Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (4):pp. 699-727 (2008)
AbstractThis paper aims to shed light on the role played by purposefulness in Peirce’s account of thought by means of a comparison with Kant’s regulative principles. Purposefulness, as an orientation toward an end involved in a thought process, is distinguished from purposiveness, as conformity to an end. Peirce’s architectonic, cosmology, and theory of natural classes are briefly analyzed in light of these concepts. Then, a comparison between Peirce’s esthetic ideal and regulative hopes and Kant’s regulative ideas and principle of purposiveness is undertaken. This comparison, while allowing us to find a solution for some difficulties, especially some regarding Peirce’s esthetics, shows how purposefulness is far more important for the American thinker. Thus, purposefulness and purposiveness turn out to be primarily regulative principles of our thought. As such, they allow us to identify a transcendental level in Peirce’s philosophy, avoiding the inconsistencies that have been attributed to Karl-Otto Apel’s account.
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