George M. Searle (1839-1918) and Charles S. Peirce worked together in the Coast Survey and the Harvard Observatory during the decade of 1860: both scientists were assistants of Joseph Winlock, the director of the Observatory. When in 1868 George, a convert to Catholicism, left to enter the Paulist Fathers, he was replaced by his brother Arthur Searle. George was ordained as a priest in 1871, was a lecturer of Mathematics and Astronomy at the Catholic University of America, and became (...) the fourth superior general of his congregation from 1904 to 1909. Among the books he wrote for non-Catholic audiences was Plain Facts for Fair Minds (1895). On the 8th of August of 1895, Peirce found that book in a bookstore and the following day wrote a letter to George Searle developing his strong reservations about the question of the infallibility of the Pope. This letter (L 397) is almost unknown amongst Peirce's scholars. -/- After describing these historical circumstances as a framework, the aim of my paper is to describe Peirce's arguments against papal infallibility presented by George Searle in his book, and the contrast between the genuine scientific attitude and the putative metaphysical notion of absolute truth that is —according to Peirce— behind Searle's defense of infallibility. In this sense, Peirce's fallibilism will be explained with some detail, giving an account also of his practical infallibilism: "The assertion that every assertion but this is fallible, is the only one that is absolutely infallible. But though nothing else is absolutely infallible, many propositions are practically infallible; such as the dicta of conscience" (Minute Logic, CP 2.75, c. 1902). -/- Finally, having in mind the present interest in Peirce's religious ideas it will be suggested that some of Peirce's ideas on infallibility are nearer to contemporary understanding of that issue than Searle's defense. "I would with all my heart join the ancient church of Rome if I could. But your book," —Peirce writes to Searle— "is an awful warning against doing so." -/- . (shrink)
The article draws paralles between Bakhtin's literary theory and some of the Peirce's philosophical concepts. The comparisons with Bakhtin go beyond the theory of heteroglossia and reveal that related notions were implicitly originated by Dostoevsky. The elaboration of the concepts of dialogue, "self" and "other" continue into the ideas of consciousness, iconic effects in literature, and the semiotic aspect of thought. Especially important in this chapter is the aspect of Peirce's theory concerned with the endless growth of interpretation (...) and sign building, or unlimited semiosis. Peirce's discussion of unlimited semiosis is not among the less elaborated ones. Quite on the contrary, it is one of the most important of his ideas of sign. As a semiotic notion it is widely exploited in many related areas. However, it is not often used as an analytical tool to examine literature or to other works of art. Here, we will employ this notion in conjunction with Bakhtin's doctrine of heteroglossia. (shrink)
In his well-known essay, ‘What Is a Sign?’(CP 2.281, 285) Peirce uses ‘likeness’ and ‘resemblance’ interchangeably in his definition of icon. The synonymity of the two words has rarely, if ever, been questioned. Curiously, a locus classicus of the pair, at least in F. M. Cornford’s English translation, can be found in a late dialogue of Plato, namely, the Sophist. In this dialogue on the myth and truth of the sophists’ profession, the mysterious ‘stranger’, who is most likely Socrates’ (...) persona, makes the famous distinction between eikon (likeness) and phantasma (semblance) (236a,b). For all his broad knowledge in ancient philosophy, Peirce never mentioned this parallel; nor has any Peircean scholar identified it. There seems to be little problem with eikon as likeness, but phantasma may give rise to a puzzle which this paper will attempt to solve. Plato uses two pairs of words: what eikon is to phantasma is eikastikén (the making of likeness [235d]) to phantastikén (semblance making [236c]). In other words, icons come into being because of the act of icon-making, which is none other than indexicality. Witness what Peirce says about the relationship between photographs and the objects they represent: “But this resemblance is due to the photographs having been produced under such circumstances that they were physically forced to correspond point by point to nature.” (Ibid.) Thus the iconicity which links the representamen (sign) and its object is made possible not only by an interpretant, but also by idexisation. Their possible etymological and epistemological links aside, the Peircean example of photographing and the Platonic discussion of painting and sculpturing in the Sophist, clearly show the physio-pragmatic aspect of iconicity. The paper will therefore reread the Peircean iconicity by closely analysing this relatively obscure Platonic text, and by so doing restore to the text its hidden semiotic dimension. (shrink)
“I have a hard year, a year of effort before me. . . . I think I shall very soon be completely ruined; it seems inevitable. What I have to do is to peg away and try to do my duty, and starve if necessary. One thing I must make up my mind to clearly. I must earn some money every day” (W8 lxiv). Peirce wrote these words in his diary on New Year’s Day 1892, at 12:05 a.m. His (...) forced resignation from the Coast and Geodetic Survey, his most reliable source of income, had taken effect at midnight. On another front, he had recently published the first two articles in his landmark Monist metaphysical series (selections 22–24). A replacement for his Coast Survey income never did appear, but three more papers in the Monist .. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore Peirce's work for insights into a theory of learning and cognition for education. Our focus for this exploration is Peirce's paper The Fixation of Belief (FOB), originally published in 1877 in Popular Science Monthly. We begin by examining Peirce's assertion that the study of logic is essential for understanding thought and reasoning. We explicate Peirce's view of the nature of reasoning itself—the characteristic guiding principles or ‘habits of mind’ that underlie acts (...) of inference, the dimensions of and interaction between doubt and belief, and his four methods of resolving or ‘fixing’ belief (i.e., tenacity, authority, a priori, and experimentation). The four methods are then juxtaposed against current models of teaching and learning such as constructivism, schema theory, situated cognition, and inquiry learning. Finally, we discuss Peirce's modes of inference as they relate educationally to the resolution of doubt and beliefs and offer an example of belief resolution from an experienced teacher in a professional development environment. (shrink)
