|Abduction, Reason, and Science: Processes of Discovery and Explanation
|American Ethics: A Source Book from Edwards to Dewey
|Artikulu eta hitzaldien bilduma
|Becoming John Dewey: Dilemmas of a Philosopher and Naturalist
|Charles Peirce's Guess at the Riddle: Grounds for Human Significance
|Charles S. Peirce's Evolutionary Philosophy
|Charles Sanders Peirce
|Classical American Pragmatism: Its Contemporary Vitality
|Consciousness and the Play of Signs
|Deconstruction and Reconstruction
|Defining the Semiotic Animal: A Postmodern Definition of “Human Being”
|Democracy and the Post-Totalitarian Experience
|Development of Peirce's Philosophy, The
|Der dramatische Reichtum der konkreten Welt: Der Ursprung des Pragmatismus im Denken von Charles S. Peirce und William James.
|The Establishment of Science in America: 150 Years of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
|Evidence and Inquiry Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology
|Experiencing Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Deweyan Account
|Founders of Constructive Postmodern Philosophy: Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne
|Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century
|From Peirce to Skolem: A Neglected Chapter in the History of Logic
|From Time and Chance to Consciousness: Studies in the Metaphysics of Charles Peirce
|Habermas and Pragmatism
|Interpréter l’art contemporain: La sémiotique peircienne appliquée aux æuvres de Magritte, Klein, Duras, Wenders, Chávez, Parant et Corillon
|Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic
|Josiah Royce’s Late Writings, 2 volumes
|Living Doubt: Essays concerning the Epistemology of Charles Sanders Peirce
|Matrizes da linguagem e pensamento: Sonora, visual, verbal
|The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America
|Modelos das relações sígnicas na semiose segundo C.S. Peirce: evidências empírico theóricas
|Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy
|On Translating Signs: Exploring Text and Semio-Translation
|Peirce crítico de Mill: Sobre os contextos realista e nominalista da indução
|Peirce and Contemporary Thought
|Peirce and Theology: Essays in the Authentication of Doctrine
|Peirce and Value Theory: On Peircean Ethics and Aesthetics
|Peirce Seminar Papers, Volume 2, The
|Peirce’s Doctrine of Signs: Theory, Applications, and Connections
|Peirce's Esthetics of Freedom: Possibility, Complexity, and Emergent Value
|Peirce's Pragmatism: The Design for Thinking
|Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards, A Study in Divine Semiotics, The
|Pragmatic Moral Realism: A Transcendental Defense
|Pragmatism, Old and New: Selected Writings
|Pragmatism and Values
|Pragmatismo: I valori dell’esperienza: Letture di Peirce, James e Mead
|Promise of Pragmatism, The
|Richard Rorty: An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Literature
|Sachen und Zeichen: zur Philosophie des Pragmatismus
|Science, Knowledge, and the Mind
|The Search for Mathematical Roots, 1870-1940
|Semantic Games in Logic and Language
|De Semiosis: het semiotiek van C. S. Peirce in verband gebracht met het verschijnsel (The Semiosis: C.S. Peirce's Semiotics Applied to 'Film')
|Semiosis in Hindustani Music
|Semiosis in the Postmodern Age
|Semiotic Self, The
|Semiotics and the Problem of Translation: With Special Reference to the Semiotics of Charles S. Peirce
|Sign Design, ou o design dos signos: a construção de diagramas dinâmicos das classes de signos de C.S. Peirce
|Signos Reales del Uruguay Imaginario
|Signs Solidarities and Sociology
|Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation
|Strands of System The Philosophy of Charles Peirce
|Tekenen van waarheid: C.S. Peirce en de hedendaagse wetenschapsifilosofie
|Thomas Albert Sebeok and Semiotics
|Truth, Rationality, and Pragmatism: Themes from Peirce
|Video Mind, Earth Mind
Book Notes & Notices
In this section we publish short descriptive notices of new books about Peirce or subjects likely to interest our readers. We cannot survey all new publications or prepare critical reviews, so we notice only those books sent by authors and publishers. When available, we reprint notices supplied with the books (often edited and supplemented with text from prefaces or introductions); otherwise we prepare our own brief announcements. Please note: we notice books only if they are sent as review copies to be deposited in the Project library.
Lorenzo Magnani. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2000, 224 pp.
G. W. Stroh and H. G. Callaway. Lanham: University Press of America, 2000, 500pp.
Artikulu eta hitzaldien bilduma.
Charles S. Peirce. Klasikoa, 2005. 415 pp.
Sixteen papers from the Essential Peirce are translated into the Basque language, including the original editorial annotations. Foreword by Nathan Houser.
Thomas C. Dalton. Indiana University Press, 2002, 377 pp.Engaged in a lifelong struggle to understand the human mind, Dewey had to become more than a philosopher. Tapping archival resources and Dewey’s extensive correspondence, Dalton shows that Dewey had close personal and intellectual ties to scientists and scholars who helped form the mature expression of his thought. His relationships with F.M. Alexander, Henri Matisse, Niels Bohr, Myrtle McGraw, and Lawrence K. Frank, among others, show how Dewey dispersed pragmatism throughout American thought and culture.
