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 Daniel Dennett’s Book (2017) “From Bacteria To Bach and Back” (Part 1 of 20)

0001 Let me start with an admission.  In this particular examination, I am not myself.  I am someone who I am not.  I own a dog named, “Daisy”.

The book before me is by Daniel C. Dennett and is titled, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds”.  The book is published by W.W. Norton (New York, London).  The book wrestles with issues both philosophical and scientific.  How does our world come to be?  How do we come to be?

Who are we?  We are people with minds.  Minds intelligently design artifacts using tools of production and tools of the intellect.  The first tools are handy.  The second are… well… not exactly the same as “handy”.

0002 The hand grasps a tool then uses it to manipulate things.  The word, “prehensile” applies.  Our hands are full of prehensions.  We are aware of the heft and feel of material instruments.

The mind grasps an intellectual tool with its… um… brain.  Is there such a word as “comprehensile”?  How about the term, “comprehension”?  Once we become competent using an intellectual tool, we comprehend.  We become familiar with its heft and feel.

0003 The hand is unlike the appendages of other mammals.

For example, cats and dogs only have feet.  The cat uses its front feet as “paws”, in a manner similar to the way humans use their hands.  Not really, because the cat’s paws cannot hold anything.  The cat cannot pick up a tool.  May I say that the cat’s front paws are part of the feline toolkit?  Evolution builds tools right into the cat’s body.  Most mammals are fashioned this way.  Tools are part of their bodies.

0004 The mind serves as a metaphorical appendage, because it grasps ‘something’, and in doing so, may manipulate it.  The dog, whose practical toolkit includes feet and a formidable mouth, has an advantage over the cat, in this respect.  The dog’s mind grasps ‘something’ and, in doing so, manipulates humans into serving as the leader of its pack.

To me, the dog is testimony to the inhospitality of wolf “culture”, in general, and the inadequacy of wolf “leadership”, in particular.  Wolf pack-leaders often behave like aristocrats, always expecting deferential treatment.  They are often filled with paranoia and treachery.  Yet, their followers know that they need a leader.  Otherwise, there is no pack.  Without the pack, there is only death.

0005 Surely, a reasonable human would serve as a more hospitable leader, especially since humans know how to get food in surprising ways.  Humans give dogs food.  Until, of course, starvation fills the land.


Information on the Series: Phenomenology and the Positivist Intellect

In the Fall of 2021, the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly publishes three essays on phenomenology.  Each author asks, “Why does phenomenology exclude other philosophical traditions, such as Thomism, when they share similar concerns?”  The essays are not only remarkable for what they say, they are also remarkable for what they do not say.  None mention natural science.

Of course, this lacunae demands exploration.  Edmund Husserl (1856-1938 AD) lives in the heyday of modern science.  He calls for a “return to the noumenon”.  He names his method, “phenomenological reduction”.  So, phenomenology concerns the noumenon and its phenomena.

The series on empirio-schematics serves as a resource.  The noumenon and its phenomena appear in the Positivist’s judgment, initially derived in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.

Contributions to this series are listed below, in order of production.  Most are available at smashwords and other electronic book vendors.  Those that appear on the blog at www.raziemah.com are noted, along with dates.

Reverie on Mark Spencer’s Essay (2021) “The Many Phenomenological Reductions”    (e-article, note on blog September 2021)

Comments on Joseph Trabbic’s Essay (2021) “Jean-Luc Marion and … First Philosophy”   (e-article, note on blog October 2021 

Comments on Richard Colledge’s Essay (2021) “Thomism and Contemporary Phenomenology”   (e-article, note on blog October 2021)

Comments on Jack Reynolds’ Book (2018) “Phenomenology, Naturalism and Science”.    (e-article, note on blog March 2022)

Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research”      (blog only, www.raziemah.com, April 2022)


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 1 of 18)

0001 Three faculty at the Universidad Santo Tomas, Columbia, publish an article with the title, “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in Human and Social Sciences Research”, in the journal, Civilizar: Cienceas Sociales y Humanas(volume 20(38), 2020, 137 to 146, DOI: https//doi.org/10.22518/jour.ccsh./2020.1a10).  I thank the authors for presenting in English.