This book offers a collection of contemporary essays that explore philosophical themes at work in chess. This collection includes essays on the nature of a game, the appropriateness of chess as a metaphor for life, and even deigns to query whether Garry Kasparov might—just might—be a cyborg. In twelve unique essays, contributed by philosophers with a broad range of expertise in chess, this book poses both serious and playful questions about this centuries-old pastime. -/- Perhaps more interestingly, philosophers have often (...) used chess in discussions of their work. Walter Benjamin compares the marching of history to an automaton playing chess. John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirce utilize chess to explain their pragmatism. The linguist Ferdinand de Saussure employs the analogy of chess to explain the exchange of signifiers. There are approximately 181 uses of the word chess or one of its cognates in the published works of Ludwig Wittgenstein. John Rawls explains that one might want to make a distinction between constitutive and regulative rules, which can best be understood by examining a game of chess. John Searle, deeply convinced of this distinction, explains further: "The rules of football or chess are given as an example of constitutive rules because they 'create the very possibility of playing such games.'" Hubert Dreyfus and Daniel Dennett have had extensive public discussions about the issue of artificial intelligence and chess. Dreyfus, utilizing chess examples, has written extensively on what computers still cannot do. Meanwhile, in spite of his protestations, chess-playing computers continue to fascinate those who work in the area of artificial intelligence. -/- The game of chess has endured since at least the sixth century. Its earliest variant, the Indian game of Chaturanga, was from the beginning a game for thinkers. Since its inception, scholars, statesmen, strategists, and warriors have been fascinated by the game and its variants. German philosopher Emmanuel Lasker and famed French artist Marcel Duchamp were both Grandmasters at chess. Karl Marx played chess avidly, as did Sir Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the logical positivist Max Black. Jean-Jacques Rousseau mentions in his Confessions that, at the time, he "had another expedient, not less solid, in the game of chess, to which I regularly dedicated, at Maugis's, the evenings on which I did not go to the theater. I became acquainted with M. de Legal, M. Husson, Philidor, and all the great chess players of the day, without making the least improvement in the game." More recently, philosopher Stuart Rachels reports that his father, the late philosopher and prominent ethicist James Rachels, received a bribe from a Russian Grandmaster while he was the chair of the U.S. Chess Federation's Ethics committee. -/- "Whether you’re a professional philosopher, an armchair chess player, or something in between, Philosophy Looks at Chess gives you hours of thought-provoking reading. With chapters on technology, ethics, hip hop, and backward analysis, this book carves out a new space in the literature on both chess and philosophy" -/- —Jennifer Shahade, two-time U.S. Women's Champion and author of Chess Bitch -/- "Chess and philosophy are natural mates that have been awaiting the proper introduction. This wide-ranging collection of stimulating essays is the perfect opening gambit for philosophical chess enthusiasts." -/- —Will Dudley, author of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom. (shrink)
[H. de Regt is ‘co-supervisor’ of the current UvT PhD project ‘Consciousness: Science Says It All?’ (drs. A. Frantzen; supervisor: prof. em. dr. A. A. Derksen). This project (in which the problem of phenomenal consciousness is approached via the work of the American pragmatist John Dewey) is absorbed in the programme Pragmatism: Living versus Paper Doubt. In order to realize the project described below he has provisionally planned (a) further collaboration with prof. dr. C.J.M. Schuyt (University of Amsterdam) to realize (...) a Pragmatism Center at Tilburg University, (b) international contacts with prof. dr. Nathan Houser & prof. dr. André De Tienne at the Peirce Project Research Center, and with dr. Timothy Lyons (Faculty of Philosophy) (all at Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis, United States), he will also visit the Center for Peirce Studies at the Texas Tech University, Lubbock, where the well known Peirce scholar professor Ken Ketner hosts the complete electronic available Peirce Archives; for the establishment of a Pragmatism Center in Tilburg the support of prof. Ketner will be sought, and (c) to organize two international congresses on Peircean pragmatism and contemporary philosophy of science and mind (including proceedings)]. (shrink)
In 1968 Donald M. MacKinnon (1913-94), the Scottish philosopher and theologian, posed the rhetorical question: "Does not metaphysics sometimes emerge as the attempt to convert poetry into the logically admissible?"1 An elucidation of this implicit assertion may bring to light a useful perspective on the nucleus of the metaphysical enterprise that promotes the interanimation of philosophy and theology. At least, that is the ambition of a longer-term project.2However, in this essay,3 I will presuppose an affirmative response to MacKinnon's question and (...) concentrate on three goals: (1) show that Peirce's Normative Sciences are an appropriate prism through which to investigate the cogency of a trajectory from poetry to .. (shrink)
Includes writings on pragmatism by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., George Herbert Mead, Percy W. Bridgman, C. I. Lewis, Horace M. Kallen, Sidney Hook, and, especially, William James, Charles S. Peirce, and John Dewey.
