: While the work of such expositors as Max H. Fisch, James J. Liszka, Lucia Santaella, Anne Friedman, and Mats Bergman has helped bring into sharp focus why Peirce took the third branch of semiotic (speculative rhetoric) to be "the highest and most living branch of logic," more needs to be done to show the extent to which the least developed branch of his theory of signs is, at once, its potentially most fruitful and important. The author of this paper (...) thus begins to trace out even more fully than these scholars have done the unfinished trajectory of Peirce's eventual realization of the importance of speculative rhetoric. In doing so, he is arguing for a shift from the formalist and taxonomic emphasis of so many commentators to a more thoroughly pragmaticist and "rhetorical" approach to interpreting Peirce's theory of signs. (shrink)
Based on a careful study of his unpublished manuscripts as well as his published work, this book explores Peirce's general theory of signs and the way in which Peirce himself used this theory to understand subjectivity.
: This paper both elaborates and interrogates the transactional model of human experience at the center of Shannon W. Sullivan's Living Across and Through Skins. In particular, it highlights the need (especially given her concerns and commitments) to supplement her account with a psychoanalytic reading of our gendered subjectivities. Moreover, it stresses the necessity to focus on such humanly important—and irreducibly somatic—phenomena as grief and eros.
The central preoccupation of Peirce and Polanyi was to undertake an inquiry into inquiry, one in which the defining features of our heuristic practices stood out in bold relief. But both thinkers were also concerned to bring into sharp focus the deep affinities between our theoretical pursuits and other shared practices. They were in effect sketching a portrait of the responsible inquirer and, by implication, that of the responsible agent more generally. This essay is, in structure, a series of études (...) for how we might reconstruct that portrait, since there is no extended treatment in the writings of either author of these central figures . It is accordingly a preliminary study, though in some particulars a detailed one. Its ultimate aim is to join—and thereby to invite others to join—Peirce and Polanyi as inquirers into the very nature of inquiry itself. (shrink)
The author of this paper explores a central strand in the complex relationship between Peirce and Kant. He argues, against Kant, that the practical identity of the self-critical agent who undertakes a Critic of reason needs to be conceived in substantive, not purely formal, terms. Thus, insofar as there is a reflexive turn in Peirce, it is quite far from the transcendental turn taken by Immanuel Kant. The identity of the being devoted to redefining the bounds of reason is not (...) that of a disembodied, rational will giving laws to itself. Nor is it that of a being whose passions and especially sentiments are heteronomous determinations of the deliberative agency in question. Rather the identity of this being is that of a somatic, social, and historical agent whose very autonomy not only traces its origin to heteronomy but also ineluctably involves an identification with what, time and again, emerges as other than this agent.A strong claim is made regarding human identity being practical identity. An equally strong claim is made regarding the upshot of Peirce's decisive movement beyond Kant's transcendental project: this movement unquestionably drives toward a compelling account of human agency. (shrink)
Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...) organized by James Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. (shrink)
: The author of this paper explores a central strand in the complex relationship between Peirce and Kant. He argues, against Kant (especially as reconstructed by Christine Korsgaard), that the practical identity of the self-critical agent who undertakes a Critic of reason (as Peirce insisted upon translating this expression) needs to be conceived in substantive, not purely formal, terms. Thus, insofar as there is a reflexive turn in Peirce, it is quite far from the transcendental turn taken by Immanuel Kant. (...) The identity of the being devoted to redefining the bounds of reason (for the drawing of such bounds is always a historically situated and motivated undertaking) is not that of a disembodied, rational will giving laws to itself. Nor is it that of a being whose passions and especially sentiments are heteronomous determinations of the deliberative agency in question. Rather the identity of this being is that of a somatic, social, and historical agent whose very autonomy not only traces its origin to heteronomy but also ineluctably involves an identification with what, time and again, emerges as other than this agent. A strong claim is made regarding human identity being practical identity (practical identity being understood here as the singular shape acquired by a human being in the complex course of its practical involvements, its participation in the array of practices in and through which such a being carries out its life). An equally strong claim is made regarding the upshot of Peirce's decisive movement beyond Kant's transcendental project: this movement unquestionably drives toward a compelling account of human agency. (shrink)
