John Sowa chimes in on Peirce and terrorism...
>From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@BESTWEB.NET>
>Subject: Re: [PORT-L] Comments on terrorist attacks
>I agree that a better understanding of Peirce's philosophy would help
>understand and perhaps deal with the underlying problems of which
>terrorism is only a symptom.
>"Nozawa, E T" wrote:
> > Nominalism and Logical Positivism failed us on 11 September 2001.
> > Knowledge derived from these dying philosophies was unable to help
> > us understand and cope with the Bin Laden's. It may be time to
> > begin the process of replacing these defunct philosophies
> > with totality of Peirces's knowledge.
>I agree with the sentiment. The dominant version of analytic
>philosophy rejects anything other than Firstness and Secondness.
>As a result, many people who feel that something is missing from
>the dominant philosophy tend to overcompensate by an unbridled
>Thirdness that has completely lost touch with reality (Secondness).
>The greatness of Peirce's philosophy was his recognition of the
>equal importance of all three aspects. Anyone who overemphasizes
>one or two of the aspects leads to an unbalanced whole.
>Overemphasizing Thirdness is just as bad as overemphasizing
>any of the other parts of the triad. That was Peirce's chief
>criticism of Hegelianism, which claimed that Firstness and
>Secondness must somehow be "aufgehoben" and replaced by an
>all-powerful Thirdness. That idea was adopted by Marxism,
>Leninism, and Communism.
>In fact, every -ism is by its very nature a kind of Thirdness.
>There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it is recognized
>as only one third of the view. But taking that -ism as the
>whole is what creates the evil.
>That is one reason why religions of any kind become dangerous
>when they are joined with the power of the government. Every
>established religion gains absolute power -- which is absolutely
>corrupting. It doesn't matter which religion: Christianity,
>Judaism, Islam, and every other one has become corrupted when
>it became the established religion. And by religion, I include
>all the secular "religions", such as Communism, Capitalism,
>Socialiam, Fascism, Liberalism, Conservatism, etc. They all
>become corrupted when they become the state religion.
>That doesn't mean we should eliminate all -isms, or even all
>religions. But we cannot allow any religion (or political
>philosophy) to be joined with the power of the government
>(or of any group that has the power to force its views upon
>Jon Awbrey wrote:
> > In the spirit of examining self and other in the same image,
> > Friend U and Enemy X in the same frame, we might return to
> > Max Weber's 'Protestant Ethic & the Spirit of Capitalism' --
> > he was not especially picking on Puritans and Capitalists
> > but died before he could complete his survey of worldviews,
> > economic, political, religious, whatever -- one of the most
> > crucial points of what he noticed being the way that abstract
> > symbols, detached from their humane context, can operate like
> > viruses, parasitically living off and often turning against the
> > substantial embodiments and the flowing lifeblood of meaning that
> > served as their initial host, now a hulk to be cast away.
>Protestantism and Capitalism are two more -isms, which can be OK
>as general guidelines for those people who find them useful. But
>when they are exaggerated to a dominant position in society, they
>become just as corrupted and corrupting as any other -ism.
> > I think
> > that understanding the dynamics of this malfeasant conversion process
> > might be a useful bit of knowledge in these times.
>I believe that part of the dynamics is that an unbalanced emphasis
>on one or two aspects of the triad causes other people to put more
>emphasis on the one(s) that are missing -- leading to a different
>kind of unbalanced view.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Sep 12 2001 - 21:49:08 PDT