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Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) was the greatest American philosopher of the 19th century and the founder of philosophical pragmatism. He is best known for his distinctive conception of philosophical method (his ‘pragmatic maxim’, a rule for the clarification of ‘intellectual concepts’, reflecting his highly original theory of meaning), his ‘semeiotic’ or theory of signs, his conception of truth as indefeasible belief, and his profound contributions to philosophical logic. He is also known for anticipating numerous significant developments in philosophy and other disciplines, many of them only fully realized long after his death. Sometimes dubbed ‘the American Aristotle’, he was “a prolific and perpetually over-extended polymath” (Crease), the scale of whose work is staggering and virtually impossible to summarize. Even today, Peirce’s work has yet enjoy a fraction of the attention or recognition it deserves. There are numerous reasons for this: his work is often extremely technical, his papers were left in disarray for decades after his death, and the majority of them remain unpublished; he also had a fraught, scandal-ridden career. He died ‘in abject poverty and almost completely forgotten’ (de Waal). Interest in and appreciation for Peirce has only grown in recent decades, however, and Peirce scholarship is an unusually lively field in the history of philosophy.  

Key works

Despite his systematic ambitions, Peirce never succeeded in producing a single comprehensive statement of his philosophical views.  As such, Peirce’s interpreters have had to reconstruct them from a series of lectures and articles scattered across various journals over several decades, along with a vast wealth of unpublished material. His most important published works are as follows: 1) The three “Cognition series” essays published in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1868-9): 1868, 1868, and 1869; in which Peirce critiques Cartesianism and seeks to outline an alternative. 2) The “Berkeley Review” of Alexander Campbell Fraser’s The Works of George Berkeley, published in North American Review (1871); in which Peirce expresses sympathy for a Kantian methodology which secures empirical realism by way of a ‘Copernican’ or ‘anthropocentric’ turn. 3) The six “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” essays, originally published in Popular Science Monthly (1877-8), but collected in 2014 in which Peirce outlines his theory of inquiry and scientific reasoning. The first two papers of the series were later described by William James as providing the “birth-certificate” of American pragmatism. 1878 contains the earliest public statement of what would later become known as “the Pragmatic Maxim”. 4) The five “Monist Metaphysical Series” essays published in The Monist (1891-3): 1891, 1892, 1892, 1892, and 1893; in which Peirce develops a speculative idealist metaphysics inspired by Schelling and Hegel. (5) The “Cambridge Conference Lectures” (1898), available in 1992; in which Peirce responds to James’s invitation to give a series of popular lectures. Peirce is understood to have resented the recommendation that he speak on “matters of vital importance” and the first of the lectures, “Philosophy and the Conduct of Life” is a source of considerable disagreement amongst his interpreters. 6) The “Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism” (1903) in 1997; in which Peirce offers an outline of his architectonic system. 7) The “Lowell Lectures” delivered under the title “Some Topics of Logic Bearing on Questions Now Vexed” (1903); in which Peirce further addresses matters of scientific reasoning and distinguishes his position from others then popular. The two-volume The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings is an ideal introductory compilation of Peirce’s works. The principal resources for scholars of Peirce’s thought are the eight-volume Writings of Charles S. Peirce and the eight-volume Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce.

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  1. Theological Insights Into the Notion of Order in Physics and the Natural Sciences.Timothy Rogers - manuscript
    An exploration of the metaphysics of process-ordering in Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory that is guided by Bohm, Peirce, Levinas, and Torrance.
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  2. Peirce's Speculative Grammar: Logic as Semiotics.A. K. Atkin - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of Logic:1-2.
    In 1897, Peirce famously avows that ‘Logic, in its general sense, is, as I believe I have shown, only another name for semiotic’. Moreover, in his later attempts to classify di...
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  3. Peirce's Theory of Semiotics.Albert Atkin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  4. Pierce's Theory of Science.A. Atkins - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  5. The Inferences That Never Were: Peirce, Perception, and Bernstein's The Pragmatic Turn.Richard Kenneth Atkins - forthcoming - In Judith Green (ed.), Richard J. Bernstein and the Pragmatist Turn in Contemporary Philosophy. Palgrave-Macmillan.
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  6. Peirce’s Triadic Logic and Its (Overlooked) Connexive Expansion.Alex Belikov - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    In this paper, we present two variants of Peirce’s Triadic Logic within a language containing only conjunction, disjunction, and negation. The peculiarity of our systems is that conjunction and disjunction are interpreted by means of Peirce’s mysterious binary operations Ψ and Φ from his ‘Logical Notebook’. We show that semantic conditions that can be extracted from the definitions of Ψ and Φ agree (in some sense) with the traditional view on the semantic conditions of conjunction and disjunction. Thus, we support (...)
