Mathias Girel
École Normale Supérieure
The present paper deals thus with some fundamental agreements and disagreements between Peirce and James, on crucial issues such as perception and consciousness. When Peirce first read the Principles, he was sketching his theory of the categories, testing its applications in many fields of knowledge, and many investigations were launched, concerning indexicals, diagrams, growth and development. James's utterances led Peirce to make his own views clearer on a wide range of topics that go to the heart of the foundations of psychology and that involve the relationship between perception and logic, between consciousness and the categories, between abstraction and the 'stream of thought'. The idea is to show that Peirce detected important discoveries and insights in the Principles, but felt that James could not make proper use of them because of logical confusions, and also because of his "clandestine" metaphysics. The point in this essay is thus not to look for remains of psychologism in Peirce's writings,13 but to look at Peirce's comments about James's psychology in an attempt to identify where and why Peirce amended James's views. Since the project to provide some insight on Peirce's extensive reading ofJames's Principles of Psycho/.ogy would deserve a full volume, I shall focus here on three occasions where Peirce explicidy commented on Jarnes's Principles. In the first section, I shall consider bis assessment of James's chapter on space, which was published as a series of articles in 1887, in Mind. I shall then turn to the 1891 review of the Principles in The Nation for important complements on perception as inference. In the third section, I shall deal with Peirce's manuscript "Questions on James's Principles"(Rl099). These "Questions" reveal a deep interest in psychological problems and suggest different ways along which Peirce's new advances in the field of the categories, of continuity, and abstraction could provide a proper basis for the philosophy of mind.
Keywords Peirce, Charles  James, William  Psychology  Metaphysics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Development of Peirce's Philosophy.Murray G. Murphey - 1961 - Cambridge: Mass., Harvard University Press.
William James: His LIfe and Thought.Gerald Myers - 1986 - Yale University Press.
James's Theory of Truth'.Hilary Putnam - 1997 - In Ruth Anna Putnam (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to William James. Cambridge University Press. pp. 166--185.
Peirce on Abstraction.Jay Zeman - 1982 - The Monist 65 (2):211-229.
Prudential Arguments, Naturalized Epistemology, and the Will to Believe.Henry Jackman - 1999 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (1):1 - 37.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Abduction and Estimation in Animals.Woosuk Park - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (4):321-337.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

William James, l'Attitude Empiriste (William James, the Empiricist Stance) (Review).Mathias Girel - 2010 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (3):503-508.
The Project of a Metaphysics of Psychology in William James's "Principles of Psychology".Lester Embree - 1986 - In Michael H. DeArmey & Stephen Skousgaard (eds.), The Philosophical Psychology of William James. Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology & University Press of America.
William James and the Psychology of Emotions: From 1884 to the Present.Joseph T. Palencik - 2007 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (4):769 - 786.
William James's Theory of Emotion.Gerald E. Myers - 1969 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 5 (2):67-89.
Protophenomenology in the Psychology of William James.Bruce Wilshire - 1969 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 5 (1):25 - 43.
The Influence of William James on John Dewey in Psychology.Andrew J. Reck - 1984 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 20 (2):87 - 117.
Charles S. Peirce and the Concept of Indubitable Belief.James E. Broyles - 1965 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 1 (2):77-89.
William James: Panpsychist and Metaphysical Realist.Marcus P. Ford - 1981 - Transactions of the Peirce Society 17 (2):158-70.
Charles Sanders Peirce.Albert Atkin - 2004 - New Vico Studies.
Peirce and the Logic of Fallibilism.James O. Bennett - 1982 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 18 (4):353 - 366.


Added to PP index

Total views
531 ( #14,847 of 2,463,128 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #41,759 of 2,463,128 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes