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Re: [xmca] Consciousness, Piaget

As you mentioned Rilke, I could not help but sharing his poem about The Panther, which has been translated in several ways.
Check here:
I think it nicely complements his poem about The Unicorn.

On Sep 22, 2009, at 8:40 PM, mike cole wrote:

Actually, as my grandson says, i kind of like actualism. I also love this
poem by Rilke. Happy to talk about unicorn's any time.


The Unicorn by Ranier Maira Rilke

This is the creature there never has been.

They never knew it, and yet, none the less,

they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,

its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.

Not there, because they loved it, it behaved

as though it were. They always left some space.

And in that clear unpeopled space they saved

it lightly reared its head with scarce a trace

of not being there. They fed it, not with corn,

but only with the possibility

of being. And that was able to confer

such strength, its brow put for a horn. One horn.

Whitely it stole up to a maid, -- to *be*

within the silver mirror and in her.

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 8:22 PM, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:

On Mon, 21 Sep 2009, mike cole wrote:

Whoa!! total agreement. And I Looooove unicorns.
My initial question was something like Martin's. "Tony, what does it mean (for Peirce) to be 'aware of signs AS signs." Sounds a lot like thing in

First, just to mention -- I think this was before David Ki joined us at
Louisiana State University -- when I arrived there we had an Asst. Prof. whose office featured bookshelves full of unicorns (he did not get tenure,
but he was hired someplace in the Cal. State system, I think.).

As to "thing in itsef," the Peircean orientation (at least according to Deely, with whom I agree) is resolutely opposed to the Kantian dualistic denial of intercourse between human consciousness and the world of things as they be. Deely writes about "semiotism" vs. realism or idealisml. I use "actualism," not to mark a difference between me and Deely, but to make the
same differentiation available to people who are not so familiar with
Peircean semiotics as are Deely's readers.

In my classes, i ask students if they have ever seen a unicorn. No one
ventures a yes. Then I ask them, are unicorns good or bad? They mostly all raise their hands and say that they are good. Then we get into a good discussion. Sounds like I have intuited myself toward what you two are
agreeing about.

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 6:51 PM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:

I completely agree

On Sep 21, 2009, at 7:54 PM, Tony Whitson wrote:

On Mon, 21 Sep 2009, Martin Packer wrote:

I've tried to stay out of this thread, because it's a difficult topic

I'm no philosopher (though I can't seem to put their damned books
But my 2 cents, for what they'll buy, are that one needs to begin with
acknowledgement that Cs is, as I said in my last message, relational. I don't mean by this that it is a relationship between mind and matter, I
that Cs is a relationship between matter and matter. I think we'd all
that Cs is a property, an aspect, only of living organisms. I
agreed with your earlier post, Andy, that Cs is not simply present or
but is a matter of degree or type. My favorite Hegel is the
which is a story about the education of Cs over time. So not all living organisms have the same kind of Cs, and humans don't all have the same
of have one kind all their lives. Cs develops. But it is always to be
in interaction between organisms (material) and other material stuff.

It seems to me that it might help a lot to think of consciousness not
as a
property or aspect, but as an activity. It is certainly a relational, material (with formal) activity, in relation to other activities in
ourselves and in our world.

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David Preiss

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