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New Vico Studies (2004)
C.S. Peirce was a scientist and philosopher best known as the earliest proponent of pragmatism. An influential and polymathic thinker, Peirce is among the greatest of American minds. His thought was a seminal influence on William James, his life long friend, and John Dewey, his one time student. James and Dewey went on to popularize pragmatism thereby achieving what Peirce’s inability to gain lasting academic employment prevented him from doing. A life long practitioner of science, Peirce applied scientific principles to philosophy but his understanding and admiration of Kant also colored his work. Peirce was analytic and scientific, devoted to logical and scientific rigor, and an architectonic philosopher in the mold of Kant or Aristotle. His best-known theories, pragmatism and the account of inquiry, are both scientific and experimental but form part of a broad architectonic scheme. Long considered an eccentric figure whose contribution to pragmatism was to provide its name and whose importance was as an influence upon James and Dewey, Peirce’s significance in his own right is now largely accepted.
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