Sketcher of various interrelated fourfolds.
March 1, 2007.Chemical matter doesn't bulk large to philosophers like the pure extremes of universal physical laws and individual intelligences, because philosophers lack a logical-quantity "template" for it, or have a bad one, making matter merely a mixed case between the extremes -- making it one of two mixed cases, the other being vegetable life, which is highly specialized but not individualized like intelligence (pace Peirce on intelligence).
(Note that the aforementioned logical quantities are correlated, not equated, with levels of concrete phenomena such as physics, intelligent life, etc., and also can be correlated with divisions within each level.)
Thinkings about matter involve prominent use of symbols, while thinkings about life involve prominent use of likenesses, similarities of appearance. As if, respectively, (symbols) to represent night things and (likenesses) dawn things.
When matter and vegetable life get conflated (by philosophers) as co-occupying, vaguely or otherwise, a realm of classes in between universals and singulars, then, since matter is less attractive than life to many tastes, the inertial stuff ends up regarded as merely the night-enduring underside of the dawn-impassioned vigorous stuff. Indeed matter and life do evoke the distinction between proper time and time minus proper time, the distinction between mass and energy. But that's also a big distinction.
These two conflated opposed sides of "the" classificatory realm stand related as each other's complementaries or inverses, matter and life interlocking like probability and information, and distinguishable like the totalistic (gamut of elements, gamuts of combinations) and the mixed general-special (which really is in between the universal and the singular). This distinction between logical quantities is quite on a par with the distinction between laws or universals with many applications, and singulars (monadic or polyadized) among still more singulars. (The aforementioned four logical quantities exhaust the options at their level of analysis, but there are no technical terms for them.)
|Research level of concrete subject matter||Typical focus||Signs most prominently used in thinking on the subject|
|Physics.||Laws, universals with many applications.||Formal proxies, mathematical arrays and diagrams. "Dusk."|
|Matter science.||Totalities, gamuts, full complements of divisions.||Symbols. "Night"|
|Biology.||Classes differentiated and generalized.||Likenesses, similar appearances. "Dawn"|
|Intelligent life.||Singulars, sequences and congeries of singulars, among more singulars.||Indices. "Day."|
I obviously disagree with C.S. Peirce about some things, but not about the importance of lockstep trains of ideas.
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