The Power of Peirce’s Thought : 2

Re: Kirsti Määttänen

You give a good description of the encounter with uncertainty, that unsettled state of mind that irks a person to inquire after new grounds of belief.  Viewed in biological perspective, it is only natural that evolution associates the affects it does with states of doubt.  Animal fear befits the animal that does not know which way to turn in a situation of peril — and what situation is not potentially a situation of peril if a creature does not know what it ought to do next?

But one of the marks of a more evolved creature is a greater tolerance for uncertainty, a greater capacity for reflection on doubtful situations, not necessarily in the middle of the fray — that can be paralyzing — but in the cool of the afterthoughts that a creature can turn to good use in trying to anticipate similar situations in the future.

That greater capacity for reflection on one’s ongoing situation requires a greater ability to generate alternative descriptions and courses of action.  That amounts to a capacity for creating or constructing a larger conceptual “search space” than the one assumed at the start — in the idiom, “thinking outside the box”.

This entry was posted in C.S. Peirce, Dewey, Inquiry, Peirce, References, Triadic Relations, Triadicity, Uncertainty and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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