Peirce Project Newsletter Volume 1, Nos. 3/4,
December 1994

Issue Contents
Letters Found | Genius | Pronunciation|
Probing the Communal Mind |
Resources | Peirce Congress | Book Notes |
In the Works | Pinch |
From Our Readers
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PEIRCE-GREELY LETTERS FOUND

In September, Nathan Houser and Jon Eller visited the Library of Congress and the new National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland, to check sources and to search for missing letters and original documents relating to Peirce's scientific writings from the period (1887-1894) now under examination for vols. 6-10 of the chronological edition.

Volume 6 will include one of Peirce's most interesting scientific papers--his report on the ill-fated 1882-84 Arctic expedition of Lieutenant Adolphus W. Greely. The Greely expedition was dedicated to science, and its goals included the establishment of an Arctic gravity station based on Peirce's own pendulum research. Peirce, who was in charge of gravity research for the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, established the procedures for the expedition's gravity operations (which made use of a pendulum designed by Peirce), and personally trained Lieutenant Greely and his assistant, Sergeant Israel, in the complex technical aspects of this work.

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WEISS REFLECTS ON GENIUS

10 September 1994 marked the 155th anniversary of Charles Peirce's birth in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On that day in 1839 Benjamin Peirce wrote to his mother, Lydia Ropes Peirce, about the birth of his son:

"Good news! dearest mother, Sarah [Charles's mother] is lovely and so is the, yet anonymous, boy. . . . The first proof of his genius which he exhibited to the world consisted in sounding, most lustily, a wonderful acoustical instrument whose tones, in noise and discordancy, were not unlike those of fame's fish-horn. Is not this a singular coincidence? A sure omen of his coming, almost come, celebrity?"

Peirce's genius was a topic of discussion at a Peirce birthday memorial dinner sponsored by Joseph Brent and Ann Garfinkle this year in Washington, D. C. The memorial was held in the home of Paul Weiss, who reflected on Peirce's remarkable ability to see into so many fields of thought with a fresh and penetrating eye. Weiss pointed out that Peirce's genius was at once the source of his great gift to civilization and his own downfall.

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PROBING THE COMMUNAL MIND

The Peirce Project depends on specialists from many fields for help in preparing our critical texts and editorial annotations. Although the heaviest burden falls on our regular contributing editors and advisors, we hope that through the newsletter we can significantly extend the scope of communal involvement. If you can answer one of the questions, or offer some guidance, please reply in writing or by e-mail to:

CPEIRCE@INDYCMS.IUPUI.EDU.

Replies should be directed to Nathan Houser (General Editor) or Beth Eccles (Newsletter Editor). We would like to thank Beverley Kent (Philosophy, Lakehead University) for identifying the verse asked about in our last issue (Question 3). It is a stanza from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Arsenal at Springfield." No one as yet has supplied answers or information for Questions 1 and 2 in that issue.

QUESTION 4. Robin MS 1562 contains two partial plays. One is Peirce's 1887 translation of part of the first act of Medea, a tragedy written by the French playwright Ernest Legouve in 1856. The other (1562: 2Đ15), perhaps also written around 1887, is an unidentified comedy. Although Peirce may be the author, for the manuscript is in his hand, the fact that there are none of the characteristic alterations and variant pages of a working Peircean document, along with some other factors, raise doubts about his authorship. The text is incomplete: there is no beginning and there are some discontinuities. The following is a brief summary of the plot and a transcription of the last lines of the play.

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RESEARCH CENTERS AND RESOURCES

Readers are invited to submit short descriptions (up to 250 words) of research facilities or resources that support research that relates to Peirce or his philosophy.

RESEARCH CENTER FOR LANGUAGE AND SEMIOTIC STUDIES
Indiana University, Bloomington

In the interest of extending its engagement in the teaching programs of Indiana University and expanding its constituency, the Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies has proposed an additional track in the Ph.D. Minor in Semiotics and provided an institutional base for two other closely related Ph.D. minors.

With the expected approval of the Graduate School, two tracks will be available to doctoral students toward fulfillment of the Ph.D. Minor in Semiotics. In addition to the well-established general minor, interested students will soon be able to pursue a minor program focused on the Social Semiotics of Language, designed to draw together the many offerings at Indiana University bearing on the semiotics of language in society and culture, from poetics to conversational analysis to the ethnography of communication.

Also, beginning in the Fall of 1994, the Center will be the institutional base of operations for the Ph.D. minors in Performance Studies and Cultural Studies. From its inception, Performance Studies has had close relations with Semiotics at IU.

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REPORT ON PEIRCE CONGRESS

Hilary Putnam of Harvard University and Kenneth Laine Ketner of Texas Tech University recently released a final report on the 1989 Sesquicentennial Congress. The Congress was host to approximately 500 scholars from 26 different countries and offered a remarkable—and nearly continuous—selection of papers from the early morning of 6 September through the night of 9 September. Putnam and Ketner report that the following eleven books have arisen directly from the Congress sessions:

Peirce and Law: Issues in Pragmatism, Legal Realism, and Semiotics. Ed. Roberta Kevelson. New York: Peter Lang, 1991. 12 essays.

