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

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 22:27:17 PDT

Tony, I've collated those excerpts from Peirce and included them in

At 01:05 AM 4/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>I think you're right, Andy.
>I can't think of anyone in the US who would have come closer to that than
>Dewey (certainly not Peirce), and to whatever extent Deewy might have
>approached that, it's not part of his thought that was received by any
>On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>Apart from these differences in social conditions, it is Marx and
>>Marxism, with all its pluses and its minuses, that really makes the
>>differences between the two currents at the level of theoretical
>>foundations, isn't it Tony? Just as the reception of Peirce in the USSR
>>(and amongst other Marxists!!) was hindered by unfortunate readings
>>transmitted via the Marxist canon, it seems to me that the Americans were
>>really barred from making full use of Marx, which is evident in the work
>>of the Russians throughout.
>>A case in point is Ilyenkov's concept of the ideal, which draw on Marx's
>>"Capital", a work which must have informed the Russians throughout. Was
>>there a comparable insight amongst the Americans to do with the process
>>of abstraction as a real, process of restructuring of social relations in
>>society at large, and only later entering consciousness? This is
>>certainly to be found in Hegel, but I think only Marx, with his studies
>>on value, makes this clear.
>>At 11:30 PM 3/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>1) re the Lenin note: I myself started out very hostile to Peirce and
>>>the other pragmatists, based on what I read in Chinese during the
>>>Cultural Revolution while I was standing in the snow under a streetlight
>>>at 4:00 am in a rent-a-cop costume guarding blueberry muffins that were
>>>being loaded into a truck for delivery around Boston. I later discovered
>>>CSP was grossly misrepresented in those Chinese texts, but only after
>>>reading what seemed like confirmation in almost equally hostile
>>>representations by Horkheimer.
>>>As for the socio-historical context, it's easy for us, in our
>>>theoretical circles, to forget that perhaps the most prominent thinker
>>>in CSP's time, in the Boston orbit anyway, may have been ... Emerson ! (
>>>and I guess that should help me with James, a bit )
>>>On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>At 10:42 PM 3/11/2007 -0400, Tony Whitson wrote:
>>>>>Andy, ... Peirce's theory is really different. I haven't read that
>>>>>much of the Russians, but in what I have read (mostly secondary
>>>>>sources) the idea of "sign" for the Russian theorists is very much
>>>>>about intentional communication among humans. Peirce's basic
>>>>>conception of sign, rooted in a tradition that runs from the Greeks
>>>>>through pre-modern Latin philosophers like Poinsot, is radically
>>>>>different from that.
>>>>Exactly. Part of the context of the Russian interpretation of Peirce
>>>>may be Lenin's attacks on semiology in "Materialism and
>>>>Empirio-criticism" in 1908, a book that Ilyenkov defended until the
>>>>end, so far as I know. It seems to me that Engstrom reflects the
>>>>general Russian view (says me who nothing of what our Russians think).
>>>>And let's face it, Peirce is almost impenetrable and leaves plenty of
>>>>room for being misunderstood. I rely heavily on Colapietro for "my"
>>>>Peirce, but I think the view of Peirce that Engstrom refers to is a
>>>>very widespread interpretation, and not only in Finland.
>>>>It was Michael that talked about the frontier etc. - sounding like a
>>>>Marxist for a moment, but it was the interpretation and further
>>>>development of the original ideas, not the origin of
>>>>Peirce/Dewey/James/Mead's ideas that I was referring to. If you look at
>>>>the Russians, you see a long line of maybe a dozen or a score of major
>>>>figures, each tweaking and developing, critiquing and querying the
>>>>writing of their predecessors and co-workers, in a continuous line of
>>>>development, in which the foundation stones are continuously adjusted
>>>>and perfected. Michael also eloquently described the process whereby
>>>>Mead & Co.'s ideas entered into American social psychology. It was more
>>>>of a general dispersal, rather than a self-conscious, self-developing
>>>>coherent current. And I think something was lost in the process, not
>>>>amongst scholars like yourselves, but in the general dispersal. Of
>>>>course, the Russians have had their own problems to deal with, too!
>>>>xmca mailing list
>>>Tony Whitson
>>>UD School of Education
>>>NEWARK DE 19716
>>>"those who fail to reread
>>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>>>xmca mailing list
>>Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>>mobile 0409 358 651
>>xmca mailing list
>Tony Whitson
>UD School of Education
>NEWARK DE 19716
>"those who fail to reread
> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>xmca mailing list

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

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Received on Sat Nov 3 22:31 PDT 2007

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