>it, introducing the tychism [evolution by chance, Darwin] which the
>arbitrariness of its every step suggests, and make that the support of a
>vital freedom which is the breadth of the spirit of love, we may be able to
>produce that genuine agapasticism [evolution by creativity, Lamarck], at
>which Hegel was aiming.
>At 10:23 AM 3/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
> >Thanks, Michael G., for calling attention to Bergman's article in
> >Semiotica 144-1/4 (2003) 1-17.
> >
> >After reviewing both Bergman and Parmentier, I'm afraid I can't find the
> >basis for either Engstrom's comments or your observations (Nov 1, below).
> >but I see you didn't have Bergman's paper at hand then.
> >
> >I was surprised by the comment that Peirce & James "hated Hegel" (below).
> >I don't know about James, but I don't remember Peirce ever expressing such
> >an attitude toward any philosopher worth reading at all.
> >
> >It's a bit late for Halloween (when kids and, increasingly, adults, dress
> >up in costumes in the US), but I think these paragraphs better represent
> >Peirce's view of Hegel:
> >
> >Peirce: CP 1.40-42 (40 and 41-2 are from separate unidentified fragments,
> >c. 1892.)
> >
> >
> >40. The critical logicians have been much affiliated to the theological
> >seminaries. About the thinking that goes on in laboratories they have
> >known nothing. Now the seminarists and religionists generally have at all
> >times and places set their faces against the idea of continuous growth.
> >That disposition of intellect is the most catholic element of religion.
> >Religious truth having been once defined is never to be altered in the
> >most minute particular; and theology being held as queen of the sciences,
> >the religionists have bitterly fought by fire and tortures all great
> >advances in the true sciences; and if there be no true continuous growth
> >in men's ideas where else in the world should it be looked for? Thence, we
> >find this folk setting up hard lines of demarcation, or great gulfs,
> >contrary to all observation, between good men and bad, between the wise
> >and foolish, between the spirit and the flesh, between all the different
> >kinds of objects, between one quantity and the next. So shut up are they
> >in this conception of the world that when the seminarist Hegel discovered
> >that the universe is everywhere permeated with continuous growth (for
> >that, and nothing else, is the "Secret of Hegel") it was supposed to be an
> >entirely new idea, a century and a half after the differential calculus
> >had been in working order.
> >
> >41. Hegel, while regarding scientific men with disdain, has for his chief
> >topic the importance of continuity, which was the very idea the
> >mathematicians and physicists had been chiefly engaged in following out
> >for three centuries. This made Hegel's work less correct and excellent in
> >itself than it might have been; and at the same time hid its true mode of
> >affinity with the scientific thought into which the life of the race had
> >been chiefly laid up. It was a misfortune for Hegelism, a misfortune for
> >"philosophy," and a misfortune (in lesser degree) for science.
> >
> >42. My philosophy resuscitates Hegel, though in a strange costume.
> >
> >On Thu, 1 Nov 2007, Michael Glassman wrote:
> >
> >>Andy,
> >>
> >>I'm going to try and find the reference, but there is this great article
> >>that I think eloquently argues that Peirce made a turn from concentrating
> >>on language per se, where he was more interested in semiotics, to being
> >>more interested in relations. I can't remember if he said this is when
> >>Peirce started referring to semiosis. Once he started talking about
> >>relations the issue of mediation became far less important in his work -
> >>again not in terms of existing, but in terms of study.
> >>
> >>So Engestrom is right, but depending on which Peirce you are reading at
> >>the moment. Of course Peirce is terribly opaque, and any discussion I
> >>have ever had about him eventually winds up going down the rabbit
> >>hole. But I think you can make the argument that as James and Peirce
> >>were becoming invested in the Peircian named Pragmatism his thinking did
> >>change - and actually become more challenging - if that was possible.
> >>
> >>Michael
> >>
> >>________________________________
> >>
> >>From: on behalf of Andy Blunden
> >>Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 6:30 PM
> >>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>Thank you Michael, and Eric and Mira and others too. My questions have all
> >>been wonderfully answered (unless, Michael, you tell me that you are really
> >>Mikhail Glashchmanovich writing under an assumed name, in which case I'll
> >>have to go back to the drawing board).
> >>
> >>Another question for you all. Recently I criticised Sasha because I thought
> >>he had misunderstood Peirce. Reading Engstrom's book, I find what I take to
> >>be the same misunderstanding.
> >>
> >>He says: "For the sake of clarity, Peirce's excessive and often opaque work
> >>is here discussed only through the concise but balanced interpretation of
> >>Parmentier" - something we can all sympathise with I am sure, but then goes
> >>on to claim "The mediating sign is here [with Peirce], in the context of
> >>human action, treated as something purely mental and intentional. It thus
> >>loses its potentially anti-Cartesian, cultural quality and reverts to
> >>individualism and rationalism."
> >>
> >>This was never my view of Peirce. Do you Americans have a view on this?
