Friday, June 7, 2013

The Structure of Time

I have been musing upon time and temporality, particularly the proto-theory adopted by my book manuscript. Below are some straight-forward thoughts about time assuming a broadly pragmatist perspective. Those unfamiliar with that perspective might find the thoughts anything but straight-forward, since they presume basic premises that are radically at odds with mainstream philosophy in America. Yay, Peirce!

Time is change by definition.
Time is synonymous with, but not identical to, change. "Change" denotes a difference in what exists, and connotes a local change in a determinate existence. If a thing can change, it is temporal, which is synonymous with existing and vice-versa (assuming the real vs. existing distinction). If a thing can not change, then it is atemporal and does not exist. It may still be real, as in the case of numbers or generals/universals (assuming neo-scholastic realism).

Time as such does not exist.
If time is change, then time exists only insomuch as change exists, which further depends upon some other thing in flux.

Is time the same thing or identical to change?
In other words, why is time synonymous with but not identical to change? In a commonsense meaning, "change" requires an alteration in existence, e.g., in predication logically-speaking, whereas there is more to time than actuality or change in actuality. Time also denotes the structure of the possible as well as the actual, and this point qualifies or nuances the prior definition.

Time is change insomuch as change is an alteration in the structure of possibility.
Any change is time, since a difference in the actual connotes a difference in the possible, but the reverse is not necessarily true. There can be an alteration in possibility without an alteration in actuality.

Time is relative.
Since time depends on actual change, it is relative. Since a temporal event is relative to existence, then discussions of possibility must include both the logical and probabilistic senses of "possibility." Hence, an alteration in the "structure of possibility" should be conceived in terms of probability functions or some such, which are not binary true/false functions, but n-dimensional.

Time is local.
Since time depends on a change in existence, and existence is always spatial, then time is relative to a locality.

Time is asymmetric.
Time flows in one way: there is a strict order of events. By implication, causality is neither symmetric nor necessarily reversible. That is, if time is asymmetric, then change is so, and since causality is a kind of change, then causality must be asymmetric. Hence, there may be cosmic epochs that might never repeat.

Since time is relative, local, asymmetric, etc. we should distinguish between the ontological and ontic.
The ontology of time, or descriptions of the structure of possibility as such given a logos of nature, should be distinguished from the onticology of time, or descriptions of the structure of real possibility given a physics of nature. The latter is dependent upon the former.

Time is continuous and teleological.
I have already assumed the continuity of time, and I refer readers to my links and comments on Peirce's arguments. As for "teological," I just take that to be an implication of the combined realities of chance and law: if there is change, then it must be in some degree determinate, and since time is asymmetric, then we can describe this asymmetric determinate change in terms of what might be given this development, i.e., in terms of a non-deterministic emergent teleology.

Why not use "possible worlds" talk to describe this?
Possible worlds talk was not constructed to support my basic ontological principles, and it is not worth the time to attempt to translate it. Consider one immediate obstacle. Typical "possible worlds" is not temporal: discussion of the worlds is static or atemporal. One obvious way to temporalize such discussion would be to provide a temporal index, e.g., World P at time t1 or World Q at time t2. However, the indexical concept of time quantifies and universalizes time. In contrast, I am beginning from a process metaphysics where time as such is indeterminate because it is relative. Moreover, since time is continuous, it cannot be unequivocally indexed or universally measured in any meaningful way befitting ontology. Ontology and metaphysics, unlike science, cannot tolerate measurement imprecision. Relative indices such as "sooner" or "later could obviously be managed, but that is not very productive. Moreover, the act of indexing time, e.g., speaking of "at time t1," implies that a universal signification that cannot be had. That is, indexing implies that it would be meaningful to talk about World P and World Q at time t1, but that is not meaningful and therefore it would be best to avoid that terminology.

Trust me, this is a lot slower and clearer than those 100 pages of my dissertation, let along my revised manuscript.


  1. I friend prodded me, so I thought I'd share what motivates me to muse thus.

    The reason I'm doing all this is because I want to say, or did say in my book manuscript, that affectivity is the key interface between world and conscious phenomenon if we conceive of that interface as a phenomenological semiotic (at least from the side of noetic consciousness). But to do that I need a metaphysics that will allow me to connect cosmic and phenomenological temporality, and that's why I'm really talking about this. The affective is a qualitative sign of an underlying tensive coordination of body and world that gains its particular phenomenological character, or becomes meaningful, through habit. To understand "habit" in this context, ask me or read Kestenbaum's The Phenomenological Sense of John Dewey.

  2. I don't get your idea that "There can be an alteration in possibility without an alteration in actuality." I feel like I'm reading you from the wrong angle on this. Why would possibilities change without a change (in particular, without resulting from a change) in the actual of which they are possibilities? Possibilities (e.g., pure mathematicals) that don't depend on particular actualities don't seem to change.

    You said: "Hence, an alteration in the "structure of possibility" should be conceived in terms of probability functions or some such, which are not binary true/false functions, but n-dimensional."

    Also in terms of optimum and feasible. They too are not binary true/false functions, but also do not generically involve the idea of repeated trials in the way that probability does, yet they (optima and feasibles) echo improbability, paucity of possibility in a certain sense, insofar as, for example, a straight line is the opposite of a random walk. Despite that opposition, both the more or less probable and the optimal or feasible seem kinds of the possible. Both of them are now big subjects in math, though philosophers still focus much more on probability.

    Also in terms of information (as "newsiness"). Information reflects erstwhile improbability (as a kind of unnecessity or nearing to impossibility); it involves that which is possible and actual but unnecessary; i.e., the contingent actual, unnecessary at least in terms of previous givens. Established data and facts, on the other hand, are not news but redundancy (at least in their representation and storage), uninformativeness, amount of necessity in a certain sense; they're good not as news but as "lessons" and the further lessons (conclusions) that they logically support. Despite their seeming opposition, both information (newsiness) and established factuality seem kinds of contingent actuality. Of course one can quantify data as if it were information (or strictly speaking, redundancy, I think), likewise feasibility can be quantified as probability or, really, as improbability; that is, quantify cost as probability as these folks did: (most of which is beyond me). Of course, an optimum is not always a minimum. Anyway, these all seem aspects of the structure of possibility, actuality, necessity, contingency, etc.