Reasoning and the Logic of Things: The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898 by Charles Sanders Peirce. Ed. K. L. Ketner, with an introduction by K. L. Ketner and Hilary Putnam. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Charles S. Peirce and the Philosophy of Science: Papers from the Harvard Sesquicentennial Congress. Ed. Edward C. Moore. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993. 29 essays.

From Time and Chance to Consciousness: Studies in the Metaphysics of Charles Peirce. Ed. Edward C. Moore and Richard S. Robin. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1994. 17 essays.

Peirce and Value Theory: On Peircean Ethics and Aesthetics. Ed. Herman Parret. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1994. 24 essays.


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BOOK NOTES

In this section we publish short descriptive notices of new books about Peirce or subjects likely to interest our readers. We cannot survey all new publications or prepare critical reviews, so we notice only those books sent by authors and publishers. When available, we reprint notices supplied with the books (often edited and supplemented with text from prefaces or introductions); otherwise we prepare our own brief announcements. Please note: we notice books only if they are sent as review copies to be deposited in the Project library.

Charles Sanders PeirceKlaus Oehler. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1993. 163 pp. DM 24.

Charles Sanders Peirce appears in the respected Grosse Denker Series (C. H. Beck Verlag, Munich).

This is an introductory but scholarly treatment, in German, of Peirce's work, viewed from a European perspective. Oehler focuses on Peirce's pragmatism, theory of signs, categories and cosmology, and on his significance for thought in the 21st century, after the decline of ideological thinking. Oehler's thesis is that pragmatism will be the Idealtypus of future philosophy, but Peirce's form of pragmatism, not Rorty's.

From Time and Chance to Consciousness: Studies in the Metaphysics of Charles Peirce. Edited with introduction by Edward C. Moore and Richard S. Robin. Oxford and Providence: Berg Publishers, 1994. xii, 269 pp. $59.95 cloth.

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FROM OUR READERS

Geraldine Brady (Chicago) reports that there is some confusion in Peirce's final paragraph of sec. 2 in "Algebra of Logic" (1880: W4: 196-7). Specifically, Peirce misuses the law of association for triple relatives and incorrectly infers A:B = . . . from A = A:A . . . (bottom, p. 196). Brady suggests that when Peirce deleted the original last paragraph from this section (see the textual note and the emendation for 197.2-3, W4: 651, 652), he should have struck the second from last as well.

Comments on Brady's analysis or on other matters of interest concerning the Writings or the newsletter are welcome.

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NOTE ON COMBINED ISSUES

To reduce costs and save time we have combined issues 3 and 4 of the newsletter. This economical measure will be taken again next year so that volume 2 will appear in two 6-page issues and one combined 8-page issue. When the Project's funding is on more solid footing and we are better staffed, we will return to a regular quarterly format.

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IN THE WORKS

In the previous issue we featured some of the exciting recent manuscript "finds" from the Hegeler-Carus mansion in La Salle, Illinois. While searching through the Hegeler Institute's Peirce-Carus materials, now housed at Southern Illinois University, Project editors discovered, prepared in galley for the correspondence section of the Open Court Magazine, a curious letter from Peirce to Carus. That the letter had been typeset, with one set of proofs bearing a note in Peirce's hand, clearly indicated that the piece was headed for publication, yet no record of publication could be found.

A careful examination of the Peirce-Carus correspondence yielded the explanation: Peirce had written to Carus on 9 April 1893, candidly and emphatically expressing his views on certain elements of religion and prayer (and on Carus!) that Carus found engaging. Carus copy-edited Peirce's letter and had it set in type (without Peirce's knowledge), expecting no doubt to debate Peirce in print on salient points. The text, as it appeared in galley (except for one emendation), ran as follows:

"I must tell you much of your homiletic writing for The Open Court does not over well please me. It seems addressed to persons who are supposed to hang upon your lips and take everything you say as gospel truth. That is not quite philosophic, I must say. But what is worse, your message to these, your faithful, draws upon their credibility to an extent to which no clergyman I hear would dare to ask his congregation to degrade their intellects, and still worse, it calls upon their evil passions and excites them by blind prejudice and bigotry.

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STILL FEELING THE PINCH

As we reported in the first two issues of the newsletter, the Peirce Project remains seriously underfunded and, as a consequence, is seriously understaffed. At present levels of funding and staffing we are only able to carry on part of the essential work necessary for maintaining a vital research project and for producing books. We have accomplished a great deal during the past year (a report on our accomplishments for 1994 will be included in the next issue), but, until the Project can hire production staff, no more volumes can be published.