Charles Peirce's Guess at the Riddle: Grounds for Human Significance
Sheriff. Indiana University Press, 1994. 100 pp. $20.00 cloth; $9.95 paper.
As Emerson describes it in his essay "Nature," the riddle that the
Sphinx puts to every great thinker concerns the relation between mind
and matter. In this introduction to the thought of Charles S. Peirce,
John K. Sheriff presents a philosopher who speaks to this fundamental
question of the nature of human existence. In clear and concise prose,
Sheriff describes Peirce's "theory of everything," a vision of cosmic
and human meaning that offers a positive alternative to popular
pessimistic and relativistic approaches to life and meaning. Aimed at
nonspecialists, this book does not attempt to evaluate every concept in
Peirce's philosophy but instead shows how Peirce's analyses of
aesthetics, ethics, logic, and human consciousness rest on the
foundations of his grand theory of the cosmos, mind, and signs. Sheriff
convincingly demonstrates that Peirce's answer to the riddle of the
Sphinx has the potential to be a powerful, positive force in
contemporary culture. Foreword by Nathan Houser.
As Emerson describes it in his essay "Nature," the riddle that the Sphinx puts to every great thinker concerns the relation between mind and matter. In this introduction to the thought of Charles S. Peirce, John K. Sheriff presents a philosopher who speaks to this fundamental question of the nature of human existence. In clear and concise prose, Sheriff describes Peirce's "theory of everything," a vision of cosmic and human meaning that offers a positive alternative to popular pessimistic and relativistic approaches to life and meaning. Aimed at nonspecialists, this book does not attempt to evaluate every concept in Peirce's philosophy but instead shows how Peirce's analyses of aesthetics, ethics, logic, and human consciousness rest on the foundations of his grand theory of the cosmos, mind, and signs. Sheriff convincingly demonstrates that Peirce's answer to the riddle of the Sphinx has the potential to be a powerful, positive force in contemporary culture. Foreword by Nathan Houser.
Charles S. Peirce's Evolutionary Philosophy
Carl R. Hausman. Cambridge University Press, 1993. xvii, 230 pp. $54.95 cloth.
This excellent book by one of today's leading Peirce scholars provides a systematic introduction to the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. It focuses on four of Peirce's fundamental conceptions: pragmatism and Peirce's development of it into what he called "pragmaticism"; his theory of signs; his phenomenology; and his theory that continuity is of prime importance for philosophy.
Hausman argues that at the center of Peirce's philosophical project is a unique form of metaphysical realism, whereby both continuity and evolutionary change are necessary for our understanding of experience. In his final chapter Hausman applied this version of realism to current controversies between anti-realists and anti-idealists. Peirce's views are compared with those of such present-day figures as Davidson, Putnam, and Rorty.
Klaus Oehler. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1993. 163 pp. DM 24.
Charles Sanders Peirce appears in the respected Grosse Denker Series (C. H. Beck Verlag, Munich).
This is an introductory but scholarly treatment, in German, of Peirce's work, viewed from a European perspective. Oehler focuses on Peirce's pragmatism, theory of signs, categories and cosmology, and on his significance for thought in the 21st century, after the decline of ideological thinking. Oehler's thesis is that pragmatism will be the Idealtypus of future philosophy, but Peirce's form of pragmatism, not Rorty's.
Ed. Sandra B. Rosenthal, Carl R. Hausman, and Douglas R. Anderson. University of Illinois Press, 1999, 263 pp.
Consciousness and the Play of Signs
Robert E. Innis. Indiana University Press, 1994. ix, 177 pp. $35.00 cloth.
In Consciousness and the Play of Signs, Robert E. Innis offers a brilliant study of the relationship between philosophy and semiotics. Taking up the problem as foregrounded by Eco, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Goodman, and Rorty, Innis reformulates and reconfigures the philosophical and semiotic premises and frameworks of a descriptively adequate theory of knowledge. In so doing he opens the way to a cultural and historical epistemology of embodied knowledge forms.
Innis bases his analysis primarily on conceptual tools derived from deep and sophisticated readings of Peirce, Polanyi, Dewey, Bhler, Husserl, and Cassirer. He explores the variety of contexts--including the motoric, the perceptual, the aesthetic, the linguistic, and the theoretical--in which semiotic and nonsemiotic factors in consciousness and world building can be related without blurring their crucial differences or irreconcilably opposing them to one another. This book heightens our understanding of ourselves and intersects with all those disciplines concerned with the production and interpretation of meaning.
Ed. John Ryder and Krystyna Wilkoszewska. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, 270 pp.
John Deely. Sofia, 2005, 96 pp.
Ed. Leszek Koczanowicz and Beth J. Singer. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005, 238 pp.
Development of Peirce's Philosophy, The
Murray G. Murphey. Hackett Publishing Company, 1993. 448 pp. $38.95 cloth; $19.95 paper.
