Gary Richmond | 1 Mar 20:39 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Bob, list,
 
Bob, thanks for jumping back into the conversation with such gusto! This inquiry seems to me increasingly interesting, challenging, and, so, valuable. 
 
Since I'm myself pressed for time with the college term beginning this week, I'll try to keep this post short. You wrote re: my gloss of the first Peirce quotation you gave in this thread, that you thought:
 
RL: The IO of a sign is ontologically dependent on the sign itself; no sign, no IO. This is very different from the DO of a sign. The being of a DO does not dependent on whether a given sign represents it.
 
While it is certainly true that "the being of a DO [is] not dependent on whether a given [emphasis added] sign represents it," yet it seems to me that my/our collateral knowledge of the DO is built up from various IOs in consideration of it. So, "the  Dynamical Object. . . is the Reality which by some means contrives to determine the Sign to its Representation." CP 4.536 (see Ben's recent post for more of this passage) and that "means. . . to determine the Sign" is, as I see it, our various IOs of the Reality (DO) determining signs of it. Thus, no DO no IO, no IO no Sign. As I recall, Peirce's the order of semiosis is: some portion of Reality == Direct Object -> Indirect Object -> Sign -> Interpretant Sign. For example, I am intrigued by a particular piece of Greek sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I view it from various angles and see features which suggest to me that it is dated too early; later, at home I do further research and find that, indeed, the Classical date has recently been put into question with a later Hellenistic dated being proposed; I return to the museum and find that my present visual experience confirms that Hellenic date; some years later I find that the MMA now gives the later date. So, the DO (the sculpture) determined my IOs (which included visual signs, thought signs, etc.), that is, which determined those internal Signs which with other Signs (e.g., my research) lead me to that Interpretant Sign having the meaning of the 'correct' date of the piece. 
 
So, yes, in a genuine triadic relationship such as those involved in semiosis, all three aspects are necessary and none may be omitted in consideration of an actual semiosis. But your "no sign, no IO" seems to me to reverse the semiosic process--that the object determines the sign for its interpretant. Or, perhaps, if one suggests that the IO is dependent on a sign or signs, those signs would be involved in earlier collateral experience as signs of that Reality. Then, that complex Sign may truly represent  aspects of a DO (upon which it is dependent, which is what I was trying to stress in my gloss of your first Peirce quotation, I think). However, I may be missing your point here. Perhaps, if you would comment on what you meant by "The IO of a sign is ontologically dependent on the sign itself" that would clarify things for me.
 
Turning now to your next question concerning the "ad hoc" matter, I've already found your exchange with gnox on this issue most interesting and promising, so I won't say much here on it as I'm hoping you'll both have more to say about it (as has already been intimated). But for now, and just to respond to one question you had about a specific 'take' I had on this matter, that percepts, percepua, signs and immediate objects (as the consciousness of something or, simply, consciousness, as in another of Ben's recent Peirce quotations which includes this: "The cognition itself is an intuition of [that of which we are conscious of's] objective element, which may therefore be called, also, the immediate object." W 2:204), these seem to me present in every moment of our waking day, that is, even when we are not in the 'scientific mind set', perhaps just 'musing' or engaged in some other, non-scientific 'business'. Still, you are quite right that Joe is rightly concerned here with inquiry (and, even in our non-scientific experience, all of learning, according to Peirce, is the result of some kind of at least informal inquiry). So, I'll be following this ad hoc discussion closely, even as I meant to suggest that its findings may also have relevance and significance beyond science, say, for example, in pedagogy.
 
Finally, concerning the matter of objective idealism in Peirce, you wrote:
 
[RL] As I read it, Peirce's objective idealism is not directly relevant to these questions about IOs and DOs. As I understand it, Peirce's objective idealism ("matter is effete mind") is a form of monism, according to which mind and matter are not two radically different kinds of substance. 
 
You comment that Peirce's form of objective idealism is a monism concerned especially with the relationship "between different types of lawfulness" is, I think, right on target. However, as I see it, the IO is related to Peirce' position of objective idealism insofar as we stand in a very peculiar relation to all this mind/matter/lawfulness because, to some extent, we can and do come to know (scientifically and otherwise) at least aspects of this objective reality because we are evolutionarily equipped to do so. It is because we can reflect on those signs representing the real characters of the cosmos that our interpretations of the world can have generalizable (not just personal) meaning. Or better, since we can share our ideas, even have some of them scientifically confirmed by others, they can come to us to approach truths of an objective Reality,  and precisely because we have found a method to arrive at this quasi-consensus as we approach the resolution of some question as a community of scientific interest. So, as I see it, the definition of objective idealism is a mere starting point: a critical method (involving the rhetoric of Pragmaticism) is needed. It methodologically pulls into it DO (involving, typically, shared collateral experience of some reality) -> IOs -> Ss -> Is -> tending towards a Final Interpretant which is not mine nor yours but ours.  Finally, you wrote:
 
[RL] I'm not sure how this interfaces with the question whether IOs are always ideas, i.e., items that are mental and thus always internal to some or other mind (and, to reiterate something I wrote in my earlier response to gnox, it's that sense of "idea" that I think Peirce has in mind in that Feb 26 1909 letter to James from which I  quoted in my first post).
 
It is true that while "[t]he Sign may have any Modality of Being, i.e., may belong to any one of the three Universes; its Immediate Object must be in some sense, in which the Sign need not be, Internal," as Ben quoted Peirce in a letter to Lady Welby. But are shared ideas--as connected to individuals' IOs--"always internal to some or other mind" in some ultimate sense? As IOs, clearly the answer is yes. But, even if they were originally internal to some mind, yet they can be shared, transmitted, so to speak.They are, after all, nothing more nor less than our conscious experience of things which we typically use language and other human signs and symbols to express to ourselves and to others (they are not, that is, impenetrably locked up in any ones head). I offer you, say, my fresh abduction, and now it is also yours; that is, we share it, might both devise tests of it, etc. It is the same sign, Peirce would say (no doubt with different interpretants being generated). Indeed, it seems to me that communication presupposes that I intend to share my inner life in some way, to some extent, to some purpose, and in the doing of that--when there is shared meaning--that thought goes "out into the world," is, again, no longer only my thought.
 
Best,
 
Gary
 

>>> Robert Lane <rlane <at> westga.edu> 2/26/2011 5:07 PM >>>
Hi Gary, list,
Vin
As with my earlier reply to gnox, I'm replying to your message without 
first reading through everything else that's come along since. (I fear 
that if I wait to respond until I've thoroughly caught up, I'll fall 
ever further behind and never respond at all!) So I hope not 
everything I say here is obsolete.


