Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2021) “Divine Action and Emergence” (Part 22 of 22)

0331 My sudden turn to semiotics does not occur in Tabaczek’s text.

Such is the examiner’s prerogative.

At this point, I stand at the threshold of section 1.3.4, almost precisely in the middle of the book.

My commentary on this book is significant.

Shall I review?

I represent the Positivist’s judgment as a content-level category-based form and discuss how it might be situated (points 0155 to 0184).

I suggest how reductionists can game emergent phenomena.  Plus, I follow Tabaczek back to the four causes (points 0185 to 0239).

I present a specific example of an emergent phenomenon, building on the prior example of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell.  Then, I return to Deacon’s general formula for emergence (points 240 to 0276).

Finally, I examine Tabaczek’s “philosophical history of panentheism” up to the section on Hegel (points 0277 to 0330).

0332 These are notable achievements.

But, my commentary is not more significant than Tabaczek’s text.

At this point, it is if I look through Tabaczek’s text and see something moving, something that catches my eye.  It is not for me to say whether it is an illusion or a registration.  It is enough for me to articulate what I see.

0333 At this point, I draw the veil on Razie Mah’s blog for April and May of 2024 and enter the enclosure of Comments on Tabaczek’s Arc of Inquiry (2019-2024), available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Comments will cover the rest of Part Two of Divine Action and Emergence.  June 2024 will look at the start of Tabaczek’s next book, Theistic Evolution and Comments will complete the examination.

My thanks to Mariusz Tabaczek for his intellectual quest.

0334 But, that is not to say that I abandon Tabaczek’s text.

No, my slide into sign-relations is part of the examiner’s response.

This occurs in Comments.

There is good reason to wonder whether the response is proportionate.

I let the reader decide.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 1 of 22)

0001 Philosophers enamored of Aristotle and Aquinas tend to make distinctions.  So, what happens when such philosophers wrestle with modern science as it confronts the realness of apparently irreducibly complex systems, such as um… hydrogen-fuel cells and the Krebs cycle, which serves as the “fuel cell” for eukaryotic cells?

On the surface, Tabaczek fashions, yet does not articulate, a distinction between… hmmm…

0002 Consider a sentence, found on page 273 of Emergence, midway in the final chapter, seven, saying (more or less), “I hope that my re-interpretation of downward causation and emergent systems, in terms of old and new Aristotelianism, will help analytical metaphysicians sound more credible to scientists and philosophers of science, who employ, analyze and justify methodological reductionism.”


Philosophers of science and analytialc metaphysicians?

0003 Philosophers of science attempt to understand the causalities inherent in the ways that each empirio-schematic discipline applies mathematical and mechanical models to observations and measurements of particular phenomena.  In terms of Aristotle’s four causes, their options are few.  Science is beholden to material and efficient causalities, shorn of formal and final causation.  So, they end up going in tautological circles.  What makes a model relevant?  Well, a model accounts for observations and measurements of phenomena.  What are phenomena?  Phenomena are observable and measurable facets of their noumenon.  What is a noumenon?

Ugh, you know, the thing itself.

If I know anything about the Positivist’s judgment, then I know this.  Science studies phenomena, not their noumenon.

Everybody knows that.

Except, of course, for those pathetic (analytical) metaphysicians.

0004 …what?

A noumenon and its phenomena?

0005 Tautologies are marvelous intellectual constructions.

In a tautology, an explanation explains a fact because the fact can be accounted for by the explanation.  For modern science, mathematical and mechanical models explain observations and measurements because observations and measurements can be accounted for by mathematical and mechanical models.

Scientific tautologies are very powerful.  Important scientists ask for governments to support their empirio-schematic research in order to develop and exploit such tautologies… er… technologies.  Philosophers of science tend to go with the flow, so they end up employing, analyzing and justifying the manners in which mathematical and mechanical models account for observations and measurements, along with other not-metaphysical pursuits.  One must tread lightly.  First, there is a lot of money on the line.  Second, the positivist intellect has a rule.  Metaphysics is not allowed.

0006 …hmmm…

Does Tabaczek offer a way out of the rut of not-metaphysics, without noticing that the rut is what distinguishes scientific inquiry from experience of a thing itself?  Aristotle will tell me that the rut is not the same as the world outside the rut.  The scientific world is (supposedly) full of mind-independent beings.  Ours is a world of mind-dependent beings.  

0007 …aha!

Now, I arrive at the yet-to-be-articulated distinction between what science investigates and what we experience.

For the modern philosopher of science, models are key.  Disciplinary language brings mathematical and mechanical models into relation with observations and measurements of phenomena.

For the estranged modern metaphysician, the thing itself is key.  The thing itself, the noumenon, gives rise to diverse phenomena, facets that are observable and measurable.

Consequently, the distinction that Tabaczek does not name looks like this.