Hackett has reissued Murray Murphey's landmark study of Peirce's philosophy--including a paperback issue for the classroom. In this work, which follows Peirce's development from the late 1850's to Peirce's death in 1914, Murphey presents Peirce's philosophy as a continuing attempt to create an architectonic system adequate for dealing with both scientific and metaphysical problems, and suggests an underlying consistency throughout Peirce's work and explains the considerations behind what appear to be radical contradictions in Peirce's thought. Peirce's theories of geometry, topology, and arithmetic are treated in detail. Murphey also sets forth what Peirce intended in referring to his later philosophy as "synechism" and explains Peirce's intellectual goals and why he failed to achieve them. In a new preface, Murphey announces that he now believes that Peirce was more successful in achieving a coherent system than he thought when he wrote this work in 1961. In addition to a new preface, Murphey has added a new appendix where footnotes are keyed to the Robin manuscript classification. Students and scholars will welcome the return of this "old friend."
Helmut Pape. Weilerswist: Velbrück, 2002. 379 pp.
Michael Hoffmann. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2005, 271 pp.
The Establishment of Science in America: 150 Years of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Michael M. Sokal, Bruce V. Lewenstein. Rutgers University Press, 1999, 236 pp.Tracing the evolution of the role of scientists in American society, public attitudes toward science, and changing dimensions of the sponsorship of science and its participants, the authors connect the AAAS history to issues of continuing importance in American history, such as the integration of women and minority groups into mainstream professions and the role of expert knowledge in a democratic society.
Evidence and Inquiry Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology
Susan Haack. Blackwell Publishers, 1995. x, 259 pp. $44.95 cloth.
In this book Haack effectively challenges "enthusiasts of the latest developments in cognitive science or neurophysiology" (e.g. the Churchlands), "radical self-styled neo-pragmatists" (e.g. Stich), and "followers of the latest Paris fashions" (e.g. Rorty) on the legitimacy and fruitfulness of epistemology. Haack claims, contra the above hostile parties, that epistemology is far from terminal, but that it is in need of reconstruction (not deconstruction). Haack goes on to provide the needed reconstruction, a new explication of epistemic justification that takes the grain from the "opposing" foundationalist and coherentist accounts but blows off the chaf. In the neologistic tradition of Peirce, Haack gives her new theory a unique (and not very pretty) name: foundherentism. Haack describes her new approach to the project of ratification as "an approach which [is] neither purely a priori nor purely empirical in character, but [is] very modestly naturalistic, allowing the contributory relevance both of empirical considerations about human beings' cognitive capacities and limitations, and of considerations of a logical, deductive character." Though the name of her new theory may not be pleasing, the theory (supported by a broadly Peircean account of perception) is; it is likely to be the theory that will carry epistemology into the 21st century.
Arthur Efron. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005, 248 pp.
David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb Jr., Marcus P. Ford, Pete A. Y. Gunter, and Peter Ochs. State University of New York Press, 1993. xi, 241 pp. $16.95 paper.
In presenting Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne as members of a common and distinctively postmodern trajectory, this book casts the thought of each of them in a new light. It also suggests a new direction for the philosophical community as a whole, now that the various forms of modern philosophy, and even the deconstructive form of postmodern philosophy, are widely perceived to be dead-ends. This new option offers the possibility that philosophy may recover its role as a critic and guide within the more general culture. The five essays in Constructive Postmodern Philosophy are presented with the hope that they will contribute to a revitalization of philosophy in the coming decades and to a better fulfillment by philosophers of the cultural role they should play, and thereby, in some way, to a better world. Introduction by D. R. Griffin.
John Deely. University of Toronto Press, 2001, 1019 pp.Taking the notion of a sign as central, Deely distinguishes four eras in the history of philosophy: Greek thought, the Latin age, the modern period, and the postmodern age, which in Deely’s view begins with Peirce. Considering the history of philosophy in connection with the emergence of contemporary semiotics, Deely gives a new and fruitful vantage point from which to review and reinterpret both our heritage and today’s intellectual culture.
Geraldine Brady. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2000, 625 pp.
From Time and Chance to Consciousness: Studies in the Metaphysics of Charles Peirce
Edited with introduction by Edward C. Moore and Richard S. Robin. Oxford and Providence: Berg Publishers, 1994. xii, 269 pp. $59.95 cloth.
Charles Peirce, sometimes said to be the finest philosopher the United States has yet produced, was also a physicist, chemist, and mathematician. He belongs to a long line of physical scientists reaching from Aristotle to Einstein--including contemporaries such as Planck, Schrdinger and Heisenberg--for whom physics was not enough, and who went beyond physics to metaphysics and cosmology.
The seventeen papers contained in _From Time and Chance to Consciousness_ were first presented to the Harvard Congress commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Peirce. They are devoted primarily to the metaphysics on which Peirce based his pragmatism. Problems with Peirce's metaphysics, involving both the understanding of his position and the viability of it, persist. For example, is Peirce's defense of First Philosophy sufficient to meet the objections of W. Quine and others? Given scientific metaphysics as Peirce understands it, how plausible is it to think that grafting scholastic realism onto scientific realism will solve the problem of the objectivity of science? Has the cognitive question of how we know real generals been satisfactorily answered? It is also a fair question to ask, especially in view of the importance Peirce places on science, whether recent developments in science are in support of, neutral to, or in opposition to the main thrust of his cosmogony.
These and other questions are considered, though not with a single voice. That a varied community of inquirers has taken up the challenges posed by Peirce's questions and answers may be read as a sign that Peircean metaphysics is indeed alive and well.
