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Peirce’s Theory of Quality (1935) (on Charles S. Peirce)

LARRY A HICKMAN Indiana University Press ePub

The questions raised in Mr. Goudge’s criticism of Peirce1 on the nature of the “given,” are of high importance in the contemporary state of philosophy in which the problems of the given, on one hand, and of universal and essences, on the other, bulk so large. The problems themselves far transcend, of course, the question of the internal consistency of Peirce’s own views on the subject. But their importance also renders it highly important that Peirce’s own contribution be correctly apprehended. Hence I propose to point out some fundamental misconceptions in Mr. Goudge’s rendering of Peirce’s ideas.

Peirce is considering, in the passages of which Mr. Goudge treats, phenomenology, or the matter of experience as experienced. While he introduces at times (and rather unfortunately in my opinion) his predilection for pan-psychic metaphysics, he is not writing on a metaphysical or cosmological basis, but is giving a logical analysis of experience; an analysis based on what he calls Firstness, or sheer totality and pervading unity of quality in everything experienced, whether it be odor, the drama of King Lear, or philosophic or scientific systems; Secondness, existentiality, or singular occurrence; and Thirdness, mediation, or continuity.

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2. Beauty

Figal, Günter Indiana University Press ePub

If one wishes to describe and grasp aesthetic experience, one should begin with Kant. He developed the prevailing determination of aesthetic experience, in part because he discovered its autonomy. Baumgarten’s conception of a cognitio sensitiva may have lifted out the independent claim of a “beautiful knowledge,” but this knowledge remains conditioned by sensibility and is thus a merely narrowed modification of actual knowledge that is conceived as purely conceptual. Kant, on the other hand, carefully delimits the experience of the beautiful from all other possibilities of affective relation, of perception and thinking, and presents it in its uniqueness.

Of course, Kant’s leap beyond Baumgarten also has its irritating aspects. In the Critique of Judgment, he essentially takes aesthetic experience to be a process internal to consciousness. Thus one might doubt whether it really deals with experience and knowledge at all. Yet upon closer inspection, the process Kant describes is neither solipsistic nor autosuggestive. There is something toward which this process is directed, and accordingly one cannot rule out the possibility that Kant’s conception of the aesthetic connects to experience and knowledge. It merely depends on what experience and knowledge are in this case. Perhaps Kant’s inconsistent or maybe only alleged internalism of the aesthetic first offers the possibility of adequately grasping aesthetic experience and knowledge in their essence. Precisely this possibility could remain ruled out if one took one’s bearings from a predetermined conception of experience and thus remained caught in a notion of the knowable or known object that is inadequate to aesthetics. As Kant does not exclude object-relations in the context of the aesthetic, one can speak of aesthetic experience—even if only in a sense that remains unclear. It is crucial, then, to understand aesthetic experience in its peculiar relation to objects.

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52. [Why Do We Punish Criminals?]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


[Why Do We Punish Criminals?]

4 May 1892

Houghton Library

Sir: Why do we punish criminals? I have asked this question of many intelligent people, and have uniformly been told the security of society requires that men who have committed crime should be prevented from further wrong-doing and that those who are ready to break the law should be deterred by the spectacle of other punishment.

These are the reasons almost universally given; and I believe no weightier ones are to be found. Yet if this be all, how can existing laws possibly be defended? For this principle acknowledges, in obedience to the decree “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord,” that the state has no right to pour out upon the heads of criminals the vials of a blind and purposeless wrath. In fact, it surrenders all power to punish criminals for anything they have done in the past. What they have done relates to the punishment merely as an indication of what may be done in the future; and pains are inflicted solely to prevent future crimes.

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Chapter 2 - Heidegger and Klee: An Attempt at a New Beginning

Dennis J. Schmidt Indiana University Press ePub

Has the challenge of modern art, the new that it exposes, been addressed philosophically? To what extent have those who today work out of the tradition defined as moving from Kant to Nietzsche through Hegel—a tradition that, for the lack of a better word, we call “continental”—managed to take up the questions about art and the image, the questions about painting, posed by that tradition? To what extent has the hermeneutic situation of the present genuinely opened up the question of the relation of word and image in a way that allows the presumed authority of the logos to be interrogated? There are three promises, three outstanding questions, that define the legacy of this tradition and that need to be posed today if the question of the image and the challenge of the work of art is to be pursued.

First, does the work of art open up a path of thinking outside of the empire of the metaphysical assumptions that have defined philosophy since its inception? Since Plato, philosophical considerations of the work of art have tended either to regard such works as exiled from thinking or to credit them but only by subordinating their achievement to the authority of philosophy. To ask, as one today must ask, if art marks out a prospect for thinking apart from philosophy as it has long been defined is to risk opening thinking to fundamentally new possibilities that are not defined by philosophy as it has been. So, one would need to ask, What might philosophy become if it took its start and impulse from the experience that art opens?