    Well, I don't know a heck of a lot about mathematics of optimization, probability, information, etc., myself, but I like to toss the ideas in when I see people talking modality. I seem unable to convince anybody that all those ways of thinking about possibility, contingency, etc. likely matter together philosophically. As for their possible relevance to you, all of them do pertain both to modality and to time or temporal perspectives. I don't know how pursuing those ideas would help you in your project in particular, maybe you already know quite a bit about them. I've a predisposition to more-complete pictures of the kind that may or may not come in handy in particular cases.

  3. Ben,

    I thank you for reading this carefully, especially so carefully for unpublished material.

    You are right: I must nuance the words else I border on the incoherent. Even after I provide a better angle, I suspect there will still be much to criticize, and I engage in this activity precisely because I'm trying to reveal the implications of my already extant thought and criticize it. I encourage you to continue the criticism.

    In any concrete case, when talking about something that exists, an alteration in possibility always implies some alteration in actuality, because real possibilities depend upon actualities. Hence, my exact words as previously written must be rephrased. I will do so now.

    An alteration in the conditions for a real possibility must alter that possibility and vice versa. However, such an alteration need not alter probabilities of the satisfaction of that possibility. In mathematical terms, we could say that the probability function may alter even if the probability of a particular event does not.

    However, if we move to discussing the realm of the real, e.g., the general, and not just the actual or existent, then I will say that I need to study more Peirce, Whitehead, and Hartshorne at the minimum. I was attempting to speak to both levels simultaneously and ended up writing something confused, and I am glad that you caught it.

    Cocerning possibility, you seem to get me on that, and I concur. Perhaps I could use more robust terms to describe it. Sadly, I learned "probability talk" as a mathematician first, and whenever I talk about it I drive the philosophers, with their logical understanding of possibility, absolutely crazy. Whoops. Logically, possibility is a binary. Mathematically, at least the mathematical concept that I have in mind per probability functions, we discuss the likelihood of either an event or series of events, which can include both the binary "did this happen or not" and the function itself! That is, I am presuming that a probability function can be nested such that the same non-functional inputs and outputs could be had, yet some of the functional conditions change.

    Let me get concrete. When I walk into a clothing store as a employee vs. as a customer, I could sense exactly the same environment. However, the difference in understanding could result in a radically different interpretation, e.g., I don't go around greeting people when I'm there as a customer as opposed to an employee. Yes, there is some stretch between this example and probability functions, but I'm trying to elucidate what I "want to say" as distinct from what I actually do say or can rigorously justify. I would welcome suggestions for other technical vocabularies. I have basic familiarity with information theory. Given the density of your offering, I will likely have to think upon it and post more.

    It takes no convincing to get me to talk about other notions of probability. I think philosophers who know only the logical notion are impoverished in their ability to think contingency, etc. creatively. Honestly, whenever I try to explain it to someone who's unfamilar with it--and any undergraduate course on statistics will be dedicated to them--its clearly a concept not easily grasped without more than momentary preparation.

  4. p.s.

    I need to make one part of my perspective more explicit.

    If sensation is a physiological function, then interpretation composes that function within it. This is a mathematical way of phrasing Dewey's concept of the reflex-arc or the dynamic coordination of stimulus-response. I'm trying to formalize the notion of "function" much more than Dewey studies usually do.

  5. Sorry I wrote densely. It's some sort of reflex action to disguise my ignorance.

    I looked up "probability function" to be sure of what I thought I knew about it and found four definitions. But I think I get the general idea. Now, suppose that a structure of possibility (e.g., some comprehensive sort of probability function) for a given domain or area of the actual changes. This leaves the strong possibility that, by coincidence as it were, some objects in respect of some characteristics will have the same probabilities for certain outcomes as they had before the possibility-structure change. It's a coincidence that could happen fairly often and not always be a coincidence either, I think. So maybe you could say that there can be a change in the structure of possibilities that makes no practical difference for some objects in some respects. But maybe that isn't a strong enough statement (assuming it makes sense at all) of what you mean.

    I don't know what to do about people habituated to a binary conception of possibility. I'd just mumble "not logical possibility, but something similar to it..." As regards probability functions, maybe there's a probability text book for engineers that explains them in borrowable simple English. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how many educated people aren't firm on the difference between probability theory and inferential statistics. I once read a University web page and later Googled up the same language in what turned out to be a text book for engineers, that explained the difference simply, maybe a bit too simply, but anyway I've found it helpful in explaining the difference to people (forget Wikipedia for this sort of thing, even when it's accurate).

    We've gotten into this business of probability, etc., so much that I'm having trouble seeing the connection with sensation as interpretation, etc. You said, "affectivity is the key interface between world and conscious phenomenon if [...]"; do you see a special relationship between sensation and affectivity? And that's it, I'm done for the day!

  6. Due to my tiredness, I sloppily asked: " you see a special relationship between sensation and affectivity?" - as if such a relationship might be surprising. I should have asked: How do you see them both involved in this, do you think that they're basically the same thing?

    I do think they have something special in common, as suggested by the usability of the word "feeling" to refer to either or both. Each seems comparatively afferent (as opposed to efferent), and, in particular, directly afferent, that is, as compared to other (same-level) mental modes of access to or interface with the real. (I use the ideas of afferent and efferent by generalization and vague-ification from the idea of afferent and efferent nerves. Like Peirce, by "direct" I don't mean "immediate, without mediation.")

  7. Ben,

    Yes, this is *exactly* what I am saying, "So maybe you could say that there can be a change in the structure of possibilities that makes no practical difference for some objects in some respects." One area of application is to talk about emergent phenomena, e.g., how novel identities or essences emerge without reducing the novelty to a previously existing potency of nature. This supports emergent teleology. One contemporary concept and case of this is called "structural causation," which I suspect you are familiar with. The gestalt between non-conscious and conscious, I insist, is the ability to semiotically represent time and alter that representation of time while being nascently aware that it is a representation. Fully realized, this is what "sentience" is.

    Yes, among mathematicians, the term "probability" usually denotes binary probability and has a course by that name. In contrast, non-binary probabilities are implied with the words "statistics" and explicitly so wit hthe word "probability function." The best math dictionary period, btw, is Wolfram's (

  8. Ben,

    Sensation and affectivity are not the same thing. Neither is emotion, on this model In fact, this is the core insight of my dissertation that is now a book manuscript. (I'm finishing the last chapter.) I'll try to explain it simply, but it's such a complex concept being treated in a Peirce-Dewey-(pseudo) Whiteheadian manner that it might take a few tries. Please note that I have a glossary on this website with some references. Have you read my Transactions article on this?

    Short version.

