Definition and Determination


 

Cf: Definition and Determination • 18
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/02/definition-and-determination-18/

All,

Various discussions in sundry places led me by
a commodius vicus of recirculation back to the
environs of old notes I gathered on the topics
of Definition and Determination, that being on
the occasion of a return to graduate school in
a system engineering program where I needed to
start thinking of semiotics and sign relations
in the light of cybernetics and systems theory.

That required me to convert from understanding
a sign relation as a relation among three sets,
the Object, Sign, and Interpretant domains, to
thinking of a sign relation as involving three
active systems, Object, Sign, and Interpretant
systems, respectively.

It will take a few posts to recover my notes from
the Internet Archive (Wayback Machine), after which
I’ll present the excerpts in a more digestible fashion
and discuss more fully their implications. Just for
starters, a link-repaired version of the anchor post
for this series is copied below.

Definition and Determination • 1
================================

It looks like we might be due for one of our recurring reviews
on the closely related subjects of definition and determination,
with special reference to what Peirce himself wrote on the topics.

Arisbe List Archive
===================

Here is a collection of excerpts on the subject of
determination, mostly from Peirce but with a sampling
of thoughts from other thinkers before and after him,
on account of the larger questions of determinacy I was
pursuing at the time

Excerpts on Determination

• May 2001
https://web.archive.org/web/20150131204200/https://stderr.org/pipermail/arisbe/2001-May/thread.html#489

• Aug 2001
https://web.archive.org/web/20141219190201/https://stderr.org/pipermail/arisbe/2001-August/thread.html#942

Collection Of Source Materials
==============================

One naturally looks to the Baldwin and Century dictionaries
for Peirce-connected definitions of definition but I’d like
to start with a series of texts I think are closer to Peirce’s
own thoughts on definition, where he is not duty-bound to give
a compendious account of every major thinker’s point of view.
It may be a while before I get the excerpts all copied out.

• Excerpts on Definition
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS#Definition


• Excerpts on Determination
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS#Determination

Regards,

Jon


 

Cf: Definition and Determination • 19
http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/03/definition-and-determination-19/

Re: Peirce List
https://list.iupui.edu/sympa/arc/peirce-l/2021-05/thrd1.html#00009
::: Edwina Taborsky
https://pilot.list.iupui.edu/sympa/arc/peirce-l/2021-05/msg00010.html

JA:
I needed to start thinking of semiotics and sign relations in the
light of cybernetics and systems theory. That required me to convert
from understanding a sign relation as a relation among three sets, the
Object, Sign, and Interpretant domains, to thinking of a sign relation
as involving three active systems, Object, Sign, and Interpretant systems,
respectively.

ET:
Sounds very interesting — that concept of
semiosis as involving three active systems.

Dear Edwina,

Thanks for that. As it happens, the transition from sets to systems
is smoother than it may seem at first, since the first thing we need
to know about a system evolving through time is its state space, which
is a set among other things, and the next thing we need to know is the
law governing its transition from one state to the next. A mite steeper
is the passage from dyadic, cause-effect, stimulus-response species of
determination to more general orders of constraint, law, or rule-governed
trajectory through state space. And that is where Peirce’s anticipation
of information theory comes into play.

Regards,

Jon


 

Cf: Definition and Determination • 20
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/05/definition-and-determination-20/

Re: Peirce List
https://list.iupui.edu/sympa/arc/peirce-l/2021-05/thrd1.html#00009
::: Robert Marty
https://list.iupui.edu/sympa/arc/peirce-l/2021-05/msg00012.html

<QUOTE RM:>
Thank you for this information. I happen to have a work in progress (not yet written) on the question of determination. I discovered that Peirce gave a quite remarkable definition in CP 8.361.

“We thus learn that the Object determines (i.e. renders definitely to be such as it will be,) the Sign in a particular manner.” (CP 8.361, in CP 8.342–379, from M-20b, 1908).

It fits very well with what he writes in Excerpt 21
( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS#Excerpt_21._Peirce_.28CE_1.2C_246.E2.80.93247.29 ) .

<QUOTE CSP:>
“Hence universal and necessary elements of experience are not determined from without. But are they, therefore, determined from within? Are they determined at all? Does not this very conception of determination imply causality and thus beg the whole question of causality at the very outset? Not at all. The determination here meant is not real determination but logical determination. A cognition à priori is one which any experience contains reason for and therefore which no experience determines but which contains elements such as the mind introduces in working up the materials of sense, or rather as they are not new materials, they are the working up.” (C.S. Peirce, Chronological Edition, CE 1, 246–247).
</QUOTE>

I have hosted this working paper on my personal website:
The Semiotics.Online ( http://www.the-semiotics.online/ ) ,
entitled Determine • What “Determine” Means
( http://the-semiotics.online/Articles/Determine-def-Peirce.pdf ) .

I appreciate any suggestion or criticism, as usual.
</QUOTE>

Dear Robert,

Excerpt 21 comes from Peirce's Harvard Lectures On the Logic of Science (1865). It begins with a question about the possibility of knowledge à priori and draws conclusions about the grounds of validity for necessary and universal judgements. For ease of discussion I copy the full excerpt below.

