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The Hidden GodPragmatism and Posthumanism in American Thought$
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Ryan White

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171007

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171007.001.0001

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The Cybernetic Imaginary

The Cybernetic Imaginary

Musement and the Unsaying of Theory

(p.165) 6 The Cybernetic Imaginary
The Hidden God

Ryan White

Columbia University Press

In a late essay, Peirce produces a strange and difficult argument for the validity of belief in God, an argument which hinges in large part on a vague mystical feeling he characterizes as “musement.” Rather than judge the validity of Peirce’s argument this essay will use “musement” as the starting point for a consideration of the relationship of tension between the “science” of theory and private religious experience. Writings on religious feeling from Jonathan Edwards and William James will be considered alongside the systems theory of Heinz von Foerster, George Spencer-Brown, and Niklas Luhmann. Ultimately, the claimed “universality” of systems theory and Peirce’s semiotics are seen as “self-limiting” theoretical frameworks and in this way are able to observe their own improbability.

Keywords:   Charles Sanders Peirce, Hans Blumenberg, Nicholas of Cusa, Musement, Negative Theology, Religion

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