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Book description

In this book, T. L. Short corrects widespread misconceptions of Peirce's theory of signs and demonstrates its relevance to contemporary analytic philosophy of language, mind and science. Peirce's theory of mind, naturalistic but nonreductive, bears on debates of Fodor and Millikan, among others. His theory of inquiry avoids foundationalism and subjectivism, while his account of reference anticipated views of Kripke and Putnam. Peirce's realism falls between 'internal' and 'metaphysical' realism and is more satisfactory than either. His pragmatism is not verificationism; rather, it identifies meaning with potential growth of knowledge. Short distinguishes Peirce's mature theory of signs from his better-known but paradoxical early theory. He develops the mature theory systematically on the basis of Peirce's phenomenological categories and concept of final causation. The latter is distinguished from recent and similar views, such as Brandon's, and is shown to be grounded in forms of explanation adopted in modern science.


'Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a wealth of philosophical riches just waiting to be mined.'

Source: Journal of Philosophy

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Peirce's Writings Cited in the Text
Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Vols. 1–6, Hartshorne, and Weiss, , eds. Vols. 7–8, Burks, ed. Harvard UP, 1931–5 and 1958.
The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings. Vols. 1–2, various editors at the Peirce Edition Project. Indiana UP, 1992 and 1998.
The New Elements of Mathematics by Charles S. Peirce. Vols. 1–4, Eisele, , ed. Mouton, 1976.
Reasoning and the Logic of Things: The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898, by Charles, Sanders Peirce. Ketner, , ed., with an Introduction by Ketner and Putnam and Commentary by Putnam. Harvard UP, 1992.
Semiotic and Significs: The Correspondence between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady Welby. Hardwick, , ed. Indiana UP, 1977.
Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition. Vols. 1–6, various editors at the Peirce Edition Project, Indiana UP, 1982–2000.
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