Charles Sanders Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, is a hugely important and influential thinker in the history of American philosophy. His philosophical interests were broad and he made significant contributions in several different areas of thought. Moreover, his contributions are intimately connected and his philosophy designed to form a coherent and systematic whole. Contents: 1: Life and Work; Chapter 2: Logic; Chapter 3: The Doctrine of the Categories; Chapter 4: Semiotics; Chapter 5: Philosophy of Science; Chapter 6: Pragmatism but Not (...) Practicalism; Chapter 7: A Pragmatist Theory of Truth; Chapter 8: The Perpetual Fight against Nominalism; Chapter 9: The Impact of Darwin; Chapter 10: Mathematics; Chapter 11: Mind and Self; Chapter 12 (Conclusion): The Architectonic Philosopher; Bibliography; Notes; Index. (shrink)
This brief text assists students in understanding Peirce's philosophy and thinking so they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the Wadsworth Notes Series, (which will eventually consist of approximately 100 titles, each focusing on a single "thinker" from ancient times to the present), On Peirce is written by a philosopher deeply versed in the philosophy of this key thinker. Like other books in the series, this concise book offers (...) sufficient insight into the thinking of a notable philosopher, better enabling students to engage in reading and to discuss the material in class and on paper. (shrink)
Charles Peirce’s Illustrations of the Logic of Science is an early work in the philosophy of science and the official birthplace of pragmatism. It contains Peirce’s two most influential papers: “The Fixation of Belief” and “How to Make Our Ideas Clear,” as well as discussions on the theory of probability, the ground of induction, the relation between science and religion, and the logic of abduction. Unsatisfied with the result and driven by a constant, almost feverish urge to improve his work, (...) Peirce spent considerable time and effort revising these papers. After the turn of the century these efforts gained significant momentum when Peirce sought to establish his role in the development of pragmatism while distancing himself from the more popular versions that had become current. The present edition brings together the original series as it appeared in Popular Science Monthly and a selection of Peirce’s later revisions, many of which remained hidden in the mass of messy manuscripts that were left behind after his death in 1914. (shrink)
In this article I trace some of the main tenets of the struggle between nominalism and realism as identified by John Deely in his Four ages of understanding. The aim is to assess Deely’s claim that the Age of Modernity was nominalist and that the coming age, the Age of Postmodernism — which he portrays as a renaissance of the late middle ages and as starting with Peirce — is realist. After a general overview of how Peirce interpreted the nominalist-realist (...) controversy, Deely gives special attention to Thomas Aquinas’s On being and essence and the realism it entails. A subsequent discussion of the Modern Period shows that the issue of nominalism and realism is very much tied up with di¤erent conceptions of the intellect. Deely credits the theory of evolution with bringing us a conception of the intellect that is closer to that of the Middle Ages and that opens the way for a truly realistic ‘‘fourth age’’ of the understanding. (shrink)
Proceedings of a conference held June 26-30, 2007 at Opole University, Poland. -/- This volume explores the three normative sciences that Peirce distinguished (aesthetics, ethics, and logic) and their relation to phenomenology and metaphysics. The essays approach this topic from a variety of angles, ranging from questions concerning the normativity of logic to an application of Peirce’s semiotics to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”.
