Objective / Subjective




Subjective                           -                      Objective
Personal                              -                      Universal
Individual                           -                      Collective




There is something for Peirce that transcends the individual interpretation of the interpreter, and it is the transcendental idea of a community, a community as a transcendental principle. 

This principle is not transcendental in the Kantian sense, because it does not come before but after the semiosic process; it is not the structure of the human mind that produces the interpretation but the reality that the semiosis builds up. 

Anyway, from the moment in which the community is pulled to agree with a given interpretation, there is, if not an objective, at least an intersubjective meaning which acquires a privilege over any other possible interpretation spelled out without the agreement of the community. 

The thought or opinion that defines reality must therefore belong to a community of knowers, and this community must be structured and disciplined in accordance with supra-individual principles. 

The real is “the idea in which the community ultimately settles down”. “The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate is what we mean by the truth, and the object represented in this opinion is the real”.

“The real, then, is what, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you ... The very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a community”.

There is community because there is no intuition in the Cartesian sense. The transcendental meaning is not there and cannot be grasped by an eidetic intuition: Derrida was correct in saying that the phenomenology of Peirce does not - like Husserl's - reveal a presence. But if the sign does not reveal the thing itself, the process of semiosis produces in the long run a socially shared notion of the thing that the community is engaged to take as if it were in itself true. The transcendental meaning is not at the origins of the process but must be postulated as a possible and transitory end of every process.

In the Peircean line of thought it can be asserted that any community of interpreters, in the course of their common inquiry about what kind of object the text they are reading is, can frequently reach (even though nondefinitively and in a fallible way) an agreement about it. 

[…] to reach an agreement about the nature of a given text does not mean either (a) that the interpreters must trace back to the original intention of its author or (b) that such a text must have a unique and final meaning. There are “open” texts that support multiple interpretations, and any common agreement about them ought to concern just their open nature and the textual strategies that make them work that way.

But, even though the interpreters cannot decide which interpretation is the privileged one, they can agree on the fact that certain interpretations are not contextually legitimated. Thus, even though using a text as a playground for implementing unlimited semiosis, they can agree that at certain moments the “play of amusement” can transitorily stop by producing a consensual judgement. 

[Umberto Eco]
The Limits of Interpretation, p. 40-42



Related posts:

Attractive Assemblages




What we see in human decision makers is a whole body of anecdotes. I tell a story, you tell a story, I like your story so I tell similar stories. On the internet that happens much faster. 

Then those stories form a trope, and it reaches a critical mass and goes through a phase shift and then the trope/assemblage/strange attractor exists independently of the story-teller. People effectively get sucked into it, they can’t escape from it. 

Then they start to filter things, because the assemblage is a cognitive activation pattern. 

[Dave Snowden]
'Naturalising Sense-making w/ Dave Snowden. September 3rd, 2020'




Clarity




Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. 

For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water. 

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
The Gay Science, 173



Fact / Fiction



Fact                     -                    Fiction
Theory                 -                    Story
Literal                 -                    Figurative




One ought not to make ‘cause' and 'effect' into material things, as natural scientists do (and those who, like them, naturalize in their thinking - ), in accordance with the prevailing mechanistic stupidity which has the cause press and push until it ‘produces an effect'; one ought to employ 'cause' and 'effect' only as pure concepts, that is to say as conventional fictions for the purpose of designation, mutual understanding, not explanation. 

In the ‘in itself' there is nothing of 'causal connection', of 'necessity', of 'psychological unfreedom'; there ‘the effect’ does not ‘follow the cause', there no 'law' rules. It is we alone who have fabricated causes, succession, reciprocity, relativity, compulsion, number, law, freedom, motive, purpose; and when we falsely introduce this world of symbols into things and mingle it with them as though this symbol-world were an 'in itself', we once more behave as we have always behaved, namely mythologically

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 21




The normal person, says Adler, takes guiding principles and goals, metaphorically, with the sense of 'as if.'"To him they are a figure of speech," heuristic, practical constructs.

"The neurotic, however, catches at the straw of fiction, hypostasizes it, ascribes to it a real value." Finally, "in the psychoses, it is elevated to a dogma."  

