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Agapastic Evolution

Agapasm

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Digital Companion to C. S. Peirce
Agapasm
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Agapastic Evolution
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1893 | Reply to the Necessitarians: Rejoinder to Dr. Carus | CP 6.610

So that the social theory of reality, far from being incompatible with tychism, inevitably leads up to that form of philosophy. Socialistic, or as I prefer to term it, agapastic ontology seems to me likely to find favour with many minds at an early day, because it is a natural path by which the nominalist may be led into the realistic ways of thought, ways toward which many facts and inward forces impel him. [—] Thus it is that the agapastic ontologist who endeavours to escape tychism will find himself “led into” that “inextricable confusion” which Dr. Carus has taken a contract to show that I am led into.

1893 | Evolutionary Love | CP 6.302-303

Three modes of evolution have thus been brought before us: evolution by fortuitous variation, evolution by mechanical necessity, and evolution by creative love. We may term them tychastic evolution, or tychasm, anancastic evolution, or anancasm, and agapastic evolution, or agapasm. The doctrines which represent these as severally of principal importance we may term tychasticism, anancasticism, and agapasticism. On the other hand the mere propositions that absolute chance, mechanical necessity, and the law of love are severally operative in the cosmos may receive the names of tychism, anancism, and agapism.

All three modes of evolution are composed of the same general elements. Agapasm exhibits them the most clearly. The good result is here brought to pass, first, by the bestowal of spontaneous energy by the parent upon the offspring, and, second, by the disposition of the latter to catch the general idea of those about it and thus to subserve the general purpose. [—] Just so, tychasm and anancasm are degenerate forms of agapasm.

1893 | Evolutionary Love | CP 6.307

I first formulate for the reader’s convenience the briefest possible definitions of the three conceivable modes of development of thought, distinguishing also two varieties of anancasm and three of agapasm. […] The agapastic development of thought is the adoption of certain mental tendencies, not altogether heedlessly, as in tychasm, nor quite blindly by the mere force of circumstances or of logic, as in anancasm, but by an immediate attraction for the idea itself, whose nature is divined before the mind possesses it, by the power of sympathy, that is, by virtue of the continuity of mind; and this mental tendency may be of three varieties, as follows. First, it may affect a whole people or community in its collective personality, and be thence communicated to such individuals as are in powerfully sympathetic connection with the collective people, although they may be intellectually incapable of attaining the idea by their private understandings or even perhaps of consciously apprehending it. Second, it may affect a private person directly, yet so that he is only enabled to apprehend the idea, or to appreciate its attractiveness, by virtue of his sympathy with his neighbors, under the influence of a striking experience or development of thought. The conversion of St. Paul may be taken as an example of what is meant. Third, it may affect an individual, independently of his human affections, by virtue of an attraction it exercises upon his mind, even before he has comprehended it. This is the phenomenon which has been well called the divination of genius; for it is due to the continuity between the man’s mind and the Most High.

1893 | Evolutionary Love | CP 6.315

The agapastic development of thought should, if it exists, be distinguished by its purposive character, this purpose being the development of an idea. We should have a direct agapic or sympathetic comprehension and recognition of it by virtue of the continuity of thought.