0002 In this series of blogs, the above article serves as a testing ground for four commentaries on phenomenology, contemporary Thomism and science.  The commentaries, available at smashwords and other electronic e-book vendors, follow.

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”

Comments on Jack Reynolds’ Book (2018) “Phenomenology, Naturalism and Science”

0003 Testing ground?

These commentaries contain particular category-based nested forms, interscopes and judgments, constructed from (or in reverie to) the essay and book under consideration.  These synthetic structures are abductions, constructed on Peircean frames.

So, what to do with a guess?

Test it.


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 3 of 18)

0006 Test one.

In the conclusion (Part 5), the unspoken agenda of the authors becomes apparent.

Why are hermeneutics neglected in phenomenological inquiry?

0007 The authors offer several good reasons for why hermeneutics should be employed.

First, in history, Husserl’s project differentiates out of nineteenth century hermeneutic traditions.  Both refuse to accept the triumph of positivism.  So, if these two traditions have common ancestry, then why are they apparently not compatible?

Second, hermeneutics situates texts, in the same way that a reader situates an author’s writing.  So, hermeneutics situate the same phenomena as phenomenology.

Third, hermeneutic practices arise out of the potential of interpretation.  Phenomenological reductions arise out of the potential of identifying what the noumenon must be.  Why are these not complementary processes?

0008 An answer starts with the Positivist’s judgment, initially diagrammed in Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy.  Judgment has a triadic structure consisting of three elements: relationwhat is and what ought to be.  When these elements are assigned to Peirce’s categories, the judgment becomes actionable.

0009 The relation is a positivist intellect, who has a rule, saying, “Metaphysics is not allowed.”  This relation belongs to thirdness, the realm of normal contexts.

What ought to be is an empirio-schematic judgment, consisting of a disciplinary language (relation), mathematical and mechanical models (what ought to be) and observations and measurements (what is).  What ought to be belongs to secondness, the realm of actuality.

What is is a dyad, consisting of two contiguous elements.  The elements are a noumenon, the thing itself, and its phenomena, its observable and measurable facets.  The contiguity expresses a logical necessity.  In natural science, a noumenon cannot be reduced to its phenomena.  No arrangements of phenomena fully objectify their noumenon.  I place the contiguity in brackets.  A noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena.

0010 Here is a picture of the Positivist’s judgment.

Figure 01

This figure does not answer test one completely.  But, it is a start.


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 4 of 18)

0011 The first test posed by the authors concerns the apparent lack of compatibility between hermeneutics and phenomenology.

The lack is explained by the rule of the positivist intellect, saying, “No metaphysics.”

0012 Both phenomenology and hermeneutics are capable of situating the Positivist’s judgment.

However, hermeneutics arises from interpretation, which is necessarily metaphysical.  Interpretation is not physics.

0013 Can the same be said for phenomenology?

Phenomenological reduction self-identifies as not metaphysical, even as it elucidates what the noumenon ought to be.

0014 The positivist intellect’s rule gives permission to phenomenology, but not to hermeneutics.

Phenomenology, not hermeneutics, situates the Positivist’s judgment.

This answer is portrayed in Reverie on Mark Spencer’s Essay (2021) “The Many Phenomenological Reductions”.


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 5 of 18)

0015 Test two.

What is the latent dilemma between phenomenology and hermeneutics?

Both phenomenology and hermeneutics are able to situate the Positivist’s judgment.  However, since the rule of the positivist intellect disallows metaphysics, only phenomenology is allowed to situate scientific discourse.  Hermeneutics is programmatically excluded.

0016 How am I to diagram this answer?

First, the Positivist’s judgment unfolds into a content-level nested form, according to the categorical assignments of the elements.  Here is a picture.

Figure 02

0017 According to Comments on Jack Reynolds’ Book (2018) “Phenomenology, Naturalism and Science”, another latent problem stands between science and phenomenology.  Practicing scientists are perfectly happy to work within this content level, as the mechanical philosophers of the 17th century intend.  Hands-on natural scientists3a build models2a of observations2a of phenomena1a.  They take the noumenon1a for granted.

But, by the 20th century, visionary scientists lobby to situate the Positivist’s judgment with a glorified unfolding of the empirio-schematic judgment.