What makes madness is literalism.

To be sane we must recognize our beliefs as fictions, and see through our hypotheses as fantasies.

[James Hillman]
Healing Fiction, p.111



Related posts:

Unintended consequences




The one thing I can guarantee about any complex adaptive system is that whatever you do there will be unintended consequences, and you are ethically responsible for them. 

The larger your intervention, the larger the unintended consequences. 

[Dave Snowden]
'AgileByExample 2017: prof. Dave Snowden - Cynefin in practice'




I’m out working with Tommy Quinn […] He’s lived here in Knockmoyle for all of his life, so his opinions [...] hold weight with me. He asks me what technology I think had the most dramatic impact on life here when he was growing up. I state what I feel are obvious: the television, the motor car and computers. Or electricity in general. Tommy smiles. The flask, he says.

I ask him to explain. When he was growing up in the 1960s, he and his family would go to the bog, along with most of the other families of the parish, to cut turf for fuel for the following winter. They would all help each other out in any way they could, even if they didn’t always fully get on. Cutting turf in the old ways, using a slean, is hard but convivial work, so each day one family would make a campfire to boil the kettle on.

But the campfire had a more significant role than just hydrating the workers. As well as keeping the midges away, it was focal point that brought folk together during important seasonal events. During the day people would have the craic around it as the tea brewed, and in the evenings food would be cooked on it. By nightfall, with the day’s work behind them, the campfire became the place where music, song and dance would spontaneously happen. Before the night was out, one of the old boys would hide one of the young lads’ wheelbarrows, providing no end of banter than following morning.

The one day, out of nowhere, the now commonplace Thermos flask arrived in Knockmoyle. Very handy, Tommy says, and everyone wanted one. Within a short space of time families began boiling up their hot water on the range in their homes, before taking it with them to the bog. After millennia of honest service, the campfire was now obsolete.

[Mark Boyle]
The Way Home, p. 84


Related posts:

Instrumentalism




[Ariel] Rubenstein refuses to claim that his knowledge of theoretical matters can be translated - by him - into anything directly practical. 

To him, economics is like a fable - a fable writer is there to stimulate ideas, indirectly inspire practice perhaps, but certainly not to direct or determine practice.

[Nassim Nicholas Taleb]
Antifragile, p. 211




All things organic are dying in the grip of organisation. An artificial world is permeating and poisoning the natural. Civilisation has itself become a machine that does, or tries to do, everything in mechanical fashion. 

We think only in horsepower now; we cannot look at a waterfall without mentally turning it into electric power; we cannot survey a countryside full of pasturing cattle without thinking of its exploitation as a source of meat supply; we cannot look at the beautiful old handwork of a lively and primitive people without wishing to replace it by modern technical process.

[Oswald Spengler]
Man and Technics, p. 72



Related posts:

Tradition



In primitive societies life is a succession of stages. The needs and purposes of one stage having been fulfilled, there is no particular reluctance about passing on to the next stage.

A young man goes through the power process by becoming a hunter, hunting not for sport or for fulfillment but to get meat that is necessary for food […] This phase having been successfully passed through, the young man has no reluctance about settling down to the responsibilities of raising a family.

(In contrast, some modern people indefinitely postpone having children because they are too busy seeking some kind of “fulfillment.” We suggest that the fulfillment they need is adequate experience of the power process — with real goals instead of the artificial goals of surrogate activities.)

Again, having successfully raised his children, going through the power process by providing them with the physical necessities, the primitive man feels that his work is done and he is prepared to accept old age (if he survives that long) and death.

Many modern people, on the other hand, are disturbed by the prospect of physical deterioration and death, as is shown by the amount of effort they expend trying to maintain their physical condition, appearance and health. We argue that this is due to unfulfillment resulting from the fact that they have never put their physical powers to any practical use, have never gone through the power process using their bodies in a serious way.

It is not the primitive man, who has used his body daily for practical purposes, who fears the deterioration of age, but the modern man, who has never had a practical use for his body beyond walking from his car to his house. It is the man whose need for the power process has been satisfied during his life who is best prepared to accept the end of that life.

[Ted Kaczynski]
Industrial Society and its Future, 75