5/14/12

Why Charles Sanders Peirce Is a Posthumous Threat


Salient post from our Peirce List

Between 1865 and 1870, C.S. Peirce had already begun to set out the rudiments of an information-theoretic semantics for inquiry, communication, and thought in general, along with a logic of relatives that is powerful enough to handle polyadic relations, in particular, the triadic relations that one requires in the theory of signs and throughout mathematics.
This is the palette of ideas that Peirce found himself forced to develop to paint a picture of inquiry that could even hope to be “true to life”.Many of these ideas we would not see again until the late 20th century.
When it comes to the reception of this picture, this style, by judges from another school, I think we have to sort the aesthetic or affective impacts from the cognitive or intellectual factors. Personally, I don't suppose I will ever have the investigative resources or skills to find out what really happened in the case of Peirce, but common sense tells me that handing out his relics like favors at a scalping party must betoken some form of active, if unconscious hostility.
And if I were to speculate on the springs and catches of that hostility, I would guess that there is probably a link between fearing the message and counting coup on the messenger.
- Jon Awbry
Nietzsche and Peirce in my sense of things are the key influences on what is actually happening, though both are barely acknowledged in the contexts in which their influence may turn out to be strongest. Were I to suggest that it is in the metaphysical realm, I would be offering a clue. Not to deny it in other realms but to suggest that both men make it possible to live within the immanent frame with a modicum of transcendence.


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