[Inquiry] Re: Differential Logic A -- Discussion

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Sun Feb 15 15:00:51 CST 2004


DLOG A.  Discussion Note 11


Cf:  Pragmatic Maxim.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg05407.html

Taking its analogy to various formal principles of closure, recursion, and
representation as rough guides, we have been exploring the implications of
the pragmatic maxim, so far giving special attention to these two versions:

| Consider what effects that might conceivably
| have practical bearings you conceive the
| objects of your conception to have.  Then,
| your conception of those effects is the
| whole of your conception of the object.
| C.S. Peirce, "Issues of Pragmaticism", CP 5.438, (1878/1905).

| Such reasonings and all reasonings turn upon the idea that if one exerts
| certain kinds of volition, one will undergo in return certain compulsory
| perceptions.  Now this sort of consideration, namely, that certain lines
| of conduct will entail certain kinds of inevitable experiences is what
| is called a "practical consideration".  Hence is justified the maxim,
| belief in which constitutes pragmatism;  namely,
| In order to ascertain the meaning of an intellectual conception one should
| consider what practical consequences might conceivably result by necessity
| from the truth of that conception;  and the sum of these consequences will
| constitute the entire meaning of the conception.
| C.S. Peirce, "Pragmatism", CP 5.9, (c. 1905).

Among the more glaring differences between these two versions we find
the words "sum" and "truth" explicitly figuring in the latter variant.
I will argue, in good time, that both of these notions are implicitly
contained in the sense of the maxim no matter how it may be expressed,
but for the time being I'll merely make a note of the point and stick
with my plan to deal with first things first.

After several days of relaxed reflection, I think that I can now bring some of
the points on Hugh Trenchard's "Emergent Phenomena Tangent" back home to roost.

The way I see it, we have a reality, say x, and then we have a representation
of that reality, say y.  If the representation y is "analytic" or "articulate"
in any sense of those words, then it will analyze or articulate the reality x
in terms of y's components, say, y_1, y_2, y_3, just for a start.  So we have
a picture like this:

                         x              y
                                      / | \
                                     /  |  \
                                    /   |   \
                                   o    o    o
                                  y_1  y_2  y_3

One thing that we ought to appreciate at this point is that the
components of the representation are things that may or may not
correspond in any simple way to components of the reality, even
if the reality in question can be said to decompose in some way.
Such a direct correspondence is optional for representations in
general, and the utility of the representation, broadly treated,
is independent of our being able to "project" or to "reify" the
parts of y as the pieces of x.  Just by way of a grammar school
example, think of the knuckle-rapping cautions against reifying
the subject-predicate structure of natural language syntax into
ontological categories.  At least, that was the rule when I was
in school, and I remember it well.

Jon Awbrey


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