    We are going to talk about the homeostatic life-process from the analytic perspective of consciousness and the origin of a conscious event culminating in representation. In process and temporal methodologies, the starting point, scope, and analytic approach is crucial. From the side of the organism, consciousness begins when the serial coordination of organism becomes overly tensive, which is in part a biological, habitual (cultural), and contextual threshold. A shift in the tensive foreground is a shift in the emotional structure, by definition, because I along with Dewey (Alexander and Garrison reading) am defining emotion as a sensitivity to the tensional structure of the situation. If the situation becomes too tensive, that spatio-temporal locale (a locale always relative to the organism and not in absolute space and time since this is also a phenomenological analysis in a more Peircean sense as opposed to Husserlian) becomes focal. Being the focus means being paid attention to, and attention brings to bear and magnifies all the habitual powers of the organism. Really, just try to read text without paying attention to it even if you know you can sense it. Hence, being the focus of attention allows mere sensation (or feeling in a Dewey-Whiteheadian sense) to become perception and become cognizable.

    Note that the emotional structure has nothing to do, at first, with affect. Affectivity is second-order emotion; whereas emotion is a continuous process, an affect is a discrete concretization and moment in that process that is consciously signalled by the qualitative affect (cf James and Dewey on emotion and Garrison's much latter making it contemporary ... and Mark Johnson's recent). The affect differs from the emotive structure, because an affect is a specific event in that structure, and it also is the *first* transition from anoetic to noetic consciousness (e.g., what not-paying-attention to what-can-be-attended-to) and therefore what can be cognized and phenomenally represented. Emotion as such can be represented only in its absence, but never in its presence. It cannot be represented because as such it is not a phenomenon, but its describeable phenomenologically (through an epoche), in the same way I can note how different my vision appears within the frame of my rimless glasses and without. When I have them on, and focus outside of the frame, I can still see, but it is very blurry. But I only notice that when I think about it, else I never notice. Recognized the emotive structure is like that, and this accord with some Heideggerian observations.

    In my book manuscript (previously dissertation), my goal was to find a way to promote creative ethical imagining and self-transformation through allowing oneself to be lead affectively rather than cognitively, for reasons I can go into.

    In closing, no neither sensation, perception, emotion, nor affect are directly linked. Affectivity is a conscious phenomenon foremost, while emotion is a phenomenological phenomenon without an explicit phenomenon, yet it allows for the transition from sensation to perception.

  9. Thanks for the responses. This is going to take me a few days, I find.

    "...Peircean Ben Udell.." - actually I'm only semi-Peircean (as long-time peirce-l members know), although I'm fairly familiar with his thinking. Of course he did so much thinking that being familiar with it may just mean scouting around it more than the average reader does. .

  10. I give a more systematic, but still very dense account in my Transaction article. I can send it if you don't have easy access.

    I've noted that you've been part of the community for a long time, but I don't believe we've "met" in person or "digitally."

  11. Yes, we've "met" "digitally." Off-list you emailed me about the high price of a Peirce-related book, and I replied, and you replied, etc. I'm the same Ben who is webmaster at Arisbe. I think that we've corresponded a bit on peirce-l too, though I don't recall specifically off-hand.

    You can email me your Transactions article (your email program should remember my email address and anyway it's in anti-spambot form at Arisbe near the bottom of all the main pages) but it certainly won't speed things up! I spent much of the day in unplanned correspondence about Arisbe & peirce-l issues, and now I'm going soon to meet with a contractor about some work in my co-op's building. I'm feeling less guilty about having written densely, since you've made some densely written replies (well, dense for me anyway, e.g., with the word "affectivity" used in a sense that I'm not used to, though that's not a bad problem). This morning I was working through my old thoughts about novelty and supposed determinism so that I won't bore us with repetition of decades-old commonplaces. Till tomorrow, then, though don't let that stop you from posting another comment here if you want. I'll be too tired to write philosophically later but not too tired to read.

  12. Ben,

    Yes, I recalled all that, and it was one of the reasons I identified you as a Peircean, but we've never corresponded at length. I'll send the article when I'm at the other computer. I started worrying about temporality after completing it. Unless I misremember, it does discuss in more detail what I mean by "affective," else I am misremembering and I in fact wrote that in the book manuscript and not the article.

    I don't think the standard determinism-freedom-compatibilism distinction is worthwhile beyond introducing undergraduates to the issues. Since the 19th century, the conceptual landscape of metaphysics has grown such that the normal denotations of those words are so impoverished that they are mere stepping stones at best. Unless, of course, one accepts a variant of classical metaphysics, which I suppose a number of people still do.

  13. Ben,

    I have sent the article to your "rr" email address. Road runner? I don't know how many you have, and I don't want to reproduce its entirety here where rr might be picked up by bots.

  14. Yes, I've received it, thank you. I haven't started reading it yet. I'm barely acquainted with Dewey and don't know others you've mentioned in comments above. And now you've posted a response to a criticism of the article. I'm having trouble keeping pace! Practical matters keep bubbling up too.

    Here's what I've got so far, a response to your June 10th 12:30 pm comment.

    I take it that you mean "structure of possiblity" not in the most open-ended way, but instead as constrained by empirical laws, parameters and norms, characteristics and correlations, and individual facts and their 'logics' on the ground. As actual things and populations change, so do corresponding constrained structures of possibility; those changes of structure of possibility are themselves part of bigger structures of possibility; there seems always a bigger or further-level or more abstract well of possibility from which to draw. Meanwhile, if "God plays dice," then even the most detailedly constrained physical possibility of a detailed event is riddled with contingent links and is not a possible pure necessity, an indivisible package deal, although much of the freedom is hardly meaningful, at least a bucketful for each drop of a more meaningful kind. These things seem to allow various kinds of novelty, in respect of variously limited kinds of possibility. Does this sound right so far?

    You wrote: "The gestalt between non-conscious and conscious, I insist, is the ability to semiotically represent time and alter that representation of time while being nascently aware that it is a representation". By "time" do you mean things and events in time, through time? I.e., space and time, along with the things in them.

    "...semiotically represent time..." - do you mean represent time _as_ a semiosis ('semiosically')? How do you define or essentially characterize "sentience"?

  15. Time is change, as I've said. By that definition, if we must quantify time, then we must spatialize it first so that it may be discretely markable and measurable--and more importantly--so it will be localized. That is, if time is change, then time is relative to a locale in which things are changing.