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54. Review of Ridgeway’s The Origin of Metallic Currency

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


Review of Ridgeway’s

The Origin of Metallic Currency

23 June 1892

Houghton Library

The Origin of Metallic Currency and Weight Standards. By William Ridgeway, Professor of Greek in Queen’s College, Cork.

Cambridge (Eng.) University Press: New York: Macmillan. 1892.

Compound arithmetic can certainly make itself very disagreeable.

From the urchin writhing in the agonies of a long sum in long measure, up to Belshazzar, watching the hand write upon the wall those distressful words, “Pounds, pounds, ounces, drams,” that suggested there was an account to settle with God, mortals have doubtless undergone more misery, first and last, from this branch of mathematics than from any other. On the other hand, to accompany a learned and ingenious essayist in his explorations of ancient metrology, to cut the rope that ties us to the here and now, to mount the heights of speculation, borne up by a beautiful and globular theory, to cleave the thin air of ancient texts, and trust to our guide to get us back to terra firma, this is a most delightful and entertaining pastime. Alas! we have blown our last parting kiss to the theorists of our boyhood, Boeckh, Queipo, Hultsch, and the rest.

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5. A Scientific Book of Synonyms

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF

Scientific Book of Synonyms, 1857


A Scientific Book of Synonyms

MS 20: November-December 1857


Most works of this kind have proved to be little better than failures, and the reasons seem not very difficult to point out. The differences of the only synonyms one would ever take the trouble to refer to a vocabulary for are of such a delicate and evanescent character that, like the flavor of a fine wine, when we try to notice them they are gone; so that when a man sits down to write about them he is puzzled about words which he could never use amiss. The differences no longer suggest themselves to him, but he has to suggest them to himself. Now as it is commonly said that no two words have exactly the same meaning, so it is also true that none have exactly the same force in any respect. Of course, then, the writer no sooner suggests a difference to himself than he finds it accords with the facts; but in this way he entirely misses the object of the work which is to note the important differences.

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33. Excerpts from Letters to William James (1909)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub


L 224 and William James Papers, Houghton Library. [The four excerpts below were written in 1909. The first comes from pp. 6-14 of a long letter Peirce began on 26 February but did not send (L 224:90–98, CP 8.177–85 with some omissions, and NEM 3:839–44). This unwieldy letter was replaced with two shorter ones sent on March 9 and 14. The second excerpt consists of pages 6-10 of the 14 March letter, partly published in CP 8.314. The third excerpt includes pages 19–22 of a letter sent on 1 April, and published in CP 8.315. The last extract consists of the first eight pages of a letter begun on Christmas day; NEM 3:867–71.] Peirce’s effort to establish a “commens” with James resulted in interesting and sometimes unusual presentations of his semiotic ideas. Nearly all of the technical terms of Peirce’s semiotics, including “sign,” are well worked over in these excerpts. Not surprisingly, Peirce makes sure to let James know that “the Final Interpretant does not consist in the way in which any mind does act but in the way in which every mind would act.” In the final segment, Peirce outlines his “System of Logic,” a book on semiotics he was working on, and provides one of the last summary accounts of his theory. Among other things, we learn that “every conceivable thing is either a May-be, an Actual, or a Would-be.” Peirce admits that there may be more than ten trichotomies of signs, but his ten “exhibit all the distinctions that are generally required by logic.” In his discussion of “Critic,” Peirce describes the kind of warrant that applies to each of the three types of reasoning.

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5. Space

Figal, Günter Indiana University Press ePub

There are artworks whose spatiality is obvious. Buildings are rooms, and as such they are in space. Rooms are formed by walls that open onto exteriors through windows, doors, or sliding walls. Sculptures need space around them so that one can move around them and observe them. They are not set up in collections, but placed instead in public spaces or landscapes, where they protrude into the sky or, like Eduardo Chillida’s Wind Combs (Peine del viento),1 reach like iron claws into the distance. Images, too, are spatial. Like wall paintings, they can belong to a room or, like sculptures, simply require space. Images only show themselves in the right distance.

The spatiality of music is no less evident. Music resounds in space; the consistency of the space is essential to a piece of music having the adequate effect. Only in the proper space can the sounds resonate and unfold. Yet if that is the case, they sound in a spatial manner. To be sure, the performance of a piece of music takes place in time, but the piece only comes into its own through the distinction of its sounds, through the proximity and distance of its voices. Its successiveness is held together by the uniformity of its spatial sound. Every occurrence that is experienced temporally is in space temporally, such that time is seemingly a possibility of space.2

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10. The Place, Promised, That Has Not Yet Been: The Nature of Dislocation and Desire in Adrienne Rich’s Your Native Land/Your Life and Minnie Bruce Pratt’s Crime Against Nature

Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands Indiana University Press ePub


The hatred baffles me . . . / the way she pulled the statute book down like a novel/ . . . crime against nature. . . . / That year the punishment was: not less than five nor more/than sixty years. For my methods, indecent and unnatural/of gratifying a depraved and perverted sexual instinct./For even the slightest touching of lips or tongue or lips/to a woman’s genitals.

