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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extremely technical, his papers were left in disarray for decades after his death, and the majority of them remain unpublished; he also had a fraught, scandal-ridden career.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a series of lectures and articles scattered across various journals over several decades, along with a vast wealth of unpublished material.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. Peirce's Theory of Semiotics.Albert Atkin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  2. Pierce's Theory of Science.A. Atkins - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Session of the Charles S. Peirce Society.S. Charles - forthcoming - Semiotics.
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  8. PEIRCE, LE LANGAGE ET L'ACTION: Sur la Théorie Peircienne de L'Assertion.Christiane Chauviré - forthcoming - Les Etudes Philosophiques.
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  9. A: Gerard de Nerval: Oeuvres-In.Carlo-ree Cordié - forthcoming - Paideia.
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  10. Review of Cheryl Misak's 'The American Pragmatists'. [REVIEW]Jeremy Dunham - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
  11. On Peirce's Methodology of Logic and Philosophy.Leila Haaparanta - forthcoming - Cognitio: Revista Deffilosofia.
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  12. Nature Semiotics: The Icons of Nature.Y. L. Kergosien - forthcoming - Biosemiotics.
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  13. Wittgenstein, Peirce, and Paradoxes of Mathematical Proof.Sergiy Koshkin - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Wittgenstein's paradoxical theses that unproved propositions are meaningless, proofs form new concepts and rules, and contradictions are of limited concern, led to a variety of interpretations, most of them centered on rule-following skepticism. We argue, with the help of C. S. Peirce's distinction between corollarial and theorematic proofs, that his intuitions are better explained by resistance to what we call conceptual omniscience, treating meaning as fixed content specified in advance. We interpret the distinction in the context of modern epistemic logic (...)
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  14. What is Intelligence For? A Peircean Pragmatist Response to the Knowing-How, Knowing-That Debate.Catherine Legg & Joshua Black - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Mainstream philosophy has seen a recent flowering in discussions of intellectualism which revisits Gilbert Ryle’s famous distinction between ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that’, and challenges his argument that the former cannot be reduced to the latter. These debates so far appear not to have engaged with pragmatist philosophy in any substantial way, which is curious as the relation between theory and practice is one of pragmatism’s main themes. Accordingly, this paper examines the contemporary debate in the light of Charles Peirce’s (...)
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  15. 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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  16. Abduction - The Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation.Mousa Mohammadian - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers such as Harman and Lipton claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different (e.g., Hintikka and Minnameier) and there is no link between them (Campos). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have important similarities as well as (...)
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Vi. Deconstructive Interpretations of Semiosis.Deconstructive Interpretations Of Semiosis - forthcoming - Semiotics.
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  20. Peirce's Logic.Sun-Joo Shin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  21. The Peirce Quote Book.Torkild Thellefsen & Bent Sorensen (eds.) - forthcoming - De Gruyter Mouton.
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  22. Varieties of Semiosis.T. Von Uexküll - forthcoming - Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web.
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  23. Minutes of the Meeting of the Academic Council of Duke University on 21 April, 1988.Richard L. Watson - forthcoming - Minerva.
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  24. 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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  25. On Peirce’s 1878 Article ‘The Probability of Induction’: A Conceptualistic Appraisal.G. A. Kyriazis - 2021 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 75 (1):1-20.
    Charles Sanders Peirce wrote the article “The probability of induction” in 1878. It was the fourth article of the series “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” which comprised a total of six articles. According to Peirce, to get a clear idea of the conception of probability, one has ‘to consider what real and sensible difference there is between one degree of probability and another.’ He endorsed what John Venn had called the ‘materialistic view’ of the subject, namely that probability is (...)
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  26. Peirce Chase’Ing Pythagoras.Rasmus Rebane - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 48 (2-4):350-367.
    Despite the common knowledge that there is something “Pythagorean” about Charles Peirce’s phenomenology and classification of signs there is a manifest lack of inquiries into the matter. Perhaps there is too little to go on, as Pythagoras himself did not leave us any writings to consult. Nevertheless, much of ancient Greek philosophy bears an unmistakable Pythagorean stamp, and Iamblichus’ bio - graphy of Pythagoras provides us with enough to get such inquiries started. This paper examines the development of triads, beginning (...)
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  27. Peirce and Religion by Roger Ward.Lauri Snellman - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (3):470-474.
    In his Peirce and Religion, Roger Ward offers an insightful interpretative angle into Peirce’s philosophy. Ward interprets Peirce as a fundamentally religious Christian and Trinitarian thinker who holds that science and religion are complementary approaches to inquiry. He tracks the development of Peirce’s pragmatism against the background of Peirce’s life, and searches for points of contact between Peirce’s pragmatism on the one hand and Trinitarian theology and Christian ecclesiology on the other. Such an interpretation would place Peirce along great Christian (...)
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  28. Pragmatist and American Philosophical Perspectives on Resilience Ed. By Kelly A. Parker and Heather E. Keith.John J. Stuhr - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (4):624-631.