<QUOTE CSP:>
Is there any knowledge à priori? All our thought begins with experience, the mind furnishes no material for thought whatever. This is acknowledged by all the philosophers with whom we need concern ourselves at all. The mind only works over the materials furnished by sense; no dream is so strange but that all its elementary parts are reminiscences of appearance, the collocation of these alone are we capable of originating.

In one sense, therefore, everything may be said to be inferred from experience; everything that we know, or think or guess or make up may be said to be inferred by some process valid or fallacious from the impressions of sense. But though everything in this loose sense is inferred from experience, yet everything does not require experience to be as it is in order to afford data for the inference. Give me the relations of any geometrical intuition you please and you give me the data for proving all the propositions of geometry. In other words, everything is not determined by experience.

And this admits of proof. For suppose there may be universal and necessary judgements; as for example the moon must be made of green cheese. But there is no element of necessity in an impression of sense for necessity implies that things would be the same as they are were certain accidental circumstances different from what they are. I may here note that it is very common to misstate this point, as though the necessity here intended were a necessity of thinking. But it is not meant to say that what we feel compelled to think we are absolutely compelled to think, as this would imply; but that if we think a fact must be we cannot have observed that it must be. The principle is thus reduced to an analytical one. In the same way universality implies that the event would be the same were the things within certain limits different from what they are.

Hence universal and necessary elements of experience are not determined from without. But are they, therefore, determined from within? Are they determined at all? Does not this very conception of determination imply causality and thus beg the whole question of causality at the very outset? Not at all. The determination here meant is not real determination but logical determination. A cognition à priori is one which any experience contains reason for and therefore which no experience determines but which contains elements such as the mind introduces in working up the materials of sense, or rather as they are not new materials, they are the working up. (C.S. Peirce, Chronological Edition, CE 1, 246–247).
</QUOTE>

Reference
=========

• Charles Sanders Peirce, “Harvard Lectures On the Logic of Science” (1865), Writings of Charles S. Peirce : A Chronological Edition, Volume 1, 1857–1866, Peirce Edition Project, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1982.

Resources
=========

• Collection Of Source Materials ( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS )

•• Excerpts on Definition ( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS#Definition )

•• Excerpts on Determination ( https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS#Determination )

• Survey of Definition and Determination ( https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/09/06/survey-of-definition-and-determination-1/ )

Regards,

Jon


Lyle Anderson
 

When I was a child, I thought like a child.  While appropriate for his time, this is an example of childish thinking on the part of CSP.  
<QUOTE CSP:>
Is there any knowledge à priori? All our thought begins with experience, the mind furnishes no material for thought whatever. This is acknowledged by all the philosophers with whom we need concern ourselves at all. The mind only works over the materials furnished by sense; no dream is so strange but that all its elementary parts are reminiscences of appearance, the collocation of these alone are we capable of originating.
</QUOTE>
Here is an example of grownup thinking from GSB: "There can be no distinction without motive, and there can
be no motive unless contents are seen to differ in value."  While I have yet to commit the entire in injunctive recipe to paper, it is non-the-less true that computing entities of all forms follow directly from Laws of Form.  The simplest computing machine is the Turing Machine which consists of a finite-state-machine and the tape(s) upon which it operates.  Every computing entity starts with some a priori knowledge.  The knowledge is contained in its FSM and the initial contents of its tape(s).  That we are many levels of abstraction and complexity away from a Turing Machine does not cancel the fact that a Creator with His own "motive" created us.  He obviously made our computing self-aware because we are, and nothing can happen by "accident".  We no longer have to discuss what "all the philosophers with whom we need concern ourselves" think. The task of reading the "script(ure)" is sufficient to occupy our time.

In the notes to Chapter 2, GSB notes this: 'We cannot fully understand the beginning of anything until we see the end."  Lucky for us, the CotU who "determined the end from the beginning", has written down the whole script(ure) for us to read.  


 

Cf: Definition and Determination • 21
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/06/definition-and-determination-21/
Re: Definition and Determination • 20
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/05/definition-and-determination-20/
Re: FB | The Ecology of Systems Thinking
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecologyofsystemsthinking/permalink/3958210367591411/
::: Richard Saunders
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecologyofsystemsthinking/permalink/3958210367591411?comment_id=3959381234140991

<QUOTE RS:>

Don't you think some little bit of unconscious knowledge and
logic comes preloaded, à priori, courtesy of our parents DNA?
Is that simply experience one or more generations removed?

</QUOTE>

Dear Richard,

Excerpt 21 comes from a lecture on Kant in a series of lectures
On the Logic of Science. Peirce's survey of conditions for the
possibility of science reaches back through his time's run of the
mill dualism of deductive and inductive logic to encompass Aristotle's
notice of abductive reasoning. This deeper perspective helps Peirce
walk the line between empirical and rational sides of science without
tumbling into either ism and it aids him in his quest for the questying
beast of Kant's synthetic à priori. In this setting and under this sum
of influences Peirce is led to his prescient theory of information,
enabling him to integrate form and matter, intension and extension,
into a unified whole.