—Minnie Bruce Pratt

I need to understand how a place on the map is also a place in history within which as a woman, a Jew, a lesbian, a feminist I am created and trying to create. Begin, though, not with a continent or country or a house, but with the geography closest in—the body. . . . Begin, we said, with the material, with matter, mma, madre, mutter, moeder, modder, etc., etc.

—Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich and Minnie Bruce Pratt are contemporary U.S. lesbian feminist poets whose work overtly challenges many sorts of social inequalities and exclusions, including heterosexism, which rests upon the formulation of homosexuality as a crime against nature. Both poets expose how this discourse of unnatural sex dislocates lesbians from the social-natural order by framing homosexuals as societal pariahs and felons who are then excluded from social spaces and endangered within natural terrains. Rich and Pratt contest this “crime-against-nature” ideology by locating lesbian speakers within beloved landscapes, and through this strategic, nonessential identification of women with the natural world, they stake a claim for what Pratt describes as “the place, promised, that has not yet been—” (Pratt 1990, 18), a revolutionary environment of sexual freedom. Both writers call into question the ways that our ideas of the “natural” have permeated social formations and have been used by the hegemonic culture to naturalize and legalize social norms; while their poetry consciously redeploys the natural so as to reaffirm lesbian desires, it also emphasizes that appeals to nature have troubled histories and violent results that we must always address. Their poetic subversion of crime-against-nature ideology brings together struggles for environmental justice and sexual justice and offers us one approach toward a queer ecology.

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4. The Quest for Immorality

Marius Timmann Mjaaland Indiana University Press ePub

Right from the beginning, there was a remarkable moral tenor in Luther’s criticism of the church authorities.1 From 1517 onward he criticized the church for operating with double standards and undermining the prayers of penitence.2 He accused the responsible authorities of organizing the confession of sins economically through the production and sale of indulgences. Hence, the moral emphasis of his criticism is striking when he attacks the praxis of exploiting poor people and their fear of Hell to the benefit of the church, the pope, and the clergy. His attacks on immorality within the church have contributed considerably to the popularity of the movement he initiated. Luther not only addresses the dubious motive of earning money from people’s misfortune and religious fears, though. The more substantial argument is concerned with the economic logic that invades theology, thus consuming and taking over the most basic theological concepts, including the concept of God.3 Within such a system of calculable exchange, Luther saw virtually no space left for the unconditional gift.

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Martin Heidegger, “Parmenides: ’Aληθείης εκυκλέος τρεμς τορ

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

“The well-rounded, unshaking heart of truth”—with these words from the “didactic poem” of Parmenides (Fragment I, 29), the Goddess names for the thinking man what he should experience in the course of his sojourn along the path that is first, both temporally and in terms of priority.

Before this, however, the Goddess characterizes the basic character of the whole journey in her greeting (Fragment I, 27):

γὰρ ἀπ’ ἀνθρώπων ἐκτȞζ πáτòυ ἐστἰν.

“truly, it runs far away and outside the common residence of humans;”

This word of the Goddess still holds today, and probably more urgently so for every attempt to fittingly follow the originary thinking of Parmenides. Thus the common translation of the title words cited above probably also lacks the care of this demanding and unusual saying. It listens neither to the Greek language, nor does it bother with a precise and thoughtful determination of what is said by the Goddess. The truncated text at hand attempts to come nearer to such a determination.

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Augustine and Neo-Platonism Summer Semester 1921

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub


Early Freiburg Lecture, Summer Semester 1921


Interpretations of Augustine

The task set before us is a limited one; to what extent it is limited will become clear, at least negatively, in its demarcation from other interpretations and evaluations of Augustine. These latter ones concur in their high esteem of Augustine's cultural-historical impact.

Medieval theology is based on Augustine. The medieval reception of Aristotle was able to assert itself—if at all—only in a sharp confrontation with Augustinian directions of thought. Medieval mysticism is a vivification of theological thought and practical-ecclesiastical religious ritual which, in essence, goes back to Augustinian motifs. In his decisive years of development, Luther was under the strong influence of Augustine. Within Protestantism, Augustine remained the most widely esteemed Father of the Church.

