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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable "best of" the most influential U.S. philosopher
Someone once noted that the course of the average person's life is often determined by the ideas of thinkers of whom he/she has never heard. Charles Peirce, the father of Pragmatism, the most infuential 20th century philosophy ( the quintessentially American contribution to the canon of Western thought), and to a degree the modern scientific worldview, is such a...
Published on February 20, 2004 by cvairag

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What to Expect
Anyone interested in reading the philosophy of C.S. Pierce should know what they get in this edition. Many of Peirce's significant essays appear in this single, affordable volume and this is a credit to the editor's wise selection. He has, however, made some less desirable decisions:
First, the choice to arrange the material thematically rather than chronologically...
Published on November 18, 2008 by Andrew J. Brown


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable "best of" the most influential U.S. philosopher, February 20, 2004
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cvairag (Allan Hancock College) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophical Writings of Peirce (Paperback)
Someone once noted that the course of the average person's life is often determined by the ideas of thinkers of whom he/she has never heard. Charles Peirce, the father of Pragmatism, the most infuential 20th century philosophy ( the quintessentially American contribution to the canon of Western thought), and to a degree the modern scientific worldview, is such a figure.
Peirce's father was for many years chairman of the Math dept at Harvard, teacher to the plethora of great names and leaders who poured forth from that venerable institution to lead our nation through the mid 19th century. But Peirce's own professional aspirations were dashed by an unfortunate affair with the wife of a colleague during a brief tenure at Johns Hopkins, which led to his banishment from academe. For the duration of his rather long life (he died in 1914), he painfully eeked out a living in a government job and wrote some of the most powerful philosophy of all time. He lived outside of Cambridge, MA where a circle of young scholars who would rise to prominence (notably William James, who would, with Freud, essentially co-found the new science of psychology) gathered at his feet to imbibe the vision of a world that would come to be.
The thrust of Peirce's philosophy is the effort to place philosophy on a scientific basis. Peirce's belief was that the theoretical could only have value if practically applicable, and, in the words of the distinguished Buchler, who brilliantly edited, selected, and arranged the papers for this volume, "that the broadest speculative theories should be experimentally verifiable. This attitude rests on the conviction that philosophy is a branch of progressive inquiry rather than a species of art, and that the scientific method alone makes progressive inquiry possible." As opposed to intuitional, mystical, or strictly theoretical subjective processes of justification, prominent in the nineteeth century, Peirce extrolled the scientific method as a social, cooperative enterprise, where objective criteria could be established through processes of universal examination and consensus, by which we could honestly and openly take measure of the veracity of our ideas. Moreover, the scientific method was distinguished from other approaches, as "it conceives of its results as essentially provisional or corrigle" and thus "ensures measurable progress". This concept of "falliblism", the idea that no idea is beyond question, and no criterion for judgement, infallible, is the lynchpin of Peirce's democratization of thought, a gift for the ages. Thus Peirce's famous motto: "DO NOT BLOCK THE ROAD TO INQUIRY!"
These papers represent the finest issue of Peirce's massive output (much of which was unfortunately destroyed and/or lost). "The Fixation of Belief" and "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" ought to be read by anyone interested in participating in the democratic process.
Not to be overlooked is the eloquence, humor, and compassion found in these papers, and in testimony their effect, the greater part of us might agree with Peirce that, "We are, doubtless, in the main, logical animals, but we are not perfectly so."
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What to Expect, November 18, 2008
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This review is from: Philosophical Writings of Peirce (Paperback)
Anyone interested in reading the philosophy of C.S. Pierce should know what they get in this edition. Many of Peirce's significant essays appear in this single, affordable volume and this is a credit to the editor's wise selection. He has, however, made some less desirable decisions:
First, the choice to arrange the material thematically rather than chronologically. The result is that sometimes, certain concepts or terms are mentioned BEFORE the original essay/paper that illuminated those ideas/terms/thoughts/etc.
Second, the choice to edit some of the essays for space. While what many consider Peirce's two most significant essays appear in their entirety ("How to Make Our Ideas Clear" and "Fixation of Belief") many others have paragraphs and/or entire pages missing.

The result is a volume that will suffice as an introduction to Peirce's thought (and even a little more) for the casual reader. For anyone interested in scholarship or deeper, comprehensive reading, and/or anyone simply prone to desire thoroughness, selecting another product will prove the more prudent decision.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the pre-PEP or pre-W series works, December 5, 2012
This review is from: Philosophical Writings of Peirce (Paperback)
Perhaps because of a lack of publication or perhaps because of a general lack of distribution of his ideas (Peirce tended to write only for other philosophers and logicians), Peirce's philosophical thinking was not well known until Eisele's "New Elements of Mathematics" (NEM), and the Peirce Edition Project's W series: "The Chronological Writings of Charles Sanders Peirce". Buchler's work is easily the best introduction to the work of Peirce prior to the availability of NEM and the W series.

Buchler worked from an earlier collection of Peirce's writings, called the CP series, consisting of 8 volumes of poorly edited papers presented in such a way as to not show the depth, or originality of his thought, or the evolutionary growth in the depth and power of his thought.

Nevertheless, Buchler's volume is still an excellent, easy to read, and easy to understand (relative to Peirce's depth of thinking) introduction to the immensity of the thought of Charles Peirce. I recommend it as a great reading value.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CS Peirce American Semiotician, September 22, 2013
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Survey/cartographer becomes logician and metaphysician. First use of the word 'semiotics' in the modern sense. He beat the French by quite a while.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great selection, December 20, 2012
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This review is from: Philosophical Writings of Peirce (Paperback)
Very well selected articles that highlight some of Pierce most impressive work. The bad thing, poor paper quality....just paperback. Worth reading.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he thinks like i do, March 16, 2013
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This review is from: Philosophical Writings of Peirce (Paperback)
peirce thinks transparently in solid grappling with the basic issues of thought, how it works.
from the athens that was boston.
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Philosophical Writings of Peirce
Philosophical Writings of Peirce by Charles S. Peirce (Paperback - March 18, 2011)
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