At present, most work at PEP is devoted to manuscript reorganization and analysis, transcriptions, and basic editing functions. We are trying to build a base of achievement that will support a predictable and dependable publication rate once we are re-funded and adequately staffed. The emphasis on manuscript organization and editing is very important, but at our present level of staffing not much time is left for well-planned fund raising, even though that too is essential for the survival of the Edition. The need for a concerted fund raising effort can hardly be overstated, given the budgetary anemia of Indiana University and the Project's almost complete (and thus very vulnerable) dependence on NEH as our single source for external funds. (It will be three or four months before we know whether the Project will be re-funded by NEH, but even if it is, it is likely that a substantial portion of any award will be contingent on matching funds from other external sources.)

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Note on the Pronounciation of "Peirce"

In an 1880 note for Frederick C. Peirce's genealogy of the Peirce family, James Mills Peirce (Charles' brother) discussed the pronunciation of the family name:

"In the old pronunciation of the name, according to the tradition prevalent in several branches of the family of John of Watertown [John Pers, a weaver from Norwich who emigrated in 1637], the vowel-sound was the same that we now hear in the words "pear," "heir" and "their"; and this pronunciation is remembered by living persons as having been sometimes used by old-fashioned people. This was probably quite independent of the spelling. The same sound was, according to A. J. Ellis, used in the verb to pierce, in the 17th century, and by some in the 18th century. On the other hand, the verb may be occasionally heard with the pronunciation "perce" (or "purse"), which is now the prevalent pronunciation of all forms of the surname in the neighborhood of Boston.

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Genius continued

Originality and creativity, especially in intellectual matters, are not congenial to established institutions--a fact related, no doubt, to the inherent lawlessness of originality. Weiss noted that today, as in Peirce's time, there are men and women of genius who are brilliantly following out original lines of thought but who remain unrecognized and largely ineffectual because they are out of the mainstream. Such individuals are often "difficult" and perhaps by virtue of their greatest quality, their originality, they simply cannot fit into the mainstream--yet society cannot afford to let genius pass away unnoticed and unsupported because it is difficult to deal with.

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Peirce-Greely Letters continued

Unfortunately, the Greely party became iced-in and was stranded in Lady Franklin Bay for three years. Most of the members of the party, including Sergeant Israel, died of starvation or exposure. When the party was rescued, it was a cause for great celebration, and Lieutenant (soon to become General) Greely became a national hero. This created a political atmosphere in which it was difficult to express anything but the strongest praise for Greely's scientific contributions, even though Peirce believed--at least initially--that some unreported accident had damaged the pendulum used by the Greely party and that the resulting data were therefore compromised. An "internal battle" ensued between Peirce and Greely, moderated by various members of the Survey. After a series of revisions, some initiated by Peirce and some dictated to Peirce (and some possibly made even without his explicit approval), his report on the Arctic gravity experiments was published in a comprehensive federal report edited by Greely--but it has never been clear exactly how Peirce's text reached its 'final' state.

Bureau files at the National Archives (where the files related to Greely's Arctic report are stored) revealed new and important details, and proved that at least one important set of revised galleys is missing.

Information uncovered in the Weather On the final afternoon of their research visit to the Archives, Houser and Eller tried what seemed to Archives Assistant, Marjorie Ciarlante, to be a long shot (even though she stayed overtime to make sure that the appropriate boxes were identified and delivered to the reading room), and examined 11 boxes of Greely's private correspondence related to the Arctic expedition. There were scores of original Arctic record books and thousands of letters spanning many years and covering every aspect of the expedition--far too much material to be thoroughly examined in the few hours left for research. Nevertheless, the rapid examination that was undertaken turned up five original letters from Peirce and 29 letters from Greely or Peirce's colleagues at the Survey, all of which bear directly on Peirce's gravity report. These letters, together with the other materials in the Weather Bureau Archives, confirmed our speculations on the chronological order of the five surviving forms of Peirce's text. The letters in particular reveal a great deal about Peirce's revisions for the missing galley stage, and will allow us to critically edit this very important scientific report with a high degree of confidence.

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Probing the Communal Mind continued

Cast of characters: Mr. Potter, his sister Jane Sternhold, Mr. John Mildmay (Potter's son-in-law), his wife Emily or Emmy (Potter's daughter), Captain Hawksley (head of the Galvanic Company), Jessop (the maid), Mr. Joe Langford, Mr. Markham, Mr. Dunbilk, Mr. Bell, Gimlet.

The action takes place eight months after Emily Potter is married to John Mildmay, a mild-mannered likable man generally thought to be a little dull. The plot of the play centers around an attempt by Captain Hawksley (who turns out to be a wanted felon named Boscawen) to swindle Emily's father out of a substantial portion of the dowry still owed to Mildmay. Eventually the swindle is avoided and Hawksley is exposed by the unexpected wit of Mildmay. In the final action of the play, Mildmay and Hawksley are apparently about to duel when Potter calls the police. Gimlet, the policeman, recognizes Hawksley as a wanted felon and takes him away. Here follow the final lines from the manuscript:

[Gimlet]: A felon!

Potter: A felon in this house! Where? Police!

[Gimlet]: Sorry for it, Boscawen. But I've been wanting you a long time.

Potter: Boscawen! This is Captain Hawksley!

Goes up left

Exeunt Capt Hawksley & Gimlet

Potter: I'm bewildered! What does this mean?

