Peirce's Philosophy Of Religion
Michael L. Raposa
Source: DAI, 48, no. 03A, (1987): 0674
Charles S. Peirce occupies a secure and significant position in the annals of American intellectual history. His impact on contemporary philosophy, logic, semiotic, literary theory and communication studies has been enormous. Nevertheless, only a handful of theologians and philosophers of religion have looked to his writings as an important resource; very few of his commentators have paid to the religious dimension of his thought the attention that it deserves.
The purpose of this dissertation is to underscore the role that religious ideas played in shaping Peirce's philosophy, and to provide a systematic account of his philosophy of religion. There is a hermeneutical difficulty here; very few of Peirce's writings are devoted explicitly to religious topics. I contend, however, that Peirce's interest in and perspective on such topics are manifested throughout his corpus, in scientific and mathematical papers, as well as in his writings on metaphysics, cosmology and the normative sciences. I conclude that Peirce's religious ideas are continuous with and integral to his reflections on these other issues, so that they must be identified and understood if his work as a whole is to be interpreted properly. And I suggest that his writings ought to be considered an important resource for contemporary scholars of religion, briefly indicating at the end of my study those of his ideas that might be most fruitfully entertained and developed.
Peirce's most famous essay in the philosophy of religion, "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God," provides a useful sketch of his general religious perspective. I use the argument there to organize my study; an extended commentary on that essay comprises my fifth, penultimate chapter.
Descriptor: RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY OF
Accession No: AAG8714113