Based on a careful study of his unpublished manuscripts as well as his published work, this book explores Peirce's general theory of signs and the way in which Peirce himself used this theory to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.
There are various reasons for taking a second look at anything at all. One reason is to discern aspects which have been overlooked; another frequently related reason is to reappraise the value or relevance of whatever is being reconsidered. A thing might be deemed worthless or negligible because some feature or set of features has been overlooked. And this way of conceiving the thing might become so familiar, so entrenched, that it powerfully, because subtly, works against alternative conceptions. In certain (...) intellectual circles, for example, the critiques of religion have become so familiar that the religious hypothesis is not a “living option.” As John Dewey noted, familiarity is more likely to breed credulity than contempt: We take the familiar conception, containing its implicit evaluation, as worthy of our belief, simply because it is familiar. Thus, a second look undertaken from a fresh perspective is ordinarily most promising; for it is most likely to bring into focus overlooked facets and unsuspected relevancies of familiar topics. (shrink)
John William Miller's radical revision of the idealistic tradition anticipated some of the most important developments in contemporary thought. In this study, Vincent Colapietro situates Miller's powerful but neglected corpus not only in reference to Continental European philosophy but also to paradigmatic figures in American culture like Lincoln, Emerson, Thoreau, and James.
C. S. Peirce’s writings are instructive in a number of ways, not least of all for how they, in part despite themselves, assist us in conceiving what he was so strongly disposed to disparage, literary discourse. He possessed greater linguistic facility and deeper literary sensibility than he appreciated, though a militantly polemical identity helped to insure he left this facility undeveloped and this sensibility unacknowledged.2 For this and other reasons, a study of Peirce as a writer is worthwhile. It is (...) likely to prove more fruitful than he would have expected. The present essay is only a preliminary study of what would need much... (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is any unified theory of mental phenomena in the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce . Our thesis is that we find in Peirce's semiotic approach to human consciousness a remarkably unified perspective. ;In order to understand Peirce's reflections on the nature of mind, it is necessary first to situate them in the larger context of his philosophical system. Thus, in the first chapter, we present an overview of his system of (...) thought. In the second chapter, we examine Peirce's concept of sign-activity or what he called semiosis, since this constitutes for him the perspective from which all manifestations of mind must be interpreted. In order to be in a position to grasp Peirce's semiotic approach to mind, it is essential to have a basic understanding of his concept of semiosis. ;In the third chapter, we consider the way in which Peirce's critique of intuitionism cleared the way for his semiotic interpretation of mental phenomena. In the fourth chapter, we examine the particulars of Peirce's attempt to interpret the various modifications of human consciousness as instances of semiosis or sign-activity. ;This semiotic interpretation of mental phenomena is found in Peirce's early writings. But, as a result of later refinements and developments in his understanding of semiosis, Peirce's theory of mind undergoes corresponding refinements and developments. In the fifth and final chapter, we examine Peirce's mature formulation of his semiotic theory, a formulation which gives a prominent place to both habits and self-control. (shrink)
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, and Alfred (...) North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (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)
Leon J. Goldstein critically examines the philosophical role of concepts and concept formation in the social sciences. The book undertakes a study of concept formation and change by looking at four critical terms in anthropology , politics , and sociology.