Mildmay: Honesty is generally a match for plausible roguery in the long run.

Potter: Jane, can you explain this? You're the only one that ever can explain things in this house.

Jane: Henceforth for advice for guidance look there.

Potter: Why that's poor John Mildmay.

Jane: The master of this house.

Potter: John Mildmay the master of this house? Emily, my dear, has your aunt been--I mean has your aunt lost her wits?

Emily: Ask pardon papa for the cruel injustice done him.

Potter: Oh certainly, if you desire it. John Mildmay, I ask pardon--Jane & Emily say I ought; though what I've done or what there is to ask pardon for [--]

[Mildmay]: Markham, you'll take Mrs. Sternhold.

Potter: My dear boy, you astonish me! But however there's an old proverb that says All's not gold that glitters.

Please let us know if you can identify this play, or can supply information on its connection with Peirce.




QUESTION 5. The following is a list of students who either studied with Peirce in 1887-88 by correspondence or who expressed serious interest in his correspondence course, "The Art of Reasoning." We would like to know more about these men and women, especially whether any of Peirce's letters or lessons have survived. If you can provide information about these people or the whereabouts of their papers, we would be much obliged. We would also like to know if there were other correspondence students.

Andrews, Walter Scott (NYC)
Armstrong Jr. , George Wm. (Cincinnati)
Arnold, James (South Whitley, IN)
Backus, A. M. (Dedham, MA)
Bancroft, W. B. (San Francisco)
Bound, Richard M. (NYC)
Brown, William A. (New Haven, CT)
Dunlap, J. Addison (Mansfield, OH)
Eckhart, Charles G. (Tuscola, IL)
Gershon, Mrs. M. (Fort Bridger, WY)
Goodenow, Henry P. (St. Paul, MN)
Grace, J. W. (Wakefield, MA)
Grozier, Albert U. (Lexington, MA)
Hawes, Miss S. M. (NYC)
Heermance, Rev. Edgar L. (White Plains, NY)
Irvine, Clarke (Holt Co., OR)
Janney, Morris P. (Easton, PA)
Johnston, J. C. M. (NYC)
Kinghorn, H. B. (NYC)
Kuntz, E. B. (Decatur, IL)

Langley, Walter S. (Newport, RI)
Loring, J. B. (NYC)
McKinney, Samuel P. (Savanna, IL)
Meschutt, George F. (Jersey City, NJ)
Milam, Rufus P. (Texarkana, AR)
Morrey, W. T. (Chester Hill, NY)
Neff, Charles A. (Newport, RI)
Newton, J. L. (Cleveland)
Noble, Marie B. D. (NYC)
Noyes, William (NYC)
Pearson, Helen S. (Franklin, PA)
Powers, Mrs. J. E. (Wellesley Hills, MA)
Rees, David (Soddy, TN)
Simonds, William Edgar (Hartford, CT)
Smith, Louis C. (Chicago)
Spratling, W. P. (Morris Plains, NJ)
Taylor, E. C. (Canon City, CO)
Temple, J. H. (Blairsville, PA)
Ver Mehr, Mrs. Alfred (Mojave Co., AZ)
Vincent, Anna C. (Rockford, IL)
Williams, Fred R. (Harford Co., MD)
Winchester, W. L. (Holyoke, MA)
Wyman Jr., J. P. (Boston

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Research Centers and Resources continued

Likewise, there has been substantial overlap in faculty participation and scholarly interest between Semiotics and Cultural Studies, especially in regard to media studies and popular culture. Drawing all three programs together under one roof will extend faculty and student participation in the Center's activities and strengthen our institutional presence at IU.

For information concerning the minors in Semiotics and Performance Studies, contact Richard Bauman, Director, RCLSS - Indiana University, Smith Research Center 140, 2805 E. 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47408. For information concerning Cultural Studies, contact Michael Curtin, Director, at the same address.

SEMIOTICS RESEARCH CENTRE
Victoria College, Toronto

The Semiotics Research Centre, under the aegis of the Programme in Semiotics at Victoria College, University of Toronto, will function primarily as a research and production facility. Since semiotics is by nature an interdisciplinary field of study, we will be dealing with the fields of semiotics, culture studies, literary criticism, linguistics, and cognitive science, just to name a few. It is our hope that in time we will have not only an undergraduate programme in semiotics, but also a graduate programme which will allow students to continue with their research.

In terms of research, the Centre will not only conduct its own studies, but also will serve as a contact database for researchers. Lecturers will be invited by the Centre, in cooperation with other departments at the University of Toronto and other organizations, to speak at both open-attendance lectures and course-related lectures. An annual symposium in semiotics in the form of the Georgetown round table discussions is being planned.

Already, our production credits include: 1. Monograph Series of the Toronto Semiotic Circle. This series is familiar to Peirce scholars for its two editions of David Savan's introduction to Peirce's semiotics.

2. Signifying Behavior. This new journal is directed towards specialists from any discipline who are looking for a forum to relate their own work on signifying behavior with that of researchers from different fields.

