“And just as reasoning springs from experience, so the development of sentiment [my term: affective potentialies] arises from the souls inward
and outward experiences. Not only is it of the same nature as the development of cognition; but it chiefly takes place through the instrumentality of
cognition. The souls deeper parts can only be reached through its surface. In this way the eternal forms, that mathematics and philosophy and other
sciences make us acquainted with, will by slow percolation gradually reach the very core of ones being; and will come to influence our lives; and this
they will do, not because they involve truths of merely vital importance, but because they are ideal and eternal verities.”
– C.S. Peirce,
The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, Vol 2 (1893-1913), pg. 41, Indiana, 1998
This statement alone proves Charles Sanders Peirce to be a candidate for the most astonishing thinker the Human species has yet produced.
Before Alfred North Whitehead, Henri Bergson, or Teilhard de Chardin were philosophizing as to the nature of being and reality, there is CS Peirce
figuring out the basic elemental features of reality from his original experiences of being a chemist at Harvard college in Cambridge Massacheussets
in the 1850's. Chemistry contained the metapghorical ingredients for his philosophy of semiotics - or meaning. The unit in chemistry is the molecule;
the molecule is made of atoms; atoms of particles. Reasoning in the opposite direction from the vantage point of his thinking as a human revealed more
objects - albeit, phenomenological ones - what he called signs.
By the late 1800's and early 1900's, almost every word Peirce writes comes from an astonishing level of erudition. Hold your tongue when you read this
mans writing is what I'd suggest when reading him (I've had to criticize myself a few times for thinking too prematurely that he didn't know what he
was talking about, only to learn that he did) - he seems to have done nothing else in his life but read and write.
In the above cited statement, Peirce is essentially describing the metaphoric image developed by Teilhard de Chardin, who, like Peirce, couldn't help
but see an "end point" to the scientific process which picked up steam in the 18th century and has complexified since.
Perhaps an original inspiration for the universe evolving towards the omega point is Kabbalistic in origin. But then again, the idea of a universe
emanating from one point to the human condition long ago suggested to the neoplatonists that universe was returning to God - or to the One. Indeed,
Plato's "ideal forms" are precisely those objects which Peirce has in mind, and they seem to be "of" the One (i.e. Its Will). But what can also be
seen is Aristotles emphasis on efficient and final causation - or the ethical dimension - which Plato chooses to leave out of his philosophy. Here's
another Peirce zinger...
“There is no philosopher of any age who mixes poetry with philosophy with such effrontery as Plato.” – C.S. Peirce, The Essential Peirce:
Selected Philosophical Writings, Vol 2 (1893-1913), pg. 38, Indiana, 1998
I don't think Plato commits this by mistake, given, as Peirce so often praises of him, that Plato was a very deep thinker who tended to question
things quite . John Deely, in his Four Ages of Understanding, mentions in passing (on discussing the neoplatonists and their nominalistic errors)
Plato's supposed 7th Letter:
“If I thought it possible to deal adequately with the subject in a treatise or a lecture for the general public, what finer achievement would
there have been in my life than to write a work of great benefit to mankind and to bring the nature of things to light for all men? I do not, however,
think the attempt to tell mankind about these matters a good thing, except in the case of some few who are capable of discovering the truth for
themselves with a little guidance. In the case of the rest to do so would excite in some an unjustified contempt in a thoroughly offensive fashion, in
others certain lofty and vain hopes, as if they had acquired some awesome lore.”
– Plato, 7th Letter, in John Deely, Four Ages of
Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twentieth Century; pg, 55-56, UofT Press, 2001
What's intimated here is hard to say - but Eco, another follower of Peirce, spends a good chunk of Foucaults Pendulum mapping out the psychological
situation of the nihilist-philosopher who likes to play with reality without realizing every act that puts him out of sync with the reality around him
makes him feel worse and worse on the inside. Ideal Forms, if they exist, exist with reference, one may assume, to a contrary and opposing state.
Chaos would essentially be that state. Thus, your body inclines to an ideal state - an ideal attractor. As a human who is self-organizing through
spacetime, that means your biodynamical processes are organized according to a higher ideal 'attractor' which inclines cells to correlate their
processes so that they achieve a higher correlation with this ideal.
Thermodynamics exists; and thermodynamics is the root of all disorder in nature and ignorance in human minds - entropy literally means the absence of
information. Entropy and the ideal form are therefore opposites of one another, as the latter specifies the ideal geometry of a final form whereas the
former represents the very condition of spacetime: the separation, or asymmetry, between one thing and another thing. In any case, Eco conceives the
following situation in his book:
“True, in the course of my reading about the Templars and the various atrocities attributed to them, I had come across Carpocrates assertion that to
escape the tyranny of the angels, the masters of the cosmos, every possible ignominy should be perpetrated, that you should discharge all debts to the
world and to your own body, for only by committing every act can the soul be freed of its passions and return to its original purity. When we were
inventing the Plan, I found that many addicts of the occult pursued that path in their search for enlightenment. According to his biographers,
Aleister Crowley, who has been called the most perverted man of all time and who did everything that could be done with his worshipers, both men and
women, chose only the ugliest partners of either sex. I have the nagging suspicion, however, that his love making was incomplete.” – Umberto Eco,
Foucaults Pendulum, pg. 51, Harcourt, 1988
Translated into the above mentioned metaphysics of biological functionality, the philosophy of Carpocrates would seem to be the inspiration of a
demon-being which wants to suckle more vitality from the bodies biodynamism.
It's odd stuff. But it proves a powerful truth about us: we are caught between a world of endless transformation and uncertainty, while
self-organizing as a unity from a potential-and-not-yet-real iron clad perfection (idealism) that draws us to reason towards truthfulness - and not
edit on 14-11-2017 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)