Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

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Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, was a thinker of extraordinary depth and range - he wrote on philosophy, mathematics, psychology, physics, logic, phenomenology, semiotics, religion and ethics - but his writings are difficult and fragmentary. This book provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of Peirce's thought. His philosophy is presented as a systematic response to 'nominalism', the philosophy which he most despised and which he regarded as the underpinning of the dominant philosophical worldview of his time. The book explains Peirce's challenge to nominalism as a theory of meaning and shows its implications for his views of knowledge, truth, the nature of reality, and ethics. It will be essential reading both for Peirce scholars and for those new to his more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 272 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 b/w illus.
  • 1139064908
  • 9781139064903

About Paul Forster

Paul Forster is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. He has published numerous papers and essays and is the co-editor of The Rule of Reason: The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce (1997).show more

Table of contents

List of abbreviations; Preface; 1. Nominalism as demonic doctrine; 2. Logic, philosophy and the special sciences; 3. Continuity and the problem of universals; 4. Continuity and meaning: Peirce's pragmatic maxim; 5. Logical foundations of Peirce's pragmatic maxim; 6. Experience and its role in inquiry; 7. Scientific method as self-corrective - Peirce's view of the problem of knowledge; 8. The unity of Peirce's theories of truth; 9. Order from chaos: Peirce's evolutionary cosmology; 10. A universe of chance: foundations of Peirce's indeterminism; 11. From inquiry to ethics: the pursuit of truth as moral more

Review quote

'Paul Forster's Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism is a clear and systematic introduction to a complex and sometimes intimidating thinker. It reveals the breadth and depth of Peirce's vision and helps make the case for regarding him as a philosopher of the first rank in the tradition of Euro-American philosophy.' Martin Coleman, Indiana University, Indianapolis 'If you are a contemporary realist in the analytic tradition, please read this book! Such a combination of difference (from accepted philosophical wisdom) and depth is rare, and whether you agree or disagree with the position argued for, it will challenge your thinking in productive ways.' Journal of the History of Philosophyshow more

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