This brief text assists students in understanding Mead's philosophy and thinking so they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the Wadsworth Notes Series, (which will eventually consist of approximately 100 titles, each focusing on a single "thinker" from ancient times to the present), ON MEAD is written by a philosopher deeply versed in the philosophy of this key thinker. Like other books in the series, this concise book offers (...) sufficient insight into the thinking of a notable philosopher, better enabling students to engage in reading and to discuss the material in class and on paper. (shrink)
In this essay I explore the potential contribution of Peirce's theory of scientific inquiry to moral philosophy. After a brief introduction, I outline Peirce's theory of inquiry. Next, I address why Peirce believed that this theory of inquiry is inapplicable to what he called "matters of vital importance," the latter including genuine moral problems. This leaves us in the end with two options: We can try to develop an alternative way of addressing moral problems or we can seek to reconcile (...) moral problems with scientific inquiry as described by Peirce. Though Peirce seems to argue for the former, I argue for the latter. (shrink)
Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...) organized by James Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. (shrink)
This article focuses on George Herbert Mead's life and his philosophy of the act. Mead divides the act into four stages: impulse, perception, manipulation, and consummation. The impulse sets the organism in motion, whereas consummation marks the satisfaction of the desire that initiated the act. Hence, consummation brings the act to a close. This should not be taken as a linear chain of responses to neatly self-contained problematic situations. Organisms often multitask, and problematic situations are typically nested, as when an (...) animal in its search for food is being attacked by a predator. (shrink)
Taking an 1893 exchange between Charles S. Peirce and Open Court editor Paul Carus as its point of departure, the paper explores the relation between religion and science while making the case that the attitude that scientists have to their subject is akin to a religious devotion. In this way it is argued that a reconciliation between science and religion cannot be confined to religion blindly accepting the results from science, but that such a reconciliation is possible only when both (...) (re)connect with what truly inspires them, the experience of reverent wonder about the world within which they find themselves. (shrink)
In part Samuels's aim with The Queen of Cups is to get a better understanding of Juliette Peirce by writing a fictionalized account of her life. This is a laudable goal that should appeal also to Peirce scholars who seek to better understand Peirce.
Scott Aikin’s Evidentialism and the Will to Believe is the first book-length discussion of W.K. Clifford’s 1877 “The Ethics of Belief ” and William James’s 1896 “The Will to Believe.” Except for twenty pages, the book splits evenly between a detailed discussion of the two essays. A good book demands some good criticism, and I am hoping that the comments I make are read in that light. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe appears in the Bloomsbury Research in Analytic Philosophy (...) series. Presumably because the book was written for this series, the discussion of historical context is kept to a minimum, and references to other writings of Clifford and James, and to the secondary literature, are scant. (shrink)
This project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, organized by James Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers.
The paper argues against the claim held, e.g., by Leibniz, that Locke employs a double standard for determining whether an object before the mind (i.e., an idea) is real. Using Locke's ectype-archetype distinction it is shown that this charge is the result of confusing Locke's criterion of reality with its application. Depending on whether it applies to a simple, substance or mode idea, the criterion works out differently. Next it is argued that although Locke maintains only a single criterion, this (...) criterion is untenable, since it fails to properly distinguish real from fantastical ideas. (shrink)
Sixteen original essays from outstanding international contributors together with responses from Haack on the points raised. The contributors address most of Haack’s key publications, from her early writings on metaphysics to her most recent work in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of law. Topics include: the revisability of logic, the role of emotion in reasoning, scientific integrity, postmodernism and the law, the relation of science to religion, preferential hiring, multiple aspects of Haack’s "foundherentism," and her crossword analogy. The (...) volume also includes an extensive interview with Haack, which traces the development of her thought, and a complete bibliography of her work. For anyone seeking a better understanding of the work of this important philosopher, this unique collection offers many invaluable insights. (shrink)