I agree with a lot of what you wrote in your first contribution to 
this thread (2/16/2011). Here I'll respond to just three of the points 
you made in that message.



> (1) I would tale the meaning of the first Peirce quotation (CP 4.536,
> 1906)) to be that the representation of a sign is dependent on the
> Reality which it represents (that is, it is not that Reality but, at
> best, a representation of some aspect of it); and, that the IO/DO
> distinction is based on this fundamental distinction between dependent
> representation and Reality.

That passage, again, is: "I have already noted that a Sign has an 
Object … But it remains to point out that there are usually two 
Objects …. Namely, we have to distinguish the Immediate Object, which 
is the Object as the Sign itself represents it, and whose Being is 
thus dependent upon the Representation of it in the Sign, from the 
Dynamical Object, which is the Reality which by some means contrives 
to determine the Sign to its Representation." (CP 4.536, 1906; 
“Prolegomena to an Apology For Pragmatism”)

I'm not sure I understand your gloss of this passage yet. Here's how I 
read it... The being of the IO of a given sign depends on that sign 
actually representing that object, i.e., it depends on that sign 
actually being the sign that it is, i.e., it depends on the fact that 
that sign IS. The IO of a sign is ontologically dependent on the sign 
itself; no sign, no IO. This is very different from the DO of a sign. 
The being of a DO does not dependent on whether a given sign 
represents it. (An aside: If I'm right that Peirce, in this passage, 
is saying that the IO's being depends on the being of the sign of 
which it is an IO, it is difficult to see how this later view can be 
reconciled with the 1868-69 theory in the way that Joe seems to have 
wanted to reconcile them. On that reconciliation, in a continuum of 
thought-signs about X, each thought-sign represents X mediately, by 
way of its (less mediate) representation of an earlier thought-sign of 
X; and those intermediate thought-signs of X (those that come 
"between" X itself and the thought-sign that represents X) function as 
IOs of that thought-sign. But how could the being of an earlier 
thought-sign of X be dependent on the being of a LATER thought-sign of 
X?)




> Now. turning to your two questions regarding this, you first seem
> to ask if Joe, in limiting this IO/DO distinction to that distinctive
> limit of problematic cases, that is, those in which the question (the
> sign) has been put into doubt, doesn't finally make the distinction "ad
> hoc"?  Your last question is whether or not Peirce himself made the kind
> of distinction which Joe is making in this paper?
>
> As I've already written a lot here, I'll only comment, without
> argumentation, that as regards the first questions, that I think that
> Joe's distinction may seem "ad hoc" at first glance, but may prove in
> fact not to be. On the other hand, I think Joe's distinction may be
> limited in yet another way; namely, in reflecting upon the IO only in
> inquiry, whereas we're experiencing immediate objects in all sorts of
> ways in the course of any ordinary day. So, it may be that there is a
> place for Joe's distinction in inquiry, but not more generally.

I wrote further in my response to gnox about the worries I have about 
Joe's view making the IO/DO distinction an ad hoc distinction. What 
you say here about inquiry vs. non-inquiry piques my curiosity, but 
I'm not yet seeing how it saves the distinction, on Joe's approach, 
from ad-hockery. The abuses of the distinction about which Joe was 
concerned all occur within the context of some sort of inquiry or 
other, right (semiotic, metaphysical, etc.)? Or maybe I'm missing your 
point...




> You ask whether or not a sign's immediate object is not always an idea
> "even if that sign is a true cognition about things external to the
> mind" (RL). Quick response: Peirce is an objective idealist, as I see
> it. There is no problem here as to the objectivity and Reality of the
> sign: I have a "true cognition" of a thing and that is the thing itself
> in that aspect  for me. How else is any thing to have any Reality for
> us? In this manner two of us may truly speak of our collateral
> observations of the 'same' object external to our minds. Yet, it remains
> for us--individually and together, as it were--an idea.

As I read it, Peirce's objective idealism is not directly relevant to 
these questions about IOs and DOs. As I understand it, Peirce's 
objective idealism ("matter is effete mind") is a form of monism, 
according to which mind and matter are not two radically different 
kinds of substance. But this is not a simple neutral monism. For 
Peirce the important question is, not what type of substance there is 
in the world, but what the relationship is between different types of 
lawfulness. It is as if he is saying that there is only one sort of 
stuff and the interesting question about it is not what it is, but how 
it behaves, i.e., what sort of laws govern its behavior. On his view, 
psychical laws are “primordial,” while physical laws are “derived and 
special”. In other words, psychical laws evolved first, and physical 
laws evolved from them. I'm not sure how this interfaces with the 
question whether IOs are always ideas, i.e., items that are mental and 
thus always internal to some or other mind (and, to reiterate 
something I wrote in my earlier response to gnox, it's that sense of 
"idea" that I think Peirce has in mind in that Feb 26 1909 letter to 
James from which I quoted in my first post).

Best regards,
Bob



--
Robert Lane, Ph.D.
Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society
Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118

678 839 4745
rlane <at> westga.edu
http://www.westga.edu/~rlane





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Clark Goble | 2 Mar 06:52 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"


On Mar 1, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:

It is true that while "[t]he Sign may have any Modality of Being, i.e., may belong to any one of the three Universes; its Immediate Object must be in some sense, in which the Sign need not be, Internal," as Ben quoted Peirce in a letter to Lady Welby. But are sharedideas--as connected to individuals' IOs--"always internal to some or other mind" in some ultimate sense?

I think it is hard to make sense of Peirce in this sense without invoking some kind of universal mind.  Peirce calls this the Absolute and I think it's part of his ties to Spinoza and his similarity to the early German idealists.  

Peirce's God however is real but not actual.  Which I think we ought take as a matter of possibility but not actuality.  So this mind is an essentially virtual mind.  

It's interesting looking at Peirce's conception of the line relative to our semiotic questioning here.