    At present, the market for books about resilience appears to be immense1—and resilient. There are books about everyday resilience, resilience in response to unusual opportunities and special challenges, and resilience in the face of trauma, suffering, disease, and pandemics. These books about resilience often are addressed to persons in particular careers: government office holders and politicians; military leaders and warriors; students and teachers; doctors, lawyers, engineers, fund-raisers and philanthropists, farmers, business leaders and their organizations and supply chains, or writers. And (...)
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  29. Pragmatic Realism, Religious Truth, and Antitheodicy: On Viewing the World by Acknowledging the Other by Sami Pihlström.Ulf Zackariasson - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (4):620-624.
    Within the philosophy of religion, there are several different views on what to consider the discipline’s most fundamental topic. The answer that you offer at the meta-level is often more important than the concrete answers you, in the next stage, offer to that question which you have identified as the question to attend to. The identification serves, namely, as a hermeneutical principle for understanding and addressing other topics within the discipline. As regards analytic Anglo-American philosophy of religion, there has, for (...)
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  30. Creativity Between Experience and Cosmos: C.S. Peirce and A.N. Whitehead on Novelty by Maria Regina Brioschi.Fernando Zalamea - 2021 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (4):631-634.
    Many natural connections between Peirce and Whitehead have been appearing since Peirce’s manuscripts began to be published in Harvard’s Collected Papers edition. The resemblances are profound, based on speculative philosophies founded on interactions between science and philosophy, in turn erected over a wide understanding of mathematical thought. Some doctoral dissertations have explored the field, but a full monograph was still needed in order to clarify the panorama. Maria Regina Brioschi’s Creativity Between Experience and Cosmos. C.S. Peirce and A.N. Whitehead on (...)
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  31. Pragmatism and Vagueness: The Venetian Lectures; Edited by Giovanni Tuzet by Claudine Tiercelin.David W. Agler - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 55 (4):458-463.
    Take a hypothetical sequence of human beings ordered by height from tallest to shortest. Make sure there is no more than a difference of a millimeter between each person and make sure the tallest person is clearly tall and the shortest person is clearly not tall. Now consider the following argument: P1 A person of height n is tall ; P2 For any height n, if n is tall, then n–1mm is tall ; C Therefore, a person of height n (...)
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  32. Thinking About Deliberative Democracy with Rawls and Talisse.Joshua Anderson - 2020 - Concordia Law Review 5 (1):134-161.
    In this article, I identify some good-making features of a deliberative democratic theory. The article will proceed as follows: First, I present both some important insights and some shortcomings of Rawls’ theory. I then present Robert Talisse’s account, focusing on how Talisse both accommodates what is right about Rawls while avoiding some of Rawls’ weaknesses. Finally, some positive claims are made about what an adequate deliberative theory might look like.
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  33. The Peirce-Blake Correspondence.Richard Kenneth Atkins - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (2):222.
    On March 12, 2018, I received an email from André De Tienne, General Editor of the Peirce Edition Project. He recommended that I visit the Francis Blake archives at the Massachusetts Historical Society, remarking, Francis Blake was a cousin of Charles Peirce. I have not yet figured out how that cousinage works out genealogically. In any case, on 13 January 1893, the day CSP and Juliette returned from Boston to New York after the Lowell Lectures, they first took a trip (...)
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  34. Un, dos, tres… ¡Por la posibilidad, la relación y la ley!Jhonatan Pérez Bedoya - 2020 - Scientia in Verba Magazine 6 (1):149-156.
    En el presente texto se sostiene que las categorías de primeridad, segundidad y terceridad —y las relaciones posibles entre ellas— revelan las operaciones lógicas de relación y ley en el trabajo de Charles Sanders Peirce. Para ello, se muestra su importancia a través de paralelismos con otras triadas del filósofo norteamericano. Para dicho propósito, el texto se divide el texto en tres momentos. El primer momento consiste en exponer la operación de la triada principal: primeridad, segundidad y terceridad. En esta (...)
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  35. Icons, Interrogations, and Graphs: On Peirce's Integrated Notion of Abduction.Francesco Bellucci & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (1):43.
    The Syllabus for Certain Topics of Logic is a long treatise that Peirce wrote in October and November to complement the material of his 1903 Lowell Lectures. The last of the eight lectures was on abduction, first entitled “How to Theorize” and then “Abduction.” Of abduction, the Syllabus states that its “conclusion is drawn in the interrogative mood ”.1 This is not the first time that Peirce associates abduction to interrogations,2 but the statement is significant because it is the first (...)
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  36. Charles Peirce on Assertion.Nikolaus Breiner - 2020 - Southwest Philosophy Review 36 (1):211-219.
    Charles Peirce claimed that the principal ingredient in assertion is an act of “taking responsibility” for the truth of what is asserted. Some people writing about the Commitment Theory of Assertion have at times construed Peirce’s claim as his espousal of that contemporary theory, but this, I argue, is mistaken. Peirce saw “taking responsibility” as the assumption, not of an obligation, but instead of a liability, a penalty to be incurred if one’s assertion turned out to be false. I then (...)
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  37. Why Images Cannot be Arguments, But Moving Ones Might.Marc Champagne & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2020 - Argumentation 34 (2):207-236.