    However, that does not really answer your question, because once we talk about time and representation, we are talking about phenomenological temporality, which is NOT the same thing as cosmic temporality. Honestly, I'm not really interested in cosmic time, but phenomenological time and its interface with cosmic. But if the cosmic is to be continuous with the biological and moreover the phenomenological...

    So, in that context, I equivocated as "represent time" means "represent an anticipatory structure" in a phenomenological sense (cf. James on the psychic fringe, Edie's work on James and Husserl, Wilshire and/or Rosenthal, etc.). I discuss anticipatory structures in my article, especially since I think the most important anticipatory structure in phenomenology (for pragmatist purposes) is imagination. On that account, I'm really following Alexander's earlier work.

    Keep in mind, and I think you have, that I say and write just about everything from a speculative vantage. The mathematician is still alive in me after I became a philosopher, especially that aspect that delighted in mathematical models. So, many of my definitions are speculative proposals to investigate the logical (in both the formal and informal sense) possibilities.

    Apologies for all the references. Hope they helkp.

  16. Thanks for pursuing this.

    I should have re-read your original post before writing my recentest comment. The larger structures of possibility that I mentioned eventually reach to ontological and mathematical structures of possibility. At the ontological level, one can discuss ontical change, but just at a general level, such that one does not base the discussion logically on principles and findings in physics, from which ontology would instead draw examples and applications of more general principles. So when you say "change of structure of possibility," I assume that you mean ontical-level change, but not confined to the kinds of change studied specifically in physics etc. That's unless you think that there can be change in ontological structure of possibility (I doubt that there is, but I think of philosophy as reaching for the eternal and not quite getting there, whereas maths start there; I don't mean that philosophy is hopeless, I mean that it seems like theoretical statistics, for inductive inference from parts or samples to wholes, for understanding of positive phenomena in general) .

    Regarding your comment June 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM:

    I'm used to the common psychological meaning of "affectivity," such that it is on a par with cognition, volition/conation etc. For this discussion I'll use the invented word "affizance" as I would usually use 'affectivity" and I'll use "affectivity" etc. in your sense as I learn how.

    I've tended to think of emotions and moods as perceptual in concreteness of focus. Sensory affizances are a bit abstractive, anyway they focus on qualities and characteristics, and include things like cravings and physical pleasures/pains. (Peirce more than once disparaged the idea that pleasure and pain are feelings at all rather than states of volition accompanied by feeling; this may support the idea that his emotional/energetic/logical trichotomy of interpretants is a trichotomy of dynamical interpretants.) I've thought of the affizances prominent in religion and other devotions (e.g., science insofar as it is a community) as "valuings" although that word can be used in non-affizative senses; anyway, (affizative) valuings seem intellectual and imaginative in abstractness or generality of focus, and I'm unsure how to break the mix down. There seem few terms.

    Forces do work, and we notice mechanical forces in particular. The world pushes or presses us and not just physically, and we tend to think of all affizance as a kind of 'psychical' energy or work being done (or power in the sense of candlepower, horsepower). Emotion is a concretely focused affizance that is not very tempered, whereas a mood is steady, and maybe tempered; at any rate it's like a short-term temperament. I'm trying to think my way to the idea of emotion as sensitivity to tensions in a situation, and I think I'm pretty much there. Looking again at your comment, I'm thinking that the ideas of "emotion" and "emotive structure" seem like ideas of (emotional) temperament - that's something that's difficult to notice in oneself directly, like emotion as you, Dewey, etc. define it. As for the eye example, I'm continuously exposed the difference between clear and blurry vision because one of my eyes sees blurrily and the condition can't be corrected. Well, if one had two distinct temperaments all the time, one would probably notice that too!

    Now I think the next step is for me to actually start reading the article that you sent me.

  17. Ben,

    I'm not sure whether the ontological can change or not, either. So, yes, I'm talking about the ontical, but there are at least two orders of the ontical. There's the cosmic, e.g., basic physical constants that we've already enough empirical evidence to suspect aren't eternally self-same, and the local, e.g., boiling water. Honestly, I don't think we can know, and I'm not sure how fruitful it is to speculate since I'm not sure what practical difference it can make, and that's why I tend to ignore that possibility. I mean, we could all be in the Matrix....

    As for "affectivity," I don't believe I mean it that differently from the usual psychological sense, except that that definition is grounded in a very different theoretical substructure. I certainly do not mean "emotion" in the usual sense, and in fact my use of the term "emotion" is closer to what psychology calls "attention/volition." I use that term in that way to conform with current scholarship, and it is not detached from how its discussed in clinical psychology (what I know of it).

    I am not thinking of emotions or affects as perceptual in any way. In fact, that is the common way to think of it (kind of like a "folk theory" as analytics would say). Or maybe I misunderstand what you mean by "perceptual." Emotion is "perceptual" insomuch as it is a sensitivity to the tensive structure of the situation (cf Dewey's Logic, etc. for "tensive" or Mark Johnson for a contemporary rendition), where the tensive is constituted by the brute physical and the habitual (biological and psychological) for the most part. Hence, the patterns on visual "tension" on this page are meaninful to use--they are words.

    Per "work," I am reading "emotional" is a sort of representation of underlying physical forces (properly speakings, its strictly phenomenological but not phenomenal if you know the distinction--about the frame but not the picture). Hence, as I have developed the notion, emotion is really a sign (more like an index, I think) for this underlying interplay that indicates a relative homeostatic state. E.g., that sense of fear while falling on a roller coaster is not the same as falling off a roof even if the physical sensations are very similar.

    Yes, they are difficult to notice precisely because (per earlier) they are "frames" and not "pictures." It takes phenomenological training, or wisdom/attentiveness/self-honesty to see them (cf. Stoic "meditative" practices).

  18. I've looked around and found that both meanings of "affectivity" seem to be in use. In psychology, when used as contrasted with cognition, _affectivity_ is the whole forest of consciously or unconsciously regarding or "suffering" a thing as good or bad; in terms of _affect measurement_, it appears the affects measured are what are usually called emotions. In psychiatry an _affect_ is an observable or expressed emotional response, and that seems closer to your meaning. Do you see a basic set of one's modes of interface, or one's powers of mind, a la Tetens, Kant, Peirce, and others, and if so, does it include affectivity in the broader sense as one of the basic powers?

    1st. Feeling (but Peirce really means sensation considered apart from pleasure or pain).
    2nd. Sense of reaction (I think this includes will, pleasure, & pain).
    3rd. General conception.

