Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 7 of 7)

0026 Are Catholic philosophers so alienated from science that they are willing to talk through the mouthpiece of phenomenology?

Are there other ways to enter into discourse in this modern Age of Ideas?

Why does the hylomorphic structure of reality constantly get co-opted in the pursuit of science?

Are phenomenologists implicated?

0027 Doctor Figal imagines a gap3c, whose interpretive polarity1c sparks the exteriorization2c of what the thing itself1amust be1b, thereby generating a noumenon1b(1a) that can be objectified as its phenomena1a, according to “social” scientific discipline2a.  He labels the operation, “objectivity2c“.

Is objectivity metaphysical?

Or, does it sound like “electricity”?

0028 Colledge is fascinated.  What marvelous transformations occur in the laboratory of Professor Figal.  Metaphysics alchemically mutates into the stuff of physics.

0029 Comments on Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenology” offers value to the originating essay.  Not only is science brought into the picture, but the re-vision is rooted in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.  Colledge has more than he knows.

003 It is wonderful to see striking similarities between Marion’s naming of givenness2c and Figal’s enumeration of objectivity2c.

Peirce’s categories offer ways to diagram that vision.


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 6 of 7)

0022 Okay, so far in this sequence of blogs, I have discussed three incentives for why Catholic philosophers may be interested in phenomenology.  I have also raised a question concerning why these philosophers do not mention science.

0023 The answer to the latter question is located in the relation within the Positivist’s judgment.  A positivist intellect (relation, thirdness) brings an empirio-schematic judgment (what ought to be, secondness) into relation with observations and measurements (what is, firstness).  The positivist intellect has a rule.  Metaphysics is not allowed.

0024 What is the result?

Catholic anti-reductionists are excluded from discourse… er, polite scientific society in this modern Age of Ideas.

The positivist intellect says, “No.”

So, why even try?

Why not discourse with the ones who might want to talk, the phenomenologists?

0025 Do I see Gunter Figal heading to the exit?

Professor Figal is interested in objectivity, not givenness.


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 5 of 7)

0017 Why do Catholic philosophers (who are curious about phenomenology) not mention science?

This is a very good question, since Aristotle’s and the Positivist’s judgments are structurally similar.

Well, they are different, because the three elements of judgment are imbued with different categories.

0018 The similar structures, along with different categorical assignments, benefit phenomenology.  Phenomenology can sneak Aristotelian metaphysical constructs into the laboratory by reifying hylomorphes into what the thing itself1a must be1b.  Phenomenology appropriates illicit metaphysical constructs then cleans them of metaphysical terminology.

0019 For example, in terms of physics, a one Euro coin may be reduced to its constituent metal and minted shape.  To me, this looks like matter and form.

At the same time, in terms of phenomenological reduction2b, a one Euro coin1a is money1b.  Money1b is what the Euro coin itself1a must be.

0020 What happens when what the thing itself1a must be1b is not the thing itself1a?

Is phenomenological reduction at work?

0021 If the one Euro coin as money is a mind-independent (formerly mind-dependent) being, then novel laws of “physics” apply.  The coin1a(1b) now exhibits the phenomena of value1a and fiat currency1a.

The novel “social” science of modern economics investigates the phenomena1a that objectify this noumenon1a(1b).


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 4 of 7)

0014 Why are Catholic philosophers interested in phenomenology?

In Comments on Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenology”, a third incentive is proposed.

0015 Colledge reads a 2006 book by German phenomenologist, Gunter Figal, entitled Objectivity, The Hermeneutical and the Philosophical

Colledge wonders, “Is this a phenomenological realist open to Christian anti-reductionism?”

Can we talk?

0016 Figal admits that the thing itself1a should be mind-independent.  If this is the case, then metaphysics should be allowed.  Aren’t the mathematical and mechanical models of the empirio-schematic judgment mind-dependent beings?  Don’t mind-dependent beings transcend (while entangling) physics?  Doesn’t that fit the definition of metaphysics.

Well, yes, this becomes apparent when phenomenology reveals what the thing itself1a must be1b and then a novel empirical science2a arises to investigate its1a(1b) phenomena1a.


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 3 of 7)

0008 Why are Catholic philosophers interested in phenomenology?

In Comments on Joseph Trabbic’s Essay (2021) “Jean Luc Marion and … First Philosophy”, a second incentive is proposed.

0009 If phenomenology situates science, then what puts phenomenology into perspective?

0010 In 1995, the French Catholic phenomenologist, Jean-Luc Marion, comes very close to naming that “what”.  “What” coincides with the givenness of things themselves.

0011 Marion’s identification of givenness offers an opportunity for Catholic philosophers.  But, the concerns of the positivist intellect remain.  The positivist intellect rules out metaphysics.

As far as science is concerned, givenness is irrelevant.

0012 But, there is a twist.

The naming of givenness illuminates the potential underlying phenomenological reduction.

The noumenon1athe thing itself1a, is a mind-independent being.

The noumenon1bwhat the thing itself1a must be1b, is a mind-dependent being, that one can take to be mind-independent.

0013 Does that reflect the awkward nature of givenness?

One can give, with no expectation for return.