Figure 01


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 22 of 22)

0149 In chapter five, Tabaczek starts to develop the noumenal side of his mirror, beginning with dispositions and powers.  Tabaczek wants to use these terms interchangeably. Perhaps, it is better to regard them as two contiguous real elements, where the contiguity is [properties].

Disposition [property] power is a hylomorphe that is slightly different than Aristotle’s hylomorphe, matter [substance] form.   Even though they differ, they both belong to Peirce’s category of secondness.

To me, Peirce’s secondness opens the door to expressions of causality that reflect Aristotle’s hylomorphe in so far as they have the same relational structure.

Currently, no modern philosopher views Aristotle’s hylomorphe as a prime example of Peirce’s category of secondness.

How so?

As soon as a modern philosopher recognizes the point, then he or she becomes a postmodern philosopher.

Labels can be slippery.

0150 In chapter six of Emergence, Tabaczek introduces forms and teleology (that is, formal and final causes).  The operation of these causes within the category-based nested form has already been presented.

0151 In chapter seven, Tabaczek labors to apply his dispositional metaphysics to Deacon’s formulation of dynamical depth.  Perhaps, the results are not as coherent as the application found in this examination, but his efforts are sufficient to earn him his doctorate in philosophy.

Amen to that!

0152 Overall, Emergence is a testimonial to the resilience of a graduate student who completes his doctorate in philosophy of science without knowing that the model and the noumenon are two (apparently competing) illuminations within the Positivist’s judgment.

0153 Why doesn’t he know?

Well, no one knows, because philosophers of science are not paying attention the traditions of Charles Peirce or of Jacques Maritain.  As noted in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy, Maritain uses the scholastic tool of three different styles of abstraction to paint a picture of science displaying the structure of judgment.  Peirce’s semiotics and categories clarify Maritain’s painting by resolving two integrated yet distinct judgments: the Positivist’s judgment and the empirio-schematic judgment.

Plus, another reason why no one knows is because philosophers of science still think that the positivist intellect is alive.  All laboratory scientists obey the dictate of the positivist intellect.  Metaphysics is not allowed.  So, if well-funded scientists are correct, then philosophers of science must project what is for the Positivist’s judgment from science into their own image in Tabaczek’s mirror.  They do not realize that Tabaczek inadvertently de-defines the positivist intellect by not getting the Positivist’s memo and regarding a noumenon as the thing itself and its phenomena as manifestations of dispositions [properties] power.

0154 Say what?

Tabaczek’s “dispositional metaphysics” disposes with the positivist intellect by vaporizing the relation of the Positivist’s judgment and condensing what ought to be (the empirio-schematic judgment) and what is (the noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena) as two distinct illuminations.  Both enter secondness.  Two hylomorphes stand juxtaposed.  In Tabaczek’s mirror, each hylomorphe sees its own image in the other.


Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 1 of 17)

0001 Twenty years pass since Professor Peter Redpath publishes an article, titled, “The Homeschool Renaissance and the Battle of the Arts”, in the Summer 2000 premier issue of Classical Homeschooling Magazine.

Homeschooling is one alternate to failing public schools systems, which are unlikely to be reformed, because these systems are governed by acolytes of the religion of big government (il)liberalism.

0002 Homeschool parents face difficult choices.  There are no paths to guaranteed success.

But, certainly, homeschooling is better than the path to failure embodied by public school systems.  Even the child who is accepted to a fast-track program or School of the Arts or Sciences, becomes a loser in a house divided.  There is only one house, the House of God.  No one knows that more than the newly minted postmodern disciplines of resentment.

Homeschools seek guidance about the Big Schoolhouse, where everything that rises must converge.

0003 Often, homeschooling parents turn to great books programs.  The classics are ideal for recovering the former glory of Christendom.  Here is where Peter Redpath stands, 20 years past.  He is a guide to the big Schoolhouse, where the liberal arts are born again.

Classical Homeschooling Magazine illuminates the way.

0004 Today, the winds are more insistent.  The leaves of disenchantment rustle through public schoolyards, as entrepreneurs follow Redpath in offering their wares, for the Big Schoolhouse, to many little schoolhouses, and to many many home schools, networked in patterns hitherto unimagined.

0005 In the following blogs, Razie Mah looks at Redpath’s whirlwind tour of a failure in the Italian, later European, Renaissance.  Mah uses tools derived from the first postmodern philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce.  These simple tools, wares on offer for the education of young minds, include the category-based nested form, the three-level interscope and the triadic structure of judgment.


Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 2 of 17)

0006 Small mistakes at the beginning of a grand enterprise become larger mistakes at the end.

So notes Thomas Aquinas, at the opening of his overtures to both God and fellow man.

0007 Peter Redpath wants to avoid making initial errors.

Small errors may eventually culminate in misfortune.