3. Canadian Scholars' Press Semiotics Series. This new series, which includes Introduction to Semiotics by Marcel Danesi and Donato Santeramo, Messages and Meanings by Marcel Danesi, and On Reading Eco (tentative title) by Rocco Capozzi, is intended for use in the classroom, for semiotic researchers, and for the general public that wishes to begin to understand in a more detailed way how we shape our world and our perception of reality. 4. Toronto Studies in Semiotics. A University of Toronto Press series that includes Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics by Thomas A. Sebeok, Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence (forthcoming) by Marcel Danesi, and New Beginnings: Early Modern Philosophy and Post Modern Thought (forthcoming) by John Deely. This series publishes original work chosen to promote interaction between research and theory in semiotics, the communication sciences, and the cognitive sciences.

For more information contact Professor Marcel Danesi, Semiotics Research Unit, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 73 Queen's Park Circle, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M5S 1K7.

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GROUP ON ABDUCTIVE INFERENCE
University of Frankfurt

In the last five decades there has been increasing interest among members of the scientific community in nondeductive, pragmatic reasoning, especially abductive inference, which Peirce called the "first stage" of investigation, i.e., "inference to the best explanation."

Disciplines such as philosophy of science, sociology, psychology, linguistics, literary criticism, semiotics, and particularly artificial intelligence have appealed to abductive inference to reformulate some of their specific research problems. For scientists, and particularly for semioticians, research on abductive inference provides a unique opportunity for approaching interdisciplinarity under a single aspect. In cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Semiotik (DGS) we have set up at the University of Frankfurt an International Research Group on Semiotics of Reasoning with Emphasis on Abductive Inference.

The aim of this initiative is to establish a network of scholars who are interested in abductive inference. We want to work out a bibliography on abductive inference, provide a newsletter, and organize a workshop on the interdisciplinary aspects of abductive inference. For further information, contact Uwe Wirth, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat, Institut fur Deutsche Sprache und Literatur II, Grafstrasse 76, 60054 Frankfurt, Germany. Fax: 069-798-8462. E-mail: Wirth@informatik.uni_frankfurt.de.

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Peirce Congress continued

Living Doubt: Essays Concerning the Epistemology of Charles S. Peirce. Ed. Guy Debrock and Menno Hulswit. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994. 25 essays.

Peirce and Contemporary Thought: Philosophical Inquiries. Ed. K. L. Ketner. The plenary addresses of the 1989 Harvard Sesquicentennial Peirce Congress. Bronx: Fordham University Press, to appear Dec. 1994. 23 essays.

Peirce's Doctrine of Signs: Theory, Applications, and Connections. Edited by Vincent Colapietro and Thomas Olshewsky. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, to appear 1994. 36 essays.

Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Ed. by Nathan Houser , Don D. Roberts, and James Van Evra. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, to appear 1995/6. 28 essays.

Religious Dimensions of Peirce's Thought. Ed. by Arthur F. Stewart. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Center for Philosophical Studies, to appear 1995/6. 24 essays.

Contemporary Essays on Charles S. Peirce. Ed. by Arthur F. Stewart. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Center for Philosophical Studies, to appear 1995/6. 24 essays.

For a copy of the full report, or for further information, contact K. L. Ketner, Room 304A Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, Email: BXOKY@TTUVM1.TTU.EDU, (806) 794-3031.

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Book Notes continued

Charles Peirce, sometimes said to be the finest philosopher the United States has yet produced, was also a physicist, chemist, and mathematician. He belongs to a long line of physical scientists reaching from Aristotle to Einstein--including contemporaries such as Planck, Schršdinger and Heisenberg--for whom physics was not enough, and who went beyond physics to metaphysics and cosmology.

The seventeen papers contained in From Time and Chance to Consciousness were first presented to the Harvard Congress commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Peirce. They are devoted primarily to the metaphysics on which Peirce based his pragmatism. Problems with Peirce's metaphysics, involving both the understanding of his position and the viability of it, persist. For example, is Peirce's defense of First Philosophy sufficient to meet the objections of W. Quine and others? Given scientific metaphysics as Peirce understands it, how plausible is it to think that grafting scholastic realism onto scientific realism will solve the problem of the objectivity of science? Has the cognitive question of how we know real generals been satisfactorily answered? It is also a fair question to ask, especially in view of the importance Peirce places on science, whether recent developments in science are in support of, neutral to, or in opposition to the main thrust of his cosmogony.

These and other questions are considered, though not with a single voice. That a varied community of inquirers has taken up the challenges posed by Peirce's questions and answers may be read as a sign that Peircean metaphysics is indeed alive and well.