This book features the full scope of Susan Petrilli’s important work on signs, language, communication, and of meaning, interpretation, and understanding. Although readers are likely familiar with otherness, interpretation, identity, embodiment, ecological crisis, and ethical responsibility for the biosphere—Petrilli forges new paths where other theorists have not tread. This work of remarkable depth takes up intensely debated topics, exhibiting in their treatment of them what Petrilli admires—creativity and imagination.Petrilli presents a careful integration of divergent thinkers and diverse perspectives. While she (...) abandons hope of attaining a final synthesis or an unqualifiedly comprehensive outlook, there remains a drive for coherence and detailed integration. The theory of identity being advocated in this book will provide the reader with an aid to appreciating the identity of the theorizing undertaken by Petrilli in her confrontation with an array of topics. Her theory differentiates itself from other offerings and, at the same time, is envisioned as a process of self-differentiation.Petrilli’s contribution is at once historical and theoretical. It is historical in its recovery of major figures of language; it is theoretical in its articulation of a comprehensive framework. She expertly combines analytic precision and moral passion, theoretical imagination and political commitment. (shrink)
Both Dewey and Bourdieu emphasize the extent to which human practices are inherited practices, and the extent to which inheritance is a function of imitation. Affinities between Dewey's concept of habit and Bourdieu's notion of habitus are explored. This essay focuses on four variations on the theme of doing the done thing: philosophers doing philosophy in a recognizable form , nations perpetuating war as the unwitting enactment of a repetition compulsion, cultures fostering such democratic practices as communal deliberation, and simply (...) the done thing as an integral part of human practices. (shrink)
Too often C. S. Peirce’s theory of signs is used simply as a classificatory scheme rather than primarily as a heuristic framework (that is, a framework designed and modified primarily for the purpose of goading and guiding inquiry in any field in which signifying processes or practices are present). Such deployment of his semeiotic betrays the letter no less than the spirit of Peirce’s writings on signs. In this essay, the author accordingly presents Peirce’s sign theory as a heuristic framework, (...) attending to some of the most important ways that it might serve to facilitate a semeiotic investigation of our legal practices. He pays close attention to the ways the topics of history, formalism, reductionism, and generality become, from a Peircean perspective, salient features of legal studies. (shrink)
One criticism of pragmatism, forcefully articulated by Stanley Cavell, is that pragmatism fails to deal with mourning, understood in the psychoanalytic sense as grief-work (Trauerarbeit). Such work would seemingly be as pertinent to philosophical investigations (especially ones conducted by pragmatists) as to psychoanalytic explorations. Finding such themes as mourning and loss in R. W. Emerson's writings, Cavell warns against assimilating Emerson's voice to that of American pragmatism, especially Dewey's instrumentalism, for such assimilation risks the loss or repression of Emerson's voice (...) in not only professional philosophy but also American culture. While granting Emerson's distinctive voice, this essay argues that the way Cavell insists on differences problematically represses recognition of the Emersonian strains in Dewey's own philosophical voice. In doing so, Cavell falsely flattens the resounding depth of Dewey's philosophical voice and narrows the expansive range of pragmatic intelligence. But Dewey all too often lends himself to such a misreading, for his writings at once repress and embody the strains of a distinctively Emersonian voice. (shrink)
While the title of this article in part echoes that of Theodor Adorno's inaugural address at the University of Frankfurt in 1931, the article itself carries more echoes of G. W. F. Hegel than of a thinker who was one of his most able critics and penetrating expositors. In the end, however, my position is closer to that of Adorno and, indeed, William James and John Dewey than Hegel: "If, with the disintegration of all security within great philosophy, experiment makes (...) its entry … that does not appear to be condemnable. … For the mind is indeed not capable of producing or grasping the totality of the real, but it may be possible to penetrate the detail, to explode in miniature the mass of merely... (shrink)
This response affirms the content of the previous two articles but is focused on highlighting some features of Polanyi’s and Langer’s philosophies they do not emphasize. The rise of knowledge and trajectory of meaning Polanyi and Langer describe may be seen as incorporating a complex, innovative process of acknowledgment – of tradition, social norms, previous experience, and personal commitments of which one may not even be aware – for which one is responsible.
George Santayana was not only a poet but also a philosopher whose style, concerns, and even positions drew in his own time and continues to draw in ours the attention of poets and, more broadly, literary authors. He was, in short, a poet's philosopher. In so characterizing Santayana, however, there is no slight of his strictly philosophical achievement. The philosophical finesse with which he treated complex topics is, indeed, nowhere more evident than in his rigorous analysis of poetic utterance. The (...) author of this essay explores Santayana's nuanced account of poetic utterance and, then, interprets Santayana's own literary accomplishments, including his philosophical writings, in light of this account. Given the attention which Angus Kerr-Lawson has paid to the rhetorical strategies and literary qualities of this singular philosopher, it is fitting to contribute such an essay to an issue in his honor. (shrink)