In XX century philosophy has lived two main streams. On the one hand, hermeneutics, which stressed the importance of interpretation versus the methodological understanding of natural sciences; meaning and its problems had been investigated until the extreme limit of allowing any interpretation. On the other hand, analytic philosophy, which underlined the role of method versus the irrational possibilities implied in hermeneutics; this effort, that produced many results in formal logic, often limited meaning to linguistic features. Both views entered a severe crisis at the end of the past century, looking for a “pragmatic turn” in order to conceive again a context within a methodical pattern in order to avoid irrationalism or crude nihilism and a method within an interpretative context in order to avoid the infinite analysis without any meaningful, ideal horizon. Classic American pragmatism – for a long time neglected by critics – proposes a way to have both method and interpretation without the downsides of both main currents. On the one hand, pragmatism is a method to ascertain meanings and a way of looking at reasoning and intellectual achievements. On the other hand, pragmatism is as far as possible from any linguistic boundary of knowledge as from any view of reality as something independent of human interpretation and effort. After many years of research on pragmatism, especially on C.S. Peirce, and about the relationship and the comparison between pragmatism and contemporary philosophies, I realized that both hermeneutics and analytic philosophy start from a common Kantian background which allows them to see and conceive only one kind of reasoning, the combinatory form (division and composition) that we call “analysis”. American pragmatism, in particular through Peirce, suggests a different approach starting from the study of the theory of reference, abduction, and continuity of reality. In all these fields Peirce’s pragmatism hints toward a new perspective: there is a basic level of signs (icons and indices) that we use to “baptize” (cfr. Kripke) an object, and to read a complex situation in which we have just clues and not symbolic certainties. Moreover, we can use these basic signs as icons and indices because they are part of a wider continuous reality. From this connection between particular and universal in continuity takes birth the necessity of giving a different account of knowledge. To start from continuity means to reformulate the analytic path imposed by Kant distinction between analytic and synthetic judgment. The proposal of a different account we have to verify during the research runs as follows: An analytic judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that looses the identity of its object through changes. A synthetic judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that acknowledges identity through changes. A vague judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that doesn’t acknowledge identity through changes. This paper doesn’t want to deny, minimize or deconstruct any success of analytic reasoning as it has been carried on so far. I want only to show that analytic reasoning needs and has always used a complementary understanding in order to work properly. Otherwise, analytic reasoning cannot fully grasp its object because it is impossible to arrive to a final datum; and usually, this impossibility leads to a profusion of equally valid interpretation. Here the example of literary and scientific ideas can help teaching us some basic characteristics we have to take into account. First, in synthetic reasoning we are always taking together universal and particular in perfect continuity so that they could present new interpretations without any arbitrary hermeneutics. Any particular has a meaning expressed by universal concepts, but any universal concept is connected with the whole universe of meaning which reality carries on. So there are many meanings but not whatever meaning, since reference to the object and to the continuity of universals conveys some possibilities but not every possibility. We have to understand the technical way in which that continuity of meanings acts on our actual understanding. Second, synthetic reasoning is an embodied reasoning; it is reasoning living in particulars. It requires a study of gestures as paradigm of meaning. In every hypothesis, gestures (included that gesture which is language) can furnish a good way of looking at reasoning at work, confirming in this way the best results of anthropology. Third, not every gesture is equally meaningful. Actually, we do not have a new hypothesis at any moment. There are moments in which our creativity is better and expresses more the subjective interaction with meaning that we are looking for. More in general, there are particular facts that better express a universal concept. That is why we have to look here at the figurative reasoning as Auberbach proposed to understand Dante’s view of human beings. There are gestures which synthetically convey a whole life or a whole history of research. This research should deepen in a more general and philosophical view this insight taken from literature. Following this insight, the paper will propose a new kind of criterion for identity: a figurative identity.