To magnify this insight, Redpath tells a tale…

0008 … about the last great rebirth of Western civilization.

Oh, to be born again.  We wash away the sins of prior eras.  So, we imagine.  Then, we don white garments with tiny flaws that will unravel slowly, at first, then exponentially, at the terminus, when the once-birthed era ages and rips apart.

Redpath identifies the start of the Italian Renaissance with humanist Francesco Petrarch (7104-7174 U0′).

Why the strange dates?

Subtract 5800 in order to get to AD.

0 Ubaid Zero Prime nominally corresponds to the formation of the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia.  The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace addresses the importance of this culture, at the dawn of our current Lebenswelt.  The current year is 7822 U0′.

The time-distance between today and Petrarch is one tenth the distance between Petrarch and Adam.

0009 Petrarch reads the ancient Latin writers and longs for the days of Rome.  Petrarch envisions a return to political actuality, arising from Christendom’s spiritual potential.  The actuality of Rome is political.  Yet, Petrarch lives in a world where the capitol, Rome, governs a theological and organizational network and weighs upon sovereign states.  The network is based on a religious construction, seeking to portray itself as sensible, operating according to the criteria of the most sensible philosopher to have walked the face of the Earth, Aristotle.

One could say that the Catholic worldview, where God encompasses both reason and revelation, might have entangled a small error.  The tear becomes a harbor, for Petrarch and his fellow travelers, to lobby for a political capitol arising from the spiritual capitol.

0010 The Italian humanists offer an alternate to Christendom’s vision.

0011 First, philosophy is not sensible.  It is apocryphal, initiated by the most prophetic person to have walked the face of the Earth, Moses.

Second, Moses is a humanist.  He is a poet.Third, a new politics, that is, a new “polis” or “city”, will arise from the network of Christendom, as humanist learning, the poetry of governance, flowers in the rebirth of Rome.


Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 3 of 17)

0012 Poetry, what is it worth?

Surely, it is valuable in the arts of seduction, inspiration and adornment.

But who needs these, when God is Love, Commitment and Awesomeness incarnate?

0013 The Italian humanists face a problem.  How do they place poetry and the writings of classical Rome front and center?

The academics in the room have an easy answer, “First of all, get rid of logic in the curriculum.”

0014 Ah, does that not sound like a small error?

Starting with Petrarch, Italian humanists alchemically place the actualities of Greek philosophy and Western history2 into the novel context of the liberal arts3, emerging from the potential of five disciplines1: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics.

The result can be portrayed as follows, according to A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

Figure 01

0015 The dyadic actuality of Greek philosophy [and] Western history2 is placed in an alchemic vessel3 alien to its original, natural and organic milieu1.  Plutarch’s liberal arts3 is a normal context that excludes Aristotle’s realist philosophy3.  The pentagram of grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics1, whose points operate independently and in combination, constitutes a digestive organ potentiating transformation.


Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 4 of 17)

0016 What is this [and] between Greek philosophy and Western history?

Figure 02

0017 According to Charles Peirce (7639-7714 U0′), the category of secondness is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  The nomenclature is one real element [contiguity] other real element.

Here, the contiguity, [and], describes a substance that coheres to the most rudimentary causality, the contiguity between matter and form.  Or, should I say, style and form?  The nomenclature is Greek philosophy [and] Western history.

0018 The [and] composed by Thomas Aquinas (7025-7074 U0′) takes Aristotle as Greek philosophy and the Bible as the foundation of Western history.  Does that sound like matter [and] form or style [and] form?  The normal context is scholastic inquiry3 and the potential is understanding1, formatted according to the synthetic and analytic logics of Aristotle’s four causes.

0019 The tradition of Petrarch alters the normal context to the liberal arts3 and the potential to the pentagrammatic disciplines: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics1.

Do these alterations elevate style [and] form over matter [and] form?

Do these alterations serve as an alchemic vessel3 and digestive juices1 for the meat of scholastic inquiry2?

Is the contiguity, [and], the same for the scholastics and the Renaissance humanists?

Figure 03

0020 Petrarch and his fellow travelers assert that common folk, traditional Christians, cannot appreciate the lofty metaphysical grammar and moral realities offered by the ancient poets.  A Christian knows that the Greek and the Roman pantheons are simply not true.  These gods are idols.

But, change the normal context, and let rhetoric, poetry and history work their magic, then newly digested truths become palatable.

These pre-digested morsels are valid in the normal context of the liberal arts3, which excludes all other normal contexts, and thus is universal.  Only after digestion by pentagrammatic modes of inquiry1, do the allegorical and figurative meanings of Moses2 turn into the stuff of Renaissance, and later, Enlightenment ideals.  Only a nominalist can delineate the pathways from Moses to Socrates and onwards to the Christians and Neoplatonists.  Only a nominalist can reveal the mysterious [and], the contiguity between Greek art, philosophy and wisdom and Western history.

