What Pragmatism Is

Twenty-fourth Selection, pp. 331345.

P 1078: The Monist 15 (April 1905): 161181. [Published in CP 5.411437.]

Origin of the Text

In August 1904 Peirce told Carus he was writing a review of Herbert Nichol's A Treatise on Cosmology and asked him whether he would take it for The Monist, given that Peirce wanted to use the occasion to defend his pragmatism. Carus delayed his answer but finally agreed, and Peirce continued his work, eventually deciding to split his article and publish the review and his considerations on pragmatism separately. He sent both papers to Carus in mid-September 1904, with the intention of having "What Pragmatism Is" followed by two supplementary papers, "The Consequences of Pragmaticism" and "The Evidences for Pragmaticism" (this plan for a sequel continued to evolve during the following two years). The last paragraph before the postscript of February 1905 was added by Peirce at the end of September 1904. The article appeared, with an unexplained delay, in the April 1905 issue, four months after the publication of the Nichols review. MS 329 contains a copious draft of the combined review and essay.