Ed. Mitchell Aboulafia. Routledge, 2002, 240 pp.
Nicole Everaert-Desmedt. Brussels: De Boeck, coll. Culture & Communication, 2006, 318 pp.
Ian Hacking. Cambridge University Press, 2001, 320 pp.
Ed. Frank M. Oppenheim, S.J. Bristol, Thoemmes Press, 2001, 620 pp.
Edited by Guy Debrock and Menno Hulswit. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994. xi, 323 pp. $20.00 cloth; $9.95 paper.
Although it is often said that Peirce is one of the most important North American philosophers, the real extent of the philosophical importance of his work begins to emerge only now. Whereas it was for a long time philosophically fashionable to regard pragmatism as a typically naive and simplistic American approach to the serious problems of philosophy, there can be little doubt that recent epistemological literature points to a reversal of that trend. Indeed, pragmatism, and more specifically, Peirce's own brand of pragmaticism, a term which he invented in order to distance himself from other forms of pragmatism, may well provide the key to an epistemological theory which avoids the pitfalls of both foundationalism and relativism.
The 26 papers included in _Living Doubt_ were presented to the Charles S. Peirce Sesquicentennial International Congress held at Harvard University in the Fall of 1989. They represent a rich and cosmopolitan variety of approaches to Peirce's epistemology.
Lucia Santaella. São Paulo: Editora Iluminuras, 2001, 432 pp.
Louis Menand. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002, 568 pp.
Alvaro João Queiroz. Dissertation. Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 2002.
Scott L. Pratt. Indiana University Press, 2002, 336 pp.
Cornelis de Waal. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2001, 96 pp.
Dinda L. Gorlée. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, 250 pp.
Maria de Lourdes Bacha. Dissertation. Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 1999.
Peirce and Contemporary Thought
Edited by Kenneth L. Ketner. Fordham University Press, 1995. xvi, 444 pp. $35.00 cloth.
Perhaps the seminal event for Peirce scholarship for the next century took place at Harvard University in September 1989. This was the landmark Peirce Sesquicentennial Congress that brought together hundreds of leading Peirce scholars from around the world in an intimate exchange of papers and ideas. Of the eleven books that have sprung from the Harvard Congress, Ketner's Peirce and Contemporary Thought may be expected to have the broadest impact. It contains the essays of the principal speakers at the Congress, including papers by Hilary Putnam, W. V. Quine, Isaac Levi, Nicholas Rescher, Carolyn Eisele, Joseph W. Dauben, Umberto Eco, Thomas Sebeok, Jrgen Habermas, Risto Hilpinen, Michael Shapiro, David Savan, Charles Hartshorne, and Karl-Otto Apel. The papers by these important scholars, and powerful responses by, Randall R. Dipert, Joseph S. Ullian, Cornelius J. Delaney, Helena M. Pycior, Peter Skagestad, Klaus Oehler, Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou, Vincent G. Potter, and Christopher Hookway, cover a wide range of interests and establish crucial links between Peirce's thought and contemporary research in many different fields of intellectual endeavor. This is the book to read for anyone seeking to learn how Peirce is relevant for contemporary thought.
Donald L. Gelpi. University Press of America, 2001, 104 pp.
Edited by Herman Parret. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1994. xv, 371 pp. $95.00 cloth.
Most of the essays collected in this book were presented at the Charles S. Peirce Sesquicentennial Congress (Harvard University, September 1989). The volume is devoted to themes within Peirce's value theory and offers a comprehensive view of less known aspects of his influential philosophy, in particular Peirce's work on ethics and aesthetics.
The book is divided in four sections. Section 1 discusses the status of ethics as a normative science and its relation with logic; some applications are presented, e.g. in the field of bioethics. Section 2 investigates the specific position of Peircean aesthetics with regard to classical American philosophy (especially Buchler), to Husserlian phenomenology, and to European structuralism (Saussure, Jakobson). Section 3 contains papers on internal aspects of Peirce's aesthetics and its place in his thought. The final section presents applications of Peirce's aesthetic theory and offers analyses of visual art (mainly paintings), of literary texts and of musical meaning. The book includes 23 articles, a preface by K. L. Ketner, and a comprehensive introduction by the Editor.
Edited by Michael Shapiro. Berghahn Books, 1994. 259 pp. $49.95 cloth.
Since the modern founding of the theory of signs by the American philosopher-scientist Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), the field of semiotics has become increasingly prominent as a method of interdisciplinary research and study, bridging the humanities, the fine arts, and the natural and social sciences. This new annual, The Peirce Seminar Papers, offers a forum for applications of sign theory in its most developed and richest version--that of Charles Peirce. Volume one (Berg) appeared in 1993.
Volume two is dedicated to the memory of David Savan and the memorial preface by Michael Shapiro includes a useful bibliography of Savan's semiotic writings. This volume, which includes papers by Edna Andrews, Raimo Anttila, Jean Fisette, James Jakb Liszka, Dan Nesher, Peter H. Salus, Marianne Shapiro, and T.L. Short, makes a substantial contribution to semiotic theory. Of special interest is the posthumously published 1991 paper by David Savan: "C.S. Peirce and American Semiotics." All students of Peirce's semiotic will want to read Savan's paper.