Science, Knowledge, and the Mind

C. F. Delaney. Notre Dame University Press, 1993. xii, 183 pp. $28.95 cloth.

This book is a comprehensive but manageable introduction to Peirce's thought. Elegantly written in only 179 pages, it can hardly be expected to give the unabridged Peirce, yet it is remarkable how complete its picture is. By astutely selecting as Peirce's primary philosophical project his Kant-inspired quest for the conditions of the possibility of science (taken very broadly), Delaney zeroes in on the heart of Peirce's philosophy. He elaborates Peirce's project as having two facets: "first, the articulation of certain qualities of inquirers and institutions necessary to sustain the process; and secondly, the articulation or positing of certain features of our world necessary to guarantee its objective validity." Science, Knowledge, and the Mind is an account of Peirce's achievement in resolving the problem he set for himself, a resolution that draws heavily from philosophy of science, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. The book is not merely another introduction to Peirce's philosophy but is offered as an antidote to current strains of anti-rationalism and anti-scientism. Delaney believes that Peirce's brand of pragmatism provides a way to transcend many of the limitations of twentieth-century philosophy without rejecting its many genuine advances over past ways of philosophizing. Delaney remarks that it is the task of every age to undertake the speculative project of fashioning a synoptic conception of the world and of our place in it. He shows that Peirce's try at this perennial task is surprisingly relevant to current debates in the philosophy of science and culture.

Charles Peirce's Guess at the Riddle: Grounds for Human Significance

John K. Sheriff. Indiana University Press, 1994. 100 pp. $20.00 cloth; $9.95 paper.

As Emerson describes it in his essay "Nature," the riddle that the Sphinx puts to every great thinker concerns the relation between mind and matter. In this introduction to the thought of Charles S. Peirce, John K. Sheriff presents a philosopher who speaks to this fundamental question of the nature of human existence. In clear and concise prose, Sheriff describes Peirce's "theory of everything," a vision of cosmic and human meaning that offers a positive alternative to popular pessimistic and relativistic approaches to life and meaning. Aimed at nonspecialists, this book does not attempt to evaluate every concept in Peirce's philosophy but instead shows how Peirce's analyses of aesthetics, ethics, logic, and human consciousness rest on the foundations of his grand theory of the cosmos, mind, and signs. Sheriff convincingly demonstrates that Peirce's answer to the riddle of the Sphinx has the potential to be a powerful, positive force in contemporary culture. Foreword by Nathan Houser.

Living Doubt: Essays concerning the Epistemology of Charles Sanders Peirce

Edited by Guy Debrock and Menno Hulswit. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994. xi, 323 pp. $20.00 cloth; $9.95 paper.

Although it is often said that Peirce is one of the most important North American philosophers, the real extent of the philosophical importance of his work begins to emerge only now. Whereas it was for a long time philosophically fashionable to regard pragmatism as a typically naive and simplistic American approach to the serious problems of philosophy, there can be little doubt that recent epistemological literature points to a reversal of that trend. Indeed, pragmatism, and more specifically, Peirce's own brand of pragmaticism, a term which he invented in order to distance himself from other forms of pragmatism, may well provide the key to an epistemological theory which avoids the pitfalls of both foundationalism and relativism.

The 26 papers included in Living Doubt were presented to the Charles S. Peirce Sesquicentennial International Congress held at Harvard University in the Fall of 1989. They represent a rich and cosmopolitan variety of approaches to Peirce's epistemology.

Semiotics and the Problem of Translation: With Special Reference to the Semiotics of Charles S. Peirce

Dinda L. Gorlee. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1994. 255 pp.

This book presents a radically interdisciplinary account of how Charles S. Peirce's theory of signs can be made to interact meaningfully with translation theory. Gorlee shows that the various phenomena we commonly refer to as "translation" are different forms of "genuine" and "degenerate" semiosis. Drawing on insights from Ludwig Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin (and drawing analogies between their work and Peirce's) it is argued that through the kaleidoscopic, evolutionary process of unlimited translation, signs deploy their meaning-potentialities. This enables Gorlee to throw novel light on Roman Jakobson's three kinds of translation--intralingual, interlingual, and intersemiotic translation. This pioneering study will entice translation specialists, semioticians, and (language) philosophers into expanding their views upon translation and, hopefully, into cooperative research projects.

Peirce and Value Theory: On Peircean Ethics and Aesthetics

Edited by Herman Parret. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1994. xv, 371 pp. $95.00 cloth.

Most of the essays collected in this book were presented at the Charles S. Peirce Sesquicentennial Congress (Harvard University, September 1989). The volume is devoted to themes within Peirce's value theory and offers a comprehensive view of less known aspects of his influential philosophy, in particular Peirce's work on ethics and aesthetics.

The book is divided in four sections. Section 1 discusses the status of ethics as a normative science and its relation with logic; some applications are presented, e.g. in the field of bioethics. Section 2 investigates the specific position of Peircean aesthetics with regard to classical American philosophy (especially Buchler), to Husserlian phenomenology, and to European structuralism (Saussure, Jakobson). Section 3 contains papers on internal aspects of Peirce's aesthetics and its place in his thought. The final section presents applications of Peirce's aesthetic theory and offers analyses of visual art (mainly paintings), of literary texts and of musical meaning. The book includes 23 articles, a preface by K. L. Ketner, and a comprehensive introduction by the Editor.