According to the mathematicians, when we measure along a line, were our yardstick replaced by a yard marked off on an infinitely long rigid bar, then in all the shiftings of it which we make for the purpose of applying it to successive portions of the line to be measured, two points on that bar would remain fixed and unmoved. To that pair of points, the mathematicians accord the title of the absolute; they are the points that are at an infinite distance one way and the other as measured by that yard. (CP 1.362)

These two points are absolute Firstness and absolute Secondness whereas, "every measurable point on the line is of the nature of a third” (ibid)  He then continues:

the starting-point of the universe, God the Creator, is the Absolute First; the terminus of the universe, God completely revealed, is the Absolute Second; every state of the universe at a measurable point of time is the third (ibid)

I shamelessly lifted that quote from Shannon Dea's paper on Peirce and Spinoza.  However I think the analogy to our discussion is pretty clear.  Throw in Peirce's notion on realism from his review of Frazer's Berkeley and I think you get a pretty clear idea of where Peirce is going.  In these absolute terms then immediate object is just an other term for thirdness or semiotics whereas the object itself is pure potency.




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Gary Fuhrman | 2 Mar 15:45 2011
Picon

RE: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Ben, Gary, Clark et. Al.,

 

Just a few interjections here – Ben, thanks for reminding us of that exchange of comments you had with Joe and me on the Peirce blog ( http://csp3.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-is-meant-by-in-mind-part-2.html ). It is highly relevant to this thread and i’d forgotten all about it.

 

Gary, at the end of your post you wrote that

GR: Indeed, it seems to me that communication presupposes that I intend to share my inner life in some way, to some extent, to some purpose, and in the doing of that--when there is shared meaning--that thought goes "out into the world," is, again, no longer only my thought.

 

I would say it’s no longer internal to your individual mind, but it’s still internal to the commens consisting of all who share the thought. And the DO is still external to that commens while the IO is internal to it. However i don’t agree with you, Clark, if you’re saying that the commens must be an infinite mind. It can be two people, or even a single person at two differing stages in the development of her thought, which is herself.

 

I would also have to differ with the last sentence of your post, Clark (copied below). When you say that “the object itself is pure potency”, it sounds as if you are identifying the DO with the Absolute First which is one end of Peirce’s infinite line, and which he identifies as God the Creator. But it seems to me that a DO must be a relative Second, not an Absolute First. I don’t think Peirce’s infinite line, which he uses for cosmological purposes, really works as a diagram of the semiotic process comparable to the sequence diagrammed in Gary’s message.

 

And Robert, while it’s true that the IO is internal to the sign in a way that the DO isn’t, i wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that the IO is ontologically dependent on the sign and the DO isn’t. I would say that the DO qua Object is dependent on the sign in the sense that without the Sign there would be no Object at all, there would be only the phaneron. The reality of the Dynamic Object, its being what it really is, does not depend on the Sign in any way, but its being an Object does.

 

On the internal/external question, i would be inclined to say that while the IO is definitely internal, the DO is precisely at the boundary between external and internal. Of course this boundary itself is an ideal “object” since we never know exactly where it is, because semiosis is growth, always pushing the envelope. Ideally, then, we can think of cognition as an expanding bubble, the DO as a point of contact with the external world, and the IO as the now-internal re-presentation of the contact event. Peirce’s realism then says that if the representation is true, then no difference can ever be discovered between the IO and the DO – which, unlike the IO, is always coming from the world external to the cognitive bubble. (That way of putting it is the outside-in version of the concept that the bubble is expanding. Likewise we can say that the future is coming toward us or that we are advancing into the future, meaning the same thing either way.)

 

I don’t know if that makes sense to others, but for me it helps to avoid the problem i have with the idea that the Dynamic Object is completely independent of the Sign ontologically.

 

                    gnox

 

From: Clark Goble [mailto:clark <at> lextek.com]
Sent: March-02-11 12:53 AM
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Subject: Re: [peirce-l] Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

 

On Mar 1, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:


It is true that while "[t]he Sign may have any Modality of Being, i.e., may belong to any one of the three Universes; its Immediate Object must be in some sense, in which the Sign need not be, Internal," as Ben quoted Peirce in a letter to Lady Welby. But are sharedideas--as connected to individuals' IOs--"always internal to some or other mind" in some ultimate sense?

 

I think it is hard to make sense of Peirce in this sense without invoking some kind of universal mind.  Peirce calls this the Absolute and I think it's part of his ties to Spinoza and his similarity to the early German idealists.  

 

Peirce's God however is real but not actual.  Which I think we ought take as a matter of possibility but not actuality.  So this mind is an essentially virtual mind.  

 

It's interesting looking at Peirce's conception of the line relative to our semiotic questioning here.

 

According to the mathematicians, when we measure along a line, were our yardstick replaced by a yard marked off on an infinitely long rigid bar, then in all the shiftings of it which we make for the purpose of applying it to successive portions of the line to be measured, two points on that bar would remain fixed and unmoved. To that pair of points, the mathematicians accord the title of the absolute; they are the points that are at an infinite distance one way and the other as measured by that yard. (CP 1.362)

 

These two points are absolute Firstness and absolute Secondness whereas, "every measurable point on the line is of the nature of a third” (ibid)  He then continues:

 

the starting-point of the universe, God the Creator, is the Absolute First; the terminus of the universe, God completely revealed, is the Absolute Second; every state of the universe at a measurable point of time is the third (ibid)

 

I shamelessly lifted that quote from Shannon Dea's paper on Peirce and Spinoza.  However I think the analogy to our discussion is pretty clear.  Throw in Peirce's notion on realism from his review of Frazer's Berkeley and I think you get a pretty clear idea of where Peirce is going.  In these absolute terms then immediate object is just an other term for thirdness or semiotics whereas the object itself is pure potency.

 

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Clark Goble | 2 Mar 18:47 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

One answer.  Sorry it's so long, but I think you raise a pretty important point.  More later.

On Mar 2, 2011, at 7:45 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:

I would also have to differ with the last sentence of your post, Clark (copied below). When you say that “the object itself is pure potency”, it sounds as if you are identifying the DO with the Absolute First which is one end of Peirce’s infinite line, and which he identifies as God the Creator. But it seems to me that a DO must be a relative Second, not an Absolute First. I don’t think Peirce’s infinite line, which he uses for cosmological purposes, really works as a diagram of the semiotic process comparable to the sequence diagrammed in Gary’s message.

 


My comments should be read in terms of my post last week where I said the DO/IO distinction depends upon the type of analysis one is conducting. 

