(Fwd) truth

Mon, 2 Oct 1995 14:36:32 EST

Forwarded message:
Subject: truth
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 14:10:59

Tom Byer's posting reminds me of the ancient debate between (1)
direct or (2)mediated contact with 'reality/Truth', with direct held
by such as the positivists, Newtonian classical physics, and those
two cohorts, Plato and Descartes. And mediated contact, via a
socially constructed logic, held by such as Aristotle/Aquinas, Kant,
Peirce, etc..and those guys in quantum physics.

Is this mediation (which I call cognitive logic..and Aristotle-
'intellectus agens', Peirce's Thirdness)..is it:
1. universal?
2.an accurate representation of 'reality'?
3. based on sensual experience?
4.stable..ie..short-term or long-term?
6. adaptive?

1.No. Mediated logic is not universal; this non-universal nature
permits the enormous adaptive vitality of the human species.
2. Accurate? Ask that question of a quantum scientist, and he'll
probably say that he hasn't the slightest idea what 'reality' is; he
simply works within a context. (Paul Davies writes some great books
on these themes, for the non-physicist: The Ghost in the Atom; God
and the New Physics; Superstrings)
3.Most certainly, it is based on sensual experience (Peirce's
Firstness), which is then mediated/organized, via the social logic.
It is not mind-dependent only, in that it is answerable to the
experience of sensual reality, but the meaning of that experience, is
socially encoded.
4. It must be stable..lasting anywhere from 500 to multithousands
of years, providing a certain stability to a group's interactions
with their envt.
5. Is this mediation a functional representation of reality? Well,
it had better be..or the group using that logic will be in big
6.And therefore, being functional..can it change? Yes, but not via
the endless amorphous interpretations of the deconstructionists..who
are NOT talking about the mediative logical frame..but only about the
surface-level images that exist within this logic. The mediative
logic changes, only within a crisis phase.a very difficult and
traumatic experience for all concerned, and takes at least a full

I would comment, in appreciation of John McCreery's image of Salome,
is that indeed yes, that 'direct-contact' metaphysical boor does want
it 'all', but the mediative scientist knows that even those seven
veils are not enough; that there are more and more veils, and indeed,
the veils and the hidden sensuality of that beautiful body are
entwined together; as long as she (reality) exists, so will the veils.

Too mystic? No..rather, an admission that sensual reality and
conceptual reality work together..Heisenberg, Bohr.. and Nietasche's
'eternal recurrence'...

Edwina Taborsky
Bishop's University Phone: (819)822.9600
Lennoxville, Quebec Fax: (819)822.9661
Canada JIM 1Z7