    Kant (he correlates each broadest division with a division of cognition):
    (a) Cognitive faculties. (Correlated with understanding.)
    (b) Feeling of pleasure or displeasure. (Correlated with judgment.)
    (c) Faculty of desire (such that it includes the will). (Correlated with reason.)

    Tetens (in no particular order):
    Feeling. Understanding. Will.

    Vegetative. Appetitive. Sensory-perceptual. Locomotor. Rational.

    When I said that emotion and mood, in their everyday senses, are "perceptual in concreteness of focus," I meant that, like perception, they are about actual concrete individual things and situations (not isolately, but as part and parcel of the actual concrete historical and geographical tapestry of one's personal experience). By its concreteness of focus, perception unifies and coordinates the senses, like a single grip through five fingers, as Merleau-Ponty put it. This is the scholastic idea (as he noted) of "the common sense" (so far as I know, nothing to do with common sense in the more usual sense, Reid's and Peirce's "common sense," etc.) that unifies the "proper senses." The idea may be in Aristotle too but I forget. I'd go farther and say that perception unifies and coordinates intellect and imagination too, in 'applying' them and recognizing their acts/occurrences as having places and times in one's experience. I've noticed that in psychology "perception" often refers to the senses themselves, but I don't usually use the word in that way. It's true that perception can seem "made of" sensations, somewhat as intellect can seem "made of" imaginings. Anyway, here I am using time to respond to your comments, time that I should be using to read your paper!

  19. Ben,

    A quick response now and a more thoughtful one later.

    I take "emotion" to be a basic power, and "affect" to be one of the two primary effects of that power. I am using "affect" mostly from within a phenomenological analysis combined with a psychological one, and thus am focused on "affect" in its qualitative signification, but also the logical structure of what causes affectation. For the latter, I obviously borrow a lot of physiological psychology, though not the most contemporary form of it..

    Affectivity can be separable from emotion, as in the case of a certain kind of sociopath, but emotion cannot be separated without critically damaging attention and volition.

    We agree on perception, though I also make the sensation/perception distinction, which is useful for talking about the threshold of cognition.

  20. So your basics are volition, attention, emotion, and cognition? I'm not too far from that, except that (a) I would prefer a word ("affizance" if not "affectivity") for the whole genus of feelings of things as being good or bad (e.g., a physical sensation of pain is not an emotion under any of our definitions, yet is still a feeling of something as being bad), and also except that (b) attention, in the usual psychological sense, is a species of more general active ability (skill, preparing, achieving, etc.); attention in the usual psychological sense is that species of active ability, or application of such ability, whose direct and special purpose is good or bad feeling (enjoying etc.) and/or cognition - one looks in order to see, one listens in order to hear. Attention in a broader sense could seem to refer to active ability in general, but still tends to imply more focussing than is required for something to be an active ability. Some skill is involved in walking, but one is not necessarily very focussed on it.

  21. Ben,

    Another short reply. Now I get it: you're asking for basic phenomenological categories. I would have to go to my glossary, on this site, and add them up as I've never thought to list them before. I don't think attention, volition, and emotion are distinct, but (roughly) different phases of the same noetic process; perhaps you agree and I'm just giving the next-level reading.

    As far as "affectivity" for "Feeling good or bad," I don't quite have a category for that yet since my analyses haven't gone to the level cognitive value. Instead, I'm mostly working at the level of unconscious-to-conscious conatus, where "valuing" is implicit and taken in a Deweyan sense (Per Gouinlock in John Dewey's Theory of Value.) A notable amount of work has been done in this field, btw, but there have only been ... probably less than a dozen people in the last half-century who have offered systematicized work like I am, e.g., Wilshire, Rosenthal, BOurgeous, Kestenbaum, Alexander, etc. Oh, but I'm not counting Schusterman or Margolis, more due to insufficient expertise than anything on their part.

    Oh, I take conscious volition to be the tail-end of emotion, and I follow Dewey in the Logic on this, which was worked in one of Johnson's books as well. Remember, emotion is not affect for me. The "good or bad feeling" I cover in tension as related to emotion, although good and bad are not the primitives I use, as I give a more structural then predicative account.

    Again, I hope the article gives a sense of it, but to be honest that article was far, far too ambitious. I assumed so much that would likely not be obvious.

  22. Thanks for the response. I hadn't thought of them as phenomenological categories, but I guess that's what they are. Aquinas called agent, patient, and act the principles of the 4 causes. I think of those categories as the psyche's causal capacities.
    1. As agent, the psyche wills.
    2. As patient (bearer) or fosterer, the psyche handles, deals (with something).
    3. As acted upon, the psyche feels something as good or bad, e.g., it desires / is repelled, hopes/fears, is pleased/pained, is attached / has animosity.
    4. As borne, supported/balanced, the psyche cognizes. Okay, "borne" wasn't used by Aquinas as a causal principle, instead he used "act" twice.

    Oh well, it probably doesn't matter that your assumptions have been so far from obvious to me up to this point. I'm not representative of pragmatists or even of Peirceans, many of whom have read much Dewey. Others may get your ideas much more quickly. The process orientation has been an acquired habit for me, I'm more a classifier. I've obviously not read widely in pragmatism, only in Peirce, and I'm obviously not even all that Peircean, since I play with fours and don't espouse threes, although I very much admire his persistent patterning. Still, give me a few days to read your paper, likely I'll catch more of your drift.

  23. Ben,

    I use them as phenomenological categories because that I the kind of analysis I use, but that is not meant to be exclusive. Tonight, I hope to have a longer look and response.

    The "credentials" only matter insomuch as they aid understanding, otherwise, who cares? I don't. So don't worry about backgrounds; I drop those names in case you recognize them, in which case they speak volumes. Instead, I recommend the traditional invitation to my scholarship. Pour yourself a beer.....

  24. Hi, I'm hanging in there with your article. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, but it's incredibly difficult; apparently one needs to know Dewey on these subjects in order to understand it, and Dewey uses a number of English words as technical terms with special roles in a sophisticated theory.

    I find this passage fascinating:

    "Given that Dewey has an organic process-view of experience, "structure" means momentary operational organization and not something static. Structures are organizations of activities in an event that are dynamically reconfigured per operative conditions. In Dewey's words, structure is "a character of events…. A set of traits is called a structure because of its limiting function in relation to other traits of events" (LW 1:64). A significance of a structure is that it determines the telos of an activity or complex of activities. If the meaning of an action is determined by its "futural teleology," then an explication of the functional structure of imagination indicates something about the range and morphology of possible meaning."