> >>
> >>Andy
> >>
> >>At 02:44 PM 1/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
> >>>Mira,
> >>>
> >>>I know Dewey studied Hegel with George Morris, but James and Peirce
> >>>hated Hegel - and criticized Dewey for holding on to him. I don't think
> >>>it had much to do with Feuerbach's critique though. I think it was more
> >>>a reaction against idealism, which Eric talks about. Pragmatic
> >>>philosophy is not as abstract as other philosophical traditions, and it
> >>>emerges out of a number of issues that would in many ways be alien to
> >>>continental philosophy (for instance I would argue that the exploration
> >>>of the frontier, the settling of the mid-western and western states, and
> >>>the need for communal problem solving that accompanied it had an
> >>>important impact (even though Pragmatism started in Boston, it really
> >>>reached fruition in Chicago just as it was emerging as the type of
> >>>metropolis that grows from a frontier town). I also think Lincoln had a
> >>>tremendous influence on the development of at least instrumental
> >>>Pragmatism. All this and more combined with the emergence of Darwin's
> >>>ideas of adaptation probably had far more to do with the development of
> >>>Pragmatic thought than continental philosophy in general. It was a
> >>>different idea and by trying to bring the two together I'm not sure if
> >>>we are trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole.
> >>>
> >>>Michael
> >>>
> >>>-----Original Message-----
> >>>From: []
> >>>On Behalf Of Branimira Slavova
> >>>Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:03 AM
> >>>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
> >>>
> >>>Hello,
> >>>
> >>>I was trying to understand the differences among these philosophies some
> >>>time ago. So I'll pitch in my 2 cents. I was led to believe that the
> >>>main difference between the American pragmatist philosophers and the
> >>>Russians is based on their different stances on the Feuerbach's critique
> >>>of Hegel. My sense was that the pragmatists had more of a reductionist
> >>>view, while the Russians were anti-reductionist which allowed them to
> >>>consider more sophisticated basic units of analysis. Is that a fair
> >>>thing to say?
> >>>
> >>>m
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>Dr Mira Slavova
> >>>Research Fellow in Information Management
> >>>Maurice Keyworth Building
> >>>The University of Leeds
> >>>Leeds LS2 9JT
> >>>Tel: 0113 343 7818
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>-----Original Message-----
> >>>From: on behalf of Michael Glassman
> >>>Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 13:24
> >>>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
> >>>
> >>>Andy,
> >>>
> >>>I think the response is a kind of complicated and it relates back I
> >>>think to an earlier comment you made about unity or whether you consider
> >>>communication as products of labor. There was a difference between
> >>>Peirce/James and Dewey/Mead when it comes to Pragmatism - which involves
> >>>whether activity builds upon itself, making life better and adaptation
> >>>easier, or whether all activity is situation specific and doesn't really
> >>>have a larger social meaning beyond solving a problem. James (and I
> >>>assume Peirce) believed that Dewey (and by extension Mead) saw social
> >>>progress in activity because of a Hegelian deposit that remained in
> >>>Dewey's thinking even after he left Johns Hopkins. It has been a
> >>>continuous argument about whether Dewey has a Hegelian deposit for about
> >>>a century now. But James was much more interested in the individual
> >>>while Dewey/Mead because of their interest in progress were necessarily
> >>>more socially or societally oriented - Is that what you mean by the
> >>>difference between narrow and broad Pragmatism? Pepper separated them
> >>>by calling one contextualism and one organicism (though the
> >>>differentiation seem to be to be a short at Dewey).
> >>>
> >>>But the idea that there are materials that can somehow be thought of
> >>>separate from practical activity and problem solving - now I think they
> >>>all pretty much would have argued against that by the mid 1890s. The
> >>>big issue I think is their thinking was a fear of dualism. Once you
> >>>assume that there are materials that are separate from actions in any
> >>>way, including any types of universals, then you are somehow separating
> >>>the human condition from nature itself. What you run in to is control
> >>>of these things, or attempts to control these things, outside of the
> >>>problem based interaction/transaction itself. For instance if you posit
> >>>that discourse is somehow a product, are you making the assumption or
> >>>claim that you can somehow control discourse and they way it is
> >>>manipulated outside of the process itself? I think this is the reason
> >>>that, at least to my reading, even though Dewey believed there was
> >>>mediation he questioned the worth of studying and understanding it,
> >>>because that assumed that you could transfer this meaning to the next
> >>>situation - because you can't separate language or anything else from
> >>>the actual activity.
> >>>
> >>>I'm not sure I understand your point about one group of theorists in
> >>>Russia and one group of theorists in the United States. What is true is
> >>>that there were a number of forces in the United States that were
> >>>pushing thinking about human condition towards more practical aspects of
> >>>human problem solving.
> >>>
> >>>Michael
> >>>
> >>> _____
> >>>
> >>>From: on behalf of Andy Blunden
> >>>Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 8:49 AM
> >>>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>Mmm, that's an answer, Micharl.
