[unrev-II] Fwd: Re: [PORT-L] Comments on terrorist attacks

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 21:55:34 PDT

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    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.
    >Some comments:
    >"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
    >anyone else).
    >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.
    >John Sowa

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