There's a simple argument for the distinction I was making in the post from last night about a more absolute DO/IO distinction.  The Dynamic Object and the Final Interpretant must in their representational aspects match.  However what is determined by any object isn't just iconic representations of a more straightforward sort but also connotative and more figurative representation.  Peirce is very explicit that these connotative aspects become determinate in the long run as the final interpretant.  (Once again, to be clear, we're just looking at the representational aspects of the sign and not the game theoretic or performative aspects)  

However if in the long run the signification of these connotative aspects are captured in the final interpretant and the final interpretant matches the dynamic object then those must be in the dynamic object in potential.  

There's a reason why we flinch from this sort of analysis though.  It's partially the point Joe raised in his paper about the distinction being relative to the kind of analysis we are engaged in.  (A point I agreed with an expanded upon in last week's comments to Gary)  However a bigger problem is that we are willing to treat things like a unique moment of feeling or some particular act as dynamic objects.  Those obviously don't take place in some infinite past. 

I've not finished thinking through this issue so I don't claim to have clear answers.  My initial thoughts are these.  First Peirce's early cosmology should be taken as a logical and not temporal analysis.  The problem here as many of us have noted is that most of these cosmological speculations verging upon neoPlatonism are only found in the early Peirce and not the mature Peirce of the late 90's and early 20th century.  As such it is very dangerous to read them into the later DO/IO distinctions - especially as used in his 20th century writings.    Even acknowledging those caveats though I think making a distinction in terms of a cosmology of logical analysis is helpful.  In this case any particular absolute first (anything as it is in itself) would be part of this absolute firstness or absolute potency.  

The reason we talk of DO being a relative second is because they act and create signs.  I'm not even sure we need make them a relative second.  We can talk about pure action which for Peirce would be this final moment in the line or God as pure second.  That's because it has become pure substance or purely determined.  What we want to say is that something has acted or that some actual particular object is determining a semiotic chain.  So when I talk about the keyboard I'm typing at we want to talk about the actual keyboard and not some kind of potential.  

I'm clearly sympathetic to this and I think it gets at a particular problem in Peirce's cosmology I've been unable to reconcile.  My solution is simply to say (once again following Joe) is that we have to be clear what kind of analysis we are conducting.  Relative to one analysis clearly this absolute or relative second starts the semiotic chain.  That's because we want to consider how this particular keyboard enters the sign system. However in an other sort of analysis in which we take connotation and not merely denotation seriously what we are worried about isn't just the physical matter of the keyboard but the keyboard as something more.  As such it's not a fully determined keyboard but a keyboard that is still vague and still progressing through a kind of semiotic evolution.

The problem we have is that in one analysis we start with fully determinate objects and our sign analysis is merely considering when this fully determinate object results in a fully determinate interpretant correctly representing the object.  In the other consideration we recognize that objects are not particular but are generals.  The keyboard on my desk now is the same keyboard that was at a factory in China a few years ago and is the same keyboard in some future event.  When I talk about the keyboard I want to denote all of those.  When I talk about the keyboard determining various sorts of interpretants such as determining that I really enjoy typing on it those must be part of the keyboard as a general.  

Hope that helps.

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Clark Goble | 2 Mar 19:05 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"


On Mar 2, 2011, at 7:45 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:

However i don’t agree with you, Clark, if you’re saying that the commens must be an infinite mind. It can be two people, or even a single person at two differing stages in the development of her thought, which is herself.

I just realized I didn't address this particular point.

I certainly agree with your comments here.  However universal mind an common mind are two different things.  The universal mind is roughly akin to the Nous in Platonic thought.   

I think for Peirce one can adopt a kind of semiotic realism in which everything is a sign including things humans don't happen to be thinking about.  What is the interpretant in such a case?  And whose mind is it in?  I think it undeniably the case that this non-human thought signs exhibit a mind-like aspect.  This is where Peirce's absolute idealism gets most interesting (although perhaps most complex)  For Berkeley's idealism such things were maintained by the thinking of God.  I think that in a way this is true of Peirce as well.  It's just that Peirce's conception of God verges on the pantheistic.  This is where the similarities and differences from Spinoza's absolute become quite interesting.  (And of course we all recognize the huge influence of Spinoza on the early German idealists like Hegel)




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Clark Goble | 2 Mar 18:52 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

A few others.


On Mar 2, 2011, at 7:45 AM, Gary Fuhrman wrote:

The reality of the Dynamic Object, its being what it really is, does not depend on the Sign in any way, but its being an Object does.

 


However consider the caveats of my previous comments.  What a dynamic object really is must be within any temporal order still evolving.  When my wife was a child she was really the woman I loved even though at that time I did not love her at that moment (and didn't not even know her)  To say that what an object really is does not depend upon the sign must be qualified in terms of the kind of analysis we are conducting.  After all in other ways what an object really is significantly depends upon the sign.  To see this merely consider objects like ourselves whose being depends upon the sign relations we determine.

On the internal/external question, i would be inclined to say that while the IO is definitely internal, the DO is precisely at the boundary between external and internal. 

Once again I'd say this is always relative to the kind of analysis we are conducting.  We have to ask internal or external to what with respect to what.


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Vinícius Romanini | 2 Mar 20:37 2011
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RE: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Dear Gnox, Gary, Bob, Clark, list
 
 
I agree with most of what Gnox has written bellow, but would like to add some comments.
 
I don´t think that the fact that IO is internal to the sign and DO external to it should allow us interpret it as something related to subjective mind (internal) and objective world (external). The phaneron - or whatever is immediate in one´s mind - is a sign as well, and so has IO and DO. 
 
I like the idea of a cognitive bubble, which is something like Uexkull´s concept of Umwelt. This bubble is composed by whatever can be noted and able create at least possible interpretants, and so is made of signs. It is the real.
The IO is the a composition of all possible notations (predications) of a sign. Its natural partner is the immediate interpretant, which is the composition of all immediate possible effects of a sign as it is noted. Together, IO and II produce some sort of "aura" of grounded interpretability (to use Tom Short´s terminology).
Whatever is noted by someone or some species has grounded interpretability made possible by its perceptive apparel, and such is the real world to this someone or this some species.
 
So the IO is the repository of all possible predications and plays a fundamental role in producing metaphors, analogies and grounding abductions, while the DO is the "wall" against which each of these inventive metaphors is destined to crash, sooner or later, if they are not true at least in some respect.
 