Augustine was subject to a renewal in the Catholic Church, in particular in seventeenth-century France (Descartes, Malebranche, Pascal, Jansenism, Bossuet, Féléon). He remained especially at home there until the modern Catholic school of apologetics in France, which at the same time appropriated Bergsonian ideas (which, in turn, were determined by Plotinus). What is at work in this is not really Augustine, but an Augustinianism which is more appropriate to the doctrine of the Church, and which slightly violates the dogmatic boundaries only in ontologism. (What Scheler is doing today is merely a secondary reception of these circles of thought dressed up in phenomenology.)

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28. [Notes for “Man’s Glassy Essence”]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


[Notes for “Man’s Glassy Essence”] mid-May 1892

Houghton Library

The problem is to elucidate the relation between the physical aspect of a substance and its psychical aspect.

As first step toward this, let us frame a molecular theory of protoplasm. The physical properties of the vital slime must first be catalogued. It has two states. In the first, it is a solid. But when it is disturbed in certain ways, it becomes liquid. The liquidity starts at the point of disturbance and spreads. But the spreading is not uniform in all directions. If the disturbance is not continued, the flowing gradually ceases and the slime becomes solid again. All this sometimes appears to take place without any disturbance from without. When the slime is liquid, it flows under the action of gravity, and so may spread. Yet it generally has a tendency to draw itself up into a globular form in that state. This is more the case with some forms of protoplasm than with others; particularly, it is so with the contents of muscle-cells. When the slime thus draws itself up, it generally does work against an external force. The effect of this work appears to be the same in kind as the effect of its merely balancing the external force without doing work, and the same as the effect of continued or reiterated disturbance in nerve-cells where there is very little contraction. Namely, it produces a state of fatigue or obstinate retention of the solid condition. The slime is further capable of assimilating food and thus growing. This assimilation is greatly stimulated by activity, and indeed, it seems probable that it is only capable of true growth when it is in the liquid condition. The slime also wastes; and this also takes place in the liquid state chiefly.

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Chapter One. Klein’s and Husserl’s Investigations of the Origination of Mathematical Physics

Burt C. Hopkins Indiana University Press ePub

Some seventy years have passed since the first publication of two fragmentary texts on history and phenomenology that Husserl wrote in his last years,1 texts that unmistakably link the meaning of both the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment (the new science of mathematical physics) and that of his own life’s work (the rigorous science of transcendental phenomenology) to the problem of their historical origination. It is striking that in the years following the original publication of these works and their republication in 1954 in Walter Biemel’s Husserliana edition of the Crisis, commentary on them has, with one significant exception, passed over what Husserl articulated as the specifically phenomenological nature of the problem of history. It has been ignored in favor of mostly critical discussions of Husserl’s putative attempt to accommodate his earlier “idealistic” formulations of transcendental phenomenology to the so-called “problem of history.”

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Chapter 2: The Aristotelian Definition of the Being-There of the Human Being as ζωή: πρακτική in the Sense of a ψυχῆς ἐνέργεια

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

Aristotle defines the being-there of human beings as a ζωή πρακτική τις τοῦ λóγον ἔχοντος,1 “a life, specifically one that is πρακτική, of such a being as has language.” We must attempt an interpretation of this definition in order to procure a concrete view of what Aristotle understands by the being and being-there of human beings. It must proceed in a double direction. Insofar as ζωή πρακτική is determined as ψυχῆς ἐνέργεια,2 we will (1) pursue the meaning and the concrete context which is meant by ἐνέργεια as well as (2) the context meant by ψυχή.

Ad 1. Ἐνέργεια is perhaps the most fundamental being-character in Aristotle’s doctrine of being. It contains the root word ἔργον. We will go back from ἐνέργεια to the ἔργον, and ask: What is the ἔργον of human beings, the “genuine achievement” and the “concern” in which human beings as human beings live in their being-human. From there, we will read off the mode of its being, since every ἔργον has, as ἔργον, a definite limitation that is in accordance with its being. Its πέρας is constituted by its ἀγαθóν (not value!). From this ἀγαθóν, as the πέρας, we are led to the distinctive limit that is determined as κίνησις. The limit of such a being is τέλος. We are led to the determination of εὐδαιμονία as this τέλος, to the determination of that which beings with the character of life carry within themselves as their basic possibility. Life is (1) a way of being characterized by its being-in-a-world and (2) a being for whom, in its being as such, this very being is a question, a being that is concerned with its being. The genuine being of life is posited in a certain way in its ἔργον as τέλος. Aristotle seeks basic possibilities within this concrete possibility of being-there, according to which every concrete being-there decides itself. We designate as existence (Existenz) the ultimate basic possibility in which being-there genuinely is. Existence in the radical sense is, for the Greeks, precisely that way of being-in-the-world, whiling one’s time in it, on the basis of which the ὁρισμóς, as speaking with the world, is motivated. Existence, the radical basic possibility of being-there, is, for the Greeks, βίος θεωρητικóς: the life whiled away in pure contemplation.

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