With all that in mind, when Peirce says, “all our thought begins with
experience, the mind furnishes no material for thought whatever”, we
have to understand he is using “material” in the Aristotelian sense
of matter versus form. Saying the mind furnishes no material for
thought still leaves room for the mind to furnish form for thought.
Much the same point is made in our contemporary literatures of
cognitive psychology and linguistics under rubrics like “poverty
of the stimulus” and “under-determination of theories by data”.

Resources
=========

• Collection Of Source Materials
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS

• Survey of Definition and Determination
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/09/06/survey-of-definition-and-determination-1/

• Inquiry Driven Systems • The Formative Tension
https://oeis.org/wiki/Inquiry_Driven_Systems_%E2%80%A2_Part_2#The_Formative_Tension

Regards,

Jon


 

Cf: Definition and Determination • 22
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2021/05/08/definition-and-determination-22/

Re: Laws of Form
https://groups.io/g/lawsofform/topic/definition_and_determination/82535599
::: Lyle Anderson
https://groups.io/g/lawsofform/message/245

Dear Lyle,

The labyrinth of Socratic switchbacks and dialogical detours in
Excerpt 21 gave several readers fits of befuddlement. I think
I threaded the maze well enough in what I wrote last time to
resolve the more difficult issues, but I guess time will tell.

The remainder of your reply invites us to consider a number
of substantive topics, all of which arise quite naturally in
this context and all of which will occupy us in the sequel,
but for now I have only enough time to record the following
outline of topics to take up.

• Boundary, Content, Cybernetics, Difference, Differential Logic,
Distinction, Essential Variable, Gradient, Interior, Motive,
Tropism, Topology, Value.

• Automata, Chomsky–Schützenberger Hierarchy, Computational Complexity,
Formal Languages, Finite-State Machines, ..., Turing Machines.

• Perfect Information Observer, God's Eye View, Hologrammautomaton
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2013/04/01/the-present-is-big-with-the-future/

• Finite Information Observer, Human Eye View, Homunculomorphisms
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2016/02/11/homunculomorphisms-1/
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2016/02/12/homunculomorphisms-2/

Resources
=========

• Collection Of Source Materials
https://oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey/EXCERPTS

• Survey of Definition and Determination
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2020/09/06/survey-of-definition-and-determination-1/

Regards,

Jon


Lyle Anderson
 
Edited

Dear Jon,
What I am inviting everyone on the Laws of Form group forum to do is to apply the Laws of Form to "prune" the "understanding" of the "knowledge" provided by those who came before Laws was revealed. One of the "understandings" that needs to be pruned in light of Laws is the separation of mind and body.  This allows CSP to talk about the mind as a separate entity.  But GSB shows that "We see now that the first distinction, the mark, and the observer are not only interchangeable, but, in the form, identical." ( Laws, 1972, page 76) 

Also note that Laws requires that the First Distinction be dividable with out end, but that each inside space is still inside the First Distinction.  Burkhard Heim has a similar observation that each metron (quantum of area) today contains the "memory" of the First Metron.  That follows naturally because the "axioms" that Heim used to derive his EQFT can be derived from Laws of Form.

Aristotle (450 BC) believed that the four elements of matter were earth, fire, water and air.  The phlogiston theory (1667 AD) postulated a substance with negative mass that was taken away from burning matter by fire so that burned material was heaver after it burned.   This theory had it uses as it lead to the experiments of Antoine Lavoisier's discovery of oxygen and our current understanding is that a particle we call oxygen binds to the burning material and that is what makes it heavier.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory

Now we know that oxygen is not fundamental but made up of an arrangement of protons, neutron, and electrons held together by quarks, electromagnetic and weak forces.  We also know from Heim's EQFT that these "particles" are particular warpings, engravings, or resonances of the metronic matrix of the Universe. 

Perhaps the most important "Law of Form" to be applied in our pruning of the "Tree of Knowledge" is the assertion that "There can be no distinction without motive, and there can be no motive unless contents are seen to differ in value."   This applies to EVERY DISTINCTION, not just the First Distinction.  Every distinction that the Creator of the Universe made had a purpose, His purpose.  Since we think and therefor are, we become observers within the First Distinction as well, and any distinction we make has a motive.  All of the distinctions we make and the motives we have are are constrained by the Motives of the CotU.  Any theory or discussion that postulates some randomness beyond the level of statistical thermodynamics  is invalid.  Charles Sanders Pierce made huge contributions by formulating the concept of abductive reasoning, as well as rigorously formulating mathematical induction and deductive reasoning.  Whether or not George Spence-Brown was consciously aware of his influence, GSB lived in environment that was pervaded by these ideas.  

The fact that you have been able to show a complete mapping between CSP and GSB is further testimony to the validity of this methodology.  It is useful to compare the two in order to extract more understanding from the motion, as our brains appear designed to identify motion.   While CSP may have realized that logical operations could be carried out by digital circuits, GSB provides a complete foundation to digital signal processing and computing.  It is my contention that our focus should be on the future and that means building on the complete Laws of Form. 

May the Form be with you!
73,
Lyle