Can one take, with no expectation of reciprocity?

Can the gift be given, even when the giver and the recipient are nowhere to be found?


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 2 of 7)

0005 Why are Catholic philosophers interested in phenomenology?

In Reverie on Mark Spencer’s Essay (2021) “The Many Phenomenological Reductions”, one incentive is proposed.

0006 The positivist intellect has a rule.  No metaphysics is allowed.

Catholic anti-reductionism is metaphysical.

Phenomenology is not.

Consequently, the phenomenologist is tolerated in our scientific Age of Ideas, but the Thomist is not.

0007 So, the Christian realist has an incentive to speak through the mouthpiece of phenomenology.


Looking at Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenological Reduction” (Part 1 of 7)

0001 Phenomenology situates science.

Three commentaries flesh out the above statement.

All are available at smashwords.

Just search for key words, in addition to the commentator, Razie Mah.

0002 These e-works are:

Reverie on Mark Spencer’s Essay (2021) “The Many Phenomenological Reductions”

Comments on Joseph Trabbic’s Essay (2021) “Jean-Luc Marion and … First Philosophy”

Comments on Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenology”

0003 The originating articles are published in the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.

None mention science.

0004 Two questions arise.

First, why are Catholic philosophers interested in phenomenology?

Second, why do none of these originating essays mention science?


Looking at Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality” (Part 8 of 8)

0031 Look to Reality: A Journal of Philosophical Discourse.

Visit the website.

Donate to its flourishing.

Read the works.

Take a course.

0032 Most challenging of all, hire a budding scholar to compare and contrast Kemple’s article “Signs and Reality”, in the journal, Reality, and Razie Mah’s Comments on Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality”.

The assignment will not disappoint.


Looking at Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality” (Part 7 of 8)

0027  Comments on Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality”, available at smashwords, includes a story of a rot consuming the Age of Ideas, the third age of understanding.  Modernism is frozen in its gaze upon a thing, an innocent thing.  Certain modern elites hunger to financialize and harvest such innocence.  Call it what you will.  The yearning goes by many names.

In time, the rot will run its course.

Modernism will fail.

However, in this theodrama, the premodern Thomism of the Latin Age, the second age of understanding, may transubstantiate into the postmodern Thomism of the Age of Triadic Relations, the fourth age of understanding.  Deely predicts it.  Kemple aims to manifest it.  Signs are real, just like things.

0028 This is not the only fissure to appear in the scholastic mirror of the world.

Shall I elaborate?

0029 Smashwords contains an entire series of commentaries devoted to the question, “Is Aristotle’s hylomorphism an expression of Peirce’s category of secondness?

Another series is devoted to empirio-schematics, starting with Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) “Natural Philosophy” and Comments on Nicholas Berdyaev’s Book (1939) “Spirit and Reality”.

Several commentaries in the series, Reverberations of the Fall, expand on Aquinas’s breakthrough concept of original justice.

0030 These series are not anomalies.  They are features of what happens when Thomists take seriously the very topic that they struggle to avoid.

Kemple’s advocation leads the way.


Looking at Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality” (Part 6 of 8)

0020 Comments on Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality” tells a story and suggests associations between Kemple’s… er…. Aquinas’s terminology and the category-based nested form.

First, three kinds of sign-objects correspond to three actualities in a three-level interscope.

Second, three sign-relations couple the levels, so that each object may serve as both a sign-vehicle and sign-object.  The only sign that does not serve as both a sign-vehicle and sign-object is the interventional sign.

0021 Here is a picture.

Figure 3

0022 The interventional sign couples the perspective and content levels.

The specifying sign couples the content and situation levels.

The exemplar sign couples the situation and perspective levels.

0023 Kemple specifically mentions three types of signs.  These correspond to the character of the sign-vehicle for the interventional sign.

These types are nature, custom and stipulation.  

These three types associate to periods in human evolution.

0024 The first two are discussed in Comments on Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language”.  See this blog for the middle of May, 2021.

Early in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, natural events serve as sign-vehicles for interventional signs.  Since hominins adapt into the niche of triadic relations, the sign-objects of the interventional sign, sensations and feelings, turn into sign-vehicles for specifying signs.

Later in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, linguistic manual-brachial word-gestures serve as sign vehicles for interventional signs.  The sign-objects decode the interventional signs according to custom.  Specifying signs are trained by timeless traditions.  Exemplar signs cannot be articulated using hand talk, yet they involve crucial adaptations, because the exemplar sign-object manifests as a commitment.

0025 Finally, after the first singularity, in our current Lebenswelt, the exemplar sign is able to be symbolized by speech-alone talk.

This turns out to be most problematic, since speech-alone allows the interventional sign-vehicle to be stipulated.  Comments on Brian Kemple’s Essay (2020) “Signs and Reality” tells a story about a stipulation.  The story also tells about concupiscence.

0026 The sign-object of the exemplar sign occupies the same position in the three-level interscope as the sign-vehicle of the interventional sign.  This is significant.  Thomas Aquinas’s theology of original sin conducts itself precisely along the circuit depicted above, as discussed in Comments on Daniel Houck’s Book (2020) “Aquinas, Original Sin and the Challenge of Evolution”.