The IO is in a sense ampliative and give us the possibility of musing, while the DO is the razor that put pragmatic limits in semeiosis. If the process is carried out the way Peirce describes, the truth would be its final interpretant.
Or the immediate metaphor made possible by the IO would produce a true abduction, and there would be no need for the DO limit this metaphor in any sense, for the form of the metaphor given by the IO would conform to the true form of the DO.
 
best, 
 
Vinicius Romanini, Ph.D.
Professor of Sciences of Communication
School of Communications and Arts
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
www.minutesemeiotic.org

--- On Wed, 3/2/11, Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca> wrote:

From: Gary Fuhrman <gnox <at> gnusystems.ca>
Subject: RE: [peirce-l] Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 5:45 PM

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Ben, Gary, Clark et. Al.,

 

Just a few interjections here – Ben, thanks for reminding us of that exchange of comments you had with Joe and me on the Peirce blog ( http://csp3.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-is-meant-by-in-mind-part-2.html ). It is highly relevant to this thread and i’d forgotten all about it.

 

Gary, at the end of your post you wrote that

GR: Indeed, it seems to me that communication presupposes that I intend to share my inner life in some way, to some extent, to some purpose, and in the doing of that--when there is shared meaning--that thought goes "out into the world," is, again, no longer only my thought.

 

I would say it’s no longer internal to your individual mind, but it’s still internal to the commens consisting of all who share the thought. And the DO is still external to that commens while the IO is internal to it. However i don’t agree with you, Clark, if you’re saying that the commens must be an infinite mind. It can be two people, or even a single person at two differing stages in the development of her thought, which is herself.

 

I would also have to differ with the last sentence of your post, Clark (copied below). When you say that “the object itself is pure potency”, it sounds as if you are identifying the DO with the Absolute First which is one end of Peirce’s infinite line, and which he identifies as God the Creator. But it seems to me that a DO must be a relative Second, not an Absolute First. I don’t think Peirce’s infinite line, which he uses for cosmological purposes, really works as a diagram of the semiotic process comparable to the sequence diagrammed in Gary’s message.

 

And Robert, while it’s true that the IO is internal to the sign in a way that the DO isn’t, i wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that the IO is ontologically dependent on the sign and the DO isn’t. I would say that the DO qua Object is dependent on the sign in the sense that without the Sign there would be no Object at all, there would be only the phaneron. The reality of the Dynamic Object, its being what it really is, does not depend on the Sign in any way, but its being an Object does.

 

On the internal/external question, i would be inclined to say that while the IO is definitely internal, the DO is precisely at the boundary between external and internal. Of course this boundary itself is an ideal “object” since we never know exactly where it is, because semiosis is growth, always pushing the envelope. Ideally, then, we can think of cognition as an expanding bubble, the DO as a point of contact with the external world, and the IO as the now-internal re-presentation of the contact event. Peirce’s realism then says that if the representation is true, then no difference can ever be discovered between the IO and the DO – which, unlike the IO, is always coming from the world external to the cognitive bubble. (That way of putting it is the outside-in version of the concept that the bubble is expanding. Likewise we can say that the future is coming toward us or that we are advancing into the future, meaning the same thing either way.)

 

I don’t know if that makes sense to others, but for me it helps to avoid the problem i have with the idea that the Dynamic Object is completely independent of the Sign ontologically.

 

                    gnox

 

From: Clark Goble [mailto:clark <at> lextek.com]
Sent: March-02-11 12:53 AM
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Subject: Re: [peirce-l] Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

 

On Mar 1, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Gary Richmond wrote:


It is true that while "[t]he Sign may have any Modality of Being, i.e., may belong to any one of the three Universes; its Immediate Object must be in some sense, in which the Sign need not be, Internal," as Ben quoted Peirce in a letter to Lady Welby. But are sharedideas--as connected to individuals' IOs--"always internal to some or other mind" in some ultimate sense?

 

I think it is hard to make sense of Peirce in this sense without invoking some kind of universal mind.  Peirce calls this the Absolute and I think it's part of his ties to Spinoza and his similarity to the early German idealists.  

 

Peirce's God however is real but not actual.  Which I think we ought take as a matter of possibility but not actuality.  So this mind is an essentially virtual mind.  

 

It's interesting looking at Peirce's conception of the line relative to our semiotic questioning here.

 

According to the mathematicians, when we measure along a line, were our yardstick replaced by a yard marked off on an infinitely long rigid bar, then in all the shiftings of it which we make for the purpose of applying it to successive portions of the line to be measured, two points on that bar would remain fixed and unmoved. To that pair of points, the mathematicians accord the title of the absolute; they are the points that are at an infinite distance one way and the other as measured by that yard. (CP 1.362)

 

These two points are absolute Firstness and absolute Secondness whereas, "every measurable point on the line is of the nature of a third” (ibid)  He then continues:

 

the starting-point of the universe, God the Creator, is the Absolute First; the terminus of the universe, God completely revealed, is the Absolute Second; every state of the universe at a measurable point of time is the third (ibid)

 

I shamelessly lifted that quote from Shannon Dea's paper on Peirce and Spinoza.  However I think the analogy to our discussion is pretty clear.  Throw in Peirce's notion on realism from his review of Frazer's Berkeley and I think you get a pretty clear idea of where Peirce is going.  In these absolute terms then immediate object is just an other term for thirdness or semiotics whereas the object itself is pure potency.

 

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Gary Fuhrman | 5 Mar 12:59 2011
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RE: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Clark and Vinicius,

 

I’ve been offline for a few days but have been pondering these matters in the meantime. Clark, i’d agree that our way of talking about these things is “always relative to the kind of analysis we are conducting.” Some of your other points (and indeed some of my own) are less clear to me, but i think the next paper we’re looking at, on the epistemic function of the icon, might get us further into these questions than anything i can say now. (I also read that paper for the first time yesterday.)

 

Vinicius, i’m reluctant to go along with your statement that the phaneron is a sign – and with the definition of it as “whatever is immediate in one´s mind.” If the phaneron is what is present to the mind in any way, then everything present in a mediate way is included in it as well as immediacies. But again, these questions might better be postponed until we are dealing with a paper to which it is more directly relevant. Or at least until we’ve looked at the difference between “immediate” and “direct” as Joe explained it in the next paper.

 

By the way, now that i’m showing up in the “From” line as “Gary Fuhrman” (due to a software change), maybe i can drop the “gnox” handle i’ve been using here for a few years to avoid being confused with Gary Richmond. Maybe i should sign myself as “the Gary formerly known as gnox”? I’ll still take the blame for whatever gnox has said, though.

 

Confusedly,             Gary F.