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  7. What’s in a Face? Making Sense of Tangible Information Systems in Terms of Peircean Semiotics.Paul Beynon-Davies - forthcoming - European Journal of Information Systems.
    Within this paper, we utilise a delimited area of philosophy to help make sense of a delimited area of design science as it pertains to a class of contemporary information systems. The philosophy is taken from that of Charles Sanders Peirce; the design science is directed at the construction of visual devices in that area known as visual management. The utilisation of such devices within their wider visual management systems we take to be instances of what we refer to as (...)
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  8. Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Members January 23, 2008 Laguna Hills Community Center.Nancy Bruce, DeeDee Gollwitzer, Gerald Zettel, Gary Steinberg & Karen Boepple - forthcoming - Laguna.
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  9. Charles Sanders Peirce: 10. Mind and Semeiotic.Robert W. Burch - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. Available At: Http://Plato. Stanford. Edu/Entries/Peirce/# Mind.
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  10. The Structure of C. S. Peirce's Neglected Argument for the Reality of God: A Critical Assessment.ClantonJ Caleb - forthcoming - .
    Despite the attention it has received in recent years, C. S. Peirce's so-called neglected argument for God's reality remains somewhat obscure. The aim of this essay is to clarify the basic structure of Peirce's three-part argument and to show how it falls prey to several objections. I argue that his overall argument is ultimately unsuccessful in demonstrating the reality of God, even if it provides some degree of warrant for the belief in God's reality to those who are uncontrollably drawn (...)
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  11. A Pragmatic-Semiotic Defence of Bivalence.Marc Champagne - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of Logic:1-15.
    Since Peirce defined the first operators for three-valued logic, it is usually assumed that he rejected the principle of bivalence. However, I argue that, because bivalence is a principle, the stra...
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  12. Session of the Charles S. Peirce Society.S. Charles - forthcoming - Semiotics.
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  13. PEIRCE, LE LANGAGE ET L'ACTION: Sur la Théorie Peircienne de L'Assertion.Christiane Chauviré - forthcoming - Les Etudes Philosophiques.
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  14. A: Gerard de Nerval: Oeuvres-In.Carlo-ree Cordié - forthcoming - Paideia.
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  15. Peirce and Aesthetic Education.Julianaacosta López de Mesa - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
  16. Review of Cheryl Misak's 'The American Pragmatists'. [REVIEW]Jeremy Dunham - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
  17. Topology of Modal Propositions Depicted by Peirce’s Gamma Graphs: Line, Square, Cube, and Four-Dimensional Polyhedron.Jorge Alejandro Flórez - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1-14.
    This paper presents the topological arrangements in four geometrical figures of modal propositions and their derivative relations by means of Peirce's gamma graphs and their rules of transformation. The idea of arraying the gamma graphs in a geometric and symmetrical order comes from Peirce himself who in a manuscript drew two cubes in which he presented the derivative relations of some gamma graphs. Therefore, Peirce's insights of a topological order of gamma graphs are extended here backwards from the cube to (...)
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  18. A Peircean Contribution to the Contemporary Debate on Perception: The Sensorimotor Theory and Diagrams.Riccardo Fusaroli - forthcoming - Acta Philosophica Fennica.
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  19. On Peirce's Methodology of Logic and Philosophy.Leila Haaparanta - forthcoming - Cognitio: Revista Deffilosofia.
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  20. “Pragmatism’s Family Feud: Peirce, James and the Spirit of 1872”.Jackman Henry - forthcoming - In Robert Talisse & Scott Aikin (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Pragmatism. New York City: Routledge.
    While William James and Charles Sanders Peirce are considered the two fathers of American Pragmatism, Peircian Pragmatism is often being presented as the comparatively ‘objective’ alternative to metaphysical realism, with the Jamesian version being castigated as an overly ‘subjective’ departure from Peirce’s position. However, while James clearly does put more of an emphasis on ‘subjective’ factors than does Peirce, his doing so is often the result of his simply drawing out consequences of the framework that Peirce presented in an 1872 (...)
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  21. Nature Semiotics: The Icons of Nature.Y. L. Kergosien - forthcoming - Biosemiotics.
