Review of Metaphysics 8 (2):291-320 (1954)

None of Peirce's most recent interpreters fall clearly into only one of these classes. All are expositors, critics, and innovators. Yet their emphases differ, and the classification serves to highlight them. W. B. Gallie, for instance, is mainly interested in introducing the general reader to the broadest line of Peirce's thought on pragmatism. He does this appreciatively, with skillful fluency. Yet he also advances a critical thesis about the meanings Peirce gave to "pragmatism," and he tests the compatibility of Peirce's metaphysical and logical writings with suggestive results. Manley Thompson's book has, on the other hand, a more formal cast throughout. It is "offered as an essential propaedeutic to the determination of Peirce's place in the history of ideas". With closest care it traces the development of Peirce's pragmatic philosophy, setting out an ordered, definitive statement of what Peirce said, driving finally to a brief evaluation of the whole philosophy in which the pragmatic maxim is a principle. Lastly, the Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce contains essays of all three emphases: there are biographical, historical, and elucidating essays; there are critical ones that quibble to distraction and critical ones that excite to construction; and finally, there are a few that go through Peirce to continue inquiry on topics in ethics, logic, and metaphysics.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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