Ed. Vincent Colapietro, Thomas Olshewsky. Mouton de Gruyter, 1995, 463 pp.
Roberta Kevelson. Peter Lang Publishers, 1993. 360 pp. $65.95 cloth.
Kevelson explores Peirce's idea of esthetics from the viewpoint that freedom is, for Peirce, the summum bonum. Her research is based, in large part, on unpublished manuscripts. This book shows that in Peirce's scheme, possibility is greater than necessity. Novelty first appears as a quality which evolves. All freedom initially arises as an idea which the investigator opposes to form. As Peirce says, what we call observables or facts are ideas, or signs, grounded in established contexts of meaning and value. The leading thesis in this book extrapolates from Peirce's assumption that we must redefine relations of real and actual phenomena in order to make a place for possibility. The idea of possibility includes all the conceivable modes of being and becoming. According to Peirce, it is the method of semiotics which is instrumental in observing the possible in its process of Becoming. As the relation between observer and observed reciprocally evolve and increase multidimensionally, expanding limits of meaning, opportunities for further inquiry, emerge. In this sense Kevelson sees Peirce's freedom as a means/end dynamical process.
Phyllis Chiasson. Rodopi Editions, 2001, 259 pp.
Stephen H. Daniel. Indiana University Press, 1994. ix, 224 pp. $22.95 cloth.
Stephen H. Daniel presents a comprehensive analysis and redefinition of the thought of Jonathan Edwards. Though well known in literary, historical, and religious circles, Edwards is a puzzle to philosophers. Attempts to portray him in terms of the classical modern dispute between empiricism and rationalism are inevitably frustrated by his blend of philosophy, rhetoric, history, and religious doctrine.
Daniel reveals how Edward's philosophy appeals to the tradition of Stoic logic and ontology thematized in the Renaissance by Paracelsus and Peter Ramus. Drawing on the semiotic work of Peirce, Foucault, and Kristeva, the book shows how the Renaissance theory of signatures provides Edwards and his contemporaries with a powerful alternative to the ideas of Descartes and Locke. Presenting the Stoic-Renaissance treatment of signs as an alternative to the modern dismissal of the language of nature, Daniel demonstrates the way in which this earlier model illuminates Edwards's treatment of theological themes such as creation, trinity, original sin, freedom, moral agency, and the knowledge of beauty.
Sami Pihlström. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005, 184 pp.
Hilary Putnam. Blackwell Publishers, 1995. xii, 106 pp. $39.95 cloth; $15.95 paper.
Putnam writes in his introduction that "it is an open question whether an enlightened society can avoid a corrosive moral scepticism without tumbling back into moral authoritarianism. . . . It is precisely this question that has led me, in recent years, back to pragmatism--to the writings of Peirce, and James and Dewey, and also to the writings of Wittgenstein, whose work, I argue in these lectures, bears affinities to American Pragmatism even if he was not willing to be classed as a 'pragmatist'. " Putnam then outlines the chapters (lectures) that follow:
In the first of the lectures, I try to explain the importance of the thought of William James, focussing in particular on the way in which fact and value are seen as inseparable by James, but also setting the stage for the discussion of the inseparability of fact and theory and fact and interpretation in the lectures which follow. In the second lecture, I try to situate the later philosophy of Wittgenstein not only with respect to pragmatism, but also with respect to the history of philosophy, and in the third and final lecture I try to bring the legacy of Peirce, James, Dewey, and Wittgenstein to bear on some of our contemporary philosophical debates. In particular, I hope to convince you that pragmatism offers something far better than the unpalatable alternatives which too often seem to be the only possibilities today, both philosophically and politically.
The three lectures in this slim volume were delivered in Rome in March 1992 in the distinguished series "Lezione italiane" under the sponsorship of the Sigma Tau Foundation and the Laterza publishing house. The book includes a useful bibliography of Putnam's writings.
Ed. Cheryl Misak. University of Calgary Press, 1999, 278 pp.
This collection brings together some of the very best new work on pragmatism, from both self-styled pragmatists and from those whose positions merely have affinities with pragmatism. The essays, which cover both classical pragmatism and contemporary approaches, focus on epistemology and moral/ political philosophy.
Ed. Susan Haack and Robert Lane. Prometheus: Amherst, 2006, 741 pp.
Ed. John Ryder and Emil Visnovsky. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, 248 pp.These are twenty essays written for the first conference of the Central Pragmatist Forum, which was held in Slovakia in 2000. The essays survey contemporary thinking on classical and contemporary pragmatism, culture and society, and science and the arts.
Rosa M. Calcaterra. Rome: Carocci, 2003.
Promise of Pragmatism, The
John Patrick Diggins. The University of Chicago Press, 1994. xiv, 515 pp. $29.95 cloth.
For much of our century, pragmatism has enjoyed a charmed life, holding the dominant point of view in American politics, law, education, and social thought in general. After suffering a brief eclipse in the post- World War II period, pragmatism has enjoyed a revival, especially in literary theory and such areas as poststructuralism and deconstruction. In this sweeping critique of pragmatism and neopragmatism, one of our leading intellectual historians traces the attempts of thinkers from William James to Richard Rorty to find a response to the crisis of modernism. Diggins analyzes the limitations of pragmatism from a historical perspective and dares to ask whether America's one original contribution to the world of philosophy has actually fulfilled its promise.
