C-136. James, Peirce and the R-transform

Notoriously, Peirce altered his concept of “pragmatism” to “pragmaticism” to separate his work from James’ characterization of pragmatism as a particular’s “cash value.”

Was – is -- reconciliation possible … other than within a very loose, storied sense of pragmatism? Within a larger sense of pragmatism – but with a much firmer Grasp (VII; C-105)?

The R-transform (C-111, C-122, C-135) is enlightening here.

We can assign James’ “cash value” sense to the Valuation axis (C-108: -1 to +1) and Peirce’s sense to the Realization axis (0 to 1), affirming a difference. The first assignment is obvious. The second is rather apparent also, given the significance that Pierce attaches to particular consequences for both meaning and truth (of words, ideas and events).

However, explication of Realization (App. XIX; C-85) makes it clear that Peirce has not tapped the full extent of consequentiality involved in behavior: its genesis in the Nature of Things (consequentiality as one of three general persisting conditions [III:GPC]); in the needed functionality in consequence of the GPC (the others being partial order and discontinuity among behavioral entities*); the aspects of consequentiality (C-16) other than meaning and truth that are to be found and/or manifested in Realized (esp. human) behavior. (Such as, for example, Dewey’s concern for inquiry as a minding capability … in respect for the productive interdependency of problem solving and the asking and answering of questions (XII; C-71: [P=>S] [Q=>A]).

Realization begins with a sense of needed functionality, and then continues through developed capabilities (V) to composition of structures (C-90: behavioral architecture -- critically, those of step making) to composed structures of step and body (e.g., technologies) to products of more or less achieved functionality. “Cash value” expresses something of the beginning and end of the Realization process, albeit inelegantly. It points TO a sense of purpose and utility, but in the market idiom. James, however, was also thinking more socially of Realization, more of individual and community development, in his call for producing many unities, not just one.

(One such unity might well be among those philosophically inclined toward more extended Realizations of humanism, pragmatism, functionalism, positivism, utilitarianism,** existentialism and instrumentalism.. Once consequentiality per se is brought into the picture as a general persisting condition [III], all of these [and related historical perspectives: e.g., Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism] can come closer together.)

Realization’s needed functionality, which grows with any added functionality (C-115), and because it has its roots in the Nature of Things’ general persisting conditions (III; C-138) as manifested so tellingly by collisions (C-139), also includes in its sweep the pragmatic concerns of Dewey. For Dewey, needed functionality is a virtual synonym for the solutions our problems require.***
That changes the story of pragmatism a bit. It has already been about consequentiality, but not enough about consequentiality. It has already been about behavior, but not enough about behavior.

* “Behavioral entities” does not state the human condition strongly enough. We might better speak of R-entities … for Realization entities, for what being is talking about: something more than a body-biased existential question of “To be or not to be.”

** Utilitarianism corrected, that is, for its confounded and imbalanced treatment of Valuation and Realization. Utilitarianism’s V/R ratio (C-122) severely favors Valuation, neglecting a concern for Realization’s process consequentiality (C-16), and as though evaluations within Realization efforts were not independent of product valuation (C-31) – and potentially a contributor to Valuation efforts as well as toward process improvements (e.g., as proposed in App. IX).

*** Rorty’s consideration of contingency re pragmatism appears to deal with the ahistorical observer-observed relationship (the question of truth) rather than history’s contingent emergent materiality … nor the many contingencies to be found in CEM-history (App. XI), such as the contingencies implicit, but most apparent it seems as fragmental particulars, in the interdependence relationship (XI: each complements the other – adding strength to behavioral architecture [C-90]), the very pragmatic contingency of Interdependence on dynamic balance (XI; C-71), and the nested contingencies of Grasp Involve within minding moving within body step (C-104, C-105). Also note the contingency that in order to effect something one must be able to effect per se (the verb-1, verb-2 distinction in R-words: App. XX; C-107, C-138). Similarly, solution to a situational problem requires some solution to the behavioral problem (I:Pbeh; C-41, C-137). Rorty’s “neo-pragmatism” seems argued on different tertiary Read grounds than the fact of collisions with respect to the Nature of Things … but his conclusions on behalf of secular humanism appear similar.

(c) 2016 R. F. Carter