    That makes sense to me provided that one be at least _allowed_ to consider longer-term structures. What fascinates me is the idea of the structure or organization as guiding the _telê_ (_telos_ plural). Is this what you meant by structural causation? I've spent too much time thinking of structure as more-or-less stable balance of forces or motions and not enough time thinking of how form (as structure) can guide ends rather than, for example, _merely_ "follow function." For some reason I had slotted the idea of organization, i.e., arrangement or structuring-together of means, somewhere else in my mind, pretty dumb of me. Now I remember. I thought of it as division of labor. The idea of guiding of _telê_ says it differently and in an illuminating way.

    You call the _telos_ an entelechy; but an entelechy, a "having-complete," is more like a structure. The idea of even a temporary structure as entelechy works with Aristotle's idea of the actual building of a house as the entelechy of the potentiality for building a house, an entelechy that ceases when the building process is finished and the wood/potency is used up, an entelechy distinct from that which the house itself is as a finished product.

    What, phenomenologically, guides our aims? Well, guidance comes via feelings of things as being good or bad, but that's certainly not the whole story. If the structure helps guide those feelings (in my broad sense of the word), then we want to know the structure, and not only that, but also sometimes desire the structure to become a kind of cognitive system, like the organization of the house-building process. I'm not saying that all of this is an implication of what you're saying; it's what I'm getting from some "outcroppings" of what you're saying, in combination with what I'm thinking. I think it may supply some missing links for me, so I'm glad I'm reading your article!

    Separate subject: the post titled "Ian..." - the long quote doesn't appear in either Firefox or IE Explorer for me, it's invisible both on the main page and on the post page. I looked at the page source and saw that you set the quote's background to white but it's not working, at least on my computer. Maybe you need to put the style info into the blockquote markup instead of a previous span tag, or maybe you can put it into a span tag AFTER the opening blockquote tag like you did in another post.

  25. Ben,

    Yes, I have a tendency to drill into the bedrock of a hard thought, and regret the extreme technicality with which I wrote that. Also, as I've discovered, even many Deweyans don't study those aspects of Dewey that I put into focus. Doug Anderson and I spoke much about how certain aspects of James and Dewey seemed to be so out of the scholarly spotlight as if to never have been studied.

    I wrote my dissertation, of which that article is an extrapolation and advancement, by writing 100-200 page commentaries on key texts. The problem is, I came out of those with the mindset that my reader would have done the same. Sigh, foolish mistake. Regardless, I'm more than willing to unpack much of it.

    Yes, of course one can consider long term structures. My analysis was very, very scoped down, and if we were to change the scope I would have to add even more qualifiers in addition to any oversights or errors that I made. For instance, though I don't quite say this, my approach almost assumes naive perception; in contrast and to illustrate, my approach would be wholly inadequate to describe a dialogue. I'm just trying to synthesize Dewey enough to lay a phenomenological foundation. Not because I'm trying to "find a ground for truth," but rather to explicate a way to understand human and world and see what the implications are, especially since I have a really practical concern that I mention in the article.

    Yes, that is precisely what I mean by "structural causation." That term is a common one, and not of my own making, in analytical philosophy of mind that tries to explain physical phenomena or consciousness as something more than supervenience. I borrow their term, although pragmatism (or at least Dewey) seems to take it as a given. Actually, I can cite the Dewey and go on about that at length.

    You are right. I am not thinking of structure in terms of balance of forces, but as dynamics. Hence, I am focusing the emphasis on change rather than stability, because it is change that is focal when talking about phenomenal consciousness. The tone that doesn't change quickly becomes unheard.... Actually, I'm borrowing Dewey on this point, who is channeling Peirce and a bit of Whitehead.

    A telos is not per se an entelechy, either for Aristotle or myself, but I treat them as synonymous. Rather, I treat a natural telos as a triad taken from Aristotle's physics, which I in part borrow from Alexander and then extend as I discuss. Yes, an entelechy is a structure, because for me any stable entelechy implies an existential structure that allows for the *real* possibility of the fulfillment of that structure. Whenever I do teleology in that essay (or anywhere), I am de facto making temporal claims first and existential claims by implication, which is not quite what Aristotle meant with the terms. Call it neo-neo Aristotelianism. Nope, structure is not means, and even the sense in which that could be true is so misleading ... it's better to not even go there. Think of a telos as a "what will likely being given current local conditions." Hence, falling to the ground is the "telos" of being holding my shoe about to be dropped. Rather than obsess with (efficient) causal language, I obesses with temporal language that functionalizes the causal mechanisms so that I can treat them separately. Since I'm working within phenomenology, I can get away with this, though I'll admit that I have to pay that bill eventually if the idea is to last.

  26. What guides our aims? Stupendously simply, I'd say conatus and memory. Conatus as the primal drive, and memory supplying the likely form it would take. I need water (primal conatus), but I don't go to the iron pump in the yard, but the tap (memory per socialized culture). Of course, I am treating culture as something material as well as symbolic, which for one immersed in Peirce (or even continental) shouldn't be a problem.

    I do think that a feeling, that is an event of felt quality, is the spontaneity (e.g., in the Kantian sense) that drives us. In Dewey, the term is roughly "desire" or "impulsion," or whatever dependign upon what book you're reading and what period of Dewey's works you're looking in.

    Aside, I do think you're groking what I've getting at in the article. Even Alexander, who read an advance copy, said he had to read it slowly even though he was the primary inspiration.

  27. "Grok" is a strong word, stronger than "understand"! I think a weaker word is in order there.

    I'm still thinking of structure as causal balance of agencies - it's better to retain conceptions of how causal principles relate to each other, e.g., balance (borneness) and agency. Then we can note underlying equivalences, like between patient as mass and act as energy. I'm not sure how strictly necessary such ideas are when we're not quantifying and when there is no psyche-version of a matter-antimatter collision that I'm aware of. But I've the notion that this may help reconcile process views and other views as being aspects of the same thing, if reconciliation be needed. Also it's good to remember that patience in this sense is internal resource (internal act) as tempered in some sense, and balance is internal agencies as checked & balanced. The balanced agencies may still be moving or acting, i.e., there are elements of balance and of imbalance. The temperament, the patience, is a disposition to steadiness through time, endurance, like matter or homeostasis, an endurance that may involve plenty of the at least somewhat "untempered," i.e., activity and work being done, even externally; in everyday life we call a person's endurance in doing external work "stamina". The presence of endurance, steadiness through time, and the presence of stability across space, imply each other.