This unique introduction fully engages and clearly explains pragmatism, an approach to knowledge and philosophy that rejects outmoded conceptions of objectivity while avoiding relativism and subjectivism. It follows pragmatism's focus on the process of inquiry rather than on abstract justifications meant to appease the skeptic. According to pragmatists, getting to know the world is a creative human enterprise, wherein we fashion our concepts in terms of how they affect us practically, including in future inquiry. This book fully illuminates that enterprise (...) and the resulting radical rethinking of basic philosophical conceptions like truth, reality, and reason. Author Cornelis de Waal helps the reader recognize, understand, and assess classical and current pragmatist contributions--from Charles S. Peirce to Cornel West--evaluate existing views from a pragmatist angle, formulate pragmatist critiques, and develop a pragmatist viewpoint on a specific issue. The book discusses: Classical pragmatists, including Peirce, James, Dewey, and Addams; Contemporary figures, including Rorty, Putnam, Haack, and West; Connections with other twentieth-century approaches, including phenomenology, critical theory, and logical positivism; Peirce's pragmatic maxim and its relation to James's will-to-believe; Applications to philosophy of law, feminism, and issues of race and racism. (shrink)
In this volume comprised of sixteen essays and rebuttals, author and professor of philosophy Susan Haack responds to her fellow philosophers and her critics on a wide range of topics that involve much more than the esoteric nature of contemporary philosophy. Instead, as is Haack's forte, she asserts her views on important current issues such as how scientists conduct their work, the ethics of affirmative action and the pitfalls of preferential hiring, and how the distorted reality the postmodern thinkers have (...) presented has corrupted legal thinking. Her charge is to bring clarity, precision, integrity, and most of all, practicality to her field of study. (shrink)
Cheryl Misak’s Cambridge Pragmatism is a key work for anyone who seeks to gain a deeper understanding of twentieth-century philosophy, especially during its first half. It is commonly assumed that pragmatism petered out in the early part of the century, only to resurface in the 1970s, most notably with the work of Richard Rorty. Much of what inspired this assumption was that most major figures were keen to distance themselves from a movement that named itself pragmatism. To many, it suggested (...) that we should give up on getting things right and focus instead on practical concerns. This view was fueled in part by James’s powerful statement that truth is the cash value of our ideas, which was interpreted... (shrink)
Peirce's conception of truth in terms of the final opinion reached in the long run by a community of inquirers marks a significant departure from traditional conceptions of truth, not only because it introduces a temporal dimension, but also because it explicitly connects it to groups of people and to what those people do. If we compare this with Aristotle's classic definition—"to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not"2—we see that there (...) is no temporal dimension there and that it solely references an individual. In fact, truth is often cast as a correspondence between objects and their representation, in thought, language, or art, without any reference to those who think, speak, or paint, or... (shrink)
In 1893, The World’s Parliament of Religions met in Chicago from the 15th of May until the 28th of October. 2013 marked the 120th anniversary of this gathering where the leading representatives of the religions of the world engaged in dialogue. To commemorate this event, Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in conjunction with the Hegeler Carus Foundation hosted a symposium on the relationship between science, religion, and philosophy. One of the themes of the Parliament was “…the (...) actual harmony of science and religion; and the origin and nature of the alleged conflict between them.” Featured speakers addressed these issues igniting fascinating conversations. These are the papers that were presented. (shrink)
Locke's, Berkeley's and Peirce's conceptions of reality are analyzed, using Peirce's distinction between nominalism and realism as a guideline. These three authors are chosen, first, because Peirce declares for realism in his 1871 review of Berkeley, and does so in opposition to both Berkeley and Locke, and, second, because Peirce's criticism of nominalism runs roughly parallel to Berkeley's criticism of Locke. It is shown that all three conceptions of reality are hypotheses, which provides the criteria to compare and evaluate them: (...) the hypothesis must be either required, or at least valuable, for explaining the origin and regularities of those ideas that are not of our own making. This leads to the following result: Locke's conception of reality also fails on both counts. Berkeley's alternative, though also not required, is explanatorily valuable, but as it appears, this results entirely from a strong presupposition that does all the explaining for him. It is further shown that his approach is based on a denial of matter that is untenable, and that it ultimately fails for the same reasons as Locke's. Peirce' s view of reality as the object of a final opinion, though not required either, can be defended as being explanatorily valuable, but needs some modification, since some things will be real but not part of the final opinion. This leads to a new conception of reality, called the hypothesis of hypothetical realism, by way of a conclusion. This hypothesis has the desired explanatory value, and is safe from the criticisms raised against the previous conceptions. (shrink)