    Some have suggested that images can be arguments. Images can certainly bolster the acceptability of individual premises. We worry, though, that the static nature of images prevents them from ever playing a genuinely argumentative role. To show this, we call attention to a dilemma. The conclusion of a visual argument will either be explicit or implicit. If a visual argument includes its conclusion, then that conclusion must be demarcated from the premise or otherwise the argument will beg the question. If (...)
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  38. Peirce and Leibniz on Continuity and the Continuum.D. Christopoulou & D. A. Anapolitanos - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (1):115-128.
    This paper discusses some of C. S. Peirce’s insights about continuity in his attempt to grasp the concept of the mathematical continuum. After a discussion of his earlier notions which he called ‘Kanticity’ and ‘Aristotelicity’ we arrive at his later belief that a continuum is rather a system of potential points. In his mature views, Peirce grasps a continuum as “a whole range of possibilities” without points at all. In the sequel, we turn to take into account some of Leibniz’s (...)
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  39. Peirce’s Diagrammatic Reasoning and the Cinema: Image, Diagram, and Narrative in The Shape of Water.Paul Cobley & Yunhee Lee - 2020 - Semiotica 2020 (236-237):29-46.
    This article aims to examine the relationship between image and narrative by means of Peirce’s first trichotomy of qualisign-sinsign-legisign or, for the purposes of the current argument, image-diagram-metaphor. It is argued that narrative, as an extended metaphor, can be examined in three modes: in the image; schematically, in the imagination; and allegorically or in a thought experiment, through hypothetic interpretation. The article outlines two kinds of diagrammatic reasoning emphasized by Peirce: corollarial deduction in which the image is ‘literally seen’ and (...)
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  40. An “Historicist” Reading of Peirce's Pragmatist Semeiotic: A Pivotal Maxim and Evolving Practices.Vincent M. Colapietro - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (3):374.
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  41. A Peircean Pathway From Surprising Facts to New Beliefs.Martin Davies & Max Coltheart - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (3):400.
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  42. Using Peirce (and Deleuze’s Peirce) to Think About #Foodporn and Other Instagram Signs.Roger Dawkins - 2020 - Angelaki 25 (5):101-117.
    This essay applies Peirce’s and Deleuze’s semiotics to “food porn” on Instagram, and this sign is an exemplar of the structure of all signs on this platform. Food porn is defined as triadic: th...
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  43. Postprandial Peirce: A Final Talk.André De Tienne - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (2):279.
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  44. Postprandial Peirce: A Final Talk: A Special Séance with Peirce: His Spirit Summoned for an Entertaining Interview.André De Tienne - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (2):279-290.
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  45. Provinces of Imaginative Intelligence: A Taxonomy.Philipp Dorstewitz - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (4):600-619.
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  46. Revisiting Peirce’s Account of Scientific Creativity to Inform Classroom Practice.Joseph Paul Ferguson & Vaughan Prain - 2020 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 52 (5):524-534.
    Peirce made repeated attempts to clarify what he understood as abduction or creative reasoning in scientific discoveries. In this article, we draw on past and recent scholarship on Peirce’s later accounts of abduction to put a case for how teachers can apply his ideas productively to elicit and guide student creative reasoning in the science classroom. We focus on his rationale for abduction, conditions he recognised as necessary to support this speculative reasoning, pragmatic strategies to guide inquiry and test conjectural (...)
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  47. Samuel Ramos as a Pragmatist: Reading El Perfil Del Hombre y la Cultura En México Through Peirce's Pragmatic Maxim.Sergio A. Gallegos-Ordorica - 2020 - In Paniel Reyes Cardenas & Daniel Richard Herbert (eds.), The Reception of Peirce and Pragmatism in Latin America: A Trilingual Collection. Mexico City: Editorial Torres Asociados. pp. 151-165.
  48. A Generic Figures Reconstruction of Peirce’s Existential Graphs.Rocco Gangle, Gianluca Caterina & Fernando Tohme - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85:1-34.
    We present a category-theoretical analysis, based on the concept of generic figures, of a diagrammatic system for propositional logic ). The straightforward construction of a presheaf category \ of cuts-only Existential Graphs provides a basis for the further construction of the category \ which introduces variables in a reconstructedly generic, or label-free, mode. Morphisms in these categories represent syntactical embeddings or, equivalently but dually, extensions. Through the example of Peirce’s system, it is shown how the generic figures approach facilitates the (...)
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  49. Ricardian Inference: Charles S. Peirce, Economics, and Scientific Method.Kevin D. Hoover & James R. Wible - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (4):521-557.
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  50. Peirce on Practical Reasoning.Nathan Houser - 2020 - American Journal of Semiotics 36 (1):117-134.
    It is generally agreed that what distinguishes practical reasoning from more thoughtful reasoning is that practical reasoning properly results in action rather than in conceptual conclusions. There is much disagreement, however, about how appropriate actions follow from practical reasoning and it is commonly supposed that the connection between reasoning and action can neither be truly inferential nor strictly causal. Peirce appears to challenge this common assumption. Although he would agree that conscious and deliberate argumentation results in conceptual conclusions rather than (...)
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