 

 

From: Vinícius Romanini [mailto:viniroma <at> yahoo.com]
Sent: March-02-11 2:38 PM
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Subject: RE: [peirce-l] Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

 

Dear Gnox, Gary, Bob, Clark, list

 

 

I agree with most of what Gnox has written bellow, but would like to add some comments.

 

I don´t think that the fact that IO is internal to the sign and DO external to it should allow us interpret it as something related to subjective mind (internal) and objective world (external). The phaneron - or whatever is immediate in one´s mind - is a sign as well, and so has IO and DO. 

 

I like the idea of a cognitive bubble, which is something like Uexkull´s concept of Umwelt. This bubble is composed by whatever can be noted and able create at least possible interpretants, and so is made of signs. It is the real.

The IO is the a composition of all possible notations (predications) of a sign. Its natural partner is the immediate interpretant, which is the composition of all immediate possible effects of a sign as it is noted. Together, IO and II produce some sort of "aura" of grounded interpretability (to use Tom Short´s terminology).

Whatever is noted by someone or some species has grounded interpretability made possible by its perceptive apparel, and such is the real world to this someone or this some species.

 

So the IO is the repository of all possible predications and plays a fundamental role in producing metaphors, analogies and grounding abductions, while the DO is the "wall" against which each of these inventive metaphors is destined to crash, sooner or later, if they are not true at least in some respect.

 

The IO is in a sense ampliative and give us the possibility of musing, while the DO is the razor that put pragmatic limits in semeiosis. If the process is carried out the way Peirce describes, the truth would be its final interpretant.

Or the immediate metaphor made possible by the IO would produce a true abduction, and there would be no need for the DO limit this metaphor in any sense, for the form of the metaphor given by the IO would conform to the true form of the DO.

 

best, 

 
Vinicius Romanini, Ph.D.

 

 

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Robert Lane | 6 Mar 19:52 2011

RE: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Hi gnox (Gary F.), all,

In reply to gnox's 2/27 response to my 2/26 message:

> Robert, the significance of your worry about "ad hockery" in Joe's   
> argument is much clearer to me now, and i see why my previous post   
> does nothing to eliminate the problem. I agree that a given   
> distinction, if it is valid in the first place, should not be barred  
>  from participation in any argument; and i think Joe would also  
> agree  on that logical point. But on my reading of Joe, we could say  
> that  the DO/IO distinction is NOT valid in the first place IF it is  
> made  "with an axe", as Peirce would say -- that is, if it denies  
> the  continuity of semiosis, or more specifically, the real  
> connection  between DO and IO. (This is what i had in mind in my  
> earlier  message, when i referred parenthetically to "comparing the  
> discrete  DO with a discrete IO".)

I think that one of the most important aspects of the 1868-69  
cognition series is its implication that a given cognizing mind and  
the world that it cognizes are continuous with one another. As I read  
those articles, Peirce is maintaining that there is no determinate or  
fixed boundary between the mental and the non-mental, between the  
internal and the external. And so far as I can tell, this synechistic  
view of the connection between mind and non-mind continues into the  
1900s. So I completely agree with you when you say:

> it would also violate synechism to make the  distinction between the  
> inner and outer "with an axe" -- valid and  useful as that  
> distinction is.

(And although I am unfamiliar with the work of Humberto Maturana,  
which you and Søren Brier mentioned in subsequent messages, from your  
description it does seem very non-Peircean and anti-synechistic.)

I am not yet sure, though, how this application of synechism  
interfaces with Peirce's eventual IO/DO distinction. Returning to my  
earlier example... If I think that my car is missing a windshield  
wiper, the IO of that thought-sign is an earlier thought-sign about my  
car (an internal event), and its DO is the car itself (an external  
thing). But in the causal chain leading from my car to my thought that  
it's missing a wiper, there are a number of events intermediate  
between the car and my thought about it. Some of those events are  
neurological (brain events, and thus external in Peirce's sense);  
others are mental (internal) but not one and the same thing as the  
IO--they are psychological states or events that precede and  
contribute to the formation of the IO. So while I agree that, on  
Peirce's view, there is no determinate boundary between the external  
and the internal, no sharp metaphysical border between neurological  
events and mental events, I do still think that Peirce could have  
maintained that, within a given instance of semeiosis, a sign's DO and  
IO are distinct from one another. While the causal process leading  
from my car to my thoughts about my car is a continuous one, there is  
still a real difference between my car and my thoughts about it,  
including a thought that serves as an IO relative to some later thought.

In putting the point this way, I am probably "injecting causality"  
into the IO/DO distinction in a way that Clark will find  
objectionable. But this is the most plausible understanding of that  
distinction that I've been able to come up with so far. Clark wrote on  
Feb. 25: "But for Peirce while we can say an object determines an  
interpretant I don't think we ought say an object causes an  
interpretant." But Peirce seems to have held that causation is one way  
in which an object can determine an interpretant by way of a sign: "a  
sign is a something which is on the one hand caused or otherwise  
determined by something else ... but on the other hand it determines  
some thing to be through it determined as it is by the object of the  
sign.” (R 499:39-41, 1906). And anyway, any thoughts I have about my  
car are causally determined by my earlier interactions with car (but  
not by those interactions alone, of course). So it would count as a  
mark against Peirce's semiotics if it didn't make room for such causal  
determination of thoughts about the external world.

> On another matter i seem to disagree with you more strongly. I   
> mentioned Peirce's argument (in the Cognition series) against our   
> ability "rightly to judge whether [a] cognition has been determined   
> by a previous cognition or whether it refers immediately to its   
> object" (W2:193). Your reply comments that
> [[ The question Peirce is posing in that passage is whether we can,   
> BY INTUITION, "judge whether [a] cognition has been determined by a   
> previous cognition or whether it refers immediately to its object." ]]
> I don't think so. Peirce isn't talking about whether the JUDGMENT is  
>  "by intuition" or not -- rather an intuition, as he defines it, IS  
> a  cognition not determined by a previous cognition.

