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Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107647633

$ 46.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, was a thinker of extraordinary depth and range – he wrote on philosophy, mathematics, psychology, physics, logic, phenomenology, semiotics, religion and ethics – but his writings are difficult and fragmentary. This book provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of Peirce's thought. His philosophy is presented as a systematic response to 'nominalism', the philosophy which he most despised and which he regarded as the underpinning of the dominant philosophical worldview of his time. The book explains Peirce's challenge to nominalism as a theory of meaning and shows its implications for his views of knowledge, truth, the nature of reality, and ethics. It will be essential reading both for Peirce scholars and for those new to his work.

    • Reconstructs Peirce's system from its foundations in his theory of symbols and formal logic and mathematics, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the technical underpinnings of Peirce's system
    • Presents the historical context of Peirce's philosophy, with an understanding of the motivations underlying his work
    • Explains connections between Peirce's work, representing it as a fully integrated philosophical system
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...The product is one of the most coherent pictures of Pierce.... Highly Recommended..."
    --R. Ward, Georgetown College, Choice

    "...presents an intriguing way of reading Peirce as a systematic philosopher... Overall, Paul Forster’s Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism is a book definitely worth having and will reward a careful reader. It represents both an excellent introduction to Peirce for those new to his thought and a must-read for Peirce enthusiasts and professionals."
    --Vitaly Kiryushchenko, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Dialogue: The Canadian Philosophical Review

    "...careful and clear, with helpful chapter summaries. It will offer Peirce scholars new insights, as well as being a useful resource for advanced undergraduates.... If you are a contemporary realist in the analytic tradition, please read this book! Such a combination of difference (from accepted philosophical wisdom) and depth is rare, and whether you agree or disagree with the position argued for, it will challenge your thinking in productive ways."
    --Catherine Legg, University of Waikato, Journal of the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107647633
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Preface
    1. Nominalism as demonic doctrine
    2. Logic, philosophy and the special sciences
    3. Continuity and the problem of universals
    4. Continuity and meaning: Peirce's pragmatic maxim
    5. Logical foundations of Peirce's pragmatic maxim
    6. Experience and its role in inquiry
    7. Scientific method as self-corrective - Peirce's view of the problem of knowledge
    8. The unity of Peirce's theories of truth
    9. Order from chaos: Peirce's evolutionary cosmology
    10. A universe of chance: foundations of Peirce's indeterminism
    11. From inquiry to ethics: the pursuit of truth as moral ideal.

  • Author

    Paul Forster, University of Ottawa
    Paul Forster is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. He has published numerous papers and essays and is the co-editor of The Rule of Reason: The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce (1997).

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