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  22. Semantic Contents and Pragmatic Perspectives: The Social and the Real in Brandom and Peirce.Vitaly Kiryushchenko - forthcoming - Pragmatism Today.
    This paper compares Charles Peirce’s and Robert Brandom’s conceptions of normative objectivity. According to Brandom, discursive norms are instituted by practical attitudes of the members of a community, and yet the objectivity of these norms is not reducible to social consensus. Peirce’s conception of normative objectivity, on the contrary, is rooted in his idea of a community of inquiry, which presupposes a consensus achievable in the long run. The central challenge in both cases is to explain how the norms that (...)
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  23. How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education.Harold Anthony Lloyd - forthcoming - University of Richmond Law Review.
    Note: This draft was updated on November 10, 2020. Discussing federal statutes, Justice Scalia tells us that “[t]he stark reality is that the only thing that one can say for sure was agreed to by both houses and the president (on signing the bill) is the text of the statute. The rest is legal fiction." How should we take this claim? If we take "text" to mean the printed text, that text without more is just a series of marks. If (...)
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  24. Gerard Deledalle Ur. W Marcq-En-Baroeul 17 Października 1921 R., Zm. W Montpellier 11 Czerwca 2003 R. Gćrard Deledalle Pojawił Się W Społeczności Iass (International Associa-Tion for Semiotic Studies—Association Internationale de Sćmiotique) Sto. [REVIEW]Jerzy Pelc - forthcoming - Studia Semiotyczne.
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  25. Charles Sanders Peirce, OEuvres I: Pragmatisme et pragmaticisme.R. Pouivet - forthcoming - Revue Internationale de Philosophie.
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  26. Metaphysical Fundamentality as a Fundamental Problem for CS Peirce and Zhu Xi.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West.
    While the American pragmatist CS Peirce and the twelfth-century Confucian thinker Zhu Xi (朱熹) lived and worked in radically different contexts, there are nevertheless striking parallels in their view of knowledge and inquiry. Both reject the strict separation of theoretical and practical knowledge, conceiving of theoretical inquiry in a way that closely parallels practical reasoning, and they appeal to the fundamental nature of reality in order to draw conclusions about the way in which inquiry can be a component of the (...)
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  27. Temporal Synechism: A Peircean Philosophy of Time.Jon Alan Schmidt - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-37.
    Charles Sanders Peirce is best known as the founder of pragmatism, but the name that he preferred for his overall system of thought was ‘‘synechism’’ because the principle of continuity was its central thesis. He considered time to be the paradigmatic example and often wrote about its various aspects while discussing other topics. This essay draws from many of those widely scattered texts to formulate a distinctively Peircean philosophy of time, incorporating extensive quotations into a comprehensive and coherent synthesis. Time (...)
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  28. Vi. Deconstructive Interpretations of Semiosis.Deconstructive Interpretations Of Semiosis - forthcoming - Semiotics.
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  29. Peirce's Logic.Sun-Joo Shin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  30. The Peirce Quote Book.Torkild Thellefsen & Bent Sorensen (eds.) - forthcoming - De Gruyter Mouton.
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  31. Varieties of Semiosis.T. Von Uexküll - forthcoming - Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web.
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  32. An Integrated Account of Rosen’s Relational Biology and Peirce’s Semiosis. Part II: Analysis of Protein Synthesis.Federico Vega - forthcoming - Biosemiotics:1-25.
    In a previous paper, an integrated account of Rosen’s relational biology and Peirce’s semiosis has been proposed. Both theories have been compared and basic concepts have been posited for the definition of a unified framework for the study of biology, as well as a method for the identification and analysis of the presence of signs in an organism. The analysis of the existence of semiotic actions in an organism must, without a doubt, begin by considering each of the rules that (...)
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  33. Minutes of the Meeting of the Academic Council of Duke University on 21 April, 1988.Richard L. Watson - forthcoming - Minerva.
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  34. Pragmatist Philosophy and Dance: Interdisciplinary Dance Research in the American South by Eric Mullis.Aili Bresnahan - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):402-405.
    Eric Mullis' Pragmatist Philosophy and Dance is a thoroughly multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary book that is centered on and deeply engaged in the experimental and lived experience of Pentecostal dance in the American and Appalachian South. The focal point for Mullis' research is not observation and critique of dance as embodied religious practice from a critical distance but from the inside, embedding his own person and body into the environment with all the resources of the unifying self that he has at (...)
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  35. Dewey and the Given.Jim Garrison - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):353-373.
