Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism

by Paul Forster


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Peirce and the Threat of Nominalism by Paul Forster

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107647633
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/05/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 955,730
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

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).

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.

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