    I don't think that there's any perspective in one can quite eliminate all that's static or all that's dynamic. Merleau-Ponty discussed stabilities in perception, including the remarkable fact that turning one's head does not seem to make the world actually whirl; one remains calm. Anyway a structure can be flexible, elastic, evolving, etc. The point that I'm working my way to is that, with the traditional "end" and "form," we have two _acta_ and in a sense two ends, telos and entelechy. Now what, in teleological terms, is a telos that is _not_ an entelechy? Aquinas ended up distinguishing act as action from act as form (which I call "borne" not "act"). The action is the traditional "end." The action as an end is a culmination, I'd call it an ending or teleiosis. Now in a very process-oriented view, where everything is activity and ongoing culmination, it becomes hard to distinguish action from balance, since the balance itself is seen as a kind of activity or ongoing action. But when a structure is seen as an organization of activities, then, at least relatively to each other, it seems fair to call the structure entelechy and the activities telê.

    As to structure, possibility, imagination - my thoughts tend to some special relationships there too. This goes beyond anticipative imagination to some sort of "creative" or suppositive imagination - "imaginative imagination!"

    That's all for this morning, no time to edit, gotta run.

  28. I wrote: " least relatively to each other, it seems fair to call the structure entelechy and the activities telê."

    Yikes, I meant: least relatively to each other, it seems fair to call the structure entelechy and the activities teleiosis.

    Sorry about that!

  29. Ben, despite any inadequacies of falsities in my words, I think you're getting both what I am say and what I mean to communicate. My use of "grok" was more a playful joke than earnestness.

    I agree with you on perspective, though since I'm working so much with temporality (as opposed to history), the dynamic comes to the fore. Your example of a phenomenological structure, as opposed to a phenomenal one, reminds us both of your point.

    You ask a good question about entelechy, and it is one that I do not feel sufficiently competent in metaphysics to give anything but an informed but still amateurish answer. When I think the difference between "end" and "form," I take "end" to denote the identity or structure that would proceed from the current situation given the present configuration of forces. Whereas I take "form" to denote a present or even static configuration. To say it simply, end is the future and form is the present insomuch as it is already achieved.

    Returning to the focal question, what is a telos without an entelechy, I have been trying to think of an example. The only thing that I can come close to is to think of a general, e.g., a general quality such as redness if we take qualities to be real but not exist. Hence, the distinction would be between the reality of redness, understood to be a certain configuration of existence/force, versus the becoming of redness. The former is ontological, while the latter is ontical. The former is, perhaps, atemporal, while the latter is temporal. But again, I blog about this precisely because my thought is not sufficiently ready for publication, and I think I would be years away from "ready" even at the fastest rate of advance. So, please do share your wisdom on this subject.

    I think there might be a difference in how we're thinking telos when you discuss an act vs. an organization, but it should be a reconciliable one.

    Yes, I would double-down on your point about action and balance. I have been wanting to read more Whitehead and Hartshorne to becoming clearer on the point. They are such helpful, precise, and clear thinkers.

    Finally, concerning imagination, I would agree. That's something that is in my dissertation that does not appear in the article except in the most indirect way. I think that the "content" of imagination is the dismembered and creatively (as in genesis through destruction) projected contents of habit, which is distinct from its temporal structure that was the focus of the article.

  30. Peirce too regards _telos_ as a future end, thus an unaccomplished end, as if _telos_ in general were a futural horizon. I wish I had saved the quote. He seems constrained to it because, in his system, purpose is thirdness while finishedness, actuality, etc., are secondness. Yet a _telos_ is an end, a finish point or finishedness. To appreciate a work's perfections, its "finishednesses," is to appreciate excellent aspects of it as an achieved end, an achieved _telos_. I accept Aristotle's statement that the good has the rational character of an end, so in a sense I'm constrained, and anyway it fits my everyday outlook, to see the _telos_ in all temporal perspectives, rather than to see all telê and good as confined to the future, not to mention that then all pleasures and attachments would have no good objects, only desires and hopes could be for good things. Still, there seems at least an affinity between the ideas of _telos_ and future. If one thinks of a beginning, a middle or means, and an end, it's natural to think of past, present, future, such that there's a one-to-one correlation of causal and temporal stages of the same process in its chronological order.

  31. A _telos_ that is not an entelechy (a standing finished) is, I think, a teleiosis, an ending, a culmination. I don't know how else one would divide _telos_ in strictly teleological terms. The difference between teleiosis and entelechy parallels that between a beginning and a middle/means (as a continuing, a staying begun). (And here I am talking about a "beginning" as correlated to "means" and "end" but what is it? I'd say that it's a kind of force or agency with which one decides on, undertakes, governs or submits to, pursuit of an end.)

    If past-present-future aligns with beginning-middle-end, then ending (teleiosis, action as telos) vs. entelechy is as probable future (for hope, expectation, seeking, etc.) vs. feasible/optimal future (for desire, supposition, trying, etc.). Speaking of time, this helps phenomenologize (if somewhat vague-ify) the future light cone. It's the difference between the probable (as by patient repeated trials inside one's future light cone) and the optimal/feasible (as doable more or less directly by present agency, as along, or as if along, the surface of one's future light cone). Anyway, in this picture, entelechy appears as "ideal form" persisting, even evolving, as a set of feasibilities/optima of the edge of one's future, persisting/evolving as time passes and guiding means to actualization. So far these are things that I've thought of previously, and I had gotten stuck on the relationship between entelechy as cause and teleiosis as cause (Aristotelian kinds of causes, not retroactive causes). I didn't see how to conceive of entelechy (structure) as being as "causal" as it "should" be able to be vis-a-vis teleiosis, means, and beginning. It seemed to merge indistinctly with teleiosis into _telos_.

    Now, Peirce puts _telos_ in the future. Putting _telos_ instead in the present as its "proper" or "most typical" time, seems to support hedonism, belief that one's overall telos is pleasure, especially sensory pleasure, in the now-culminal good. Peirce strongly opposed theoretical hedonism. Yet what could be more presentlike than actualization, culmination? But then how does one avoid anarchic hedonism? I'll come back to this.