Vago/sintetico/analitico: Peirce contro Kant

MADDALENA, Giovanni
2009

Abstract

In XX century philosophy has lived two main streams. On the one hand, hermeneutics, which stressed the importance of interpretation versus the methodological understanding of natural sciences; meaning and its problems had been investigated until the extreme limit of allowing any interpretation. On the other hand, analytic philosophy, which underlined the role of method versus the irrational possibilities implied in hermeneutics; this effort, that produced many results in formal logic, often limited meaning to linguistic features. Both views entered a severe crisis at the end of the past century, looking for a “pragmatic turn” in order to conceive again a context within a methodical pattern in order to avoid irrationalism or crude nihilism and a method within an interpretative context in order to avoid the infinite analysis without any meaningful, ideal horizon. Classic American pragmatism – for a long time neglected by critics – proposes a way to have both method and interpretation without the downsides of both main currents. On the one hand, pragmatism is a method to ascertain meanings and a way of looking at reasoning and intellectual achievements. On the other hand, pragmatism is as far as possible from any linguistic boundary of knowledge as from any view of reality as something independent of human interpretation and effort. After many years of research on pragmatism, especially on C.S. Peirce, and about the relationship and the comparison between pragmatism and contemporary philosophies, I realized that both hermeneutics and analytic philosophy start from a common Kantian background which allows them to see and conceive only one kind of reasoning, the combinatory form (division and composition) that we call “analysis”. American pragmatism, in particular through Peirce, suggests a different approach starting from the study of the theory of reference, abduction, and continuity of reality. In all these fields Peirce’s pragmatism hints toward a new perspective: there is a basic level of signs (icons and indices) that we use to “baptize” (cfr. Kripke) an object, and to read a complex situation in which we have just clues and not symbolic certainties. Moreover, we can use these basic signs as icons and indices because they are part of a wider continuous reality. From this connection between particular and universal in continuity takes birth the necessity of giving a different account of knowledge. To start from continuity means to reformulate the analytic path imposed by Kant distinction between analytic and synthetic judgment. The proposal of a different account we have to verify during the research runs as follows: An analytic judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that looses the identity of its object through changes. A synthetic judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that acknowledges identity through changes. A vague judgment (and reasoning) is a judgment (and reasoning) that doesn’t acknowledge identity through changes. This paper doesn’t want to deny, minimize or deconstruct any success of analytic reasoning as it has been carried on so far. I want only to show that analytic reasoning needs and has always used a complementary understanding in order to work properly. Otherwise, analytic reasoning cannot fully grasp its object because it is impossible to arrive to a final datum; and usually, this impossibility leads to a profusion of equally valid interpretation. Here the example of literary and scientific ideas can help teaching us some basic characteristics we have to take into account. First, in synthetic reasoning we are always taking together universal and particular in perfect continuity so that they could present new interpretations without any arbitrary hermeneutics. Any particular has a meaning expressed by universal concepts, but any universal concept is connected with the whole universe of meaning which reality carries on. So there are many meanings but not whatever meaning, since reference to the object and to the continuity of universals conveys some possibilities but not every possibility. We have to understand the technical way in which that continuity of meanings acts on our actual understanding. Second, synthetic reasoning is an embodied reasoning; it is reasoning living in particulars. It requires a study of gestures as paradigm of meaning. In every hypothesis, gestures (included that gesture which is language) can furnish a good way of looking at reasoning at work, confirming in this way the best results of anthropology. Third, not every gesture is equally meaningful. Actually, we do not have a new hypothesis at any moment. There are moments in which our creativity is better and expresses more the subjective interaction with meaning that we are looking for. More in general, there are particular facts that better express a universal concept. That is why we have to look here at the figurative reasoning as Auberbach proposed to understand Dante’s view of human beings. There are gestures which synthetically convey a whole life or a whole history of research. This research should deepen in a more general and philosophical view this insight taken from literature. Following this insight, the paper will propose a new kind of criterion for identity: a figurative identity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11695/8041
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