The Categories Charles S. Peirce
Categories The categories can be viewed on philosophy as th different ways of being. The categories can also be understood as the universal classes of things in reality.
History Aristotle Kant Peirce
Aristotle Aristotle’s Categories The categories can be viewed as a way of dividing Reality Primary SUBSTANCE is Aristotle’s principle category. Accidents are categories that depend on SUBSTANCE Accidents: place, time, position, relation, being affected, affecting, quality, quantity, having or state.
SUBSTANCE The category of primary substance is known as Being, qua being. Substance or being are the individual concrete things in the world (e.g., a person, a tree, etc.). All things (insofar as they are) are substances. A rock in the moon or a person at Moravian College are both substances. Metaphysics or first philosophy is the study of substance.
The Study of Substance CAUSES Formal Efficient Material Final PROPERTIES Good True One Substance (In general) Infinite Substance Finite Substances Accidents
Kant’s Categories Quantity Quality Relation Modality
Peirce’s Categories 1) Firstness: Quality/Feeling 2) Secondness: Reaction/Experience/Events 3) Thirdness: Representation/Laws/Generals
Firstness QUALITY of FEELINGS Pure presentness Closes to impressions Consciousness of some quality without comparison, relation, multiplicity, unity, reflection, or modification. Simply what is given Nothing but a simple positive character The real sense of immediate
Secondness REACTION Struggle Existence Resistance (e.g., your struggle to open the door) Action- Reaction You are poked in the head. An instance of confrontation with existence. An instance of confrontation with a fact.
Secondness: Reaction When anything singular strikes our sense An experience Mental reflection. The mental acts of comparison, relation, unity, multiplicity, etc. Creating a judgment or a proposition. “The stove is black”
Secondness and Science Secondeness entails our experiences in the world It includes our interactions in the world. “every single truth of science is due to the affinity of the human soul to the soul of the universe” We are a product of the things we try to understand Our guesses are usually close. Human speculation about the universe is based on the faculty that is a product of experiences of the forces of the universe.
Experience as Secondness Experience is our teacher The phenomenon of Surprise in teaching us. Surprise: a double mode of consciousness at once of an ego and a non-ego. Consider the roll of dices that turn double sixes once, twice, three, etc. When would they become objects of our observation? When we become surprised to see yet another double six. Observations : Perceptual Judgments
Perception “Every philosopher who denies the doctrine of Immediate Perception – including idealist of every stripe – by the denial cuts off all possibility of ever cognizing a relation.
Thirdness: Laws Nominalism. Ockham’s Razor. Mechanical view of the universe highlights secondness. What is a mechanical view of the universe? Philosophy as a theoretical science as opposed to a practical science (sea-captain example).
Systems of Metaphysics 1) Firstness only : Nihilism 2) Secondness only:Lutoslawski/Mickiewicz 3) Thirdness only: Hegelianism
Systems of Metaphysics 4) Firstness and Secondness only: Nominalism 5) Firstness and Thirdness only: Berkeley 6)Secondness and Thirdness only: Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant
Reality of Thirdness Generality Representation “General principles are really active in nature” Laws of nature, such as gravity, are examples of thirdness