    Well, somehow I'd gotten stuck on the idea that the feasible/optimal entelechy is an object of one's ideas, beliefs, expectations, etc., about how one will be able to _verify_ that one has achieved an intended action, a teleiosis, and what lessons one might learn from it about how to achieve teleioses. I mean I think that that's right as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. Your paper's discussion of structure as organization that _guides_ telê helped me see that it's not just about verifying an achieved goal and learning in any case from the outcome, as if the sought good were simply to be assumed to be good, as if only the means could be in question in light of the entelechy. I was stuck in a real brain glitch on that one. The imagined entelechy, the imagined potential legacy-structure, pertains furthermore to questions of whether the good that one seeks would really turn out to be good at all. Therefore as organization the entelechical structure guides the teleioses, the means, and the beginnings wherein one decided to pursue the ends in the first place. Now, insofar as the traditional idea of _telos_seems closer to teleiosis, a culminal action, than to entelechy, hedonism seems a ditch hard to escape. But in fact hedonism focuses on only one aspect of _telos_. It focuses on teleiosis and ignores entelechy. But to the extent that entelechy can guide teleiosis, intelligent eudaemonism based on reality beats silly hedonism based on sensations, and that's as to teleiotic purpose of life, still not as to its entelechy.

  32. And finally...

    Likewise as a teleiosis, a culmination, seems preeminently presentlike, like something along the surface of one's past light cone, so likewise an entelechy, a standing finished, seems preeminently pastlike, like the inside of one's past light cone. And that ordering works too, the ordering that puts them with the future is not only one possible. Past (i.e. standing-finished) experience has not only guided one to present actualizations but also provided guidance on what are the actualizations to be sought; teaching and reminding one that actualizations aren't always as good as sensory or other pleasure may make them seem (or as bad as sensory or other pain may make them seem). If it is natural to associate feelings of good and bad with potential and actual culminations, it is natural to associate cognitions with entelechies. So, when beliefs and expectations channel causal input into the market, that's structural (entelechical) causation. Likewise it's structural or entelechical causation (in the sense of Aristotle's causes, not of retroactive causation) when we so do things as to be able to verify the outcomes via side effects, after-effects, legacies, and more generally to learn lessons from the legacies, especially about whether that which seemed good really was good - e.g., whether we would like it again, knowing what we know now (Hawthorne wrote a funny pessimistic story about this). The legacies that we do end up leaving may be for particular purposes, yet we do not _anticipate_ finally how they will be used, digested, embodied in new forms; we can't hold on to them forever beyond our lives; as structures they are foundations of all kinds of possibilities that we may only imaginatively _suppose_- and all of that is not without influence on why and how we do things.

    Whew, that's enough.

  33. If you can kind the quote, I would appreciate it. Whenever I use the term telos, it only has meaning as a futural-temporal term or in terms of organization of present activity. There's a partial sense in which it connotes the reality of a general, but only indirectly as the event, in its present-past-future triadicity, unfolds its telos and not the other way around. (Sorry Aristotle, I'm not with ya on that one.) But then, the sense in which a telos as a general also indicates that it may be real but doesn't exist qua the Peircean distinction.

    Yes, I take time to be irreducibly triadic AND tychistic. So even a present-past-future is not complete, because any single event is always multiple in its possibilities. It's the probability structure, not any path per se, that makes a singular event unique. And what we call "stability" in this sense is just really a "limited width" or tight standard deviation.

    If you'd look back at much older posts, I work on triadic temporality (borrowing from Peirce but still my own and heavily influenced by Heidegger) a lot and give far more detail. One thing I am not doing is thinking temporal order or one-to-one correlation. Each phase has a distinct relation to itself and each other phase. I wrote a nice article on this, but it's still at the revision stage. I was trying to clarify temporal hierarchy from a Deweyan point of view, which is important because effective temporality must shift from the bodily to anoetic to noetic.

  34. Your description of the relation of present-past-future is not the one I'm working with. That's not a problem, though it might make understanding where I'm coming from more difficult. I'm coming from a temporal-existential analysis, where the most actual or concrete thing is the past because it's already happened, but if we're talking about an event, a now, then we only have a relation to the past from some localizing present. Yet the identity of the present is what it is, at least concretely, by virtue of the past. And "past" in this sense denotes existential conditions and forces; the denotation is not meant to be logical.

    Moreover, when you write " The imagined entelechy, the imagined potential legacy-structure, pertains furthermore to questions of whether the good that one seeks would really turn out to be good at all. Therefore as organization the entelechical structure guides the teleioses, the means, and the beginnings wherein one decided to pursue the ends in the first place."

    I would like to point out that you do grasp my concern, which in a strong respect is a very Aristotelian one, though from his Ethics and not metaphysics. A person of integral character, with a firm foundation of practical wisdom, is better able to align the conscious thought with the "real" causal forces of his or her character. The problem is that our conscious thoughts, insomuch as they are phenomenal, are not the real determinant of conduct. They are at best a sign for our unconscious activities and habits, but not a representation. hence, my concern in the article is that a person without an integral character--and this only comes in degrees--is far more likely to be mistaken, to have a rift between the conscious awareness of one's intention and meaning, and the actuating operative motives and habits as evaluated from a third-person view. And if one has this rift, one may not be able or willing to negotiate the schism.

    Please note I'm using "character" in both a generally Aristotelian way, but also in the very technical way Dewey meant in Human Nature and Conduct, in which case is a a particular dynamic configuration of habit, where habit takes the place of the unconscious for Dewey (unconscious as psychoanalysis would ahve it).

  35. Ben,

    I'll get to your last post later. For now, I'll say this. The conceptual shorthand I use to think irreducibly triadic temporality is:

    determinately actual, moment of choice and chance, becoming-towards for past, present, and future.

  36. I was unsure of the textual basis when I wrote "Peirce too regards _telos_ as a future end" and now I think I have to withdraw the claim. It still rings a bell but I can't thnk of where to find it. Maybe it's in some passage where he comes half-way to saying it. I searched CP, W, & CN for instances of "telos" and found none. Then I thought maybe it was in some MS material excerpted in some article that I recently read, but now I don't think so. I've looked up his uses of "teleology" and "teleological" but haven't find there the specific idea in question. But still I think that your use of "telos" in a futural, purpose-like sense is in the spirit of Peirce's thinking. Sorry, wish I could do better on that. Of course, if I run into it again, I'll let you know.

  37. Ben, I cannot recall if I've seen Peirce write that way, but I have seen commenters do it. Telos is a kind of thirdness, and that's all we need know. Although, I follow Hartshorne more in the way of "chaining" triads to create natural histories. That is, one moment's thirdness is the next moments firstness, phenomenologically speaking, and we can discuss such historical triadic genealogies of thought.