The Basis of Pragmaticism in Phaneroscopy

Twenty-sixth Selection, pp. 360370.

MS 908. [End of document published in CP 1.31721.]

Origin of the Text

Peirce started working on a third paper for The Monist as soon as he finished "Issues of Pragmaticism." He spent about nine months writing many versions of a text titled "The Basis of Pragmaticism." The earliest version appears to be MS 282, a short discussion between "Jules" (also known as Giuliano el Sophista, Giuseppe Prezzolini's pseudonym in the Florentine pragmatist journal Leonardo) and a "Respondent." MS 284 contains two thick notebooks forming an important working document, probably composed in September 1905. MSS 280 and 281 were composed somewhat later in the fall, and the present document, which seems to follow them, was probably written in December 1905, thus preceding by a few days MS 283 (the next chapter in EP2, dated January 1906). Peirce's last attempt at writing "The Basis of Pragmaticism" is found in MS 279, subtitled "Meditation the First" and dated March 1906. The editors have added the words "in Phaneroscopy" to the title of the present text so as to distinguish it from the other versions. The full manuscript of this text consists of one page from MS 282, then MSS 908 and 1043 (the latter is a long note on chemical valency not published in EP2). Peirce never published any of the "Basis" texts. He came to think that his existential graphs provided a more effective tool for proving pragmaticism, and he turned all his efforts to writing what became "Prolegomena to an Apology for Pragmaticism," which The Monist did publish.