REVISITING THE MIND TRUST: Norman F. Hirst & Skye Hirst
The results of a 40+ year research project
leading to a new understanding of the
laws of Value and Life-itself
“A PROPOSAL FOR FUNDING”
by Norman F. Hirst & Skye Hirst
May 7, 2001
[The following blue text is edited by this blogger from the above-referenced document]
ON NATURAL LAW:
The complex systems of Life are governed by laws of Value.
THE NATURAL LAWS OF VALUES:
Are there natural laws of value? Yes, but don’t expect them to tell us what to value. There is no law saying gentlemen should prefer blondes. One’s values can be extremely personal. However, whatever one’s values there are lawful processes at work.
Following Hartman there are three kinds of value; intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic:
Intrinsic values are aesthetic and/or unique. They defy description.
Extrinsic values are practical values. As such they can be judged good or bad.
Systemic values are laws or rules. Under systemic values judgements are right or wrong.
Remarkably, the three kinds of value seem to be related to the three levels of semiotics; firstness, secondness and thirdness.
- Peirce describes Firstness as the mode of being of that which is without reference to any subject or object. Secondness is the mode of being of that which is itself in referring to a second subject, regardless of any third subject. Thirdness is the mode of being of that which is itself in bringing a second and a third subject into relation with each other (CP 8.328).3 Thirdness brings Firstness and Secondness into relation with each other, and mediates between them. Thirdness is the mode of being of signs, in that signs mediate relations between their objects and their interpretants. [Copywright© Alex Scott 2004; retrieved 7/29/08 from http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/peirce.html]
Firstness - as the realm of all possibilities it is the source of intrinsic value.
Secondness - corresponds to extrinsic value.
Thirdness - corresponds to systemic value.
THESE THREE MODES OF BEING
As an alternative consideration, I suggest the following conjecture. Clarity on this notion is a must since it permeates both Pearcian Semiotics and Hartman Axiology and thus any work inspired thereby.
Firstness <–> Whole(Ness) as per von Goethe via Henri Bortoft
Secondness <–> Distinction of Parts as per Spencer-Brown
Thirdness <--> Part-Whole Interrelations as per mereology, the theory/logic of part/whole relations