You are right about how Peirce defines "intuition" in the cognition  
series: "Throughout this paper, the term intuition will be taken as  
signifying a cognition not determined by a previous cognition of the  
same object, and therefore so determined by something out of the  
consciousness." (5.213, W 2:193) But I still maintain that in the  
relevant passage, the first question Peirce poses in "Questions  
Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed For Man," he is asking whether we  
can distinguish intuitions from non-intuitions by way of intuition  
itself. In fact, I think it's pretty straightforward that that's the  
question he's asking:

**************
QUESTION 1. Whether by the simple contemplation of a cognition,  
independently of any previous knowledge and without reasoning from  
signs, we are enabled rightly to judge whether that cognition has been  
determined by a previous cognition or whether it refers immediately to  
its object.
...
Now, it is plainly one thing to have an intuition and another to know  
intuitively that it is an intuition, and the question is whether these  
two things, distinguishable in thought, are, in fact, invariably  
connected, so that we can always INTUITIVELY distinguish between an  
intuition and a cognition determined by another. (5.213-14, W  
2:193-94, emphasis added)
**************

What he's arguing here at the beginning of "Questions" is that we  
cannot tell the difference between intuitions and other, non-intuitive  
cognitions by using intuition. That conclusion leaves open the  
possibility that we do in fact have a faculty of intuition. (Of  
course, by the end of "Questions," he has argued that we don't have a  
faculty of intuition at all, and that every thought-sign of X is  
preceded by an earlier thought-sign of X.)

So rather than say, as you do, that

> his claim is  that we have NO way detecting that a given cognition  
> is in fact  intuitive, i.e. that no previous cognition has entered  
> into it

I would state his claim as follows: we have no INTUITIVE way of  
detecting that a given cognition is intuitive. We do have a way of  
"detecting" (in a loose sense) that all cognitions are in fact  
non-intuitive... we "detect" this by way of abductive reasoning from  
what we know about the external world and what that knowledge suggests  
about the way the mind works. As he says early in "Some Consequences  
of Four Incapacities" (the second paper in the 1868-69 cognition  
series), "We can admit no statement concerning what passes within us  
except as a hypothesis necessary to explain what takes place in what  
we commonly call the external world." (5.266, W 2:213)

Best regards,
Bob

-- 
Robert Lane, Ph.D.
Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society
Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118

678 839 4745
rlane <at> westga.edu
http://www.westga.edu/~rlane

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Robert Lane | 6 Mar 22:16 2011

Re: Slow Read: "The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction"

Gary, all

In response to Gary (Richmond)'s 3/1 response to my message of 2/26  
(and with a couple of asides to acknowledge gnox's message of 3/3):

1. On the subject of whether a sign's IO is ever one and the same  
thing as its DO.

Gary, your asked me to further elaborate on my reading of CP 4.536...

"I have already noted that a Sign has an Object … But it remains to  
point out that there are usually two Objects …. Namely, we have to  
distinguish the Immediate Object, which is the Object as the Sign  
itself represents it, and whose Being is thus dependent upon the  
Representation of it in the Sign, from the Dynamical Object, which is  
the Reality which by some means contrives
to determine the Sign to its Representation." (CP 4.536, 1906;  
“Prolegomena to an Apology For Pragmatism”)

On my reading, "The IO of a sign is ontologically dependent on the  
sign itself; no sign, no IO. This is very different from the DO of a  
sign. The being of a DO does not depend on whether a given sign  
represents it."

You wrote:

> [GR] While it is certainly true that "the being of a DO [is] not dependent
> on whether a given [emphasis added] sign represents it," yet it seems to
> me that my/our collateral knowledge of the DO is built up from various
> IOs in consideration of it. So, "the  Dynamical Object. . . is the
> Reality which by some means contrives to determine the Sign to its
> Representation." CP 4.536 (see Ben's recent post for more of this
> passage) and that "means. . . to determine the Sign" is, as I see it,
> our various IOs of the Reality (DO) determining signs of it. Thus, no DO
> no IO, no IO no Sign.
>
> [GR] As I recall, Peirce's the order of semiosis is:
> some portion of Reality == Direct Object -> Indirect Object -> Sign ->
> Interpretant Sign. For example, I am intrigued by a particular piece of
> Greek sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I view it from
> various angles and see features which suggest to me that it is dated too
> early; later, at home I do further research and find that, indeed, the
> Classical date has recently been put into question with a later
> Hellenistic dated being proposed; I return to the museum and find that
> my present visual experience confirms that Hellenic date; some years
> later I find that the MMA now gives the later date. So, the DO (the
> sculpture) determined my IOs (which included visual signs, thought
> signs, etc.), that is, which determined those internal Signs which with
> other Signs (e.g., my research) lead me to that Interpretant Sign having
> the meaning of the 'correct' date of the piece.
>
> [GR] So, yes, in a genuine triadic relationship such as those involved in
> semiosis, all three aspects are necessary and none may be omitted in
> consideration of an actual semiosis. But your "no sign, no IO" seems to
> me to reverse the semiosic process--that the object determines the sign
> for its interpretant. Or, perhaps, if one suggests that the IO is
> dependent on a sign or signs, those signs would be involved in earlier
> collateral experience as signs of that Reality. Then, that complex Sign
> may truly represent  aspects of a DO (upon which it is dependent, which
> is what I was trying to stress in my gloss of your first Peirce
> quotation, I think). However, I may be missing your point here.

Gary, you and I seem to be in agreement that the being of a given DO  
does not depend on its being represented by any specific sign. Given  
Peirce's view that anything that is real is capable of being cognized  
and therefore represented, anything real has the potential of serving  
as a DO relative to a sign. But no given Real MUST be cognized or  
represented. If a Real (e.g., a stone at the bottom of the ocean that  
no one ever discovers or, more importantly, even thinks about) is  
never represented, then it never serves as a DO; but it is nonetheless  
real. Its reality doesn't depend on its being a DO.

[An aside... gnox wrote on 3/3: "i wouldn't go quite so far as to say  
that the IO is ontologically dependent on the sign and the DO isn't. I  
would say that the DO qua Object is dependent on the sign in the sense  
that without the Sign there would be no Object at all, there would be  
only the phaneron. The reality of the Dynamic Object, its being what  
it really is, does not depend on the Sign in any way, but its being an  
Object does." I agree with most of this, gnox. That a Real, X,  
functions as the DO of a sign does depend on there being that sign.  
But that X is real does not at all depend on whether it is actually  
represented. However, I don't think I would follow you so far as to  
say that "without the Sign there would be no Object at all, there  
would be only the phaneron." Actually, I'm not sure why you say  
this... Could you elaborate?]