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  36. On Peirce's Immediate Object.Giacomo Guidetti - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):299-318.
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  37. The Philosophies of America Reader: From the Popol Voh to the Present Ed. By Kim Díaz and Mathew A. Foust.Justin Pack - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):406-408.
    The editors of this new collection are clear with their intention: "The Philosophies of America Reader aims to widen the scope of American philosophy beyond its traditionally traced borders". This actually undersells what they are doing, which is an effort to carve out a new space that could perhaps best be labelled "Philosophies of the Americas" and includes Latin American philosophy, Native American philosophy, African American philosophy, American Transcendentalism, Pragmatism and some Asian American philosophy. There are thus multiple potential audiences (...)
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  38. A New Approach to the Problem of the Order of the Ten Trichotomies and the Classification of Sixty-Six Types of Signs in Peirce's Late Speculative Grammar.Jorge Alejandro Flórez Restrepo & Juliana Acosta López de Mesa - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):374-396.
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  39. On a Mistaken Emendation of Peirce's 1903 Harvard Lectures.T. L. Short - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):341-352.
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  40. Pragmatism, Logic, and Law by Frederic R. Kellogg.Giovanni Tuzet - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):397-401.
    Frederic Kellogg has already published several works on legal pragmatism and on Oliver Wendell Holmes in particular.1 In this volume, he focuses on the early history of Holmes' views, on his readings in law and philosophy, and his interests in science in the years of the Metaphysical Club. Drawing on sources like Francis Bacon, John Stuart Mill and Chauncey Wright, Holmes developed an inductive approach to common law reasoning; eventually, as I discuss below, this approach needed refinement when he engaged (...)
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  41. Bain's Theory of Belief and the Genesis of Pragmatism.Aaron Zimmerman - 2022 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (3):319-340.
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  42. The Concept of the Correlate in Peirce's "New List of Categories".Jimmy Aames - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (1):65-88.
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  43. Pragmatism as Transcendental Philosophy, Part 1: Peirce in Light of James's Radical Empiricism.Dan Arnold - 2021 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 42 (1):50-103.
    I’m grateful for the opportunity to give the 2019 AJTP Lecture and for the leeway since then allowed me in developing ideas first presented there; it is indulgent of this journal to publish the overlong result in two parts, of which this is the first.1 The philosophical tradition epitomized by William James and Charles S. Peirce figured importantly in my early philosophical formation, but I am not a scholar of their work; nevertheless, Mike Hogue—at the time the editor of AJTP (...)
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  44. Peirce, Sentimentalism, and Prison Reform.Richard Kenneth Atkins - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (2):172-201.
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  45. A Peircean Examination of Gettier’s Two Cases.Richard Kenneth Atkins - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12945-12961.
    If we accept certain Peircean commitments, Gettier’s two cases are not cases of justified true belief because the beliefs are not true. On the Peircean view, propositions are sign substitutes, or “representamens.” In typical cases of thought about the world, propositions represent facts. In each of Gettier’s examples, we have a case in which a person S believes some proposition p, there is some fact F* such that were p to represent F* to S then p would be true, and (...)
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  46. Peirce on Proper Names.Francesco Bellucci - 2021 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (3):483-510.
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  47. Peirce on Symbols.Francesco Bellucci - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (1):169-188.
    The goal of this paper is a reassessment of Peirce’s doctrine of symbol. The paper discusses a common reading of Peirce’s doctrine, according to which all and only symbols are conventional signs. Against this reading, it is argued that neither are all Peircean symbols conventional, nor are all conventional signs Peircean symbols. Rather, a Peircean symbol is a general sign, i. e., a sign that represents a general object.
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  48. Peirce on Assertion: Preface to the Symposium.Francesco Bellucci, Daniele Chiffi & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (2):205-209.
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  49. Assertion, Conjunction, and Other Signs of Logic: A Contribution to the Philosophy of Notation.Francesco Bellucci, Daniele Chiffi & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 57 (2):270-287.
  50. Aligning the free-energy principle with Peirce’s logic of science and economy of research.Majid D. Beni & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-21.
    The paper proposes a way to naturalise Charles S. Peirce’s conception of the scientific method, which he specified in terms of abduction, deduction and induction. The focus is on the central issue of the economy of research in abduction and self-correction by error reduction in induction. We show how Peirce’s logic of science receives support from modern breakthroughs in computational neuroscience, and more specifically from Karl Friston’s statements of active inference and the Free Energy Principle, namely the account of how (...)
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