To be human is to humanize; a radically empirical aesthetic, by J. J. McDermott.--Dream and nightmare; the future as revolution, by R. C. Pollock.--William James and metaphysical risk, by P. M. Van Buren.--Knowing as a passionate and personal quest; C. S. Peirce, by D. B. Burrell.--The fox alone is death; Whitehead and speculative philosophy, by A. J. Reck.--A man and a city; George Herbert Mead in Chicago, by R. M. Barry.--Royce; analyst of religion as community, by J. Collins.--Human experience (...) and God; Brightman's personalistic theism, by D. Callahan.--William James and the phenomenology of religious experience, by J. M. Edie.--Pragmatism, religion, and experienceable difference, by R. W. Sleeper.--How is religious talk justifiable, by J. W. McClendon, Jr. (shrink)
In biosemiotics, life and living phenomena are described by means of originally anthropomorphic semiotic concepts. This can be justified if we can show that living systems as self-maintaining far from equilibrium systems create and update some kind of representation about the conditions of their self-maintenance. The point of view is the one of semiotic realism where signs and representations are considered as real and objective natural phenomena without any reference to the specifically human interpreter. It is argued that the most (...) basic concept of representation must be forward looking and that both C. Peirce’s and J. v. Uexküll’s concepts of sign assume an unnecessarily complex semiotic agent. The simplest representative systems do not have phenomenal objects or Umwelten at all. Instead, the minimal concept of representation and the source of normativity that is needed in its interpretation can be based on M. Bickhard’s interactivism. The initial normativity or natural self-interest is based on the ‘utility-concept’ of function: anything that contributes to the maintenance of a far from equilibrium system is functional to that system — every self-maintaining far from equilibrium system has a minimal natural self-interest to serve that function, it is its existential precondition. Minimal interactive representation emerges when such systems become able to switch appropriately between two or more means ofmaintaining themselves. At the level of such representations, a potentiality to detect an error may develop although no objects of representation for the system are provided. Phenomenal objects emerge in systems that are more complex. If a system creates a set of ongoingly updated ’situation images’ and can detect temporal invariances in the updating process, these invariances constitute objects for the system itself. Within them, a representative system gets an Umwelt and becomes capable of experiencing triadic signs. The relation between representation and its object is either iconic or indexical at this level. Correspondingly as in Peirce’s semeiotic, symbolic signs appear as more developed — for the symbolic signs, a more complex system is needed. (shrink)
Recent discussion in democratic theory has seen a revival of interest in pragmatism. Drawing on the work of C. S. Peirce, Cheryl Misak and Robert Talisse have argued that a form of deliberative democracy is justified as the means for citizens to assure themselves of the truth of their beliefs. In this article, I suggest that the Peircean account of deliberative democracy is conceived too narrowly. It takes its force from seeing citizens as intellectual inquirers, something that I argue (...) is both problematic in itself and relies on a controversial understanding of truth and inquiry. The article goes on to propose reasons for favouring a Deweyan rather than a Peircean account of democracy, one in which deliberation is seen not simply as a matter of arriving at the truth, but as part of a broader view of human flourishing. (shrink)
Institutional theory of law (ITL) reflects both continuity and change of Kelsen's legal positivism. The main alteration results from the way ITL extends Hart's linguistic turn towards ordinary language philosophy (OLP). Hart holds – like Kelsen – that law cannot be reduced to brute fact nor morality, but because of its attempt to reconstruct social practices his theory is more inclusive. By introducing the notion of law as an extra-linguistic institution ITL takes a next step in legal positivism and accounts (...) for the relationship between action and validity within the legal system. There are, however, some problems yet unresolved by ITL. One of them is its theory of meaning. An other is the way it accounts for change and development. Answers may be based on the pragmatic philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, who emphasises the intrinsic relation between the meaning of speech acts and the process of habit formation. (shrink)
This paper examines Charles Peirce's graphical notation for first-order logic with identity. The notation forms a part of his system of existential graphs, which Peirce considered to be his best work in logic. In this paper a Tarskian semantics is provided for the graphical system.