Edward Husserl (1859-1938) counters visionary scientists with phenomenology.  Husserl’s project3b brings the actuality of phenomenological reduction2b into relation of the possibilities inherent in a return to the noumenon1b.

0018 Here is a diagram of the resulting two-level interscope.  The situation-level nested form virtually situates (and emerges from) the content-level nested form.

Figure 03

Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 6 of 18)

0019 Before continuing, I note that the relational structures in the prior blogs are presented in A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  A two-level interscope characterizes sensible construction.  Sensible construction presumes a functioning perspective level, even though that perspective level may not be articulated.

0020 Now, I move on to test two, the latent exclusion of hermeneutics by Husserl’s paradigm.

What would a situation-level hermeneutic look like?

0021 Here is my guess, based on the essay.

A hermeneutic paradigm3b brings metaphysical realism2b into relation with the possibilities inherent in interpretation1b.

Figure 04

0022 This arrangement is not permitted.

Obviously, the actuality2 of this situation levelbmetaphysical realism2b, grates against the positivist intellect3a, because it2b defies its3a rule against metaphysics.  Less obviously, a difficulty originates from the reality that hermeneutics3b does not share the same perspective as the positivist intellect3a.  

Where is the perspective level?  

It is latent.

The term, “latent”, qualifies, because the perspective level of the Positivist’s judgment is not articulated.  It2c is just there.

It2c is simply given.

0023 What does this further imply?

Perceptive phenomenologists, such as the Catholic Jean-Luc Marion, note this lack of perspective and wonder what to do with it.  Could hermeneutics apply?  If so, then a normal context of hermeneutics3c could virtually contextualize Husserl’s paradigm3b, as Husserl’s project3b virtually situates the positivist intellect3a.

Would a perspective-level hermeneutics3c condone the rule of the positivist intellect3a?

I do not think so.


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 7 of 18

0024 So, hermeneutics3c does not put Husserl’s project3b into perspectivec.

What does this imply?

Perhaps, the perspective level does not want to be articulated.  Perhaps, it flourishes on the basis of some trickery.  Take a close look at the two-level interscope and guess what that trickery may involve.

0025 At this juncture, I have answered test two.

The latent difficulty between phenomenology and hermeneutics concerns the perspective level, which is not articulated.  Who knows what is in the perspective level?  Many may guess.  But, two points are certain.  Husserl’s project3b and the positivist intellect3a align with an unspoken perspective.  A situation-level hermeneutics3b and the positivist intellect3a do not.

0026 This answer raises the third test, asking, “What is the subject matter of phenomenology3b?”


Looking at John Perez Vargas, Johan Nieto Bravo and Juan Santamaria Rodriguez’s Essay (2020) “Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in… Social Sciences Research” (Part 8 of 18)

0027 Test three.

What does phenomenology3b do?

0028 In section three, the authors propose that Husserl’s phenomenology3b approaches reality1a by transcending the explanatory intentionality2a of the exact sciences3a.  Reality1a is a noumenon1a and its phenomena1a.  The explanatory intentionality2a of the exact sciences is the empirio-schematic judgment2a.   Phenomenology3b approaches reality1athrough phenomenological reduction2b.

In sum, phenomenology virtually situates hands-on first-order science.

Figure 05

0029 The authors continue, saying (more or less), “Consciousness (trained in the methods of phenomenological reduction2b) unveils the face of subjectivity (the noumenon1a) that has been eclipsed by positive objectivism (the positivist intellect3a).”

This quote fits the picture of Husserl’s project3b virtually situating hands-on natural science3a.

This quote fits the idea that phenomenological reduction2b elucidates what the noumenon1a must be1b.

0030 Notably, a return to the noumenon1b renders a subjectivity that can be shared by others in the same situation.  Phenomenological reduction2b elucidates an intersubjective being1b in the category of firstness, the realm of possibility.

According to the authors, Husserl’s project3b has been criticized for reducing intersubjectivity to the field of consciousness.  However, consciousness has already been narrowed by hands-on science to a cogito (the essence of the positivist intellect3a, including the rule of no metaphysics).  

So, the terminus of phenomenological reduction2bwhat the noumenon1a must be1b (that is, a noumenon1b), is a mind-dependent being, capable of being treated as a mind independent being.  I would go as far as to conjecture that this capacity directly correlates to the intersubjectivity of the noumenon1b.