Diggins examines how, in different ways, William James, Charles Peirce, John Dewey, George H. Mead, and Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr., demonstrated that modernism posed no obstacle in fields such as science, education, religion, law, politics, and diplomacy. Diggins also examines the work of the neopragmatists Jrgen Habermas and Richard Rorty and their attempt to resolve the crisis of postmodernism.
This is a magisterial account of twentieth-century intellectual life. It should be read by every one concerned about the roots of postmodernism (and its links to pragmatism) and about the forms of thought and action available for confronting a world after postmodernism.
Edited by L. Gregory Jones and Stephen E. Fowl. Blackwell Publishers, 1995. 165 pp. $21.95 paper.
Out of the ashes of the post-modern critique of metaphysics comes a series of important essays which re-think the place of metaphysics in theological and philosophical inquiry. This book ranges across a variety of philosophical and theological traditions, engaging such figures as Plato and Augustine, as well as Gillian Rose, Jacques Derrida, Donald Davidson, C.S. Peirce, and Jean Luc Marion.
Two chapters make special application of Peirce's work. Rebecca Chopp criticises a tendency among certain feminist theologians to rely upon an essentialist metaphysic. As an alternative, she argues the Peirce's work provides a more suitable metaphysic for feminist theology without compromising feminist concerns for the dismantling, naming, and transforming of current realities. Peter Ochs invites us to listen in on a conversation between a postcritical philosopher of a Peirceian sort and a postcritical scriptural theologian like George Lindbeck. Their dialogue is focussed on Exodus 3 and a variety of rabbinic interpretations of that passage. The problem driving this dialogue concerns issues about how to account for the transformative power of biblical interpretation. More generally, however, Ochs aims here both to lay out a non-foundationalist metaphysic and to argue that dialogues between postcritical theologians and philosophers will be mutually enriching.
The authors of these essays directly confront a variety of post-modern critiques of metaphysical speculation, while, nonetheless, arguing that there is still a significant future for reflection on metaphysical questions. Unified by an agreement about the urgent need to re-think metaphysics rather than a common set of answers, these essays should provoke a wide-ranging and lively discussion among philosophers and theologians.
Richard Rumana. Rodopi, 2002, 135 pp.
Sachen und Zeichen: zur Philosophie des Pragmatismus
Klaus Oehler. Vittorio Klostermann, 1995. 269 pp.
For most of this century pragmatism has been spurned in Germany as a typical expression of American utilitarianism and vulgar practicality. But as old prejudices have thawed and dissolved in the aftermath of the cold war, the resentment of German intellectuals against American pragmatism has begun to disappear. Oehler's timely book demonstrates that pragmatism offers a theory of action that is both humane and ecological, a view far removed from the opportunism before mistakenly thought to undergird American thought. The essays assembled in this volume--which have appeared in scattered places from 1968 to 1994-- originated for the most part in lectures and seminars conducted by Professor Oehler on the philosophy of pragmatism, especially in relation to its founder, C.S. Peirce. Oehler is a leading specialist on Peirce's philosophy.
C. F. Delaney. Notre Dame University Press, 1993. xii, 183 pp. $28.95 cloth.
This book is a comprehensive but manageable introduction to Peirce's thought. Elegantly written in only 179 pages, it can hardly be expected to give the unabridged Peirce, yet it is remarkable how complete its picture is. By astutely selecting as Peirce's primary philosophical project his Kant-inspired quest for the conditions of the possibility of science (taken very broadly), Delaney zeroes in on the heart of Peirce's philosophy. He elaborates Peirce's project as having two facets: "first, the articulation of certain qualities of inquirers and institutions necessary to sustain the process; and secondly, the articulation or positing of certain features of our world necessary to guarantee its objective validity." _Science, Knowledge, and the Mind_ is an account of Peirce's achievement in resolving the problem he set for himself, a resolution that draws heavily from philosophy of science, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. The book is not merely another introduction to Peirce's philosophy but is offered as an antidote to current strains of anti-rationalism and anti-scientism. Delaney believes that Peirce's brand of pragmatism provides a way to transcend many of the limitations of twentieth-century philosophy without rejecting its many genuine advances over past ways of philosophizing. Delaney remarks that it is the task of every age to undertake the speculative project of fashioning a synoptic conception of the world and of our place in it. He shows that Peirce's try at this perennial task is surprisingly relevant to current debates in the philosophy of science and culture.
I. Grattan-Guinness. Princeton University Press, 2001, 624 pp.
Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen. Dissertation, University of Helsinki, 2002, 55 pp.
Hans van Driel. Tilburg: Catholic University of Brabant, 1993 (privately printed dissertation). x, 154 pp.