Video Mind, Earth Mind

Paul Ryan. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 1993. 429 pp. $54.95 cloth; $39.95 paper.

The artist/author has combined an understanding of media learned from McLuhan, cybernetics learned from Bateson, and phenomenology/semiotics learned from Peirce to conceptualize a range of projects reported on in this book. The projects include a plan for an intentional video community, an art of triadic behavior, the organization of a bioregional magazine, a design for a television channel dedicated to the environment using Peirce's sixty-six-fold sign classification, a computer program for generating consensus using the sixty-six signs, an educational curriculum and a notation for interpreting ecological systems. In formulating these projects, the artist claims to have successfully "abducted" the logic of triadic relationships Peirce tried to develop but failed to produce. With reference to Murray Murphey's study of Peirce, the artist/author offers his logic for scrutiny by Peirce's scholars. The book presents 40 texts collected over 25 years in chronological order with contextual explications. Preface by Roberta Kevelson.

De Semiosis: het semiotiek van C. S. Peirce in verband gebracht met het verschijnsel (The Semiosis: C.S. Peirce's Semiotics Applied to 'Film')

Hans van Driel. Tilburg: Catholic University of Brabant, 1993 (privately printed dissertation). x, 154 pp.

Van Driel argues that Peircean semiotics offers an alternative to the object-immanent approach of structurally oriented film semiotics. According to Peirce, meaning represents itself as a process, whereby a sign is determined by an object and whereby the sign itself produces a signified sign (the interpretant). For Peircean semiotics, research into this process of meaning representation (the semiosis) is itself the domain of research. Van Driel describes this semiosis by applying two procedures derived from the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce. The first is Peirce's semiotic claim that all representation of meaning is by sign. This claim constitutes the frame of this study. The second procedure, which involves Peirce's theory of categories, functions as Van Driel's leading principle.

Semiosis in general is described as a quality which may be actualized. For this reason, semiosis in general is called semiosis 'in potentia.' Van Driel refers to an actualized semiosis as semiosis 'in actu.' This is the object of research of several forms of applied semiotics. The description of this semiosis requires an adaptation of the description of semiosis 'in potentia' because of the peculiarity of the artifact (the sign) that influences semiosis 'in actu.' In this study semiosis 'in actu,' and its specialized subset of concluded semiosis (semiosis 'in lege'), is defined in terms of the process of film analysis.

Written in Dutch, a summary in English is included.

Founders of Constructive Postmodern Philosophy: Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne

David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb Jr., Marcus P. Ford, Pete A. Y. Gunter, and Peter Ochs. State University of New York Press, 1993. xi, 241 pp. $16.95 paper.

In presenting Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne as members of a common and distinctively postmodern trajectory, this book casts the thought of each of them in a new light. It also suggests a new direction for the philosophical community as a whole, now that the various forms of modern philosophy, and even the deconstructive form of postmodern philosophy, are widely perceived to be dead-ends. This new option offers the possibility that philosophy may recover its role as a critic and guide within the more general culture. The five essays in Constructive Postmodern Philosophy are presented with the hope that they will contribute to a revitalization of philosophy in the coming decades and to a better fulfillment by philosophers of the cultural role they should play, and thereby, in some way, to a better world. Introduction by D. R. Griffin.

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Works continued

"Take your article on "Idolatry," for example. No enlightened person can fail to have a high esteem for true idolatry or can fail to think the most narrow element of the Hebrew Scriptures is the condemnation of it. Yet you seize on the word because there is a blind, unintelligent prejudice against--one knows not what it is--but whatever is called by that name. You use this word for that reason and apply it to religions to which it is no way properly applicable. To do this you produce a definition which would include your own and all religious ideas. You don't reason about it. You just call on your blind followers to hate.

"The essence of true religion involves catholicity. It must embrace in its sympathy the Christian, the Boudist, the Jew, the Pagan,--every discerner of God. The pest of religion is emphasising two penny ha' penny differences. That is what you put all your strength into.

"What you say about prayer is utterly unjustifiable. Tyndall proposed a prayer-gauge. That was scientific. It recognised the necessity of submitting to facts of observation. You, without any such facts,--or rather with the whole host of them dead against you,--propose to settle the question in the high priori fashion. Your rationale of the matter would sound rather queer in a psychological treatise.

"In some of our churches they use morning and evening the prayer of St. John Chrysostom, as follows:
"Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto Thee, and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy name Thou wilt grant their requests, fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of Thy servants as may be most expedient for them, granting us in this world knowledge of Thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting."

This recognises that all prayer is for two things: in this world, knowledge of divine things: in the world to come, life. It also recognises that the supplicants have not attained as yet such knowledge of divine things as may be attained in this world. It therefore solemnly adopts the spirit of inquiry. But you, on the other hand, have no need of this prayer, the summa of all prayers, because you seem to be so sure of everything already.

"The idea that people are to pray for the sake of the reflex good it does them, is an idea so odious to any healthy mind, that it is infinitely better they cease all conscious prayer at once than practise such damned affectation.

