Further Consequences of Human Embodiment: A Description of Time and Human Existence as Disclosed at the Origin of Peirce's Philosophy of Community

Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada) (1981)

In three articles published by C. S. Peirce in 1868 "Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man," "Some Consequences for Four Incapacities" and "Grounds of Validity of the Laws of Logic: Further Consequences of Four Incapacities" Peirce examines several consequences that follow from four incapacities of man's cognitive faculties. These four incapacities are hat of immediate perception or introspection; that of any cognition not logically determined through a history of previous cognition; that of thinking without thought-signs, and that of conceiving anything incognizable. ;In this dissertation we shall use the first two of these three articles as guides to initate a further description of these consequences that will describe the nature of man's cognitional existence and the cognitional character of man's temporal being in the world. Given Peirce's four incapacities, this description will analyze the type of activity that human cognition must be understood to be, and it will interpret the effect of this description in such a way as to determine how man can claim to understand the meaning of the reality of those things he is able to understand, as well as his understanding, of himself as that being who can articulate the meaning of those things. ;The purpose of this dissertation, then, is to set forth our own description of further consequences of Peirce's four incapacities. In this dissertation we shall attempt to make clear the purpose towards which and the manner in which we understand Peirce's answer to the question "what is man?" and the philosophical consequences of Peirce's answer to this question. ;The strategy of this dissertation will be to delineate Peirce's critique of the psycho-physiological limitations of man's cognitive faculties and then to describe what we see to be the further philosophical consequences of these limiations vis a vis Peirce's critique of intuition and introspection, the historical location of his own thinking, the theory of thought-signs, the theory of community and reality and the theory of man. ;The delineation of these five points will reveal that there exists a fundamental reciprocal relationship between time and being at the heart of Peirce's own description of cognition, community, reality, and man. The nature of this relationship is such that whereas time is not "a being" and beings are not time nevertheless time and being belong together within any description of man's cognitive capabilities. Once this has been established, we will describe man as a member of a community and describe man's own understanding of himself from within our understanding of this reciprocal relationship between time and being
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