0021 [And], the contiguity between ancient Greek and Roman literature and the glories of Rome, takes on the substance of revival.

Figure 04

Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 5 of 17)

0023 The Renaissance program sets the humanities against Aristotle’s logic and naturalism.  It undermines the union of philosophy and scholastic theology.

Poetry gains attention.

Logic is neglected.

Before: Philosophy (including logic) stands as a handmaiden to theology, the queen of the sciences.

After: Poetry is the transcendent queen of the arts.

0024 Of course, I speak allegorically.

According to Redpath, the humanist ascent of allegory has historic precedent.  Allegory appears in Hesiod’s attack on Homer’s veracity, the Ionians critique of mythological reasoning, and Plato’s interpretations of epic poetry.  Then, allegory is used to counter-attack, arguing for the truth of Homer, myths and epics.  The truth is found, not in fact, but in fiction.  The truth is concealed within a rhetorical facade.  By the time of Augustine, rhetorician and philosopher are one and the same.

0025 I pause and ask myself, “What on Earth is allegory?”

Allegory is a technique, characteristic of our current Lebenswelt (and perhaps, the Lebenswelt that we evolved in), whereby symbols associate to concrete or material forms.

For Renaissance humanists, the forms are literary.  The symbols are political.

Style becomes matter.  Symbols of the glory of Rome are matter, and ancient literary works are the corresponding forms.

On the one hand, matter [substantiates] form.  On the other hand, form [informs] matter.

Now, style [substantiates] form.  Form [informs] style.

What is [informs]?

[To inform] is [to be substantiated by].

0026 Here is a comparison.

Figure 05

Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 6 of 17)

0027 I left off with the following pair of hylomorphes.

Figure 06

0028 These two actualities associate to Redpath’s argument.

First, starting with Petrarch, Italian humanists elevate the disciplines of rhetoric, poetry and history in their search for symbols that (1) trace back to antiquity and (2) exploit the dual charisms of Moses and Greek philosophy.

Second, these symbols, isolated in the digestion of Greek philosophy [and] Western history2 by the solvents of rhetoric, poetry and history1, alchemically coagulate (or “occult”) into universals and abstractions that can be read as the grammar1and the ethics1 of nature and revelation.

Third, these grammatical and ethical slogans concern political matters.  They announce a revival of the Roman polity, a polis at once outside of the city of God and the city of man.

0029 Oh, what about tiny, initial flaws?

Even though, in the above figure, I associate this Renaissance vision to two hylomorphes, the dyadic structure of the hylomorphe is logical and thus disregarded in the normal context of the liberal arts3.


Looking at Peter Redpath’s Essay (2000) “The Homeschool Renaissance” (Part 7 of 17)

0030 At this turn in his whirlwind history, Redpath addresses the nature of the mind in scholastic psychology.  If nothing else, this nature follows a certain logic.  The mind is composed of three category-based nested forms, arranged as a category-based nested form.  The three-level interscope is described in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

The three levels are content (corresponding to firstness), situation (secondness) and perspective (thirdness).  Thirdness brings secondness into relation with firstness.  Perceptionc brings situationb into relation with contenta.

The following appears in Comments on Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality”.

0031 On the content level, the five external senses (plus internal sensing of homeostasis) belong to the active body.  Feelings, immediate sequalae to the senses (including automatic decoding of parole), belong to the sensate soul.  The active body [substantiates] the sensate soul2a accounts for sensations2a, in the normal context of what is happening3aarising from the potential of ‘something happening’1a.

0032 On the situation level, the imaginative senses1b belong to the perceptive soul [informing] the reactive body2b. Imagination1b has the potential to situate the content level.  Imagination1b supports perception2b.  The body2b, instinctively (emotions) or through training (manners), reacts to the perceptive soul2b, in the normal context of what this means to me3b.  Some label the situation-level actuality2b as “perception” or “phantasm”.  I suppose a distinction between these two terms colors the character of imagination1b.

0033 On the perspective level, the intellect3c forms a judgment2c, addressing the question, “Does this make sense?”.  What makes sense3c emerges from the potential of contextualizing the situation1c.

A judgment is a primal triadic relation containing three elements: relation, what is and what ought to be.  The relationmay be active (imbuing what ought to be with the qualities of secondness) or passive (imbuing what is with secondness).  The perspective-level relation2c may be theoretical or practical.  What ought to be2c typically engages the situation-level actuality2b, transforming a species expressa2b (perception2b) into a species expressa intelligibilis2c.  What is2c typically engages species impressa2a, the content-level actuality2a, as a species impressa intelligibilis2c.

In sum, content should be referential and situation should be intelligible.  The intellect offers a relation that brings these together.

0034 What does this imply?

Judgment is synthetic, as well as analytic.