Reclaiming the Peircean cosmology: Existential abduction and the growth of the self

Abstract
The cosmology of Charles Peirce has traditionally been amongst the least celebrated aspects of his thought. It is typically considered far too anthropomorphic to be a serious contribution to our understanding of the evolution of reality. While this anthropomorphism may or may not disqualify the cosmology from serious scientific consideration, it is possible that the cosmology does offer philosophical insights about the very human experience that inspired it. In this paper I offer a “reclaiming” of the Peircean cosmology. My intent is to look to the Peircean cosmology not for insights about the growth of the cosmos as such, but for insights about the growing self. Specifically, the paper attempts to apply Peirce’s thoughts about abduction and the growth of cosmic ideas to the growth of the self. Taking cue from Peirce’s three-fold distinction between models of evolutionary growth in “Evolutionary Love,” I contrast authentic growth of the self with two models of degenerate growth.
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