- Series: Essential Peirce (Book 1)
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Indiana University Press (November 22, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0253207215
- ISBN-13: 978-0253207210
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Essential Peirce, Volume 1: Selected Philosophical Writings‚ (1867–1893)
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From Library Journal
Often considered the greatest American philosopher, Peirce produced no comprehensive treatise; until now, students and scholars had to read through widely scattered papers to gain an overall view of his thought. This anthology remedies that situation by offering a full representation of his work, including several hard-to-obtain items. The editors have arranged the material chronologically, so that the development of Peirce's ideas can be traced. Essays discuss such topics as the philosopher's new system of categories, pragmatism, signs, scientific progress, and evolutionary cosmology. The excellent introduction stresses Peirce's growing adherence to realism and his doctrine of signs. This volume ends in 1893; a second will cover the period from 1894 to his death in 1914. It is highly recommended for scholarly collections.
- David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
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However, as the books progresses many of the things that are assumed in the first essay are explained. For instance Peirce explains in detail what he means by a sign.
He discusses cognition, or consciousness and shows that logically our internal experience is based on external stimulation. It soon becomes impossible to ignore the fact that you are reading the works of a logician and that that is where he is coming from. But even though you might have to reread parts several times, once you master the arguements, it is satisfying indeed.
According to the introduction of the book and references, Peirce was influential. William James, Oliver Wendel Holmes and John Dewey were all influenced by him. Modern cognitive psychology owes much to William James. Psychology took a different direction through psychoanalysis and then behaviorism but cognitive psychology is now the dominate paradigm. Because of this Peirce has renewed importance.
My advice is to read it through once and not feel you have to get everything and the reread it because he explains things later that he assmes you know earlier.
This first volume of *The Essential Peirce* contains Peirce's early *Monist* essays ("Some Consequences of Four Incapacities Claimed for Man", e.g.) which should be highly instructive for anyone who has learned to criticize the "metaphysics of presence", and the famous essays he wrote for *Popular Science Monthly* where he introduces the basic principles of pragmatism, though he does not call the view by that name (the history of the movement's name, including Peirce's adoption of the term "pragmaticism" to describe his own version of it, is addressed in his Harvard Pragmatism lectures in Volume Two). Writings on the evolving science of probability -- one of Peirce's distinctive doctrines is "tychism", that chance is a real and active power in nature -- round the volume out nicely. Peirce's influence on James and John Dewey, who had a "historically effective" role in the consciousness of the United States in the 20th century, is unquestionable; if you are somewhat philosophically sophisticated, you will be additionally able to appreciate the searching depth of Peirce's post-Kantian "Guess at the Riddle" as a standalone item.
You will not find any of his cult-classic writings on semiotics here; he had not yet developed his theory of "icon, index and symbol" and his complicated ten-fold distinction between signs -- even Volume Two of *The Essential Peirce* slights this side of Peirce's efforts. Still, if you have the slightest interest in American intellectual history this is a must-have.
Namely, the Editors summarize the biographical information of Peirce and go on to explain the increasing interest in him as a significant source of our modern approaches to ideas and thinking. For instance, they mention his influence such as on C.K Ogden and I.A. Richards’ “Meaning of Meaning” and later on Karl Popper whose “Logic of Scientific Discovery” had so much to do with shaping the 20th century pursuit of knowledge. They also indicate the wide breadth of Peirce’s logical, arithmetic and graphical work with its systematic nature, emphasis on dependency hierarchies and the evolutionary growth of ideas.
The various chapters highlight the development of Peirce’s thought, e.g.” Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed by Man,” “How to Make Our Ideas Clear,” “Design and Chance.” and the “Architecture of Theories.” One Peirce article that this reviewer found especially informative was “Deduction, Induction, and Hypothesis;” this piece appears to be Minto’s source for describing the hypothesis – rule, result, case – approach first applied in consulting by McKinsey & Company. Another favorite was “On the Algebra of Logic,” first published in 1880, which provides the earliest graphic and explanation that this reviewer has seen to date of the now prevalent “4 quadrant” presentation so frequently used by consultants.
To better understand such contributions to our modern approaches to ideas and thinking consult this essential Peirce reference