Charles Sanders Peirce - Philosophy


It is not sufficiently recognized that Peirce's career was that of a scientist, not a philosopher; and that during his lifetime he was known and valued chiefly as a scientist, only secondarily as a logician, and scarcely at all as a philosopher. Even his work in philosophy and logic will not be understood until this fact becomes a standing premise of Peircean studies. —Max Fisch 1964, p. 486.

Peirce was a working scientist for 30 years, and arguably was a professional philosopher only during the five years he lectured at Johns Hopkins. He learned philosophy mainly by reading, each day, a few pages of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, in the original German, while a Harvard undergraduate. His writings bear on a wide array of disciplines, including mathematics, logic, philosophy, statistics, astronomy, metrology, geodesy, experimental psychology, economics, linguistics, and the history and philosophy of science. This work has enjoyed renewed interest and approval, a revival inspired not only by his anticipations of recent scientific developments but also by his demonstration of how philosophy can be applied effectively to human problems.

Peirce's philosophy includes (see below in related sections) a pervasive three-category system, belief that truth is immutable and is both independent from actual opinion (fallibilism) and discoverable (no radical skepticism), logic as formal semiotic on signs, on arguments, and on inquiry's ways—including philosophical pragmatism (which he founded), critical common-sensism, and scientific method—and, in metaphysics: Scholastic realism, belief in God, freedom, and at least an attenuated immortality, objective idealism, and belief in the reality of continuity and of absolute chance, mechanical necessity, and creative love. In his work, fallibilism and pragmatism may seem to work somewhat like skepticism and positivism, respectively, in others' work. However, for Peirce, fallibilism is balanced by an anti-skepticism and is a basis for belief in the reality of absolute chance and of continuity, and pragmatism commits one to anti-nominalist belief in the reality of the general (CP 5.453–7).

For Peirce, First Philosophy, which he also called cenoscopy, is less basic than mathematics and more basic than the special sciences (of nature and mind). It studies positive phenomena in general, phenomena available to any person at any waking moment, and does not settle questions by resorting to special experiences. He divided such philosophy into (1) phenomenology (which he also called phaneroscopy or categorics), (2) normative sciences (esthetics, ethics, and logic), and (3) metaphysics; his views on them are discussed in order below.

Read more about this topic:  Charles Sanders Peirce

Other articles related to "philosophy":

Misanthropy - Western Thought - Philosophy
... In Western philosophy, misanthropy has been connected to isolation from human society ... In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates defines the misanthrope in relation to his fellow man "Misanthropy develops when without art one puts complete trust in somebody thinking the man absolutely true and sound and reliable and then a little later discovers him to be bad and unreliable...and when it happens to someone often...he ends up...hating everyone." Misanthropy, then, is presented as the result of thwarted expectations or even excessively naive optimism, since Plato argues that "art" would have allowed the potential misanthrope to recognize that the majority of men are to be found in between good and evil ...
Cosmos - Philosophy
... This philosophy, explored by writers such as H.P ... Lovecraft (who some say is the original proponent of the philosophy) and later writers who actually represented the beliefs in books such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...
Later Islamic Philosophy - Illuminationist School
... Illuminationist philosophy was a school of Islamic philosophy founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the 12th century ... This school is a combination of Avicenna's philosophy and ancient Iranian philosophy, with many new innovative ideas of Suhrawardi ... In logic in Islamic philosophy, systematic refutations of Greek logic were written by the Illuminationist school, founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1155-1191 ...
Humboldt University Of Berlin - Organization
... Berlin University Medicine Faculty of Philosophy I (Philosophy, History, European Ethnology, Department of Library and Information Science) Faculty of Philosophy II (Literature ...
Early Islamic Philosophy - Main Protagonists of Falsafa and Their Critics
... The twelfth century saw the apotheosis of pure philosophy and the decline of the Kalam, which latter, being attacked by both the philosophers and the orthodox, perished for lack of champions ... This supreme exaltation of philosophy may be attributed, in great measure, to Al-Ghazali (1058–1111) among the Persians, and to Judah ha-Levi (1140 ... the Philosophers), not only produced, by reaction, a current favorable to philosophy, but induced the philosophers themselves to profit by his criticism ...

Famous quotes containing the word philosophy:

    Why does philosophy use concepts and why does faith use symbols if both try to express the same ultimate? The answer, of course, is that the relation to the ultimate is not the same in each case. The philosophical relation is in principle a detached description of the basic structure in which the ultimate manifests itself. The relation of faith is in principle an involved expression of concern about the meaning of the ultimate for the faithful.
    Paul Tillich (1886–1965)

    The late Président de Montesquieu told me that he knew how to be blind—he had been so for such a long time—but I swear that I do not know how to be deaf: I cannot get used to it, and I am as humiliated and distressed by it today as I was during the first week. No philosophy in the world can palliate deafness.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)

    [The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy.
    Jane Addams (1860–1935)