Where we seem to differ is on the question whether a given IO depends,  
for its being, on its being represented by any specific sign. If I am  
right, then any IO, even the IO of a true thought-sign (e.g., my  
thought that my car is missing a wiper), is an idea in the mind of the  
person whose thought-sign is in question (in this example, that would  
be me). Now I'm not terribly confident about this, but as I wrote  
earlier, it's the interpretation that, to my mind, makes the best  
sense of Peirce's 1909 description of the IO as "the Object as  
cognized in the Sign and therefore an Idea". Given that IOs are always  
internal (mental), how best can we make sense of Peirce's description  
of the IO as "the Object as the Sign itself represents it, and whose  
Being is thus dependent upon the Representation of it in the Sign"?  
And how can we do this without implying that a thought-sign determines  
(causally or otherwise) its own IO?

One way of answering the question is to say that a thought that is an  
IO relative to some later sign does not depend on that later sign for  
its being qua thought, but only for its being qua IO. In other words,  
whether a given thought serves as an IO for a later thought depends on  
whether that later thought occurs. Of course, whether the earlier  
thought occurs does not depend on whether the later thought occurs (no  
backwards causation here). But whether it serves as an IO for that  
later thought certainly does depend on whether that later thought  
happens. (I suspect that this is too simple to be an accurate  
explanation of Peirce's views. And I fear that a more accurate  
explanation would take us into the role of teleology in Peirce's later  
semiotics, and I don't have any confidence that I understand that yet.)

2. On Objective Idealism.

> [GR] Finally, concerning the matter of objective idealism in Peirce, you
> wrote:
>
> [RL] As I read it, Peirce's objective idealism is not directly relevant
> to these questions about IOs and DOs. As I understand it, Peirce's
> objective idealism ("matter is effete mind") is a form of monism,
> according to which mind and matter are not two radically different kinds
> of substance.
>
> You comment that Peirce's form of objective idealism is a monism
> concerned especially with the relationship "between different types of
> lawfulness" is, I think, right on target. However, as I see it, the IO
> is related to Peirce' position of objective idealism insofar as we
> stand in a very peculiar relation to all this mind/matter/lawfulness
> because, to some extent, we can and do come to know (scientifically and
> otherwise) at least aspects of this objective reality because we are
> evolutionarily equipped to do so. It is because we can reflect on those
> signs representing the real characters of the cosmos that our
> interpretations of the world can have generalizable (not just personal)
> meaning. Or better, since we can share our ideas, even have some of them
> scientifically confirmed by others, they can come to us to approach
> truths of an objective Reality,  and precisely because we have found a
> method to arrive at this quasi-consensus as we approach the resolution
> of some question as a community of scientific interest. So, as I see it,
> the definition of objective idealism is a mere starting point: a
> critical method (involving the rhetoric of Pragmaticism) is needed. It
> methodologically pulls into it DO (involving, typically, shared
> collateral experience of some reality) -> IOs -> Ss -> Is -> tending
> towards a Final Interpretant which is not mine nor yours but ours.

Gary, you may need to say more about this before I understand it. The  
question at hand is whether IOs are always internal or mental. On my  
reading, objective idealism implies that the difference between matter  
(which is external) and mind (which is internal) is one of degree:  
matter behaves more regularly (deterministically) than mind (but is  
not completely deterministic). If a thought-sign is a sign of a  
physical object (e.g., my thought that my car is missing a wiper),  
then its DO is material and thus subject to greater regularity than  
its IO, which is (on my current understanding) an earlier thought of  
the car. But this analysis assumes that the IO is internal, mental.  
That assumption is consistent with objective idealism. But it's also  
consistent with objective idealism to identify the DO and IO of a true  
thought-sign and thus to imply that (at least some) IOs are external.  
So I still don't see the relevance of objective idealism to the  
present question.

3. IOs, Thoughts and Ideas

> [GR] Finally, you wrote:
>
> [RL] I'm not sure how this interfaces with the question whether IOs are
> always ideas, i.e., items that are mental and thus always internal to
> some or other mind (and, to reiterate something I wrote in my earlier
> response to gnox, it's that sense of "idea" that I think Peirce has in
> mind in that Feb 26 1909 letter to James from which I  quoted in my
> first post).
>
> [GR] It is true that while "[t]he Sign may have any Modality of Being, i.e.,
> may belong to any one of the three Universes; its Immediate Object must
> be in some sense, in which the Sign need not be, Internal," as Ben
> quoted Peirce in a letter to Lady Welby. But are shared ideas--as
> connected to individuals' IOs--"always internal to some or other mind"
> in some ultimate sense? As IOs, clearly the answer is yes. But, even if
> they were originally internal to some mind, yet they can be shared,
> transmitted, so to speak.
>
> [GR] They are, after all, nothing more nor less than
> our conscious experience of things which we typically use language and
> other human signs and symbols to express to ourselves and to others
> (they are not, that is, impenetrably locked up in any ones head). I
> offer you, say, my fresh abduction, and now it is also yours; that is,
> we share it, might both devise tests of it, etc. It is the same sign,
> Peirce would say (no doubt with different interpretants being
> generated). Indeed, it seems to me that communication presupposes that I
> intend to share my inner life in some way, to some extent, to some
> purpose, and in the doing of that--when there is shared meaning--that
> thought goes "out into the world," is, again, no longer only my thought.

Ah, yes. Peirce sometimes reserved the word "thought" to talk about this...

"[T]he question between nominalists and realists relates to thoughts,  
that is, to the objects which thinking enables us to know." (1.27, 1909)

"One selfsame thought may be carried upon the vehicle of English,  
German, Greek, or Gaelic; in diagrams, or in equations, or in graphs:  
all these are but so many skins of the onion, its inessential  
accidents." (4.6, 1898)

In this sense, a thought is not a person-specific mental item or event  
but something "public" that can be shared across such items or events.  
So perhaps, in his 1909 description of the IO as "the Object as  
cognized in the Sign and therefore an Idea", he had in mind by "Idea"  
what in the above passages he called "thoughts." But even in that  
case, when the DO of a sign is an external, physical object (like my  
car), its IO would still be something other than that DO; it would be  
a publicly accessible thought of my car that you can I can share. So  
it would still be the case that the DO and IO of a given thought-sign  
are distinct, even if that thought-sign is true. (Right?) This is  
consistent, I think, with what gnox wrote on 3/3:

[gnox]: "I would say it's no longer internal to your individual mind,  
but it's still internal to the commens consisting of all who share the  
thought. And the DO is still external to that commens while the IO is  
internal to it."

Best regards,
Bob

-- 
Robert Lane, Ph.D.
Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society
Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118

678 839 4745
rlane <at> westga.edu
http://www.westga.edu/~rlane

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Gmane