Ontological Indeterminism and the Evolutionist Matrix
The aim of this chapter is to build the concept of Chance and its consequence for an epistemological and ontological indeterminism, which, besides being the cornerstone of Peirce’s Metaphysics, is also the starting point of his evolutionism. By recognizing Chance in the Universe, Peirce is trying to explain why some aspects of phenomena appear as irregular, asymmetrical. Refusing to conceive the world as strictly governed by law, such ontological indeterminism brings an epistemological consequence, namely, that all positive theories must be essentially probabilistic. Another important consequence of the indeterminism is the evolutionary conception of the universe, as claimed by Peirce: every law is still in formation, derived from aleatory facts under Chance action. A crucial question is then posited in the final part of the chapter: what could be the origin of the universe of laws? The response to it is one of the most important topics of Peirce’s Metaphysics, namely, that law came from a tendency of everything to take habits: individuals become reciprocally related by logical rules that guide their behavior. This is also not merely a guessing about the origin of natural laws, but also grounds one Peircean main doctrine, Objective Idealism, that will affirm that everything is of the nature of mind, which is developed in this chapter.