Pragmatism

Twenty-eighth Selection, pp. 398433.

From MS 318.

Origin of the Text

Not counting the many drafts of this document in MSS 317, 319322, all of which were planned as an article for The Nation and composed in February-March 1907, MS 318 is in itself a highly complex and multi-layered manuscript, the first versions of which were composed in March-April 1907 with the hope of publishing the piece in the better-paying Atlantic Monthly. Five intermingled versions of the article can be distinguished, and they all share the same beginning (found in CP 5.1113, 464466). The Collected Papers published what appears to be the fourth version (5.467481), followed by the second half of the second/third version (the latter two versions have a common trunk) in 5.481496. A fragment of the fifth version was published in CP 1.560562. Peirce signed each of the first three versions with his full name: Charles Santiago Sanders Peirce; the last two versions are unsigned and were written several months later. Published in EP2 are (1) the introduction common to all versions, (2) the third version, as "Variant 1," and (3) the fifth version, as "Variant 2." Peirce was apparently prompted to write "Pragmatism" when in February 1907 he received a copy of the Florentine pragmatist journal Leonardo whose issue of that month carried a defining article by Giovanni Papini, "Introduzione al Pragmatismo." But Peirce had probably been toiling with the idea for this paper since September 1906, in reaction to a remark made to him by Paul Carus about "pragmatist journals" (see MSS 323 and 325). Neither Hammond Lamont, the Nation editor who succeeded Wendell Phillips Garrison, nor Bliss Perry, the Atlantic Monthly editor, accepted Peirce's paper.