"I remember a gentleman from the rural districts,--though a real gentlemen, a little gauche--who being presented to a lady at an evening party where I was, stood silent some minutes and then turned away. The introducer calling him to account, he said: "Well, I had no statement to make to her, and she had no statement to make to me." This is just about your notion of prayer. You have no information to impart to Omniscience! If this is your only view of it, on all accounts, hold your peace!

"The difference between the beliefs of a Newman and a Huxley is an utterly trivial thing compared with the agreement in their real religious belief. To make this common ground felt would be the best service a philosopher could do for religion. C. S. P."

When Peirce received the proof copy he was flattered, as he wrote in his reply, but he declined to give his consent to publish. The following is Peirce's reply (except for a deleted postscript):

"Milford Pa 1893 May 5

"My dear Carus:

"Your having the enclosed set up is very flattering; but I really cannot consent to the publication of it.

"In the first place, it does not relate to any subject about which I care to say I am competent to instruct the public.

"Second, it would convey to the general public & especially to an inattentive reader a very false Idea indeed of my sentiments concerning the Open Court & its management.

"Third, it is intolerably exaggerated, & though I indulge in such talk to my friends--perhaps injudiciously,--I endeavor not to do so with the general public.

"Fourth, its publication would involve me in the very fault I am principally blaming, namely, a tendency to exaggerate differences.

"Oh no! The thing amused you, but I cannot indulge in such flippancy before the public. We have our responsibilities which make us very prosy and unnewspaperial.

"I have besides lately sent you two pieces for the Open Court. One of them says pretty much the same as this letter; and the other which I sent yesterday contains some valuable matter,--almost worth keeping for the Monist.

"Yours very truly

CS Peirce"

The article Peirce referred to as saying "pretty much the same as this letter" was "What is Christian Faith" (P 548). Carus did not agree; he replied on 9 May 1893:

"I had a hearty laugh when reading your letter, but I must confess that your objection to having your lines on prayer published is a disappointment to me. The two articles in which, as you state, you say pretty much the same, are not so plain as you are in your letter, and I dislike very much indirect statements. I would rather you would call me "a philosophical crank" directly than that you speak in a general way about "cranks" of such and such a nature. It always strikes me as a breach of etiquette in a true knight. It amounts to striking an adversary without taking the responsibility.

"I should add at the same time that all your critical remarks are evidences that you do not know the aims of our work. After having seen so much of our publications you should know better. You make imputations especially on our conception of Religion, which are miles off the mark."

The debate continued, privately, through the course of a few more letters, but not much of substance was dealt with. Peirce countered (13 May): "I do not believe I so utterly mistake your aims as you say. I think, on the contrary, that it is you who mistake criticism on special sentiments, as being out of harmony with the tenor or your ideas, for aspersions upon your purposes." Peirce adds: "I NEVER criticise anybody's fundamental aims. If they are such as I do not approve, I simply drop those persons." Carus, obviously stung by Peirce, wrote back on 19 May acknowledging that the problematic letter should remain unpublished: "Critique is always welcome to me, but there is no use of replying to private letters which are 'habitually too exaggerated in tone' as well as 'hastily written.' . . . Perhaps I am to be blamed that I have taken your letter too seriously." On 23 May Peirce rebuts: "It is plain you only wanted to print it because it was a particularly private letter. . . . But the whole thing shows well what comes of repudiating christian sentiments."

This episode, which did little to endear Peirce to Carus, well illustrates Peirce's "difficult" character. Perhaps not surprisingly, correspondence between Peirce and Carus broke off shortly afterwards and didn't resume (except very briefly) until 1896 when Ernst Schroeder insisted that Peirce was the only American who could review his Logic.

(The Open Court collection is in the Special Collections of the Morris Library at Southern Illinois University. We are grateful to the Hegeler Institute and to David Koch for permission to quote from the Open Court papers.)

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Pinch continued

Some of you have responded to our fund raising appeals (or have sent books or other research materials) and we are extremely grateful for your generosity (in the next issue we will list our 1994 supporters). But the overall response has been very weak and has not come close even to providing the funds needed for any of the special projects mentioned in issues 1 and 2. This does not surprise our advisors at the Indiana University Foundation, who tell us we cannot expect to raise much money with low-key, non-personal appeals like this one. Perhaps so. But until we can increase our production staff, so that I can devote more time to fund raising, there really isn't much choice. Besides, readers of this newsletter are surely not ordinary "prospects," persons who are more easily influenced by emotional hooks than by clear and simple statements of need. If you want the Edition to survive and can afford to help support our work, please send a check today payable to the Peirce Edition Project (account number 32-PO11-17-7). Send your gift directly to the Project at the address given on page 2 (all gifts will be acknowledged). If you can give a substantial amount but would like to discuss what form your gift should take, with both the Project's and your own interests in mind, we can provide you with expert advice through the services of the Indiana University Foundation. Please consider including the Project in your will or making it the beneficiary of your insurance policy. To discuss these options or for more information, please contact me or my assistant, Beth Eccles.

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