> >>>Engstrom seems to be saying, amongst other things, that Mead was much
> >>>better than his interpreters of the 1980s/90s. The question arose for me
> >>>in
> >>>connection with a paper I am writing about Axel Honneth, including his
> >>>appropriation of Mead in the 90s. I had the same view, i.e., that what
> >>>Mead
> >>>said was OK, but Honneth just missed it, and transformed his theory into
> >>>typical postmodern "intersubjectivity" (social rather than societal some
> >>>would say). When I was challenged and asked to say why I thought
> >>>Vygotsky
> >>>and Leontiev should be used as a foundation in social psychology,
> >>>instead
> >>>of Mead, it was confusing to answer. I actually think that the main
> >>>differences between Vygotsky/Leontyev/Luria and Mead/Peirce/Dewey is
> >>>that
> >>>the first group were Russians living in the USSR and the second lot were
> >>>Americans living in the USA. - not so much in the actually theoretical
> >>>differences between these early figures.
> >>>One of the ideas I use in my paper is the contrast between pragmatism in
> >>>the "narrow" sense an pragmatism in the "broad" sense. People said, you
> >>>mean Mead was pragmatic in the narrow sense and Vygotsky in the broad.
> >>>No!
> >>>Mead is pragmatic in the broad sense, but the "spirit" of American
> >>>pragmatism is narrow, and the ideas of great thinkers cannot survive the
> >>>spirit of their times and the spirit of their people. (By narrow
> >>>pragmatism
> >>>I mean pragmatism that reduces everything to interactions between
> >>>individuals deemed to be the bearers of needs, knowledge etc., and
> >>>denies
> >>>the real existence of universals. By pragmatism in the broad sense, I
> >>>mean
> >>>pragmatism which understands that interactions between individuals
> >>>happen
> >>>by means of universals, which are material artefacts, culture - public
> >>>property, so to speak, and this material culture constitutes the
> >>>objectivity of universals. The ordinary American pragmatist of the kind
> >>>I
> >>>think you are talking about Michael, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't
> >>>believe
> >>>in theories and ideas, it all comes down just to whether its useful or
> >>>not.
> >>>But Mead and Dewey and Perice were better than that.
> >>>
> >>>Andy
> >>>
> >>>(PS Engstrom answer my question about communicative and instrumental
> >>>action
> >>>a few paragraphs later. Sorry for the stupid question in that other
> >>>thread
> >>>I started, and apologies for forgetting to set "Send text only")
> >>>
> >>>At 08:02 AM 1/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
> >>>>It's difficult to describe, but even though the theorists don't get so
> >>>>much play, much of the theory of Mead and the others is integrated in
> >>>to
> >>>>everyday activity in United States society (why the
> >>>>disconnect? Hmmmm.) Every time somebody does Case Management they are
> >>>>testing this theory. Many drug programs and housing programs are
> >>>testing
> >>>>this theory. Most street level social work is working within and
> >>>testing
> >>>>this theory. Many teachers, inside the classroom, are continuously
> >>>>testing this theory (Standardized Curriculums can be seen as a frontal
> >>>>political attack on these ideas). The results need to be empirical but
> >>>>they are not positivist, and they are not generalizable - which in
> >>>itself
> >>>>is part of Pragmatic thought. It is not so much these ideas aren't
> >>>>constantly used and tested, but perhaps more the way we view testing
> >>>and
> >>>>evidence.
> >>>>
> >>>>Michael
> >>>>
> >>>>________________________________
> >>>>
> >>>>From: on behalf of Andy Blunden
> >>>>Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 9:14 AM
> >>>>To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>>Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>Please understand Michael that my knowledge of Mead is very thin; I
> >>>only
> >>>>know what have read in terms of a couple of hundred pages of his
> >>>writings,
> >>>>a couple of biographical articles and of course I am familiar with the
> >>>>Progressive Movement, Dewey, Peirce and everyone, of which he was a
> >>>part.
> >>>>But I get the impression that he worked out these ideas, as you say, in
> >>>>dialogue especially with Dewey and in the midst of that milieu, but I
> >>>don't
> >>>>imagine that there was a lot of laboratory work involved, controlled
> >>>>experiments and observation, and so on, by Mead, during his own
> >>>lifetime.
> >>>>The Vygotsky school on the other and incorporates today many decades of
> >>>>empirical and practical experimental work and observation by scores of
> >>>>psychologists. Yes? How many research groups or psychological
> >>>practitioners
> >>>>use Symbolic Interactionism specifically today, as their comprehensive
> >>>>theoretical paradigm?
> >>>>
> >>>>Andy
> >>>>At 08:58 AM 31/10/2007 -0400, you wrote:
> >>>>>Andy,
> >>>>>
> >>>>>Mead's work was not just one man - he was surrounded by an entire
> >>>group at
> >>>>>the University of Chicago that had come together under the umbrella
> >>>of
> >>>>>this type of Pragmatic thought. John Dewey recruited him to the
> >>>>>University of Chicago from the Univfersity of Michigan, and they were
> >>>best
> >>>>>friends - both intellectually and socially. There was also a large,
>=== message truncated ===
> __________________________________________________
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
>xmca mailing list

  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
mobile 0409 358 651

xmca mailing list
Received on Sat Nov 3 16:54 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Dec 11 2007 - 10:18:41 PST