Van Driel argues that Peircean semiotics offers an alternative to the object-immanent approach of structurally oriented film semiotics. According to Peirce, meaning represents itself as a process, whereby a sign is determined by an object and whereby the sign itself produces a signified sign (the interpretant). For Peircean semiotics, research into this process of meaning representation (the semiosis) is itself the domain of research. Van Driel describes this semiosis by applying two procedures derived from the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce. The first is Peirce's semiotic claim that all representation of meaning is by sign. This claim constitutes the frame of this study. The second procedure, which involves Peirce's theory of categories, functions as Van Driel's leading principle.
Semiosis in general is described as a quality which may be actualized. For this reason, semiosis in general is called semiosis 'in potentia.' Van Driel refers to an actualized semiosis as semiosis 'in actu.' This is the object of research of several forms of applied semiotics. The description of this semiosis requires an adaptation of the description of semiosis 'in potentia' because of the peculiarity of the artifact (the sign) that influences semiosis 'in actu.' In this study semiosis 'in actu,' and its specialized subset of concluded semiosis (semiosis 'in lege'), is defined in terms of the process of film analysis.
Written in Dutch, a summary in English is included.
Jose Luiz Martinez. New Delhi: Motilal, 2001, 396 pp.
Semiosis in the Postmodern Age
Floyd Merrell. Purdue University Press, 1995. xv, 374 pp. $37.95 cloth.
"Who are we to suppose we are capable of comprehending the world of which we are a part, and what is the world to suppose it can be understood by us, minuscule and insignificant spatiotemporal warps contained within it?" This provocative question opens Floyd Merrell's study of postmodernism and the thought of Charles Sanders Peirce, part of the author's ongoing effort to understand our contemporary cultural and intellectual environment.
The specific focus in this interdisciplinary study is the modernism/postmodernism dichotomy and Peirce's precocious realization that the world does not lend itself to the simplistic binarism of modernist thought. In Merrell's examination of postmodern phenomena, the reader is taken through various facets of the cognitive sciences, philosophy of science, mathematics, and literary theory.
Merrell's consideration of Peirce's complex and inadequately understood concept of the sign is enhanced through numerous charts and figures. Theories, hypothesis, and speculation in the physical sciences are then brought to bear on Peircean semiotics. The final chapter critiques the often undiscriminating acceptance of postmodern practices in today's academic world.
Throughout this work, Merrell is scrupulously aware that we are participants within, not detached spectators of, our signs. We understand them while we interact with them, during which process we, and our signs as well, invariably undergo change.
Norbert Wiley. The University of Chicago Press, 1994. xiii, 250 pp. $39.95 cloth; $19.95 paper.
In his preface, Wiley describes this book as "a humanist book about the self." But it is not about the selfish (narcissistic, self-centered) self. Nor is it about the good (selfless, altruistic) self. This is a book "about the generic self, apart from any qualities it might have at any given time or place."
Drawing particularly on a synthesis of the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce and George Herbert Mead, Wiley argues that the self can be seen as a "trialogue" in which the present self ("I") talks to the future self ("you") about the past self ("me"). A distinctive feature of Wiley's view is that there is a mutually supportive relation between the self and democracy, and he traces this view through American history. Ultimately, in finding a way to decenter the self without eliminating it, Wiley supplies a much-needed closure to classical pragmatism and gives new direction to neopragmatism.
Wiley's book provides a superior means of interpreting the politics of identify in relation to such issues as class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
Semiotics and the Problem of Translation: With Special Reference to the Semiotics of Charles S. Peirce
Dinda L. Gorlee. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1994. 255 pp. This book presents a radically interdisciplinary account of how Charles S. Peirce's theory of signs can be made to interact meaningfully with translation theory. Gorlee shows that the various phenomena we commonly refer to as "translation" are different forms of "genuine" and "degenerate" semiosis. Drawing on insights from Ludwig Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin (and drawing analogies between their work and Peirce's) it is argued that through the kaleidoscopic, evolutionary process of unlimited translation, signs deploy their meaning-potentialities. This enables Gorlee to throw novel light on Roman Jakobson's three kinds of translation--intralingual, interlingual, and intersemiotic translation. This pioneering study will entice translation specialists, semioticians, and (language) philosophers into expanding their views upon translation and, hopefully, into cooperative research projects.
Priscila Lena Farias. Dissertation. Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 2002.
Fernando Andacht. Ediciones Trilce, 1992. 160 pp. $24.00 paper.
The largest part of this book centers on the close analysis of six media episodes, both at a micro- and a macro-social level, in order to understand the working of ideology from a socio-semiotic perspective. The society chosen is contemporary Uruguay--the small Latin American country formerly known as "the Switzerland of America" because of its solid and long-standing democratic institutions, as well as for its highly educated population. Andacht's working theory is Peircean triadic semiotic, with special emphasis on the much discussed concepts of the ground and the interpretant. The interpretant is construed by the author as the fundamental social legitimation device; in this manner an attempt is made to give a semiotic account of the construction of verisimilitude in everyday life. For this task, Andacht draws from J. J. Liszka's notion of transvaluation, a crucial elaboration of some key concepts of pragmaticism. A decade of the Uruguayan transition from dictatorship to democracy is thus studied through mass media produced signs--from newspapers, television news, talk shows, and publicity. In this way we witness how the social imagination works, what the role of media is in the change and preservation of powerful modern myths. Media are never mirror-like artifacts, but are truly dialectical ones, in the spirit of triadic semiosis, participating in an endless determination process in which signs undergo unpredictable change. Socio-semiotics should be able to explain why certain beliefs endure, while others die away. The book is aimed at semioticians with an interest in social sciences, as well as at sociologists, anthropologists, and social psychologists.