The power, depth, and humanity of the work and life of Josiah Royce gains in richness by following his reflections on the problems of philosophical pedagogy. While engaged as a professor of philosophy, author, advisor, and administrator, Royce developed and refined guidelines for the philosophy of education, and the art of philosophical pedagogy. Except for a few personal recollections from his students and colleagues, an article by Frank M. Oppenheim that appeared thirty-five years ago, and the annotated bibliography to his (...) writings, Royce's works on pedagogy have not been collected, nor have they received critical attention. The scope of this study is to follow Royce's pedagogical reflections from 1883 to 1913, providing contextual support and critical receptions so that the student of the philosophy of Royce may profit from his studies on the embodiment of ideals as the philosophical engagement of the art of education. (shrink)
Institutional theory of law (ITL) reflects both continuity and change of Kelsen's legal positivism. The main alteration results from the way ITL extends Hart's linguistic turn towards ordinary language philosophy (OLP). Hart holds –like Kelsen – that law cannot be reduced to brute fact nor morality, but because of its attempt to reconstruct social practices his theory is more inclusive. By introducing the notion of law as an extra-linguistic institution ITL takes a next step in legal positivism and accounts for (...) the relationship between action and validity within the legal system. There are, however, some problems yet unresolved by ITL. One of them is its theory of meaning. An other is the way it accounts for change and development. Answers may be based on the pragmatic philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, who emphasises the intrinsic relation between the meaning of speech acts and the process of habit formation. (shrink)
Hamner seeks to discover what makes pragmatism uniquely American. She argues that the inextricably American character of pragmatism of such figures as C.S. Peirce and William James lies in its often understated affirmation of America as a uniquely religious country with a God-given mission and populated by God-fearing citizens.
Quarrels between philosophers are never entirely disconnected from larger quarrels. There was a hidden agenda behind the split between old-fashioned “humanistic” philosophy (of the Dewey-Whitehead sort) and the positivists, and a similar agenda lies behind the current split between devotees of “analytic” and “Continental” philosophy. The heavy breathing on both sides about the immorality and stupidity of the opposition signals passions which academic power struggles cannot fully explain. Neil Gross’s monograph study on the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931–2007) is a (...) multi-layered tapestral offering that deftly weaves together informative strands of cultural history with the binding threads of .. (shrink)
: This article aims: 1) to review several, key, earlier studies of Josiah Royce's relations to Asian thinkers (mainly Indian); 2) to discover through a survey of Royce's writings how widely and deeply Royce familiarized himself with, and employed Hindu, Buddhist, and other Asian traditions; and, 3) to measure how relevant Royce's most mature philosophy (1912–1916) is for the currently needed inter-cultural, inter-religious, and inter-faith dialogues. Parts One and Two supply foundations which reveal Royce's lifelong commitment to open "windows" to (...) Eastern thought, in order to dialogue with Asian thinkers and invite other Westerners to do the same. The article climaxes in Part Three by revealing the relevance of the late Royce's "philosophy of the 'Spirit,' his "philosophical pneumatology." I trace ten of its implied positions, significant for contemporary philosophers of religion and theologians. I conclude by showing that Royce's "philosophy of the 'Spirit"' and its implied positions are all rooted in Royce's view of a "middle faith." Such a faith supports his view of the "invisible church," his "Beloved Community of all "Christians"—"Christians" taken in his wider sense of "all genuine loyalists who are members of a Beloved Community.". (shrink)
: Josiah Royce, a Johns Hopkins Fellow (1876–1878), polished two manuscripts for publication: "The Spirit of Modern Philosophy" (SMP; 62 pp.), and his dissertation, "The Interdependence of the Principles of Knowledge" (IPK; xi + 332 pp.). Although he penned the texts in blue ink and headers and footnotes in red, he never published either work. SMP—not Royce's 1892 work of the same title—critiqued Francis Bowen's Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Schopenhauer and Hartman, and created a new epistemology. My essay ventures (...) the hypotheses that Royce prudently abstained from publishing SMP to avoid alienating Bowen, a Harvard board-member for faculty admissions, and IPK to avoid advancing an interpretation of Kant he felt unsure of and would later publicly disown. Mainly, however, this paper inquires whether, in drafting SMP, Royce created an outline for IPK. I sketch Royce's life at Hopkins and present context and content of these two MSS. From these I unearth seven philosophical themes running parallel in SMP and IPK. This grounds the paper's major hypothesis that Royce's overriding aim in SMP was less to critique Bowen than to create an outline for the long Introduction and Part One of IPK. (shrink)