A Guess at the Other Riddle

This is essentially the second part of a two-part essay.  The first part is “An ‘Entirely Different Series of Categories’” (2010a).  In this second part I draw on Kantian and Hegelian themes as well as a few clues in Peirce’s writings in order to develop an account of the material categories as forcefulness and yieldingness (see 2008), the extremes of qualitative intensity (see 2013b).

To illustrate the basic idea, consider the following two experiences:

Experience One: Upon seeing a scarlet red ball, I judge that the ball is red.

Experience Two: Upon imagining a scarlet red ball, I judge that the ball is red.

Clearly these experiences are quite similar.  First, they both involve Firsts, the quality red of the ball.  Second, they both involve Seconds, the seeing or imagining of the red ball.  Third, they both involve Thirds, for the judgment that the ball is red represents the seen or imagined red ball to me.  (For a fuller explanation of these points, see 2010a, 2013b, and 2014b,)

However, they are quite different experiences, for seeing a scarlet red ball is a much more vivid experience than imagining a scarlet red ball.  That is true even if the quality of the experiences is the same (that is to say, the seen and imagined reds are the exact same scarlet shade).  In other words, Experience One is more forceful than Experience Two.  It is more forceful because direct, voluntary, and immediate mental effort will not alter the experience of the seen red ball.  That is unlike Experience Two, where direct, immediate, and voluntary mental effort can alter the experience of the imagined red ball.  For example, an act of the imagination can change the ball from red to blue.  The second experience is more yielding.  (For more on this, see also 2013b).

Moreover, there are intermediate degrees of forcefulness and yieldingness.  Hallucinating a red ball can be more like seeing one, but hallucinations tend to be less vivid than perceptions.  Dreaming a red ball is more like imagining one, but dreams tend to be more forceful than imaginings.

The continuum of forcefulness and yieldingness, I contend, is Peirce’s second set of categories, the material categories.  These material categories combine with the formal categories to produce more or less vivid feelings with respect to the “internal” moment of the phaneron (for an explanation of the internal and external moments of the phaneron, which roughly correspond to Husserl’s noesis and noema, see 2010a).  As comes out more clearly in (2013b), the categories also combine with the categories of the external moment of the phaneron to produce more or less intense qualities.

Also in this paper are: (a) comments on Kant with respect to quality and quantity; (b) comments on Hegel with respect to qualities and Quality; (c) a discussion of the distinction between feelings of qualities (e.g. seeing red) and qualities of feelings (e.g. the vividness of a seen red); (d) an extension of Peirce’s material categories to the clarity of our concepts (i.e. clearness, distinctness, and pragmatistic adequacy); (e) a lengthy footnote on Peirce’s theory of color in relation to the categories; and (f) an extension of Peirce’s material categories to struggle and quietus (see 2008 and 2013b).