Blasco José Sobrinho. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, 320 pp.
Ed. Dinda L. Gorlée. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005, 311 pp.
Douglas R. Anderson. Purdue University Press, 1995. xiv, 204 pp. $24.95 cloth; $13.95 paper.
Anderson's book is a unique and effective introduction to Peirce's life and thought. In the first two chapters he gives a panoramic view of Peirce's life and work in a way that reflects Peirce's own style. Much of the material in these chapters is responsive to the writings of Carl Hausman, Christopher Hookway, and Beverley Kent. In chapters three and four Anderson reprints two of Peirce's signature essays: "The Fixation of Belief," and "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God." Together these essays provide a glimpse of the continuity and the development in Peirce's thinking; in particular, they display an attempt to come to grips with the central pragmatic question of how to characterize belief. Each essay is followed by an excellent commentary which aims to situate Peirce's conception of belief within the overall context of his architectonic. Anderson's appendix on "Peirce Literature" and his bibliography will be much appreciated by students.
Menno Hulswit and Herman C.D.G. de Regt. Tilburg University Press, 1993. x, 254 pp. $40.00 paper (Written in Dutch)
The following is a chapter by chapter summary of Signs of Truth:
1. Herman de Regt and Menno Hulswit: "Introduction: Some Remarks on the Significance of C.S. Peirce for Contemporary Philosophy of Science."
2. Cees Schuyt (Amsterdam): "C.S. Peirce's Pragmaticism." Schuyt gives a comprehensive treatment of Peirce's pragmaticism and compares it with the pragmatism of William James. He also explores the significance of Peirce's philosophy of science, epistemology, and semiotics for contemporary philosophy of the social sciences.
3. Ilkka Niiniluoto (Helsinki): "The Evolution of Knowledge." Niiniluoto discusses the attempts by Peirce, Popper, and Toulmin to explain scientific progress in terms of conceptions derived from theories of biological evolution.
4. Ton Derksen (Nijmegen/Tilburg). "Peirce and the Problem of Scientific Progress." Derksen discusses Peirce's three explanations of (keys to) scientific progress: (1) induction, (2) self-correction, and (3) natural instincts.
5. Herman de Regt (Tilburg). "Scientific Realism and Underdetermination: Peirce's Blind Spot?" De Regt gives a survey of the presumed Peircean abductive argument for scientific realism in the philosophy of science of this century. He concludes that this argument has nothing in common with the mature Peircean notion of abduction. De Regt further argues that Peirce overlooked the by now well known fact that the possibility of underdetermination may seriously undermine realism.
6. Guy Debrock (Nijmegen). "Naturalism and Peirce's Conception of Truth." Debrock argues that Peirce's theory of truth is highly problematic, and should be translated in terms of intersubjective certainty. He further argues that Peirce's philosophy of nature clears the way towards a new kind of naturalism which is non-dualistic, non- dogmatic, and non-relativistic.
7. Menno Hulswit (Nijmegen). "Peirce on Final Causation." After having explained Peirce's notion of final causation, a comparison is made between Peirce's and contemporary analyses of the problem of teleology. Hulswit argues that Peirce's neglected notion of final causation offers a much better understanding of natural phenomena.
8. Jaap van Brakel (Louvain). "Peirce's Pragmatic Realism." Van Brakel discusses to what extent Peirce's pragmatism can be reconciled with his scholastic realism, and whether Peirce's pragmatic realism should be interpreted as a pluralistic realism.
9. Herman Parret (Louvain/Brussels). "Peirce on the Discovery of Configurations by Abduction -- The Role of Indexicallity and Iconicity." Parret recommends the extension of the domain of Peirce's theory of abduction from philosophy of science to the question of meaning in the most general sense. Parret argues that Peirce's triadic method offers a sophisticated semiotic instrument to give a clear view of what happens when someone understands a meaning.
John Deely. Sofia, 2005, 52 pp.
Christopher Hookway. Oxford University Press, 2003, 328 pp.
Paul Ryan. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 1993. 429 pp. $54.95 cloth; $39.95 paper.
The artist/author has combined an understanding of media learned from McLuhan, cybernetics learned from Bateson, and phenomenology/semiotics learned from Peirce to conceptualize a range of projects reported on in this book. The projects include a plan for an intentional video community, an art of triadic behavior, the organization of a bioregional magazine, a design for a television channel dedicated to the environment using Peirce's sixty-six-fold sign classification, a computer program for generating consensus using the sixty-six signs, an educational curriculum and a notation for interpreting ecological systems. In formulating these projects, the artist claims to have successfully "abducted" the logic of triadic relationships Peirce tried to develop but failed to produce. With reference to Murray Murphey's study of Peirce, the artist/author offers his logic for scrutiny by Peirce's scholars. The book presents 40 texts collected over 25 years in chronological order with contextual explications. Preface by Roberta Kevelson.